WATCH: Liberal leader Justin Trudeau joins Global’s Chief Political Correspondent Tom Clark for a one-on-one interview.
TORONTO — The Liberal Party seems to be following the NDP playbook more closely than the New Democrats these days as they move further to the left in Canadian politics with recent policy announcements.
In an interview Thursday with Global News chief political correspondent Tom Clark, Trudeau skirted the issue when directly asked about a Liberal — NDP flip flop.
“Here’s what some people are wondering about: they’re wondering whether you are now out-flanking the NDP on the left and basically leaving Tom Mulcair to occupy the centre of politics,” said Clark.
“It’s almost like there’s been a role reversal between the Liberals and the New Democrats.”
In response Trudeau, who slammed the NDP leader Wednesday for running his campaign on “austerity and cuts” rather than job creation, again took aim at Mulcair’s plans for spending cuts.
“What we need is growth and that’s why I’m going to be investing in Canadians, investing in our future,” said Trudeau. “Mr. Mulcair has recognized we are in deficit right now and the only way to get into balance next year like he promises is going to be through deep cuts. Now the last thing we need is to cut billions of dollars from the Canadian economy right now when we’re in a recession.”
In-Depth: Federal Election 2015
Clark’s interview with Trudeau came on the heels of an announcement by the Liberal leader to double current infrastructure spending to $125 billion over the next ten years. Trudeau, whose campaign slogan is “Real change for the middle class,” said he will run a $10 billion deficit over the next two years to invest in growing the economy. He’s confident the spending will grow the economy so significantly the books will balance in 2019.
“We need to invest in growth in our economy,” said Trudeau. “That’s why the Liberal party is confident that we’re going to balance the budget in 2019 by growing the economy and investing in Canadians.”
He rebuffed any suggestion of political hypocrisy over his plans to run a deficit, saying it’s short term pain for real growth, growth that is necessary after years of cuts under the Harper government.
“Why Mr. Harper hasn’t been able to get out of deficit for his eight-straight deficits is because he hasn’t invested in Canadians. He hasn’t created the growth that Canada needs in order to succeed. The fact is he has the worst record on growth of any leader since R.B. Bennet in the depths of the great depression,” said Trudeau.
As for Mulcair, he called the New Democarats’ plan for balancing the budget “ridiculous”.
“He comes up with ridiculous ideas like the notion that he’s suddenly going to work out a deal with the provinces and constitutional negotiations and eliminate the Senate in time for April of next year for him to put forward a budget,” said Trudeau. “That’s just a ridiculous notion that quite frankly insults Canadians and emphasizes the fact that Mr. Mulcair has no plan to grow the economy and create jobs and opportunities for Canadians.”
A poll conducted for Global News released Thursday showed the NDP, Liberals and Conservatives neck-and-neck in the polls. An Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News showed just four percentage points separating the parties.
The poll showed the NDP holding a small lead nationally with 33 per cent of respondents, the Liberals with 30 per cent, and the Conservatives in third at 29 per cent.
Canadians head to the polls on October 19.