Clearly, the Conservatives plan to paint Dion as a big spending Liberal, themselves the prudent fiscal hawks. Here is what Liberal Finance Minister John McCallum said in response:
"That's a 62.5 billion dollar lie. Interestingly enough they tried to pull the same stunt in the 1993 election and I have the ad here (pulls out ad). They said Chretien would plunge the country into a 100 billion dollar debt in four years. What are the facts, the Liberals inherited a 43 billion dollar Conservative deficit and within four years balanced the books."
In the last two years, government spending has increased by 15% under the Conservatives. Let's do some quick math with the Conservatives unsubstantiated claims. Dion would raise spending by 62.5 billion over four years, around 16.5 billion per year. If we take total government spending, which is estimated to be 240.5 billion this fiscal year, we are left with the following. Under Dion, using the Conservatives obviously biased estimates, spending would increase 6.8% per year. So let's see, Conservatives 15% increase in two years, Dion 13.6% every two years. You don't want to give the Conservative propaganda any validity, but pretty hilarious that you can present the naked numbers to show Dion would actually reign in spending, compared to the Conservative record.
I find it hard to judge the Liberal platform, before it has been released. I also find it hard to believe that the party which demonstrated tremendous fiscal disipline in the past, has now morphed into a reckless spender, that will harm Canada's fiscal position. As a matter of fact, I suspect Canadians may well look with scepticism at the Conservatives outlandish claims. Say what you want, one thing is clear, Canadians never had a problem with the Liberals economic record, while in office.
I'm certain that the Liberals will cost out everything in their platform, which is probably why we have this pre-emptive strike from the Conservatives. Develop the election theme now, force the Liberals to defend a disinformation campaign.