Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole said on Friday that if elected his government would aim to eliminate the federal deficit within a decade. 

“What I think we need to do is get [to] balance over a decade or so,” O’Toole told the Globe and Mail. 

“We’re going to come up with a plan that shows there is no bogeyman with the Conservatives, that we’re going to try and get back to a balanced budget in two or three years or something like that.” 

Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, the Liberals have let the deficit balloon to nearly $400 billion.

Originally, it was projected that Canada’s deficit would be $343.2 billion but shortly after being appointed as the new Finance Minister, Chrystia Freeland told reporters that the real value would be $39 billion more than estimated. 

“Our government has taken on more debt so Canadians didn’t have to,” said Freeland in July. 

Under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, federal debt has also skyrocketed to a projected record of $1.2 trillion by March 2021. 

“We know this [pandemic] has been a shock, but we also know that economic growth is as important as controlling spending. And our caucus, we’re going to talk about that. And I would prefer more time to hear from industry, to hear from small business, before an election comes and we contrast visions for the future,” said O’Toole. 

“Mr. Trudeau seems to be gunning for an election. We’ll be ready if there’s one. But it’s certainly not my intention.”

O’Toole was elected as the leader of the opposition by his party in August, edging out former cabinet minister Peter MacKay. 

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