O’Toole pledges to balance budget, ramp up economy ‘without cuts’ within 10 years

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WATCH: Canada election: O’Toole pledges to balance Canada’s budget ‘without cuts’ – Aug 31, 2021

Erin O’Toole is stressing the Conservative goal to balance the budget “without cuts” within 10 years.

At a campaign event from the party’s broadcast centre at an Ottawa hotel, the Tory leader said Canada effectively borrows more than $400 million each day, resulting in a $354-billion deficit last year amid emergency spending measures prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

O’Toole says that, if he elected, he will roll out more stimulus spending but will end much of it after the first year and wind it down completely over five years.

Read more: Erin O’Toole’s soft stance on the Cheryl Gallants of the Conservative Party sends the wrong message

Conservative officials have said the robust economic recovery on which the Tory plan rests assumes annual GDP growth of roughly three per cent, a target reached only once since 2011.

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Neither the Liberal budget nor the NDP platform mention fiscal balance, with both parties saying investment in economic and social programs can rev the economy and generate revenue more effectively than slashed budgets.

Earlier today, Statistics Canada released numbers showing the country’s economy had its worst quarterly stretch since the start of the pandemic, contracting by 1.1 per cent between April and June and possibly dropping further in July.

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