Conservative leader Erin O’Toole chats to Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce members via Zoom April 23. (Screengrab via Zoom)

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole chats to Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce members via Zoom April 23. (Screengrab via Zoom)

O’Toole wants 2022 Olympics in Canada, ‘we should put forward a bid to replace Beijing’

Leader of Conservative Party chatted with Cloverdale Chamber April 23

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole told the members of the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce he wants the 2022 Winter Olympics moved Canada.

“I think we should put forward a bid to replace Beijing and host a portion of the Winter Games here. We have the facilities.” O’Toole, the leader of the official opposition, said April 23. “We passed a motion recognizing that a genocide is happening in Xinjiang province of China … I don’t think we should participate knowing that is going on in the host country.”

After some Olympic small talk, O’Toole said if the Conservatives are elected to form the next government, he would balance the books. He said his party has a decade-long plan to get the country back to a balanced budget.

“You have to run a deficit during a crisis like this,” he said. “We have supported emergency spending, in fact we often voted for programs … knowing the programs were flawed, but we wanted the money to get out the door quickly, and we worked hard to fix them.”

O’Toole also said he believes small and medium-sized businesses are the solution to getting the economy back on its feet after the COVID-19 pandemic abates. He noted that small business need help in the short term, but said the government needs to work with the larger sectors too.

O’Toole talked about how he’s committed to retaining the capital gains exemption on principal residences. He said he opposes the Liberals “encroachment” on people’s home equity and asked them to put a “clear denunciation” of it in the budget.

“They’ve, so far, refused to do that. So I think that important element of saving for you retirement—developing a nest egg in your home—that should be yours.”

In terms of getting back to normal, O’Toole said the Conservatives support a safe, and data-driven, reopening plan.

He said Trudeau has been reactive instead of proactive and thus Canada has always been a few steps behind.

“Let’s use the time now to work with the private sector, to work with the other orders of government, to define what a safe and effective reopening is,” O’Toole explained. “That’s what we have to be planning now.”

O’Toole also said if he was PM, Huawei would not be a part of Canada’s 5G infrastructure.

“Anyone with a serious degree of knowledge about how critical 5G will be for the economy—for the Internet of Things economy—knows that you cannot have even the slightest risk of a security breach for that infrastructure.”

O’Toole said Canada is the only Five Eyes country that hasn’t made a pronouncement about using Huawei for 5G infrastructure.

In some O’Toole’s final comments, he said the federal budget is a “major letdown.”

“There is no vision beyond September.” he said. “ They’re just extending their existing programs and putting a few Band-Aids (on the economy). And they’re offering no vision and how we’re going to get people working in all parts of the country.”

He said the Liberals have “waved the white flag” over having any type of fiscal responsibility for the short-term.

“Mr. Trudeau is doubling our national debt and projected to triple it. If interest rates go up … we will be at risk of a debt crisis in Canada.”

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