Kevin O’Leary, the U.S. television personality and leadership candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada, says the Trudeau government has it “ass backwards” on its fiscal planning and needs to scrap environmental policies like the national carbon tax.
“When I get there in 2019 every single policy that [Trudeau] put in place regarding what makes us competitive or not will be repealed by me. All of it.”
O’Leary told CBC TV that Trudeau has failed to understand the new Trump reality.
The “Shark Tank” star questioned the rationale for the Liberal government preparing its upcoming federal budget without first assessing how the new Republican administration is going to impact Canada’s economy.
“Here we are driving into a budget before we even know what’s happening with our largest competitor and trading partner. It seems sort of ass backwards,” he said. “I would have waited to see what the policies are south of the border on tax, corporate and personal, on trade, definitely on deregulation and on carbon. We have to be competitive.”
O’Leary says Trudeau needs to drop his carbon tax plan or risk losing more foreign investment that won’t come to Canada because of the higher cost of doing business.
“That’s what great leaders do. When the facts change, when the environment changes, when the world shifts, you pivot,” he said.
But Conservative Ontario Member of Parliament and fellow leadership candidate Erin O’Toole told The Daily Caller that O’Leary is “now pivoting himself. Until recently, he was in favor of a Trudeau-style carbon tax. Now he is trying to say that previous Liberal views he held on defence, public safety or a tax on carbon were just ‘entertainment.'”
O’Leary was less committal about some of Trump’s other positions.
He sidestepped a question about how U.S.’s use of water-boarding might change Canada’s security intelligence relationship with its closest military ally.
“Regarding torture, that’s not on my list of first to-dos … I’m not worried about torture right now. What I’m worried about is the Canadian people,” he said.
On military spending, O’Leary refused to commit to spending more on NATO until it bolsters its annual defense budget.
NATO guidelines direct member states to spend two percent of their GDP on the military alliance.
Canada has never achieved that goal and lags far behind most NATO countries in annual spending.
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