TORONTO -- During Monday’s English-language debate, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau boasted “more than a million jobs, most of them full-time” were created under his government.

It’s true that the economy is doing well – very well.

Unemployment is near a 40-year low. Canada’s GDP beat expectations in the second quarter of 2019, expanding by 3.7 per cent. That’s better than the United States, which had 2 per cent growth in the same quarter.

On the jobs file, Canada has gained 1.12 million jobs since Nov. 2015. Of those, about 850,000 are full-time.

But Trudeau can’t take responsibility for all that success, according to Moshe Lander, a professor of economics at Concordia University.

“Politicians take credit for events that occur during their administration even if they had nothing to do with it,” Lander told

“The economy has been growing continuously since the financial crisis. Jobs are created as the economy grows. Trudeau was prime minister during (some of that) period, but he did not necessarily enact policies that created those jobs.”

Trudeau’s claim is classic political rhetoric, according to Trevor Tombe, an associate professor of economics at the University of Calgary.

“Incumbents will always claim credit for good news and opposition will always blame the government for bad news. And neither of those positions are often true,” he said.

In fact, there’s no clear way to define just how many jobs any government creates on its own, Tombe said.

“How many jobs he created is not really an answerable question,” he said.

A better way to look at job creation is through policies. The Liberals’ child tax benefit, for instance, could have a real benefit for parents looking to get back to work, Tombe said.

“For lower income individuals, it might allow them more flexibility. They might be able to spend more time working. You might have an impact to the labour supply,” he said.

Still, Trudeau’s claim of creating “more than 1 million jobs” is a stretch, experts say.

“It’s not something where you can have a precise number,” Tombe said. “We just can’t know that with any certainty.”

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