In April, 2015, as reported by Sun Media Parliamentary Bureau Chief David Akin, Trudeau said: “Our platform will be fully costed, fiscally responsible and a balanced budget.”
In July, 2015, Trudeau said: “I’ve committed to continuing to run balanced budgets.”
The election came and Trudeau changed his mind.
“We will run modest short-term deficits of less than $10 billion in each of the next two fiscal years,” Trudeau’s platform stated.
“After (that), the deficit will decline and our investment plan will return Canada to a balanced budget in 2019.”
Trudeau said the deficit would be $9.9 billion in 2016-17, $9.5 billion in 2017-18, $5.7 billion in 2018-2019 and a surplus of $1 billion in 2019-2020.
Following his victory in the October election, Trudeau re-iterated his commitment to balancing the budget in four years.
Asked by reporters in December whether his promise was cast in stone, Trudeau replied, “very ... I think one of the things that Canadians expect is a level of fiscal responsibility that we’ve been able to demonstrate in the past and we're certainly going to demonstrate it in the future.”
Then came February: Trudeau backed away from his commitment to balance the budget in four years.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau pegged the new Liberal deficits at $18.4 billion in 2016-2017 and $15.5 billion in 2017-2018, without factoring in paying for Liberal campaign promises.
During the election, Stephen Harper mocked Trudeau’s “modest deficits” announcement and accurately predicted what would happen post election.
“He'll run, he says, a modest deficit, a tiny deficit, so small you can hardly see the deficit,” Harper joked before a crowd of Conservative supporters while squeezing his fingers together. “And only for three years, three deficits, three modest little deficits."
Harper warned Trudeau would in fact run up the federal debt and deficits post-election.