POLITICS

Justin Trudeau: Paul Martin Did The Right Thing When He Slashed Provincial Transfers

09/02/2015 02:15 EDT | Updated 09/02/2015 02:59 EDT

TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. — Justin Trudeau says former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin made the right decision when he moved to slash transfers to the provinces to balance the books, but says he will not be following the same path.

"In the 90s, the Liberal government at the time inherited the situation where our debt to GDP ratio was among the highest in developed countries," the Liberal leader said Wednesday in Trois-Rivieres, Que.

"We were seeing our economy and our growth affected massively and negatively by the situation left to us by a Conservative government . . . we needed to restore our capacity to grow as an economy, by addressing our out of control deficit."

Trudeau said Martin's decisions "were the right decisions for the time" but he insisted that is not in the cards for a government under his watch.

"Right now, we have a very different situation where for 10 years, even though we have a very good debt to GDP ratio, we can't seem to create growth," Trudeau said, referring to his infrastructure spending plan, which he calls the largest in Canada's history.

Trudeau, who campaigned with Martin twice last week, said former Liberal prime minister Jean Chretien will also join him on the campaign trail at a future date.

Trudeau said he speaks with former Liberal prime ministers on a regular basis to ensure the party gets Canada back on the right track.

The Liberal leader used a morning event to detail how his infrastructure investment will be divided in the years to come if the Liberals form government this fall.

Trudeau said the party would invest in green infrastructure in a bid to stimulate the Canadian economy if it becomes government this fall.

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