Trudeau maintains it's a two-party race while Scheer raises fears over 'Liberal-NDP' coalition
OTTAWA – Three days before the election, Justin Trudeau maintained that it’s a two-party race between his Liberals and the Conservatives, while his rival Andrew Scheer again raised the spectre of a "Liberal-NDP" coalition that Canadians should be worried about.
Speaking in Whitby, Ont. at a children’s store, Trudeau said "the choice is clear" come Monday as the Liberals and Conservatives remain neck-and-neck in the polls as the “disrupter” parties continue to make incremental gains.
He deflected questions about the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois, parties which pollsters say might take seats from the Liberals in key regions.
"We see that it boils down, days to go before the election, between a choice between Conservative cuts and a Liberal government that will continue to make life more affordable for Canadians, fight climate change, and get guns off our streets," Trudeau said, repeating the three campaign promises that have fueled the Liberals out of the gate since day one of the campaign.
Trudeau said that while Canadians have a "choice," he’s "confident [Canadians] will make the right choice" on Monday, which means a ballot marked in his favour.
As he did this week, Trudeau once again conceded that a Conservative win might very well be the outcome, but that that would mean "cuts" of about "$53 billion."
"Are you ready for even more powerful Conservative cuts, cuts that are four times larger than Doug Ford’s?" said Trudeau, invoking the Ontario premier as he’s done multiple times this campaign.
Meanwhile, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer on Friday morning accused the Liberals and NDP of planning a coalition that could result in expensive tax hikes.
Stopping by Fredericton, New Brunswick before jetting off to Quebec, the Tory leader claimed the parties would hike up the GST up from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent and their combined deficits will average $34.7 billion over the next four years.
Neither the Liberals nor the NDP have said they would raise the GST, nor have they confirmed they’d form a coalition.
Scheer, like Trudeau, also alluded to the “choice” voters have to make on Oct. 21, albeit a much different set of options from that laid out by their competitors.
"The clear choice between a Liberal-NDP coalition, a coalition that you cannot afford, a coalition that will run massive deficits, even bigger deficits than Justin Trudeau’s running now," he said. "On the other hand, we have a Conservative platform that will get back to a balanced budget."
Asked whether these claims were a form of fear-mongering, which was met with boos from Scheer’s supporters, he replied "it’s quite clear that that’s what they’re contemplating."
Trudeau today responded to Scheer’s statements, saying "Those claims are entirely untrue. It is unfortunate that the Conservatives keep having to make up attacks against us."
Appearing in Port Alberni, B.C., NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said the Conservative statement was a "lie."
"Mr. Scheer is just making things up because he’s getting desperate. We will absolutely not raise the GST," said Singh.
As it stands today, Singh has remained firm in his assertion that he would not "in any way" be open to working with the Conservatives in a minority government scenario, even on a bill-to-bill scenario.
"I made it really clear, New Democrats are not going to work with Conservatives," he said. "They’re going to hurt families and I can’t support that."