NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh heads to the bus on the way to a campaign event in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

VIDEO: Re-elected Liberals would still run big deficits, despite new taxes

Trudeau effectively saying “Canada will literally go on adding debt forever,” according to Tory critic

Justin Trudeau tried to make virtue out of red ink Sunday as he released a Liberal platform that promises to impose new taxes on wealthy individuals, large international corporations, foreign housing speculators and tech giants to help cover the cost of billions in new spending and tax breaks for the middle class.

Even with the new taxes, the platform projects another four years of deficits if the Liberals are re-elected on Oct. 21 — $27.4 billion next year, falling to $21 billion by the fourth year of the mandate.

But in a news conference at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus, Trudeau said he’s leaning in to the old tax-and-spend Liberal reputation to establish an important point of distinction from his arch-rivals.

“We are making a different choice than Conservatives do,” Trudeau said in response to repeated questions about the persistent Liberal deficit.

“We’re choosing to invest in middle-class Canadians, invest in people’s communities because, quite frankly, that is what has worked over the past four years. Responsible investments have led to the creation of over a million new jobs, most of them full time, and lifting 900,000 people, including 300,000 kids, out of poverty.

“Conservatives are still making the argument that the way to grow the economy is through cuts and austerity and tax breaks that go to the wealthiest. We disagree.”

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was taking a break from the campaign trail Sunday. But his finance critic, Ottawa MP Pierre Poilievre, told a news conference that Trudeau is effectively saying “Canada will literally go on adding debt forever.” He predicted that a re-elected Liberal government would wind up imposing “massive tax increases to fund this irresponsible and costly platform” that would add $56 billion in new spending over four years.

“He expects Canadians to believe that money falls out of the sky or grows on trees,” Poilievre scoffed.

In B.C., NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh spent a sixth straight day stumping for west-coast votes, promising a $100-million fund to help keep young people out of gangs and mitigate the growing problem of organized crime.

And in Vancouver, Green party Leader Elizabeth May said her party would introduce a “robot tax” if elected — a levy to be paid by a company every time it replaces a worker with a machine, part of a strategy to ease the impact of the growth of artificial intelligence.

READ MORE: Trudeau, Scheer navigate climate marches that dominate federal campaign

But Sunday was mostly about the Liberal platform, which Trudeau described as a “fiscally responsible” plan under which the Canada’s debt-to-GDP ratio — already the best among G7 countries, at 30.9 per cent — would decrease every year of a second mandate. As well, he said Canada will retain its triple-A credit rating, shared with only one other G7 country: Germany.

According to the platform, the proposed new taxes, combined with revenue from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, would fatten federal coffers by $5.2 billion in the first year, rising to $7.2 billion in the fourth year.

But the extra monies would be eclipsed by 48 new spending and tax break initiatives for the middle class, which the platform estimates would cost $9.3 billion next year, rising to nearly $17 billion by the fourth year of a second mandate. The platform does not, however, include costing for several promises, including the promise to introduce a national pharmacare program which Trudeau said will have to be negotiated with the provinces.

Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man sentenced for setting apartment barbecue on fire in Abbotsford

Michael Rodden climbed to second-storey balcony in March 2019

How do you hold a public hearing when public gatherings are banned?

City of Abbotsford discussing how to hold hearings with appropriate social distancing

Abbotsford golf courses remain open during COVID-19 pandemic

Ledgeview, Fraserglen and Valley Golf institute safety policies to fight coronavirus

120 more recreation staff laid off by City of Abbotsford

Job cuts from closure of public facilities, city will re-hire after health emergency passes

400 people assessed for COVID-19 at Abbotsford centre

Website and centre have been running for over a week

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

BC Hockey, Vancouver Canucks encourage stick tapping to honour frontline health care workers

Families are encouraged to video themselves tapping their sticks at 7 p.m. and post to social media

Most Read