Asserting a firm commitment towards fiscal prudence, Conservative House Leader Andrew Scheer, emphasized that a Conservative administration under Pierre Poilievre’s stewardship would focus on balancing the budget, eliminating the deficit, and progressively reducing interest rates. He acknowledged, however, that they have not yet stipulated a timeline for these initiatives.
In a candid conversation with CTV’s Question Period’s host Vassy Kapelos on Sunday, Scheer attributed the protracted key interest rate, a 22-year-record, to the fiscal policies of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Scheer insinuated that Trudeau’s fiscal profligacy escalated inflation rates which, in turn, motivated an increase in interest rates. Despite these insinuations, he declined to offer an approximate period by which a Poilievre led government could zero the deficit and reduce the interest rates.
He firmly championed Poilievre’s pragmatic strategy to curb inflationary deficits, claiming that this would ease inflation and enable a corresponding decrease in interest rates.
Expounding on these aspects during the Conservative conference in Quebec City, Scheer built a compelling narrative around Poilievre’s strategic vision, elaborating on it before a significant speech by Poilievre who had assumed leadership of the party almost exactly a year ago.
Highlighting the economic ramifications of Trudeau’s administration, Poilievre made a case for economic inequity by observing that the ones responsible for building Canadians’ homes could not afford to buy homes themselves. This comment underscored the challenging economic landscape and its detrimental impact on affordable housing.
This premise formed the backbone of Scheer’s argument, who emphasized that the Conservative party, under Poilievre’s leadership, was focused on curbing inflation thereby reducing interest rates and enabling Canadians to retain their homes.
Affirming the commitment to this plan, Scheer acknowledged the ultimate goal of achieving a balanced budget, despite declining to establish a timeline. With the Liberals and the NDP’s confidence-and-supply agreement likely to postpone the federal election until 2025, uncertainties prevail.
However, Scheer is confident that before the next term, Poilievre will divulge an election platform that will be seen by Canadians as a responsible one. Upon persistent requests for specifics, Scheer reassured that the Conservatives have identified futile expenses of the Liberal government – money he referred to as “low-hanging fruit”.
Consequently, he declared the party’s decision to eliminate the Canada Infrastructure Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Bank and critiqued them for failing their mandates, the latter he charged was being utilized to bolster the Chinese government’s influence.
Addressing the escalating housing costs that have predominantly figured in Poilievre’s communications, Scheer assured that the Conservatives are pledged to construct more homes. Furthermore, they are determined to persuade municipalities to accelerate approval processes, penalize deliberate delays and even repurpose several federal structures into housing.
When questioned about meeting the target of 5.8 million new homes by 2030, as per the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) report, Scheer remained elusive. Nevertheless, he affirmed his party’s commitment to meet the demands of population growth and asserted that their primary focus will be on pressuring municipalities and implementing other measures to markedly increase the number of existing homes.