Last week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in hot water for the latest in a string of odd remarks.
This time around, it was the PM’s strange claims about low-income Canadians and taxes that sparked a round of furor.
“We see proof that the Conservatives simply don’t understand that low-income families don’t benefit from tax breaks because they don’t pay taxes,” Trudeau said in Question Period last Tuesday.
It was a stunning remark that upset regular Canadians who do pay taxes. A whole lot of taxes.
There were a number of problems with the statement, not the least of which is that it wasn’t true.
As Brian Lilley explained in a column: “Someone earning just $28,000 a year in Ottawa – the equivalent of minimum wage in Ontario – will pay $4,782 in taxes.”
And it’s not just income taxes that low-income Canadians shell out for – but sales taxes, sin taxes, the upcoming carbon tax and more.
But what the reaction to Trudeau inadvertently did was distract from the original question. Trudeau’s odd comment was a response to a question from Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre.
The finance critic was asking Trudeau to clarify whether or not his plan was to raise taxes on Canadians in the years ahead, and cited the Liberal government’s removal of the child fitness tax credit as an example.
Now nobody expects Trudeau to answer that question on the spot and honestly, if only because the Poilievre’s comment was mostly a rhetorical flourish designed for Question Period.
It’s still an important question though. And Trudeau’s fumbling answers just remind us how important it is to keep asking him that basic question.
This is a political leader who not only thinks that budgets balance themselves but believes that this somehow won’t end up harming low-income Canadians.
Is the Prime Minister planning any tax increases on Canadians if he’s re-elected this year?
We know he’s still planning high deficits for years to come. We know this is going to pile our debt load higher and increase our debt servicing costs.
Someone is going to have to pay for all of this overspending. And it looks like it’s not going to be done through government belt-tightening. It’ll be Canadians paying from their wallets.