2015 Federal

CBC/Canada Post

Part of Sociocultural Issues
Updated on October 17, 2015

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  • Reduced government funding to CBC by $115 million per year in 2012 in order to reduce the broadcaster's dependence on state funds (4, 7)

  • Ended door-to-door delivery service by Canada Post to save the agency $500 million a year as it faces declining revenue (1)


  • Pledges to restore funding cuts of $115 million per year to the CBC/Radio Canada and guarantee predictable future financing (5)

  • Would create an independent appointment process for the CBC Board (5)

  • Would temporarily add promoting and distributing Canadian feature films to CBC’s mandate (4)

  • Promises to restore door-to-door delivery service by Canada Post (1, 6)



  • Pledges to invest $150 million per year in the CBC/Radio Canada (3, 7)

  • Ensure that all appointments to the Board of Directors of CBC/Radio Canada is merit-based (3)

  • Promises to restore door-to-door delivery service by Canada Post, and conduct a review of Canada Post (1,3)


  • Will reverse the $117 million cut to the CBC, investing an additional $168 million, promising $315 million each subsequent year (7, 8)

  • Promises to change the governance structure, and end political influence within the CBC Board of Directors (8)

  • Promises to restore door-to-door delivery service by Canada Post (8)


References

  1. Ottawa Citizen
  2. CBC
  3. Liberal website
  4. Huffington Post
  5. NDP website
  6. The Toronto Star
  7. The National Post
  8. Green website

Assisted Suicide

Part of Sociocultural Issues
Updated on October 13, 2015

On February 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled unanimously that adults with a “grievous and irremediable medical condition” (1) which causes enduring and intolerable suffering have the right to physician assisted suicide. (1,3,5)

The Court declared that the ban on physician-assisted suicide infringes upon the Charter of Rights and Freedom’s (1,2) guarantee of “the right to life, liberty and security of the person,” (1,2) overturning a previous 5-4 ruling in 1993.

The court suspended its’ ruling for one year to offer the government time to craft legislation for the issue. (1,3,4,5,19)

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo


  • Desires “as broad a consultation, as inclusive a process as possible” including a faith-based perspective and the perspective of the disabilities community (6, 8)

  • Created a three-person panel to advise the federal government on the issue made up of Harvey Chochinov, Catherine Frazee, and Benoît Pelletier (6, 8)

  • Declared intention to ask for an extension on the suspension of the ruling to avoid the law being voided (6)

  • Stated that a committee created in the House of Commons would not be broad enough an examination to do the issue justice (7, 18)



  • States their intention to make access to palliative care a priority (11)

  • Pledges to immediately take steps to implement the court’s decision “swiftly with balance, respect and sensitivity” (11)

  • Will use the Quebec Government’s “highly effective, consensual and broadly supported process” as an approach to the issue (11, 20)

  • Believes there is a need to listen to Canadians in order to “protect the vulnerable without creating unreasonable barriers for individuals seeking access to dying with dignity” (11)

  • Stated that it was “a real possibility” that they would ask for an extension on drafting legislation (16)




  • Resolves to decriminalize medically assisted suicide after public consultation (10, 13, 15)

  • Commits to “working with the professional medical community and relevant stakeholders in a collaborative effort to establish professional protocols in relation to de-criminalizing medically assisted death in Canada” (10, 17)

  • Declares their intention to create a non-partisan committee to examine the issue (9, 17, 18)

  • Believes their is a need for a national conversation on dying with dignity (17)




  • Has stated that “parliament should take immediate action to legislate new rules that respect the Supreme Court’s ruling” (13, 14)

  • Supports “changes to the Criminal Code to allow for physicians to assist death in limited cases and circumstances involving adults with full mental capacity to consent, in situations of terminal illness and who find their situation unbearable” (11, 14)

  • Will “remain vigilant against any attempt to allow any acceptance that any person can make such a decision for another person” (11, 14)


References

  1. Supreme Court Ruling
  2. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  3. The Globe and Mail
  4. CBC
  5. CTV
  6. CBC
  7. CBC
  8. The Toronto Star
  9. Global News
  10. Liberal website
  11. Liberal website
  12. CBC
  13. CTV
  14. Green website
  15. CTV
  16. The Toronto Star
  17. Liberal website
  18. La Presse
  19. Radio Canada

Women’s Issues

Part of Sociocultural Issues
Updated on October 10, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • “Supports the full participation of women in the social, economic, and cultural life of Canada” (1)

  • During this election, declined to participate in a women’s issues debate organized by Up For Debate (6)

  • Did not participate in the one-on-one interviews organized by Up for Debate (28)


  • Emphasizes the importance of research and advocacy as a means of advancing women’s equality (9)

  • Initially agreed to take part in the Up for Debate women’s issues debate, but ultimately pulled out, having pledged only to participate in debates where Prime Minister Harper is present (6)

  • Participated in the one-on-one interviews organized by Up for Debate (28)


  • Promotes “the equal participation of men and women at all levels of the Party” and to that end, consults and works with the National Women’s Liberal Commission (13)

  • Confirmed attendance for the Up for Debate women’s issues debate before it was cancelled (6)

  • Participated in the one-on-one interviews organized by Up for Debate (28)


  • Believes “women’s equality is fundamental to a just society” (20)

  • Confirmed attendance for the Up for Debate women’s issues debate before it was cancelled (6)

  • Participated in the one-on-one interviews organized by Up for Debate (28)

On Women in Government


  • Women make up 18% of nominated Conservative candidates in this election (58 of 315) (7)

  • Over 40% of senior executives in the Harper government are women (29)

  • Cut government funding to Status of Women Canada, resulting in the elimination of 12 of 16 Status of Women Canada offices as well as its associated $1 million Independent Research Fund (3)

  • Cut funding for dozens of women’s service providers engaged in advocacy and lobbying (3)


  • Women make up 42% of nominated New Democrat candidates (119 of 281) (7)

  • Promises to introduce a 50% female quota for the boards of directors of federal organizations (33)

  • Supports women’s political participation and believes changes in the electoral system and consultation with women’s advocacy groups in public policy will remove obstacles they face (9)

  • Applies gender-based analysis to public policy (9)


  • Women make up 31% of nominated Liberal candidates (97 of 315) (7)

  • Will create a 50% quota for women in the Cabinet of a Liberal government (37)

  • Will “ensure meaningful gender-based analysis in cabinet decision making” and public policy (11)

  • Promises to appoint an equal number of women and men to cabinet and is committed to “gender parity in government appointments” (7)

  • Believes that changing our voting system away from first-past-the-post would lead to greater participation for women (34)


  • Women make up 32% of nominated Green party candidates (55 of 173) (7)

  • Supports greater participation of women in politics and will apply equal opportunity to government positions (20, 7)

  • Believes that changing our voting system away from first-past-the-post would lead to greater participation for women (34)

  • Plans to re-establish funding for Status of Women Canada as well as for other women’s organizations and advocacy groups (20, 32)

On Women in the Workplace


  • Believes in the right to freedom from discrimination and to equality of opportunity in the workplace, as well as equal pay for equal work (1)

  • Implemented the Action Plan for Women Entrepreneurs, making a $700-million fund available for women to grow their businesses, and promises to continue to do so (7,8)


  • Believes in the promotion of women’s economic equality through pay equity, unionization, and improvements in employment insurance (9)

  • Plan to improve parental leave benefits and to create one million new childcare spaces costing no more than $15 a day (9, 7)


  • Plans to increase the tax-free child benefit payment from around $338 per child per month to up to $533 per child per month (7, 22)

  • Wants to introduce new parental leave options that allow for more flexibility and security (14)

  • Promises that all employees covered by federal labour law are legally able to ask their employers for workday flexibility (14)


  • Promises to immediately enact pay equity for women employees in the federal sector and put forth pay-equity legislation extending to other sectors (7)

