Andrew Scheer promises a balanced budget in five years


(Tsawwassen) Andrew Scheer was the last of the federal leaders to present his encrypted electoral platform as the long Thanksgiving weekend begins.

The Canadian Press

Speaking in Tsawwassen, BC, Scheer confirmed Friday that his plan, which he calls "cautious and responsible," plans to return to a balanced budget within five years.

To do this, a Conservative government would push back billions in infrastructure spending, tax web giants, force tobacco companies to pay for anti-smoking campaigns, and slash a host of other expenses.

The savings will fund $ 6.2 billion in new spending next year, which will take the form of mostly tax cuts and tax credits, but will also be used to propel green businesses internationally to combat change. climate change in a global way.

Under a Conservative government, spending would rise by $ 11.4 billion in 2024-2025, largely because of the "tax cut for all" that would lower the first-tier tax rate by 15 to 13.75 per cent.

The party estimates it will be able to pay for these measures by extending for three years the investments of 187 billion in the liberal plan of infrastructures. The planned envelope would remain the same, but it would be spent in 15 years instead of 12.

"We will guarantee all projects that have already started, that already have an agreement between the different levels of government and we will spend the same amount of money more responsibly," Scheer said.

The Conservative leader has already announced that he will give priority to infrastructure projects that will reduce the time spent on traffic. According to this criterion alone, a Conservative government would go ahead with public transit projects, but also less green projects – such as the third link in Quebec City.

Netflix and public service

The Conservatives also plan to levy 3% taxes on the revenues of the web giants, which would generate additional revenue of $ 5.2 billion over five years. But no way for these companies to collect GST, like all Canadian platforms.

The Conservatives are at the same time giving tax benefits to these giants of the web if they set up a head office in Canada.

A Conservative government would also end "waste" in the public service. It intends to maintain the equivalent number of full-time employees at the 2020-2021 levels until the budget is balanced. The largest savings will be in operating expenses. The platform expects to save not less than 14 billion in five years at this level.

A Conservative government will also adopt a Balanced Budget Act to demand that the federal government maintain a balanced budget once the deficit is eliminated. It will require any new spending proposal to be "budget neutral" – that is, to save money or new revenue for the government.

New promises

The 107-page document presented on Friday is mainly composed of promises that the party had already detailed in the first weeks of the campaign or in speeches by Mr. Scheer.

New measures in the platform include increased powers for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, new laws to blame Canadians for engaging in terrorist activity abroad, as well as an increase in parental benefits for Canadians. employment insurance following the death of an infant.

A Conservative government also promises to revive Rona Ambrose's bill, the former acting leader of the party, to ensure that all new judges receive awareness training for victims of sexual assault. The legislation died on the order paper in the last Parliament because of a blockade of Conservative senators.

The casting platform

The Conservatives were repeatedly attacked by the Liberals for waiting after the debates before unveiling their encrypted platform. And even when it was done, the attacks continued.

In the aftermath of the last debate in French on Friday morning, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau ridiculed the idea of ​​presenting a platform on the eve of a long leave.

"The reality is that, as we all know, you do not get your best job at 6 pm Friday of a long weekend," he said, causing laughter and applause during a meeting with its activists in Ottawa.

The Liberals then unveiled elements of the Conservative platform about an hour before Mr. Scheer's announcement. They decried the 53 billion cuts the Conservative leader planned, asking him where he was going to cut.

"Infrastructure projects? "From your Child Allowance benefits? "Support for our elders? "," Scholarship? Asked Mr. Trudeau through social networks.

The New Democratic Party also presented its financial framework on Friday morning, but the Liberals ignored it.

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