Social Justice and Democracy

What O’Toole isn’t telling you: Conservative health care promises made to be broken

September 7, 2021

Erin O’Toole’s fiscal plan and promises to balance the budget in ten years doesn’t add up, and that could mean Conservative cuts to health care and vital public services.

“Mr. O’Toole’s message discipline is admirable, but experts are lining up to say his promises simply don’t add up,” said Bea Bruske, president of the Canadian Labour Congress. “Erin O’Toole is trying to hide his future cuts behind pleasant rhetoric.”

Columnist Stephen Maher asked in this weeks’ Maclean’s: “Now that he is the front runner, O’Toole has a lot of questions to answer, about the economy, climate, race, gun control, private health care…”

In the Hill Times, Michael Harris wrote: “The Conservative leader’s commitments to gun control, women’s empowerment, and fiscal responsibility don’t stand up to scrutiny.”

A few days before that, when asked on CTV’s Power Play, “Do you buy Erin O’Toole’s numbers in terms of economic growth?”, former Deputy Parliamentary Budget Officer Mostafa Askari replied: “No. Absolutely not. We have not had 3% sustained growth in Canada for the past 25-30 years.”

Bruske also noted that when he was in Stephen Harper’s Conservative cabinet, O’Toole cut billions from health care while slashing taxes for profitable corporations. Harper had also promised not to cut health care during an election campaign, and then broke his promise once elected.

“If you examine Mr. O’Toole’s plan closely, you find that his priorities are all wrong,” concluded Bruske. “Conservatives have no plan for alleviating inequality, strengthening public health care or bolstering our social safety net so it’s ready for the next crisis – whether health or climate related.”

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