  • Plans to implement a universal child care program and develop work re-entry program for women with children who want to return to the workforce (7, 20)

  • Believes that child-care should be made a part of the workplace to ensure that parents can take their children to child care and go to work at the same time (32)

On Aboriginal Women


  • Opposes a national inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women on that grounds that to hold another study or inquiry, on top of the 40 related studies already completed, will be less effective than increased policing and investigation (23, 24, 25)

  • Provided funding for shelters on reserves and pledges to continue this practice, promising $92.5 million over five years as part of the Family Violence Prevention Program (2,3)


  • Pledges to launch an inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women within 100 days of taking office (7)


  • Pledges to launch an inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women, seeking recommendations for government action and law enforcement (7, 12)


  • Pledges to launch a full inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women (6)

  • Believes that the elimination of institutional racism is key to ending violence and abuse facing Aboriginal women (19)

On Violence Against Women


  • Invested money in additional violence-prevention programs and increased funding to law enforcement to enable them to tackle criminal actions such as violence against women (29)

  • Supports legislation that ensures individuals who commit violence against a pregnant woman face additional charges if the unborn child is harmed (1)


  • Promises to develop a national action plan with "dedicated funding and benchmarks" to end violence against women and girls (10)

  • Will provide the federal Shelter Enhancement Program with $40-million in new funding over 4 years for the construction and maintenance of shelters for victims of family violence (10, 30, 34)


  • Believes that Canada must continue to fight gender-based violence at home and abroad until it is no longer tolerated (17)

  • Believes that the federal government should act as a partner to municipal and provincial problems to create their own women’s shelter plans (34)


  • Will create a national strategy to deal with violence against women and deal with it as a societal and social problem (33)

  • Promises to increase funding for women's crisis centres and shelters, as well as educational programs that build healthy attitudes toward women, by working with provincial and municipal governments (19)

On Abortion


  • In 2011, pledged not to reopen the abortion debate or introduce any changes in abortion legislation  (4,5)

  • Aims to “ensure equal access to safe, fully funded reproductive health services for all women” (7)


  • Pledges to ensure all incoming Liberal MPs support abortion rights (7, 15, 31)


  • Supports a woman’s right to choose and intends to further develop programs dealing with reproductive rights and education on how to avoid unwanted pregnancies (20)

On Women Around the World


  • Pledged $3.5 billion over five years (2015-2020) aimed at reducing infant and maternal mortality and improving access to healthcare for mothers and children around the world (26, 27)

  • Has and continues to work on fighting child and forced marriage internationally; committed an additional $10 million in the Fall of 2014 (27, 29)

  • Pledges to protect the rights of women abroad by campaigning against groups like Islamic State (7, 29)


  • Believes in “using all diplomatic and political means to protect human rights and help those facing persecution, including […] women” (9)

  • Believes that family planning, reproductive and sexual health, including abortion services, must be included in Canada’s approach to maternal and child health internationally (35)


  • Promises to prioritize the empowerment of women in the developing world in its development assistance (18)


  • Supports “increased funding for sexual and reproductive health rights, including the rights of women and girls to have access to contraceptive information, services, and supplies, without coercion or discrimination” (21)

References

  1. Conservative Party
  2. CBC
  3. Maclean’s
  4. Maclean’s
  5. CBC
  6. CBC
  7. Toronto Star
  8. Government of Canada
  9. NDP
  10. CBC
  11. Liberal website
  12. Liberal website
  13. Liberal website
  14. CBC
  15. Liberal website
  16. Government of Canada
  17. Liberal website
  18. Liberal website
  19. Green website
  20. Green website
  21. Green website
  22. CBC
  23. Chatelaine
  24. CBC
  25. Yahoo
  26. Government Website
  27. CBC
  28. Macleans
  29. Chatelaine
  30. Chatelaine
  31. Chatelaine
  32. Chatelaine
  33. The Toronto Star
  34. The Toronto Star
  35. The Globe and Mail
  36. The National Post

Firearms

Part of Sociocultural Issues
Updated on October 4, 2015

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  • Passed Bill C-19 in 2012, which authorized the destruction of the long-gun registry, consisting of all records that linked non-prohibited, non-restricted firearms to their owners; pledges to never reinstate this registry, but all restricted firearms are still required to be registered (1, 2)

  • Bill C-19 also amended Canada's Firearms Act and the Criminal Code so that Canadians are no longer required to register firearms that are neither prohibited nor restricted (1)

  • Introduced the Common Sense Firearms Licensing Act (Bill C-42) in 2015, which prohibits firearm ownership for citizens convicted of domestic violence offences and makes it mandatory for first-time firearms licence applicants to take firearms safety classes (3, 4, 5, 14)

  • Passed Bill C-24 which makes changes to the licensing system, gives the federal government power to classify guns as restricted or non-restricted, and lightens certain transportation regulations for restricted guns (3, 4)

  • Delayed implementing firearm marking requirements of the United Nations Firearms Protocol and Organization of American States multiple times to allow for more consultation time (6, 7)


  • Opposed the destruction of the long-gun registry in 2012 because of safety and law enforcement concerns, but does not intend to reinstate it (8)

  • Opposed Bill C-42’s lightening of certain firearms transportation regulations, stating that this allows cover for illegal gun transportation and is therefore a threat to public safety (4, 9)

  • Believes that changes to firearm transportation regulations may be practical in rural areas, but Bill C-42’s allowance of firearms transportation without a transportation permit will cause issues for law enforcement in urban regions (9)

  • Believes in combatting gun smuggling and other illegal firearms offences by providing law enforcement agencies with more tools to track firearms (without reinstating the long gun registry) (10)


  • Opposed the destruction of the long-gun registry in 2012 because of safety and law enforcement concerns, but does not intend to reinstate it (8, 10)

  • Opposed Bill C-42, partially because it allows owners of restricted firearms to more freely transport these firearms in their vehicles without the need for a transportation permit (9, 11)

  • Believes that the authority to classify guns into restricted and non-restricted categories should belong to law enforcement agencies, with Parliamentary supervision and assent, and not to the federal government as Bill C-42 allows (5, 9, 11)

  • Supports mandatory firearms safety classes for first-time gun license applicants, the ability to prohibit firearm ownership for citizens convicted of domestic violence offences, and certain licensing changes in Bill C-42 that streamline paperwork procedures (5, 11)


  • Opposed the destruction of the long gun registry in 2012 because of safety and law enforcement concerns, and wants to amend it instead (12)

  • Voted against Bill C-42 (15)

  • Pledges to combat gun smuggling by increasing support of Integrated Border Enforcement Teams and implementing measures to make sure that gun smuggling is treated as a more serious crime than customs violations (13)

  • Pledges to reform the restricted gun registry by reviewing it with First Nations and hunting and shooting sports organizations to protect law-abiding citizens from unjustified firearms confiscation (13)

  • Pledges to fulfill Canada's international obligations to the United Nations Firearms Protocol and the Organization of American States Firearms Convention by implementing firearm marking requirements (13)

References

  1. CBC News
  2. Macleans
  3. Huffington Post
  4. The Globe and Mail
  5. Government of Canada website
  6. Global News
  7. The Toronto Star
  8. Global News
  9. Huffington Post
  10. CBC News
  11. Liberal Website
  12. Elizabeth May’s website
  13. Green website
  14. RCMP Website
  15. Open Parliament

Marijuana

Part of Sociocultural Issues
Updated on August 21, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Opposes any attempt to decriminalize or legalize marijuana, and has criticized Liberal calls for legalization in advertisements (1, 9)

  • Passed the Safe Streets and Communities Act in 2012, a bill that imposed harsher sentences and mandatory minimums on marijuana traffickers (1, 12)

  • Presently considering Canadian police chiefs’ call for a ticketing system similar to traffic infractions for people possessing 30 grams of marijuana or less to give law enforcement an enforcement alternative to criminal charges (2, 6, 9)

