Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect a Conference Board of Canada report on productivity levels.
While Kevin O‘Leary has yet to announce his political intentions, he certainly sounded like a man intent on running for office when he conducted a Facebook Live Monday.
O’Leary sat down to give a speech but quickly adjusted the camera before perching in front of a screen featuring his name draped all over the Canadian Flag.
He began by noting how Canadians brimmed with pride when Sidney Crosby scored the game-winning goal at the Vancouver Olympics, asking, “Imagine if you could get up in the morning and felt that way about your country every day?”
The rest of the speech was a little more meat and potatoes so Global News decided to see how accurate some of his facts were.
Canada is “one of the least productive countries on earth. Why does it have to be so screwed up?”
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Canada was 18th in the world in GDP per hours worked.
This would put Canada firmly in the middle of the top countries in the world.
Though according to a Conference Board of Canada report, the country ranks 13th of 16 peer countries in terms of productivity levels but fifth in productivity growth.
Canada was also the 10th most competitive country in the world in 2016, according to Forbes magazine, putting it ahead of Germany (No. 12), Australia (No. 17) and the United Kingdom (No. 18).
O’Leary went on to discuss “a buried government report that Trudeau tried to hide before the holidays about the financial situation in Canada.”
The Department of Finance released a report entitled, “Update of Long-Term Economic and Fiscal Projections” on Dec. 23, the Friday before Christmas.
A year earlier, a report called “Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections 2015” was released mid-November well before the holiday season.
O’Leary said, “The latest report says we will not have a balanced budget until 2055.”
The report does state the Canadian budget will not be balanced until 2055, although it warns, “because long-term projections and the range of possible results are inherently uncertain, the baseline projections presented in this document are not intended to be forecasts.”
O’Leary said, “Trudeau told us in his campaign promises he’d balance the budget in 2019.”
During the run-up to the election, Justin Trudeau said his plan to balance the budget was “very” set in stone.
The prime minister quickly shied away from that campaign pledge within months of being elected.
Trudeau instead said the Liberal government still intends to fulfill its other, more flexible “fiscal anchor” – lowering the debt-to-GDP ratio in every year of its mandate.
O’Leary said, “His cabinet, his team, when you want to run country you need a really strong team, are all ex-Ontario-ites under Dalton McGuinty.”
While 10 of the 31 cabinet ministers are from Canada’s most populous province, not a single one has ever served in the provincial legislature, let alone under Dalton McGuinty.