Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is demanding Liberals “have the guts” to explain what taxes will be raised to secure NDP support in a coalition government.
Scheer began his campaign day Friday in Fredericton, aiming to take back seats in Atlantic Canada where the Liberals won every riding four years ago.
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He is trying to sow seeds of concern about a hypothetical Liberal-NDP coalition that could arise if no party wins a majority of seats in Monday’s election.
“Justin Trudeau has made it clear he will pay any price to stay in power — and he will use your money to pay for it,” Scheer said.
“A coalition of the two would run a deficit of $40 billion next year alone. To pay for even half of these never-ending deficits, the Trudeau-NDP coalition would have to raise the GST from 5% to 7.5%, or cut completely the Canada social transfer to the provinces.”
Neither the Liberals nor the NDP have ever talked about raising the GST, eliminating transfer payments or running a deficit of $40 billion. But they are going to need to get the money from somewhere, Scheer insisted afterward to reporters as he continued to frame a
Liberal minority win as a path to a coalition with the NDP.
“They will have to make choices,” Scheer said.
“Raising the GST from five to 7.5% is one option. That is my challenge to Justin Trudeau today: if he is so sure that Canadians want an NDP-Liberal coalition and these massive deficits, he needs to tell Canadians exactly which taxes he will raise to pay for it, and he needs to do that immediately so that Canadians can make an informed decision on Oct. 21.”
The Conservative leader was also challenged about other claims he has made about Liberal plans, including introducing a tax on capital gains from the sale of a principal residence and decriminalizing all hard drugs — neither of which is on the table.
Scheer now saying the Liberals “may” raise the GST or other taxes in order to buy off the NDP for a coalition (something the Liberals have not talked about it at all).
— Rosemary Barton (@RosieBarton) October 18, 2019
Scheer defended the home-tax attack by insisting it was floated as a possibility by Adam Vaughan, a Liberal candidate seeking re-election in Toronto, when the party was soliciting policy ideas back in 2018, although it was never adopted and has been explicitly disavowed by the party as anything other than an idea raised in public meetings.
“It’s not misinformation at all,” Scheer insisted. “We know that the Liberals are contemplating these types of things.”
Scheer says he is only showing Canadians the possible ways a NDP-Liberal coalition would pay for their promises:
However, the CBC’s Katie Simpson asked the Liberals directly this morning if they are going to raise the GST:
I just asked the liberals if they are going to raise the GST. The liberals say “no”.
— Katie Simpson (@CBCKatie) October 18, 2019