  • Since the Conservatives were elected, arrests for possession of marijuana have increased by 28% (1, 11)

  • Changed the law to make it illegal for medical users to grow their own marijuana; this is currently being fought in court and a B.C. judge has provided an injunction that allows people with a license to continue to grow (4)


  • Will decriminalize marijuana possession for personal use as soon as it take offices, with the goal of removing its production and distribution from the control of organized crime (1, 5)

  • Open to considering full legalization of marijuana (2, 13, 14)

  • Calling for a commission to consult Canadians and instruct Parliament on how to carefully regulate non-medical marijuana use (2, 14)

  • Does not believe that users should receive criminal record for marijuana use, and will review the cases of those previously charged with marijuana possession for personal use (5, 11, 13)


  • Pledges to legalize marijuana and allow it to be sold and taxed in approved outlets (2, 9)

  • Will restrict the purchase of marijuana until people turn 18 or 19, depending on the province in which they live (2)

  • Believes legalization and regulation will make it harder for kids to access marijuana (1, 8, 9)

  • Believes the status quo enriches organized crime and current laws lock up too many “petty” criminals (2, 8, 9)

  • Believes legalizing marijuana will create thousands of jobs and become a significant new source of tax revenue (3, 9)

  • Will set up a mechanism for reviewing the cases of those previously charged with marijuana possession (7)


  • Publicly supports the legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana (2, 9, 10)

  • Will create a regulatory framework for the production of marijuana by small, independent growers and its sale through licensed distributors (10)

  • Believes the status quo fosters organized crime, criminalizes youth, and is prohibitively expensive (9)

  • Plans to confront complex social and legal issues such as marijuana legalization with an independent law-reform commission that would produce balanced public reports on issues (1)

  • Believes that drug addiction should be treated as a health problem not a crime (9)

References

  1. Macleans
  2. Ottawa Citizen
  3. Huffington Post
  4. Government website
  5. Global News
  6. National Post
  7. Georgia Straight
  8. Liberal website
  9. CBC
  10. Green website
  11. Global News
  12. Government Website
  13. CTV News
  14. Libby Davies website

Québec Sovereignty

Part of Sociocultural Issues
Updated on May 5, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • "Our position is clear. Do the Québécois form a nation within Canada? The answer is yes. Do the Québécois form an independent nation? The answer is no and the answer will always be no." (6)

  • Believes the government should consider reforming Canadian federalism, taking into account the need to consolidate Québec’s position within the Canadian federation due to the province not signing the Constitution Act, 1982 (4)


  • Voted in favour of, but vow to repeal the Clarity Act of 2000, which requires a “clear majority” vote for secession and states that “the Parliament of Canada (would have) the power to determine whether or not a referendum question was clear enough” (1, 3, 8)

  • Announced the Sherbrooke Declaration in 2005 and vows to put in place new legislation so that a 50 per cent-plus-one vote would be enough to constitute a clear majority and obligate the government to negotiate (2, 7, 8)


  • Proposed and still supports the Clarity Act of 2000 which calls for a “clear majority” vote for secession (1) and gives “the Parliament of Canada the power to determine whether or not a referendum question was clear enough to trigger such negotiations” (3)


  • “Recognizes the legitimate right of the people of Quebec to freely and democratically determine its full and undiminished sovereignty through a clear majority vote in Quebec on a clear question in favour of secession, provided it is politically and legally recognized by the international community.” (5)

References

  1. The Huffington Post
  2. The Huffington Post
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Conservative Policy Book
  5. Green Policy Book
  6. CBC
  7. Montreal Gazette
  8. CBC
« Page 1 »

ISIS

Part of Foreign Policy
Updated on October 4, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Authorized a deployment of Canadian forces to launch airstrikes against ISIS where it has the permission of host government and deployed 69 Canadian troops in a non-combat role to advise Iraqi security forces in October 2014 for a period of six months (3, 4, 5)

  • Launched a one year extension to the original plan ending in 2016; the new plan now allows for warplanes to enter Syria without President Assad’s permission and does not call for any additional troops or Canadian special forces in Syria (2)

  • Followed through on Prime Minister Harper's promise that any combat missions would be subject to debate and vote in the House of Commons, though they do not ordinarily require Common’s approval (6)

  • Pledged $67 million to help Iraq deal with the threat posed by ISIS, and an additional $139 million to Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon to alleviate the refugee crisis brought about by the Islamic State (1)

  • Let me assure Canadians that the government is seized with the necessity of avoiding a prolonged 'quagmire' in this part of the world. Indeed, we and our allies are acting now precisely to avoid a situation that was clearly headed to a wider, protracted and much more dangerous conflict. Let me also say that the military measures we are taking do not in any way preclude humanitarian actions. There is no either/or here (3)


  • Voted against the initial mission in October 2014 and its extension in March 2015 (2, 4)

  • Pledged to withdraw Canadian troops from the Iraq mission if elected (7)

  • Accused the Conservative Party of plunging Canada into a prolonged war without any credible long-term strategy or withdrawal plan (3, 6)

  • Believes that Canada’s role should not be a combat one, but one that builds credible institutions in Iraq and Syria and that addresses the dire humanitarian situation (8)

  • Tabled an amendment to the Conservative plan in October 2014 that would get rid of combat operations, and instead investigate ISIS’ war crimes and the transportation of weapons to Iraq, emphasizing humanitarian aid; the amendment was supported by the Liberals, Green Party, and Bloc (6)

  • The tragedy in Iraq and Syria will not end with another Western-led invasion in that region. It will end by helping the people of Iraq and Syria to build the political, institutional, and security capabilities they need to oppose these threats themselves (3)


  • Voted against the October 2014 deployment and March 2015 extension of the Canadian forces combat missions in Iraq, citing a lack of clarity, consultation, long-term planning (2, 3, 6, 9)

  • Proposes that Canada focus on humanitarian aid to help the region instead of engaging in a combat role (2, 3, 4, 9)

  • Supported an amendment proposed by the NDP in October 2014 that would get rid of combat operations and instead investigate ISIS’ war crimes and the transportation of weapons to Iraq, emphasizing humanitarian aid (4)

  • Supported the deployment of 69 Canadian soldiers to provide advice and training to Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting ISIS (6, 9)

  • At the end of every decision to enter combat is a brave Canadian in harm’s way. We owe them clarity. We owe them a plan. Most of all, we owe them the truth. The prime minister has offered none of those (3)


  • Green Party leader Elizabeth May voted against the initial mission in October 2014 and its extension in March 2015 (4, 11)

  • Green Party leader Elizabeth May supported an amendment made by Mr. Mulcair and the NDP in October 2014 that would get rid of combat operations and instead investigate ISIS’ war crimes and the transportation of weapons to Iraq, emphasizing humanitarian aid (4)

  • Green Party MP Bruce Hyder voted in favour of the initial mission in October 2014, then voted against its extension in March 2015 (6, 11)

  • Believes Canada should focus on sending humanitarian aid, working to stop the flow of weapons and illegal oil sales, and supporting the UN in creating peacekeeping forces (12)

  • Bombing has never ended an Islamic or any religious extremist terrorist threat. It has, in fact, time after time again made matters worse. Let's try to look at the lessons of history before we go to war again (3)

References

  1. CBC
  2. National Post
  3. CBC
  4. CTV
  5. Global News
  6. National Post
  7. The Globe and Mail
  8. NDP Website
  9. Government Website
  10. Liberal Website
  11. The Globe and Mail
  12. Green Party Website

Military Spending

Part of Foreign Policy
Updated on July 31, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Projected spending for 2015-16: $18.9 billion, or about 1% of GDP (1)

  • Promises to keep Canada’s military capable and well-equipped while working to balance the budget: interested in cutting excess administrative spending in favour of “more teeth and less tail.” (2, 4)

