GUNTER: O’Toole’s costed platform channels Lester Pearson

DM

I was going through the official costing of the Tory platform on Wednesday evening while waiting for the second French-language leaders’ debate to begin. (I really know how to have a good time.) Erin O’Toole would spend $50 billion more than the Liberals proposed in their 2021 budget. That’s not as much, of course, as the $78 billion in extra spending promised by the Liberals during this campaign. But $50 billion on top of already record-high spending is hardly conservative. Nor is it conservative that the Tories would reduce the Liberals’ obscenely high annual deficits by just 13 per cent over the next three years. Then, while I was whooping it up with revenue and expenditure tables and economic forecasts, it struck me, O’Toole may be popular with Ontario voters because he’s the Liberal prime minister they really want. By traditional Liberal standards, Justin Trudeau is too radical. What Ontarians really want is Paul Martin or Jean Chretien, someone with fairly liberal social policy but also an eye for economic growth and the balance sheet. Trudeau cares about neither of the latter — economic growth or government spending. He said himself he doesn’t think about monetary policy.

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