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(Photo: Thời Mới)

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer on balanced budgets, national unity, and quality family time

by Phạm Vũ Lửa Hạ

(Click here for the Vietnamese version)

The Conservative Party of Canada hosted a fundraising and meet-and-greet event with the Vietnamese-Canadians in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Mississauga on the evening of June 15, 2019.

At the event Thời Mới-Canada met with The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, Leader of the Official Opposition at the House of Commons. He shared his thoughts on some of the questions in the run-up to the October federal election.

Thời Mới: In 2015, Justin Trudeau said “the budget will balance itself.” Your finance critic says it looks like “the budget will never balance at all.” What is your Conservative Party platform to deal with with budget deficits, and at the same time ensure Canada’s economic prosperity?

Andrew Scheer: Justin Trudeau has never had to worry about balancing his own budget. He inherited [such] massive amount of wealth that he’s never known the daily struggles that families have. Hard-working families know that budgets don’t balance themselves. People are very concerned about deficits and the pressure that puts on governments to raise taxes.

So we have unveiled a plan to get back to a balanced budget in five years that will allow us to return to balance budgets, stop borrowing money in a responsible way that won’t threaten key services.

That’s our commitment to Canadians. We know that it’s important to have a balanced budget so that we don’t keep spending money on interest payments, not leave our children massive amounts of debt. And we know that Justin Trudeau will have to raise taxes to pay for his deficits. That’s what happened in Ontario under Kathleen Wynne and Dalton McGuinty.

So we’re gonna balanced the budget in a responsible way.

Thời Mới: Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused six premiers of undermining national unity when they sent him a letter warning about economic consequences of recent bills, Bill C-69 and Bill C-48. Who do you think is to blame for a national unity crisis, if any?

Andrew Scheer: The blame lies squarely at the feet of Justin Trudeau. He is the one that is provoking a fight with premiers. He is the one that is ignoring the value that our energy sector contributes to our country.

And it’s not just those six Conservative premiers. Nine out of ten provincial premiers have opposed Bill C-69, including former Liberal premier Christy Clark [of British Columbia], Rachel Notley, [former] NDP premier of Alberta.

So it is this idea that’s somehow a Conservative versus Liberal thing; it’s not. People in these provinces, these governments … they recognize that Bill C-69 will hurt their economies, whether it’s oil and gas, or mining, or any other type of natural resource sector.

Justin Trudeau needs to stop playing games with Confederation; you start working with people collaboratively. He’s the one that says if I don’t get my own way, I’m going to ram it through anyway. So he’s to blame for this issue.

Thời Mới: Given your very busy schedule as the Opposition Leader and with the upcoming campaining, how do you find quality time to spend with your five young children and your family?

Andrew Scheer: It’s often a challenge. I actually have them with me in Toronto this trip. So we’re doing some events together. We went to a cultural festival today, brought the whole family, then we go back to the hotel go swimming. I’m coming to this event, and they’re going to a friend’s house. [We] try to find events of the day that I can bring them along with me so we can spend time together.

Thời Mới: We hope we will have a longer interview with you in October.

Andrew Scheer: Yes, absolutely.

Thời Mới: Thank you.

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