  • Committed to increasing National Defence funding by 3% per year starting in 2017-18; this would help to offset inflation and bring an additional $11.8 billion to Canada’s military funding over the course of ten years (3, 6)

  • In international operations, prioritizes the fight against religious extremism in Iraq and Syria, as well as Ukrainian independence: up to $360.3 million to extend Canada’s part in the coalition effort against ISIS by 12 months; $7.1 million for providing enhanced training to the Ukrainian military (3)

  • Committed to providing Canadian Armed Forces veterans with more expanded and accessible pension programs, disability benefits, and caregiver support, as well as hiring more case managers to provide veterans with individualized care (3)


  • Will prioritize peacekeeping projects and participate only in military operations mandated by the UN, while defending Canadian sovereignty and keeping the Canadian Armed Forces capable and well-equipped for operations (11)

  • Promises to increase support for Canadian veterans and their families via extending the Veterans’ Independence Program and increasing funding for veterans’ pensions, insurance, and healthcare. (11)

  • Opposes the Canadian Armed Forces’ combat missions in Iraq and Syria and intends to focus funding instead on humanitarian aid and development assistance in the area (12, 13)

  • Opposes military intervention in Ukraine without serious debate and NATO authorization (14, 15)


  • Intends to clarify and hone a detailed defence policy with consultation from outside experts, and to prioritize threat prevention rather than reaction for Canada’s Armed Forces (5, 10)

  • Opposes Canada’s bombing mission in Iraq and Syria and pledges to pull Canadian fighter jets from the area while focusing instead on humanitarian aid, taking in more Syrian refugees, and deploying more troops to train Iraqi military personnel (7, 9, 10)

  • Seeks to improve support and compensation for Canadian Armed Forces veterans (8)

  • Proposes to send troops to enact a peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic to mitigate the ongoing ethno-religious conflict and stabilize the area (9, 20, 21, 22)

  • Supports military intervention in Ukraine and advocates the provision of armoured vehicle assistance to Europe’s Organization of Security and Co-operation (21)


  • Intends to contain military spending to 1% of GDP, and never to exceed 1.3% (16)

  • Promises to restore Canada to its “peacemaking roots,” establish a Ministry of Peace and Security, and redirect military spending away from war efforts and toward disaster relief and UN-sanctioned peacekeeping missions (16, 17)

  • Supports total nuclear disarmament, the closure and criminal investigation of all military detention centres which circumvent international law, and the conversion of Canadian and international military industries into “peaceful and restorative industries” (17)

  • Opposes all Canadian participation in the global arms trade and promises to end weapons production, sales, and research, with the exception of UN-approved peacekeeping equipment (16)

  • Promises to fund the purchase of search and rescue aircrafts, ice-breakers, and coastal vessels (19)

  • Promises to drastically change policies of care for Canadian Armed Forces veterans, proposing a complete re-write of New Veterans Charter and Veterans Affairs Canada policies for the purpose of increasing benefits, pensions, and disability support for veterans. (18)

References

  1. Government website
  2. National Post
  3. Government website
  4. CTV News
  5. Huffington Post
  6. Ottawa Citizen
  7. CBC
  8. Ottawa Citizen
  9. National Post
  10. Liberal website
  11. NDP Policy Book
  12. NDP website
  13. National Post
  14. Ottawa Citizen
  15. The Toronto Star
  16. Green Policy Book
  17. Green website
  18. Green website
  19. Green website
  20. Liberal website
  21. National Post
  22. The Star

Israel-Palestine

Part of Foreign Policy
Updated on April 27, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Supports Israel’s right to defend itself and its people, has pledged Canada’s unflinching support, and condemns Hamas as a terrorist organization (1, 2)

  • Supports a two-state solution arising from negotiations only between Israel and Palestine (3, 4)

  • Opposes Palestinian attempts to pursue war charges against Israel at International Criminal Court (5)

  • Voted against Palestinian attempts to secure statehood recognition by the UN in 2012, and opposes any other such attempts for Palestine to secure international recognition as a state outside of a negotiated settlement with Israel (6, 7)


  • Condemns Hamas as a terrorist organization, publicly condemned them for their attacks on Israel during the summer of 2014, and supports Israel’s right to defend itself and its people (9)

  • Supports the creation of two independent states with agreed-upon borders (8, 9)

  • Calls for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian land (8)

  • Supported Palestinian attempts to secure statehood recognition by the UN in 2012 (10)


  • Supports Israel’s right to defend itself and its people and condemns Hamas as a terrorist organization (13)

  • Affirms its unwavering commitment to ensuring a safe and secure state for the Jewish people (14)

  • Supports a negotiated two-state solution (15)

  • Opposed Palestinian attempts to secure statehood recognition by the UN in 2012 (16)

  • Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has condemned Israeli Apartheid Week on university campuses (17)


  • Condemns Hamas as a terrorist organization (18)

  • Condemned Israeli retaliation and invasion of Gaza in the summer of 2014 (18)

  • Supports a two-state solution which adheres to pre-1967 borders (19)

  • Endorses the recognition of the Palestinian right to statehood, with internationally recognized borders described in UNSCR 242 (19)

References

  1. Yahoo News
  2. iPolitics.ca
  3. Huffington Post
  4. CBC
  5. CBC
  6. CBC
  7. CBC
  8. NDP Policy Book
  9. NDP website
  10. CBC
  11. The Globe and Mail
  12. The Globe and Mail
  13. Liberal website
  14. Liberal website
  15. Liberal website
  16. CBC
  17. Global Research
  18. Green website
  19. Green website

Foreign Aid

Part of Foreign Policy
Updated on April 26, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Pledged $3.5 billion to five-year initiative (2015-2020) aimed at reducing infant mortality and improving access to healthcare for mothers, newborns and young children internationally (1)

  • Committed to several projects fostering humanitarian assistance in Ukraine, including two $200 million low-interest loans over the past two years (2, 3)

  • Supports the steady increase of spending as well as efficacy and monitoring in humanitarian aid over time, within the overall framework of forwarding Canada’s own economic interests.

  • Supports maintaining current freeze on foreign aid increases in service of reducing federal deficit (4, 5)

  • Committed to foreign aid investments in Central and South American countries with an emphasis on natural resource extraction (i.e. mining initiatives) aimed at supporting economic development abroad as well as advancing Canadian business interests (6, 7)

  • Committed to multiple international projects targeting child marriage, early marriage and forced marriage, and violence against children (8, 9, 10, 11)

  • Seeks to maintain Canada’s ban on abortion funding in foreign aid policy, focusing instead on newborn and maternal health (18)


  • Promises to reverse the ban on abortion funding in foreign aid policy, increase funding for women’s rights organizations, and include access to abortion services in Canada’s mandate on reproductive and sexual health worldwide (18, 19, 20)

  • Seeks to reverse ODA (Official Development Assistance) budget cuts, and prioritize increase of ODA over the course of years to meet the UN global target of 0.7 percent of GDP (18, 19, 20)

  • Promises to focus on the core values of poverty reduction and human rights advocacy in Canada’s international development policy (19, 20)

  • Committed to shifting Canada’s humanitarian goals back to a focus on aid for sub-Saharan Africa, citing the importance of targeting ODA to the poorest and least-developed countries where assistance is most needed; supports multiple international health initiatives aimed at combating Ebola virus, HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria in developing countries (20)

  • Pledges to fund global assistance by working to eliminate tax havens, whose lost tax revenue could make up as much as twice the amount needed to end extreme poverty (20)


  • Expressed support for present Canadian development priorities but called for a sharp increase in foreign aid spending (12, 13)

  • Supports shifting Canada’s foremost humanitarian goals back to a focus on aid for Africa (14)

  • Expressed support for Canada’s involvement in Ukrainian reform and independence (15, 16)

