'Entirely untrue': Trudeau pushes back at Scheer's claim that he would hike GST, cut transfers

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.

Conservative leader pressed by reporters over campaign's accusations

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer responds to a question as he makes a campaign stop in Fredericton, Friday, October 18, 2019. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

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.

Without any evidence, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer claims the Liberals will hike the GST with the backing of the NDP. 1:43

"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.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau accuses the Conservatives of spreading disinformation after leader Andrew Scheer claimed the Liberals would hike the GST. Trudeau is then asked if he could be accused of the same thing for pressing Scheer on the abortion issue. 1:43

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.

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.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh spoke to the CBC's Hannah Thibedeau in Port Alberni BC on Friday 1:04

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.