It appears Eve Adams’ perspective on the Conservative government's tax plans changed wildly in less than two months.
Adams, first elected under the Conservative Party banner in Mississauga-Brampton South in 2011, crossed the floor to the Liberals on Monday.
At a press conference with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, Adams said income splitting was a big reason for her defection. The controversy around the plan — a key Tory campaign pledge in the last election — centers on whether it only benefits high-earners.
Weeks before she was elected in 2011, Adams took to Facebook to express her support for the policy.
On Monday, though, she said the plan would pit Canadians against each other.
“If this is genuinely the main (Conservative) plank going forward into the next election… how profoundly unfair of a Canada do we want to build?” she asked.
Income splitting will allow an eligible taxpayer with at least one child under 18 to transfer up to $50,000 of income to his or her spouse and collect a tax credit of up to $2,000 per year. According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, families with incomes of more than $233,000 stand to benefit the most.
“As a government, we were given a tremendous opportunity with the purported surplus to do right by folks,” she told reporters Monday. “Instead the government is still about to roll out policies like income splitting which will devour the surplus without benefiting most Canadian families or creating a single job.”
She said the policy is designed to help the wealthiest Canadians, with those in the middle class picking up the tab.
“I cannot support mean-spirited measures that benefit only the richest few,” she said Monday.
When pressed on the fact that she campaigned on the policy just four years ago, Adams said even former finance minister Jim Flaherty publicly expressed reservations after crunching the numbers.
But as pointed out by The Toronto Star’s Chantel Hebert, Adams delivered a much different message in the House of Commons in mid-December.
The then-Tory MP told the House that her party's policies would ensure Canadian families see their “hard-earned money” return to their bank accounts.
She called the Tory tax plan a “simple” and “time-tested” way to invest directly in families.
“We trust parents to invest in their children and spend their money as they see fit,” she said. “We want families to be better off and we will continue to put forward measures to ensure that.”
Shortly after Adams announced her defection on Monday, Conservative Party president John Walsh released a statement saying she asked “just a couple weeks ago” about running for the Tories in another riding. Adams was barred last summer from running in Oakville North-Burlington after her nomination battle turned ugly.
“I informed her in writing on Jan. 29 that she would not be permitted to run for our party in the next election due to the misconduct from the Oakville North-Burlington nomination race,” Walsh said in a statement.
Watch the video above to hear Adams' full speech from December 12.
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With a file from The Canadian Press