  • Promised new rules for charities that would create more nonpartisan openness for advocacy work (17)

  • Oppose Canada’s ban on abortion funding in foreign aid policy (18)


  • Promises to increase ODA (Official Development Assistance) to meet the UN global target of 0.7 percent of GDP, with the ultimate goal of further increasing ODA to 1% of Canada’s GDP (21, 23)

  • Pledges to institute an International Financial Transaction Tax of 0.05% on all speculative transactions, and to direct at least half of the revenues from this tax to meeting the UN’s Millennium Development Goals for foreign aid (22)

  • Seeks to shift development aid and international investment toward projects that focus on fostering alternative energy, sustainable agriculture, and nature conservation in developing countries (24)

  • Committed to shifting Canada’s humanitarian goals back to a focus on African aid and targeting “the poorest of the poor” in development assistance (25)

  • Promises to undo funding cuts made to development organizations Planned Parenthood, MATCH, CCIC, and KAIROS and opposes the ban on abortion funding in foreign aid policy (26)

References

  1. Government website
  2. Government website
  3. Government website
  4. Conservative Policy Book
  5. Huffington Post
  6. Huffington Post
  7. Canadians.org
  8. Government website
  9. Government website
  10. CBC
  11. Government website
  12. Liberal website
  13. National Post
  14. Make Poverty History
« Page 1 »

Post Secondary Education

Part of Law and Domestic Affairs
Updated on October 19, 2015

Post-secondary education in Canada is primarily the responsibility of provincial and territorial governments, and they provide the majority of their funding. However, the federal government provides significant amounts of funding and is responsible for military schools (which currently only includes the Royal Military College of Canada) and the education of Aboriginal peoples within Canada. Over the past three decades, government funding for post-secondary institutions has been decreasing and these institutions are increasingly having to rely more on tuition to cover their operating costs. For that reason, the cost of obtaining post-secondary education has been rising faster than inflation, according to the Canadian Federation of Students. Tuition rates are currently frozen in Newfoundland and Labrador and, starting this year, in Alberta.

The federal government also provides roughly 60% of government loan assistance to students. It has also created some grants and scholarships to some low-income students, and provides education tax credits that help families save for the cost of their children’s education. The federal government must write off significant amounts of student debt each year, due to the borrowers being either financially insolvent or impossible to locate. In 2012-2013, $300 million in debt was written off. Student loans from the government are often insufficient to cover costs to students and so they are increasingly relying on private debt.

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo
  • Pledges to double the federal contributions to the supplemental grant for the first $500 saved per year in lower- and middle- income families’ Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). This will raise the grant from 20 to 40 cents per dollar contributed, and 10 to 20 cents per dollar contributed, respectively (1, 2)


  • Promises to expand the Canadian Student Grant program, which provides assistance to lower- and middle-income students, to include programs as short as 34 weeks (down from the previous minimum of 60 weeks) (3)


  • Pledges an additional $12 million dollars in scholarships for Aboriginal students through Indspire, the largest nonprofit funder of Aboriginal education in Canada (3)


  • Will increase the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit for up to 10% of the wages paid to first- and second-year apprentices to $2500 per year (up from $2000 per year), and will expand the credit to cover 3rd and 4th year apprentices as well (4)


  • Allocated $65 million, beginning in 2016-2017, to help industries and businesses work with post-secondary institutions to better align curricula with what Canadian employers need (3)


  • Pledges to make Quebec's Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean a degree-granting military university, at a cost of $4 million per year to the Federal government (5)


  • Pledges to immediately begin phasing out interest on student loans, eliminating them completely in seven years (6, 7, 8)


  • Promises to invest $250 million in additional federal student grants over four years, creating as many as 50,000 new grants, with an emphasis on assisting those who need it the most and Aboriginal students, without tying funding to any particular type of degree (6, 7, 9)


  • Will create 40,000 new youth jobs, co-op placements, and internships for youth, and will include a requirement for youth apprenticeships in all major, federally-owned infrastructure and public works projects. in the private and nonprofit sectors (17)



  • Will change the student loan system so that no graduate with student loans will be required to make any repayment until they are earning an income of at least $25,000 per year (10 p. 8, 13)


  • Pledges to cancel the textbook and education tax credits, which do not benefit lower- and middle-income families, in order to boost up-front, non-repayable grants that give money directly to students (10 p. 81, 13)


  • Will increase the maximum Canada Student Grant for low-income students to $3,000 per year for full-time students, and to $1,800 per year for part time students (10 p. 8, 13)


  • Will increase the number of jobs funded by the Canada Summer Jobs program by 35,000 each year to help young Canadians looking for jobs during summer to help support themselves (11, 16)


  • Will invest $40 million annually to create more co-op placements for students in science, technology, mathematics, and business programs, and will pay 25% (up to $5,000) to employers that create new co-op placements (11, 16)


  • Will invest an additional $50 million annually in support to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) to help provide Indigenous students with support to attend university (12, 13)


  • Will invest $80 million per year to create a new Veterans Education Benefit to provide full support for the costs of up to four years of college, university, or technical education for Canadian Forces veterans (10 p. 50)


  • Pledges to end all tuition fees for students in university or other post-secondary training programs, and forgive all student loans over $10,000 by 2020 by immediately abolishing interest on new student loans and ending all tuition fees for students without adequate means (14 p. 13, 15)


  • Will increase funding available for bursaries (14 p. 13)


  • Will create a national Community and Environmental Service Corps that will transfer $1 billion dollars a year to municipalities to hire Canadian youth so that they can get real work experience no matter how difficult the job market (14 p 13)


References

  1. Conservative Website
  2.  National Post
  3.  The Globe and Mail
  4.  High Strategy
  5.  CBC 
  6.  NDP Website
  7.  CBC
  8.  Ottawa Citizen
  9.  CBC
  10.  Liberal Platform
  11.  CBC
  12.  Liberal Website
  13.  CBC
  14.  Green Party Platform
  15.  National Post
  16.  Liberal Website
  17.  NDP Website

Crime and Punishment

Part of Law and Domestic Affairs
Updated on October 18, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo
  • Pledges to reintroduce ‘Life Means Life’ legislation to ensure that criminals who commit the most heinous of crimes spend the rest of their life behind bars without the chance for parole (1, 2, 5, 18)

  • Believes there should be mandatory minimum sentences for the following types of offenders: violent, repeat, and those convicted of sexual assault against a minor (4)

  • Will not support the legalization of marijuana, and pledges to spend an additional $4.5 million to fund police teams that target illegal grow-ops (1, 16)

  • Will compile a formal list of gangs, similar to what is done for terrorist groups, to help ease prosecution of gang members (1, 3)

  • Pledges to spend an additional $2.5 million per year on programs to help steer teens away from gang activity (1, 3)

  • Pledges to renew, for an additional five years, Canada’s plans to combat human trafficking and new RCMP human trafficking teams in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg at an annual cost of $8 million (1, 7, 11)

  • Supports a sex registry with mandatory DNA banking, and a registry information network (4)



  • Opposes the ‘Life Means Life’ and believe that mandatory sentencing is unnecessary and supports maintaining judges power and ability to determine the length of the sentence for serious criminals (1)

  • Believe that there should be rules that allow for more severe punishments for violent crimes, subject to judicial supervision (1, 12)

  • Promises to decriminalize personal marijuana possession (10)

  • Pledges to spend an additional $250 million over for years to increase the number of RCMP officers by 2500 in order to expand the RCMPs ability to combat organized crime (9, 10)

  • Will invest an additional $30 million in crime prevention programs, especially targeting youth (10)

  • Pledges to improving access to prison rehabilitation programs (10)


  • Believes the justice system already recognizes risk of granting parole to criminals but would investigate any plans to make communities safer (1, 18)

  • Pledges to repeal some mandatory minimum prison sentences and reserve them for only the most violent of crimes (17)

