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Canada’s ruling Liberals pledge billions in new investments as election nears By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference in the backyard of the Freedman family home during his election campaign tour, in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada August 25, 2021. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier

By Steve Scherer

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party on Wednesday pledged a whopping C$78 billion ($62 billion) in new investments over five years, with a focus on healthcare, if it wins the Sept 20 federal election.

The investments would be partially offset by more than C$25 billion in new revenue, mostly from a higher tax https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/canadas-ruling-liberals-vow-raise-taxes-profits-big-banks-insurers-2021-08-25 on the profits of banks and insurers and fighting tax evasion, the party said in its release of its full election platform.

The investments would add to the C$101 billion in extra spending https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/takeaways-canada-2021-budget-numbers-2021-04-19 over three years passed in a budget https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/canada-budget-rolls-out-post-pandemic-spending-plan-ahead-likely-election-2021-04-19 earlier this year. They would be spread over five years, from 2021-22 to 2025-26.

Despite the new investments, debt as a percentage of gross domestic product is projected to decline two percentage points to 46.5% in 2025-26, the Liberals said.

Liberals were the last of the main parties in the election race to release their full program. Trudeau called a snap vote two years early on Aug 15 hoping his management of the pandemic and his vaccine roll out would be a springboard to a majority. (See party platform FACTBOX:)

But the polls show Trudeau’s Liberals in a statistical tie with Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives less than three weeks before the vote. (POLLS:)

O’Toole has also put forward a big-spending platform https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/canadas-conservatives-promise-job-boom-challenge-trudeau-2021-08-16, but he said on Tuesday he would balance the budget in 10 years time “without cuts” and only by boosting revenues through stronger economic growth.

Most of the individual policies in the platform have been announced, but this is the first glimpse at a full pricing of the plan with investments focused on improving long-term care, mental health, indigenous health and lowering soaring housing https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/trudeau-pledges-foreign-home-buyer-ban-rent-to-own-scheme-bid-canada-voters-2021-08-24 costs.

($1 = 1.2587 Canadian dollars)

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