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Reality Check: Stephen Harper’s Fabricated Claims

Posted on January 19, 2011

Instead of focusing on the real economic pressures affecting everyday Canadians, Stephen Harper is spending millions of dollars on attack ads that make patently false claims about his government’s record over the past five years.

Claim: Conservatives are “working to help those that need it most.”
Reality: Under Stephen Harper, fully 25% more seniors are struggling to live on low incomes than when the Conservative came to power.  75% of Canadians working in the private sector today have no registered pension plan.

Claim: Conservatives have “cut taxes.”
Reality: Under Stephen Harper, payroll taxes have increased for the first time in 15 years.

Claim: “Lowest debt and deficit in the G7” (lowest debt ratio).
Reality: According to the OECD, Canada’s debt ratio in 2010 was actually 3rd in the G7 (Germany and the UK were better than Canada).  Canada has a record $56-billion deficit under Stephen Harper, who drove Canada into deficit even before the recession.

Claim: “Over 450,000 jobs created since June 2009.”
Reality: Since the start of the recession in 2008, the economy has lost 76,000 full-time jobs, which have been replaced by 121,000 lower quality part-time jobs. Unemployment in Canada is 25% higher today than it was five years ago – that’s 280,000 more unemployed Canadians.

Claim: “Balanced Budget by 2015-2016”
Reality: According to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, there is an 85% chance the government will not meet this target date. In fact, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has missed every deficit target he has ever set.

The choice facing Canadians is crystal clear – a one-man show who will say anything to hold onto power, or a clear Liberal alternative with talent and ideas focused on easing the economic pressure on families.