TORONTO -- Allegations that the Liberal Party has a so-called “secret plan” to raise the capital gains tax on the sale of principal residences are “100 per cent false,” according to the Liberal candidate targeted in a Conservative attack ad.

The claim

Last Thursday, the Conservative Party alleged in a tweet that Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and Adam Vaughan, candidate for Toronto’s Spadina-Fort York riding, have a “secret plan” to tax homeowners 50 per cent on the sale of their home.

“This is Trudeau’s hidden agenda: tax hikes to pay for his massive deficits. You work hard, you increase the value of your home, and Liberals take 50%. How is that fair?” read the tweet, which has since garnered over 1,200 retweets.

Attached to the tweet is a Liberal-branded policy proposal handout dated November 2018.

A highlighted section titled “Campaign Platform 2019” reads, “Another idea that has emerged from housing town halls is a sliding scale on the Capital Gains Tax on the sale of principal residences. A 50 per cent tax after one year of ownership, 25 per cent after two years, 15 per cent after three years, 10 per cent after four years, 5 per cent after five.”

The document continues, “the idea would be to hit speculators who quickly flip houses in hot markets.”

“This new homeowner tax would cost Canadians who sell their homes thousands of dollars,” Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt said in a press release issued Friday.

“In public, Justin Trudeau pretends to want to help homeowners, but behind closed doors, his team is planning to hit them hard with a new tax that will cost them thousands. As usual, Trudeau is not as advertised.”

The response

In a statement issued to CTV via email Monday, Vaughan said there is no plan or proposal to change tax policy on primary residences.

“Scheer’s claim is 100 per cent false. This is yet another example of the Conservatives misleading Canadians,” Vaughan said in the statement.

Though the document is labelled as a “policy proposal,” Vaughan claims the document was a report meant to summarize ideas presented to MPs at consultations and town halls.

“The document the Conservatives misrepresent and quote was a report to Caucus summarizing ideas presented to various MPs at consultations and town halls. It is not a recommendation, it is not an idea I support, and it is not a policy we will pursue,” he said.

The Liberal Party reiterated Vaughan's statement that the claim is 100 per cent false, noting "it was never a proposal."

When asked about the attack ad on the campaign trail Monday, Scheer deflected questions from CTV News about whether his team would stop making the claim about the capital gains tax, saying Trudeau has “lied in the past.”

“This idea was put forward by a handpicked Liberal member of Parliament, someone who is very close to Justin Trudeau,” Scheer said.

“Justin Trudeau has lost all confidence from the Canadian people to tell the truth. When he says he’s not going to do something, people just can’t trust him.”

Trudeau unveiled his party’s housing platform last week, which includes a promise to expand the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive to help buyers in Canada’s most expensive markets, including greater Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria regions.

The Liberals’ platform also includes plans for a one per cent tax that would be levied annually on properties owned by non-Canadians who don’t live in the country in a bid to prevent foreign speculation from driving up housing prices.

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