  • Will legalize and reform access to marijuana (1, 8)

  • Will provide $100 million yearly to the provincial and territorial governments in an effort to combat gang-related violence and eliminate illegal firearms (6)

  • Promises to develop and implement a strategy to deal with gender-based violence, and to ensure that victims have places to go when leaving a violent situation (8)


  • Opposes the ‘Life Means Life’ act as they believe it would apply to few people and prevent rehabilitation (1)

  • Promises to repeal mandatory minimum sentencing (1, 13, 14, 15)

  • Will legalize and reform access to marijuana (1, 15)

  • Commits to increasing penalties for domestic violence (13)

  • Will work towards restoring the prison farm system; believes that the program offers criminals a chance of rehabilitation through education and meaningful work (13)

  • Pledges to make resources available to communities such that they are able to engage in restorative justice and community healing (13)


References

  1. CTV
  2. Conservative website
  3. The Globe and Mail
  4. Conservative website
  5. Conservative website
  6. Liberal website
  7. Global News
  8. Liberal website
  9. NDP website
  10. NDP website
  11. Conservative website
  12. Western Gazette
  13. Green website
  14. Elizabeth May website
  15. Western Gazette
  16. CBC
  17. Global News
  18. The Globe and Mail

Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women

Part of Law and Domestic Affairs
Updated on August 29, 2015

Synopsis

Aboriginal women in Canada face a homicide rate roughly 4.5 times the national average and are consistently over-represented amongst the murdered and missing. At least 1,181 Aboriginal women and girls have been murdered or gone missing over the past three decades, though many suspect the number to be higher. A 2014 RCMP study, with a 2015 update, has indicated that murders of Aboriginal women are most frequently committed by men and by someone they know. Spouses, family, and those with an intimate relationship accounted for 62% of the homicides, lower than the national average of 74%. Significantly higher than the national average (30% to 19%) was the number of Aboriginal women killed by those categorized as ‘acquaintances:’ individuals who were friends, neighbors, co-workers, authority figures, or others known to — but not intimate with — the victims. According to police, almost 90% of the murders were solved during their investigations.

Numerous First Nations leaders, the Assembly of First Nations, Native Women’s Association of Canada, the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, and several provincial governments have — among others — called for a national inquiry into the violence.

The 2014 RCMP report is available here.
The 2015 update is available here.

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Opposes the creation of a national inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women as it holds that another study or inquiry, on top of the 40 related studies already completed, would be less effective than increased policing and investigation (2, 3, 5)

  • Views the issues of missing Aboriginal people as an issue of law and order, and not as sociology: “It’s a crime against innocent people, and should be addressed as such.” (1, 3, 4)


  • Has, in conjunction with the Liberal Party, called for the establishment of a national inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada (4, 6, 11)

  • Pledges to launch a public inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women within 100 days of taking office (7)

  • Believes the issue is rooted in systemic violence against Aboriginal women and is not merely an issue of law and order (7)


  • Has, in conjunction with the New Democratic Party, called for the establishment of a national inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada (6, 11)

  • Pledges to immediately launch a national public inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada to recommend concrete actions that government, law enforcement, and others can take to solve these crimes and future ones (8, 9)

  • Believes that the root causes of the problems need to be addressed and that the current approach has been ineffective (5)


  • Pledges to launch a full inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women (10, 11, 12)

  • Will create a task force to address the treatment of Aboriginal peoples within the Canadian justice system and investigate and address the disappearance of Aboriginal women (10)

  • Believes that a legacy of racism, poverty, and colonialism have contributed to the problem (12)

References

  1. The Toronto Star
  2. The Globe and Mail
  3. CBC
  4. Yahoo News
  5. Huffington Post
  6. CBC
  7. CBC
  8. Liberal
  9. CBC
  10. Green website
  11. National Post
  12. Green website

Child Care

Part of Law and Domestic Affairs
Updated on August 24, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Implemented Universal Child Care Benefit, which provides $1,920 per year for each child under the age of 6 and $720 per year for children aged 6 through 17 (this income is taxable) (1, 7)

  • States that support should go to all parents and families raising children, especially to lower- and middle-income parents (1)

  • Promised to increase the Adoption Expense Tax Credit from 15% of $15k to 15% of $20k, or 3k per child, and to make it refundable (10)


  • Will create a $15 dollar-per-day childcare service and open one million childcare spaces across Canada over the next decade (5)

  • Maintains that the childcare program would boost economic growth and tax revenue, as well as reduce the number of single mothers on social assistance (6)

  • Will honour the Universal Child Care Benefit (9)

  • Will provide long-term, secure funding to provinces and territories for early childhood education and child care services (2)

  • Promises to establish an enhanced and simplified child tax benefit (2)

  • Will expand access to parental leave (2)

  • Pledges to enact a law protecting childcare by enshrining it in legislation - the Canadian Early Childhood Learning and Care Act – to be a cornerstone of Canada, like the Canada Health Act (2)

  • Will fund $290 million for 60,000 spaces in its first year in power, which will grow to $1.86 billion by 2018 to create 370,000 new childcare spots (5)


  • Will get rid of the Universal Child Care Benefit, the Canada Child Tax Benefit, and the National Child Benefit Supplement, and institute a Universal Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) program with national standards and monitoring mechanisms (3)

  • Will arrange tax incentives to develop workplace ECEC and funding for post-secondary ECEC training to ensure quality of care (3, 12)

  • ECEC will provide up to $533 per month for every child under age six and $450 for children ages six to 17 You can find out how much you can save here (8)

  • Promises to increase funding for ECEC to 1% of GDP (3)

  • Will introduce a new income-tested, tax-free monthly Canada Child Benefit that will boost payments to all families with children and annual income below $150,000 (9)

  • Pledges to introduce two new parental leave options: the first will allow workers to take time off, return to work, and take more time off within an 18-month period. The second will let parents take a longer leave of up to 18 months, when combined with maternity benefits (11)



  • Will restore and revamp the 2005 agreement reached between the federal government, provinces, and territories to achieve a universal access child care program in Canada (4)

  • Promises to create a national Children’s Commissioner, as recommended by UNICEF, to ensure children’s best interests are considered in policy development and that services across the country are better coordinated (4)

  • Will ensure that Canada’s Universal Childcare Program provides workplace child care spaces wherever possible (4)

  • Will accelerate the creation of workplace childcare spaces through a direct tax credit to employers (or groups of employers in small businesses) of $1500 tax credit/child per year (4)

  • Pledges to promote and facilitate access to the Roots of Empathy Program, an award-winning program developed by a non-profit educational organization, to all Canadian children at some point in their elementary school years (4)

References

  1. Conservative Policy Declaration
  2. NDP Policy Book
  3. Liberal Policy Resolutions
  4. Green Party Website
  5. CBC
  6. Global News
  7. Governement Website
  8. Ottawa Citizen
  9. Ottawa Citizen
  10. CBC
  11. CBC
  12. CBC

Democratic Reform

Part of Law and Domestic Affairs
Updated on August 18, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

Electoral Reform


  • Does not presently support a change in Canada’s electoral system away from first-past-the-post as Canadians have repeatedly rejected such measures in the past (1, 2)

  • Would require a national referendum before first-past-the-post electoral system can be changed (1, 2)

  • Passed the Fair Elections Act, which changes vouching for an oath system, prevents Elections Canada from encouraging voting, provides voting data to parties, and raises donation limits, among other measures. The party maintains that the Act combats voter fraud, includes needed updates to campaign finance laws, preserves the investigative power of the Commissioner, and empowers political parties, as opposed to Elections Canada, to drive voter turnout. More info (7)

  • Introduced the Citizen Voting Act, which requires proof of citizenship from those living abroad in order for them to vote (has not been passed into law) (8)

