Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole doesn’t believe the budget will balance itself, but he has faith that his economic plan will eliminate the federal deficit within 10 years if he becomes Canada’s next prime minister. 

O’Toole originally promised to balance the books within a decade last year when he first became leader of the Conservatives. During the official launch of the Conservative campaign on Sunday, O’Toole reaffirmed this commitment.

“We will get the budget back to balance over the course of the next decade,” O’Toole said in response to a question by True North’s Andrew Lawton.

“We will have the economy surging in the right direction for all Canadians and that will allow us to balance the budget within a decade by helping people get back to work in all parts of the country.” 

O’Toole referenced the fifth pillar of his economic recovery plan, which claims Canadians “can’t pass unsustainable debt on to future generations.” The plan also pledges to “ensure that stimulus measures are targeted and time-limited to avoid creating a structural deficit.”

Canada’s federal debt surpassed $1 trillion dollars this year following a frenzy of pandemic spending by the ruling Liberal government. In its latest budget, the Trudeau government revealed a whopping deficit of $354 billion with no plan to pay down the debt and balance the books.

Recently, the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) warned that the federal government will not return to a balanced budget until 2070 if politicians do not curb spending. 

In its estimate, the PBO says the government is projected to tack on an additional $2.7 trillion in debt before balancing the budget in 2070. Interest charged will cost Canadians approximately $3.8 trillion by 2070.

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Harrison Faulkner is producer and journalist for True North based in Toronto.

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