Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes
OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Friday he’s not spreading misinformation by accusing his Liberal and NDP opponents of contemplating tax hikes that they haven’t announced.
Scheer made the remark as he kicked off a day of campaigning in Fredericton by suggesting — without citing specific evidence — that a potential coalition between the Liberals and the NDP might lead to a hike in the GST.
Most polls continue to suggest the Liberals and Conservatives are deadlocked, raising talk about potential minority or coalition governments as support also grows for the NDP in some provinces and for the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec.
“It’s not misinformation at all. We know that the Liberals are contemplating these types of things,” Scheer said.
“Justin Trudeau did a lot of things that wasn’t in his platform after 2015,” he added, eliciting cheers from a group of supporters at a campaign event.
Scheer also defended past claims that the Liberals are contemplating new taxes on homeowners or would legalize hard drugs. The Liberals deny that too.
“Those claims are entirely untrue. It is unfortunate that the Conservatives keep having to make up attacks against us,” Trudeau said in the Toronto suburb of Whitby.
The Liberal leader reiterated his attack point that the Conservatives would have to cut $53 billion in services to pay for their pledge to balance the budget.
“There is a chance that there could be a Conservative government and that would mean cuts,” said Trudeau.
He said Canadians face a choice between Conservative cuts and the Liberal plan to fight climate change and make Canadian streets safer from gun violence.
Trudeau was pivoting to Ontario after two days in Quebec, turning his attention to ridings outside Toronto.
He also has stops scheduled in the suburb of Vaughan, as well as Barrie and Orillia, smaller cities in Toronto’s outer orbit.
Quebec and Ontario, as the country’s two most vote-rich provinces, represent the path to victory in Monday’s election.
Scheer is returning to Quebec today, a province he just left, to campaign alongside the candidate hoping to knock People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier out of the House of Commons. He is to visit Beauce, outside Quebec City, with Conservative candidate Richard Lehoux before moving on to a rally in Drummondville.
Bernier, who just barely lost the Conservative leadership to Scheer before quitting and starting his own party, will make his first public appearance outside his home riding in days, at an afternoon news conference in Quebec City.
The Greens and the New Democrats have similar head-to-head schedules: both Green Leader Elizabeth May and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh are barnstorming ridings on Vancouver Island, where the NDP has been dominant, but the Greens have two seats and are looking for more.
This report by the Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2019.
Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press