'Entirely untrue': Trudeau pushes back at Scheer's claim that he would hike GST, cut transfers
Conservative leader pressed by reporters over campaign's accusations
Offering no evidence to back up his claims, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer today accused the Liberals of planning to team up with the NDP in a governing coalition that would rack up a $40-billion deficit, hike the GST and cut federal transfers to the provinces and territories.
Speaking at a campaign event in Fredericton, Scheer claimed that if Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau wins a minority on Monday, he'll join with the NDP to push runaway spending and tax increases.
"To pay for even half of these never-ending deficits, the Trudeau-NDP coalition would have to raise the GST from five per cent to 7.5 per cent or cut completely the Canada Social Transfer to the provinces," he said.
"These coalition deficits will raise your taxes and starve our vital public services of much-needed funds."
The Conservatives also have been running ads accusing the Liberals of secretly harbouring plans to legalize hard drugs and impose a new tax on home sales — claims the Liberals have insisted are completely false.
Pressed by journalists today to defend his party's claims, Scheer repeated his assertion that taxes would need to go up under a Liberal-NDP coalition government.
"If they are not going to raise the GST, they'd have to explain which taxes they will raise to pay for it. That is my challenge to Justin Trudeau today," he said.
Reporters asked Trudeau to respond today to Scheer's statement during a campaign event in Whitby, Ont.
"Those claims are entirely untrue," he said. "It is unfortunate that the Conservatives keep having to make up attacks against us. But all they're offering is cuts. Cuts four times greater than (Ontario Premier) Doug Ford's. So perhaps that's all they can do, is make things up."
Trudeau has consistently cited the Ford government's austerity measures throughout the campaign, warning that Scheer would impose the same deep cuts in ways that would harm Canadians.
Scheer has promised multiple tax breaks and credits during the campaign and has said he would pay for them by cutting foreign aid by 25 per cent and withdrawing $1.5 billion in corporate subsidies. He also has pledged to erase the deficit in five years.
Trudeau was asked if his repeated questions and claims about Scheer's position on abortion — made even though the Conservative leader has insisted he would not act to limit access to abortion services — also amount to disinformation.
Trudeau said Scheer has never stated he would stand up for reproductive services in New Brunswick, where the only abortion clinic in the province is closing down due to a lack of provincial funding.
Access to abortion
"We need a federal government that will unequivocally stand up and defend women's rights, not passively accept what the law is even though they don't personally agree with it," he said.
"We need a government that will fight for women's rights, and that's exactly what we will do in New Brunswick and anywhere else where access to reproductive rights and services are limited by Conservative governments."
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh today accused Scheer of "making stuff up" and said the NDP has no plan to increase the GST.
"I think people can tell from the repeated, desperate attempt to misinform Canadians that Mr. Scheer is getting desperate, and that he's trying to make things up to scare people because our message of hope is working," he said during a stop in Port Alberni, B.C.
He’s pointing out the possible consequences of a Trudeau/NDP coalition.<br><br>Without Trudeau explaining to Canadians which taxes he will raise to buy the NDP’s support, we’re left to guess. <br><br>Could be the GST. Could be something else. <a href="https://t.co/1CofAXARIL">https://t.co/1CofAXARIL</a>—@BrockWHarrison
Scheer's director of communications Brock Harrison tweeted that the Conservative leader was "pointing out the possible consequences of a Trudeau-NDP coalition."
"Without Trudeau explaining to Canadians which taxes he will raise to buy the NDP's support, we're left to guess. Could be the GST. Could be something else," he said on Twitter.