  • Will form an all-party parliamentary committee to study the following measures: ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting, and online voting for possible implementation (4)

  • Will introduce legislation within 18 months of the election to reform the electoral system (4)

  • Will repeal elements of the Fair Elections Act and oppose the Citizen Voting Act, which the party believes make it more difficult for Canadians to vote and easier for election lawbreakers to evade punishment (4)

  • Will restore the voter identification card as an acceptable form of identification (4)

  • Will increase penalties for breaking election laws (4)


  • Will eliminate first-past-the-post system and consult the public on the style of proportional representation best suited to Canada (1, 5, 11)

  • Will lower the voting age to 16 to encourage higher youth participation (11)

  • Will reduce the $1,000 candidate deposit to encourage more Canadians to participate in the democratic system (5)

Procedural and Democratic Reform


  • Believes in restoring democratic accountability into the House of
    Commons by allowing free votes except for the budget, main estimates, and core government initiatives (2)

  • Believes that senior officers such as the Auditor General, Chief Electoral Officer, Comptroller General, Ethics Commissioner, Information Commissioner, and Privacy Commissioner should be appointed by Parliament and report to it (2)


  • Will change the appointment process for federal agencies by having candidate nominations sent to Parliament (3)


  • Will empower backbench MPs by allowing free votes on everything except legislation implementing election platform promises, budget measures, and matters involving freedoms guaranteed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (6)

  • Will support an Elections Canada initiative to register Canadians as a part of their high school curriculum and stay in contact with them if they change addresses after graduation (4)

  • Will allow more time for questions and answers during question period, and introduce a prime minister’s question period (4)

  • Will appoint an equal number of men and women to cabinet and adopt a government-wide appointment policy to ensure gender parity as well as greater representation of aboriginal people and other minorities (6)


  • Will create an administrative body called the Council of Canadian Governments, to be chaired by the Prime Minister and include Premiers, territorial, municipal and Indigenous leaders (10)

  • The Council will supplement First Ministers’ Conferences and initiate, develop, and monitor the implementation of policy reforms that are of "national significance" and that require action by all Canadian governments (10)

  • Will end whipped votes in the House of Commons, the process by which party leaders can dictate how their MPs will vote as they believe that MPs should be free to best represent their constituent's interests (1, 5)

  • Will start a commission to engage Canadians in a public inquiry into the interwoven and anti-democratic trends within Canada. Full details here (5)

Financing, Oversight, and Governance


  • Canceled annual payment to federal political parties of around $2 per vote received in the previous federal election (2)

  • Believes there should be no additional public funding of federal political parties beyond that presently contained in the Elections Canada Act (2)

  • Believes the government should provide the Auditor General with full access to all documents from all federal organizations, including all agencies, Crown corporations, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and foundations (2)


  • Will review electoral spending limits and ensure that political party spending between elections is subject to limits (4)

  • Will introduce a plan to ensure that government information is made readily accessible to the public. Full details here

  • Will provide Elections Canada with additional resources to investigate voter fraud and suppression, illegal financing, and other matters (4)

  • Will appoint an Advertising Commissioner to assist the Auditor General in providing oversight on government advertising to ensure they are non-partisan and related to actual government requirements (4)

  • Will create a quarterly, more detailed parliamentary expense report, and open up the "secretive" House of Commons Board of Internal Economy (4)


  • Will discourage patronage appointments by establishing an independent agency for appointments to government tribunals, boards and senior positions (5)

  • Will slash the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) budget by 50% (5)

References

  1. Ottawa Citizen
  2. Conservative Policy Book
  3. NDP Policy Book
  4. Liberal website
  5. Green website
  6. Macleans
  7. The Globe and Mail
  8. Government website
  9. National Post
  10. Green website
  11. Green website

The Senate

Part of Law and Domestic Affairs
Updated on August 13, 2015

Synopsis

There have been numerous attempts to reform the Senate throughout Canadian history, although the federal government is not capable of legislating these changes alone. Reform would require a constitutional amendment, which historically has been a very difficult process. Most recently in 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada issued an advisory opinion that, due to the Senate being enshrined in the Constitution, any changes would require constitutional amendment. In their opinion, the judges indicated that at least seven provinces, with half or more of Canada’s population, would be needed in order to pass structural reforms and that the consent of all provinces would be required for abolition.

Presently, provincial governments in Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick have indicated they are interested or open to Senate reform but are opposed to abolition. They view the regional representation inherent in the Senate as being essential for preserving provincial balance and giving the provinces a voice in national institutions. British Columbia and Ontario have indicated interest in reform as well, though have placed little emphasis on the issue. Alberta has not made its position clear on Senate reform or abolition. The governments of Saskatchewan and Manitoba favour abolition of the Senate.

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Supports reform of the Senate, and attempted reforms in 2006 and 2014 aimed at making the Senate more democratic by electing Senators and imposing term limits. The Liberal-dominated Senate blocked these attempts, indicating that the proposals would require a Constitutional amendment, and then in 2014 by a Supreme Court advisory opinion which indicated that such plans would require a constitutional amendment (1, 2, 4, 8)

  • Believes that any new attempt to reform the Senate should come from the provinces as their support would be required for it to pass (3, 4)

  • Pledged not to appoint any new Senators until the Senate is reformed in an attempt to reduce costs and place pressure on provinces to create a plan to update the institution; currently, 22 of 105 seats are vacant and it has been two and a half years since the last appointment (2, 3)

  • Promised to not appoint any Senators during the 2006 election, though 59 have been appointed since 2008, when the Conservative government needed more Senators to ensure Conservative legislation would pass the Upper House—though they continued to appoint Senators after this point (6, 7, 22)

  • Appointed four Senators who had previously been elected by citizens in the province of Alberta (5)


  • Wants to abolish the Senate and is seeking a mandate from Canadians to do so in this election (9, 10)

  • Has pledged to keep trying for Senate abolition despite provincial governments’ opposition and has promised to work with the provinces to ensure that it happens (11)

  • Put forth a motion to end partisan activities in the Senate in 2013, which was defeated by the Conservative and Liberal parties (12)


  • Wants to reform the Senate to make the chamber a place of sober, second thought, and for reflective analysis on legislation as it was intended to be (13, 14)

  • Pledges to introduce an open, non-partisan, and merit-based process of appointing Senators that respects provincial interests (15, 17)

  • Ejected Senators from the Liberal caucus, allowing them to sit as independents with no formal ties to Liberal parliamentary machinery, to make them more independent and less partisan (14, 16)

  • Believes that promising to abolish the Senate is reckless as it would require the support of some provinces that will never agree to it, and will seek reform without the need of a constitutional amendment (9, 15)


  • Pledges to create a nonpartisan commission to speak with Canadians to create a constitutional reform proposal for a new Senate during the next Parliament, which would then be put forward as a national referendum asking if Canadians want the Senate reformed or abolished (17, 18)

  • Will hold a national referendum on Senate reform to determine how to proceed with the possibility of electing Senators and changing regional distribution (17)

  • Supports the implementation of a proportional representation system to elect Senators (19)

  • Believes the Conservative decision to stop appointing Senators is unconstitutional (20, 21)

References

  1. CBC
  2. CBC
  3. CBC
  4. National Post
  5. CBC
  6. Macleans
  7. NDP website
  8. CTV
  9. CBC
  10. NDP website
  11. CBC
  12. CBC
  13. CBC
  14. CBC
  15. CBC
  16. CBC
  17. Macleans
  18. Green website
  19. Green website
  20. Green website
  21. CTV
  22. The Globe and Mail

Bill C-51

Part of Law and Domestic Affairs
Updated on July 30, 2015

Synopsis

Bill C-51 was introduced by the Conservative government of Canada to provide a major overhaul of Canadian security legislation. Amongst other things, the Bill (now law) increases the powers and mandate of CSIS (the Canadian Security Intelligence Service), expands information sharing between branches of government, criminalizes the promotion of terrorism, expands the no-fly list, and provides the RCMP with new powers of preventative arrest. Supporters of the Bill argue that Canada’s anti-terrorism legislation was last overhauled over a decade ago after the September 11, 2001 attacks and is in serious need of improvement. They state that the Bill does not pose a danger to citizens as its provisions are subject to independent review and judicial oversight.

