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Scheer denies spreading 'misinformation' on Liberal tax plan

Scheer denies scare tactics

The three main party leaders accused one another of desperation tactics Friday as they sprinted towards the finish line in an election campaign that has yet to produce a clear front-runner.

With just three days to go until Monday's vote, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh accused their Conservative rival, Andrew Scheer, of spreading lies and misinformation in a desperate bid to scare Canadians into giving him a majority.

Scheer, meanwhile, accused Trudeau of plotting to form a coalition government with the NDP in a desperate bid to cling to power.

At a rally Friday evening in the Toronto suburb of Vaughan, Trudeau invoked the memory of his late father — Pierre Trudeau, one of Canada's most iconic prime ministers — to urge Liberals not to give up on their hopes of winning re-election.

"As we approach these last, final days of this election campaign, I can't help but think of a lesson my father taught me," Trudeau said, noting that Friday was the 100th anniversary of his father's birth.

"My father always used to tell me that when you're paddling across a big lake and the clouds get darker and the wind comes up and the waves start to show whitecaps and break a little more, there really is only one thing to do: Sing louder and paddle harder."

Earlier Friday in the Toronto suburb of Whitby, Trudeau acknowledged, "There is a chance that there could be a Conservative government and that would mean cuts."

He reiterated his attack point that the Conservatives would have to cut $53 billion from programs and services to pay for their pledge to balance the budget in five years, a multi-year total that is drawn from the Conservatives' platform.

For his part, Scheer claimed that a potential Liberal-NDP coalition would hike the goods and services tax. And he defended past claims, denied by the Liberals, that a re-elected Trudeau government would impose new taxes on home sales and legalize hard drugs.

"It's not misinformation at all. We know that the Liberals are contemplating these types of things," Scheer said during a campaign stop in Fredericton.

Trudeau called Scheer's claims "entirely untrue."

As for Scheer's dire warning of a GST hike under a Liberal-NDP coalition, Singh flatly said the Conservative leader is lying.

"Mr. Scheer is just making stuff up because he's getting desperate. We absolutely will not raise the GST. No. Not whatsoever because it's not a progressive tax," Singh said in Port Alberni.

"We've never, anywhere, in any of our announcements ever suggested any vague way that we would be increasing GST. That's wrong. That's not true."

Singh said he didn't think voters would believe Scheer's claims. But he also took aim at Trudeau, reiterating that the Liberal leader has been a disappointment to progressive Canadians, for whose votes the Liberals and NDP are competing.

"Mr. Trudeau's going to tell you that you don't have a choice in this election, that you have to vote out of fear," said Singh.

"In this election I want to be clear: I'm running to be your prime minister because I want to make a difference in the lives of Canadians."



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