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Platform Price Point - October 1st


Good morning,


We have made it half way in the 2019 Election campaign. The week began quietly as the leaders had small events and announcements as they get ready for the TVA debate tomorrow. The themes for this debate are the economy and environment, governance and Quebec's place in Canada and immigration and social policies.


Speaking about debates, the Canadian Debate Production Partnership announced the themes and formats for the upcoming federal leaders debates on October 7th and 10th.


Until then, let’s see what is…


The Greta effect? Nanos survey suggests young voters turning on Trudeau https://bit.ly/2oBQ2uF


The cost for those Liberal platform promises as verified by the Parliamentary Budget Office are now on line. https://www.pbo-dpb.gc.ca/en/epc-estimates

By the numbers: The ten priciest promises in the Liberal election platform https://bit.ly/2oPjHkp


Liberals release another ad focusing on how the Liberal plan builds on the progress we’ve made investing in families, workers, and communities https://bit.ly/2nbjdUX


Andrew Scheer to expand eligibility criteria to access Disability Tax Credit https://bit.ly/2nUk7W0


Scheer's Conservatives may come to regret not getting serious about climate change https://bit.ly/2mmTp80


Elizabeth May says this election is a climate referendum https://bit.ly/2mmK2Fv


Which federal leader is the preferred one for Prime Minister?

Source: Nanos Research for CTV News & The Globe and Mail, random telephone survey of 1,200 Canadians is accurate ±2.8 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.



Rebel Media staffer barred from Tory event, claims he was hit by Scheer's bus https://bit.ly/2ndfVR4

Where you will find the leaders today.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May will be in Toronto for a 12 p.m. ET announcement on the Green Party’s policies on post-secondary education. Annamie Paul (Toronto Centre) will also be in attendance, along with other candidates from the Greater Toronto Area. In the evening, Ms. May will join supporters in Montreal for a Green Party rally and meet-and-greet.


Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau will meet with mayors from the Greater Toronto Area at 9 a.m. ET about the need to end gun violence. A media availability will follow.

Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer will also be in Toronto to make an announcement at 9 a.m. ET.


NDP leader Jagmeet Singh will attend a 11 a.m. ET breakfast event with young families in Vancouver, BC. Singh will speak to families about the difficulties they face, including skyrocketing child care costs.

With the Liberal platform out and now costed (along with the Green Party), the Bluesky observers give their thoughts on the importance of having platforms costed. Will it matter to voters and at the ballot box?

From the desk of Susan Smith, Principal

Do voters care about costed platforms? Sometimes.


Think about it this way – do most Canadians take a mortgage amortized over 10 or 20 years to buy a house for their family, or do the majority borrow the full amount with a promise to pay the entire mortgage back at the end of 5 years?


Given the close contest for Liberals and Conservatives in #elxn43, some will be looking at the “mortgage terms “or the price tags on the commitments. Their comfort levels with the final price tags will be largely connected to their opinions of the vision of the two main parties.


The Liberals are deploying the same strategy as 2015 – investing in people, families, housing, the environment and infrastructure to keep the economy moving. In essence – taking a mortgage at terms they feel that we, as a country, can afford to repay. There is no current promise from the Libs to balance the books in the next few years, but a pathway through finally taxing the Apples, Netflix’s and Amazons of the world and other measures to decrease the debt-to-GDP ratio, which is the key marker for economists to breathe easy.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has promised to balance the books by 2024, but without a fully revealed and fully costed platform, it remains to be seen what programs will be axed to balance the budget, while still funding big ticket election commitments like a universal tax cut, home renovation tax credits and infrastructure spending. The devil will be in the details, but it’s safe to assume that the Conservative plan will be the equivalent of big mortgage payments over a short-term amortization.


With costed platforms reviewed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Officer, voters will have one more proof point and opportunity to decide which House and which Canada they are most comfortable with when they cast their ballots on October 21st.


From the desk of Neil Brodie, Vice President

It has become apparent that the message of fiscal discipline that began after the Liberals’ debt crunch in the mid-90’s, which slashed about $50-billion in spending over 2 years, mostly from transfers to provinces for health and education, is over. What seemed unthinkable going into the 2015 election, campaigning on growing deficits, is now accepted by many the voting population and every major party.


This shouldn’t be a surprise since the gang that brought out-of-control public spending to Ontario from 2003 to 2018, doubling its debt load from about $150-billion to over $325-billion, is now in power in Ottawa. This group of fiscally-irresponsible political advisors has softened Canada’s largest province to the message that deficits don’t matter. Now they are spreading that message to the rest of the country. And the only reason that this debt is being incurred is to buy votes and retain power, it is not in the national interest. Remember, leaders are given their positions to make the hard decisions, not to make the easy decisions.

From the desk of Cameron Holmstrom, Consultant 

Having a costed-out platform is an expected part of any professional political campaign, and rightfully so. Voters have the right to expect that a party has done their homework, that they can show how they will pay for their promises and what that might mean for the public’s finances. The introduction of the Parliamentary Budget Officer into this election, as an independent assessor of these promises, is a encouraging development for Canadians and their ability to trust the numbers that they see.


But when it comes to if having costed platforms matters to voters, it depends on who the voters are thinking about. The Liberals have a history of balancing books and the electorate has seemed to give them the benefit of the doubt over time. For the Conservatives, the people care more about their costing mostly because they’re looking at where the “savings” are coming from. As for the NDP, because they don’t have the track record of the other parties, there is an expectation that the orange team needs to jump that hurdle to prove that their numbers add up. This is doubly true for the Greens, as many Canadians are seriously looking at Elizabeth May’s party for the very first time. Having a properly costed budget is an important step to show that you are ready to be a serious party, and unfortunately for the Green team, their failures on this front this time has led many to conclude that they are not ready for prime time.

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