Andrew Scheer started to lay out on Saturday what he would do in the first 100 days of a Conservative government to end what he calls “frivolous spending.”
The Conservative leader said he would name former B.C. finance minister Kevin Falcon and Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, former chief executive of Via Rail, to head a commission to review what he calls corporate welfare.
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The Tories are promising to cut $1.5 billion annually from federal subsidy programs to private-sector companies as part of their path towards balancing the budget in five years.
The commission would also recommend new performance measures for subsidies and review “innovation” programs to ensure the money targets domestic companies and sees benefits, profits and patents staying in Canada.
1:15Federal Election 2019: Scheer says Conservatives would increase funding for education, social programs, health care
Federal Election 2019: Scheer says Conservatives would increase funding for education, social programs, health care
“Right now, the Liberal government gives taxpayers’ dollars to wealthy executives, shareholders and foreign companies. This is as ridiculous as it is unacceptable,” Scheer said in his prepared remarks.
“Your money shouldn’t go to millionaires running billion-dollar companies. Enough is enough.”
Scheer said Falcon and Desjardins-Siciliano bring the “right combination of experience and expertise” to the job.
1:34Federal Election 2019: ‘Public services like health care will continue to be invested in’: Scheer
Federal Election 2019: ‘Public services like health care will continue to be invested in’: Scheer
As for how much the duo would be paid to lead the commission, which would report through the Finance Department, Scheer said that would be worked out after a Conservative government takes office.
Scheer made the announcement in the riding of Burnaby South, which is held by NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and where the Conservatives have been competitive in past elections. Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau held a rally in the same riding Friday night.
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Scheer unveiled the costing of the Conservative platform on Friday, promising to balance the federal budget within five years by delaying billions of dollars’ worth of federal infrastructure spending, levying a tax on tech giants, forcing tobacco companies to pay for anti-smoking campaigns and finding ways to cut billions of dollars in spending.
1:35Federal Election 2019: Scheer says Trudeau ‘going down road’ of ‘making drugs more accessible’
Federal Election 2019: Scheer says Trudeau ‘going down road’ of ‘making drugs more accessible’
Speaking on Saturday, Scheer said he was happy with how Canadians received the information about the platform, looking to highlight that the Liberal plan doesn’t have a timetable to return to a balanced budget.
He also promised to end what he calls “March madness” spending in federal departments, at the end of the government’s fiscal year. Scheer said “hundreds of millions of dollars” are spent on “TVs, and phones and chairs and desks,” lest departments get their budgets cut by whatever they didn’t spend.
© 2019 The Canadian Press