John McCallum Exposes Cost of Harper’s Quest for U.S. Tax Levels
May 21, 2004
OTTAWA- The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today warned that Alliance-Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s pledges on taxes and military spending would fundamentally change Canada.
Mr. McCallum, speaking on behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada, believes that Mr. Harper’s twin goals of cutting Canadian taxes to match levels in the United States, while at the same time radically increasing military spending, will require at least $40 billion in cuts to essential public services. “Stephen Harper is saying in numbers what he dare not say in words…his vision of Canada means tax cuts so deep and military spending increases so great that he will put Canada’s social programs at risk,” said Mr. McCallum.
Mr. McCallum, formerly an economics professor at McGill University and the Royal Bank of Canada’s Chief Economist, bases his conclusions on an analysis of the impact of Mr. Harper’s goals on federal finances. McCallum, also a former Defence Minister, concludes that Mr. Harper’s military commitment amounts to a 67% increase in defense spending.
Mr. McCallum said that as an economist Mr. Harper knows the impact of his pledge of turning Canada into the “lowest taxing” country in the world, but he is not coming clean with the public. “Stephen Harper by the numbers is the true Stephen Harper. After all, he is an economist, and economists should live by their numbers. I think Canadians should be alerted so they understand the kind of Canada Mr. Harper wants, “said Mr. McCallum. “My kind of Canada- and Paul Martin’s Canada- does not have the federal government spending more on the military than on health care”.