Trudeau on CTV QP: Commits to tabling budget quickly if he forms government
Published Sunday, October 11, 2015 12:00PM EDT
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau says if his party forms a government, he will table a federal budget as quickly as possible, and meet early on with the provinces and U.S. President Barack Obama to talk climate change.
Trudeau told CTV’s Question Period that his party would get to a budget right after tabling a bill that would lower taxes for the middle class by raising them for the wealthiest one per cent.
“We then get around to a budget as quickly as is responsible so we can start bringing in the kind of more generous Canada child benefit that will put more money in the pockets of Canadians who really need the support.”
Trudeau is the only major party leader who has committed to running small deficits in order to boost the economy through infrastructure spending. Conservative Leader Stephen Harper and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair have both promised to balance the budget next year.
With the United Nations climate change summit coming up in Paris this December, Trudeau is also focused on the environment. He said he’ll sit down with U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss a North American climate change strategy, one of his first proposed steps in mending a relationship “soured” by Harper.
“Mr. Obama has talked at length about how important addressing environmental concerns and climate change is and I believe in engaging in a continental strategy and working with the president. And if I work hard and win on October 19th, we’ll be turning to fixing that broken relationship.”
The Liberal leader will also discuss climate change with the premiers before heading to the United Nations summit, as well as pensions and infrastructure plans.
Denial of talks with Obama administration
Sources tell CTV Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife that the Liberal Party has been speaking with the Obama administration about plans to pull Canada out of the U.S.-led coalition air war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. According to sources, Obama would not be upset if Canada did this and amped up its training of Iraqi troops instead. But Trudeau said he was unaware of such talks.
“I haven’t heard anything about this. Your sources are better than mine apparently.”
Trudeau maintained his opposition to Canada’s involvement in the combat missions. He said Canada can play other roles in the fight against the terror group, including “taking an active training role far from enemy lines and the front lines.”
Brushing off Conservative attacks
Trudeau brushed off an attack by Conservative candidate Gary Goodyear, who said last week that Trudeau’s opposition to Harper’s tip line for barbaric cultural practices means he does not think that female genital mutilation constitutes a barbaric act.
“I think this is a great example of how the Conservatives have engaged in politics of fear, division and personal attacks. It’s something that I simply won’t engage in. I’m going to let them focus on me and attacking in increasingly ridiculous statements,” said Trudeau.
A commitment to budget transparency
Finally, Trudeau committed to let “in a little sunshine” on the government’s books. In recent years, budgets have not reflected the spending estimates tabled in Parliament, creating confusion about how taxpayer money is spent.
“We’ve made very strong commitments about openness and transparency, not just directly to Canadians, but allowing parliamentarians, whose primary job is to oversee government expenditures and government spending of money, to actually be able to evaluate how the government is doing with taxpayer dollars.”