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Balancing budget in 5 years key fiscal plan as Conservatives release full platform

Last Updated Oct 11, 2019 at 4:49 pm PDT

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer arrives in Tsawwassen, B.C., to release the party's full platform. (Martin MacMahon, NEWS 1130)

TSAWWASSEN (NEWS 1130) – Balancing the budget within five years is the key to the Conservative Party of Canada’s federal election platform, and tens of billions of dollars in cuts is how the party plans to achieve it.

Leader Andrew Scheer is unveiling the party’s full platform in Tsawwassen Friday afternoon. He says the party will meet its budget goals without cutting core services, and instead with spending restraints and cuts to corporate handouts and foreign aid to wealthy countries.

“We are committed to increasing the transfer payments for health, education and social programs. That is a guarantee that is costed and is outlined in this platform,” he says.

“We’ve said where were’re going to get the money from. We’re going to get it from corporate welfare, we’re going to get it from foreign aid from relatively well-off countries that don’t need Canadian tax payers’ dollars.”

The new plan mentions the possibility of a recession, but Scheer’s platform promises to pass a law requiring balanced budgets, which could be a problem if economic challenges hit.

“To protect social programs and to prevent tax increases, a new Conservative government will introduce legislation to require the federal government to maintain a balanced budget once the current deficit is eliminated. We will tie the salaries of the Prime Minister and ministers to the implementation of a balanced budget,” reads the platform.

Scheer is also promising to help retired couples and families get ahead with thousands of dollars in savings.

“Under Justin Trudeau, Canadians are working harder and harder, but they’re just not getting ahead. Everything keeps getting more expensive and if Trudeau is re-elected, it will only get worse,” Scheer said in a press release. “My Plan For You To Get Ahead is filled with achievable and tangible ways that a new Conservative government under my leadership will put more money in your pockets so you can get ahead.”

Also in the platform, the party promises to make life sentences mean “life behind bars.”

“To ensure that the worst of the worst never again walk free, we will introduce legislation to give judges the option to put someone behind bars for life,” reads the platform. ” We will ensure that judges have the option to lock up the worst criminals for the rest of their life.”

Canada currently has legislation that allows for some convicted of violent and sexual offenses to be deemed “dangerous offenders” and serve an unlimited time in prison.

Ahead of releasing the platform, the Liberals released their own statement, saying “Now we know why Andrew Scheer is releasing his costing on the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend, it’s to bury $53 billion in cuts including $14 billion that are totally hidden.”

Conservative Party of Canada’s full platform 2019

– With files from Cormac Mac Sweeney