Critics of the Bill contend that Bill C-51 poses very significant privacy concerns as well as threat to other fundamental Canadian freedoms. They believe that the wording in the Bill means that it could be used to target protesters and those who dissent against the government. It also would grant government departments and agencies unprecedented and excessive powers to breach privacy rights of Canadians. Critics of the Bill include numerous business leaders, law professors, NGOs, and the United Nations Human Rights committee.

The Bill was granted Royal Assent on June 18, 2015.

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Introduced Bill C-51 in order to counter the threat posed by the Islamic State and the international jihadist movement by increasing the policing powers of CSIS and the RCMP and making it illegal to promote terrorism, among other changes. (3, 16)

  • Agreed to make amendments to the original Bill C-51 after public consultations to ensure civil disobedience is not included as a threat against the country, remove CSIS’ power to make arrests, and restrict information sharing to within the federal government (1, 2)

  • Does not believe that direct parliamentary oversight is necessary; instead supports using the Security Intelligence Review Committee to minimize political interference in counter-terrorism operations (SIRC is an independent watchdog whose members are appointed by the federal government) (3)

  • “Opposes adding a “sunset clause” to the Bill, which would require the federal government to review and reauthorize the Bill after a set period of time” (4)

  • Blocked all other parties' amendments to the bill (5)


  • Voted against Bill C-51, and have consistently opposed it (3)

  • Opposes giving broad powers to CSIS without enhancing oversight and decries the lack of measures to counter radicalization of communities (6)

  • Believes the legislation is too vague and therefore dangerous in terms of its potential impact on Canadian liberties, and fears it could impact legitimate dissent (6)

  • Filibustered committee meetings to pressure the government to give public safety committee additional time to hear from witnesses (7)

  • Vowed to repeal all offending provisions of C-51 (8)


  • Voted in favor of Bill C-51, though promises to amend its most "concerning aspects" (3, 9, 10)

  • Is concerned that some aspects of the Bill threaten Canadians’ Charter rights and freedoms, but that these can be addressed by amending the Bill (18, 19)
  • Nevertheless believes the Bill does much to increase the physical security of Canadians, particularly by strengthening the no-fly list, increasing powers of preventative arrest, and increasing information sharing between federal departments (18, 19)

  • Wishes to amend Bill C-51 to:
    • give parliament oversight of Canada’s security agencies
    • include a ‘sunset clause’ to force parliament to review and vote to re-authorize the bill periodically
    • narrow broad definitions in the bill
    • remove measures allowing judges to provide CSIS with warrants to violate Canadian Charter rights
    • include programs for radicalization prevention in communities
    (9, 10, 11)

  • Introduced 10 amendments to Bill C-51 on March 26th which can be viewed here in summarized form, and here in full form.

  • Liberal Senators voted against the Bill in the Senate Chamber (12, 17)


  • Has consistently opposed Bill C-51, voted against it, and will support all efforts to repeal the Bill (13, 14)

  • Believes that outreach programs to counter radicalization, improved oversight of intelligence agencies, and improved coordination of RCMP and CSIS should be used instead of measures included in Bill C-51(14)

  • Opposes the granting of powers that would violate Canadians’ Charter Rights, expanding no-fly list, government departments sharing private citizen information, and giving CSIS the power to disrupt activities itself (13, 15)

  • Proposed 60 amendments to Bill C-51, all of which were blocked by Conservative MPs (15)

References

  1. The Globe and Mail
  2. CTV News
  3. The Globe and Mail
  4. CTV News
  5. CTV News
  6. NDP website
  7. CBC
  8. Global News
  9. The Globe and Mail
  10. Liberal website
  11. Liberal website
  12. The Globe and Mail
  13. Elizabeth May website
  14. Green website
  15. Green website
  16. Conservative website
  17. Huffington Post
  18. Ottawa Citizen
  19. Huffington Post

Further Reading

Bill C-24: Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act

Part of Law and Domestic Affairs
Updated on June 29, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Asserts that the Bill reinforces the value of citizenship and strengthens the rules in order to reflect its true value (4)

  • Retroactively grants citizenship to ‘Lost Canadians’ and their children [Canadians who believe themselves entitled to citizenship but have not been granted such due to loopholes or particular aspects or interpretations of the law] (1)

  • Aims to reduce wait times for citizenship applications to less than a year by 2015-2016 (1)

  • Grants the minister of Immigration the power to revoke Canadian citizenship in “extreme-cases,” i.e. where their crimes were not only violent, but also embraced an ideology or an allegiance to a group hostile to Canada or supportive of terrorist acts (1, 2, 3)

  • Maintains that citizens who lose their citizenship have a de facto right to appeal in court if the government has not fulfilled its statutory mandates (5)


  • Voted against Bill C-24 (7)

  • Opposes the creation of two classes of Canadian citizens and believes this Bill undermines the fundamental Canadian value of equality (1, 6, 9, 10)

  • Believes the Bill does not comply with the Canadian Charter or with international law (6, 9)

  • Is glad to see the government expediting citizenship for permanent residents serving in the armed forces and addressing some of the issues of the ‘Lost Canadians’ children [Canadians who believe themselves entitled to citizenship but have not been granted such due to loopholes or particular aspects or interpretations of the Law] (1, 11)

  • Concerned with the idea that the Minister of Immigration, not judges, would have the power to revoke citizenship based on convictions from other countries, often without the possibility of appeal or hearing (1, 8, 10)


  • Voted against Bill C-24 (7)

  • Opposes the creation of two classes of Canadian citizens, stating that that Canadian citizens are all equal (3)

  • Is concerned that foreign students would be deprived of any credit for time spent studying in Canada for the purposes of acquiring citizenship (11)

  • Is concerned that a criminal conviction from a country that does not respect the rule of law would be sufficient for stripping a Canadian of their citizenship, and believes that appropriate checks and balances need to be a precondition of granting the Minister this power (12)


  • Voted against Bill C-24 (7)

  • Does not believe that the Bill is compliant with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (13)

  • Is concerned that the Bill does not do enough to provide citizenship to the 'Lost Canadians' and their descendants (14)



References

  1. CBC
  2. The Toronto Star
  3. Mississauga
  4. Government website
  5. The Globe and Mail
  6. CBC
  7. Open Parliament
  8. Huffington Post
  9. NDP
  10. Jasbir Sandhu website
  11. iPolitics
  12. Amar Jeetsohi website
  13. Open Parliament
  14. Green Party Website

Immigration

Part of Law and Domestic Affairs
Updated on May 5, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Supports family reunification as an important part of Canada’s immigration policy, has pledged to extend automatic Canadian citizenship to children adopted abroad by Canadian parents, and has implemented limitations in the parent/grandparent sponsorship program to eliminate backlog, shorten wait times, and lessen associated tax burdens (1, 2)

  • Supports the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, and has expanded projects aimed at attracting skilled temporary workers to address labour shortages by providing temporary workers with pathways to permanent status and ensuring their employment standards are on a par with those of Canadians (1)

  • Will streamline the refugee claims process and the repatriation of those who fail to qualify; committed to combating human smuggling through increased legal enforcement and through the advancement of democratic government in refugees’ countries of origin (1)

  • Is committed to settlement support by lowering landing fees, introducing a system of recognition and assessment of international credentials, and working with local governments to provide more language instruction, community mentoring, employment counseling, and the promotion of adaptation to Canadian values (1)

  • Established the Express Entry system, a points system that ranks potential economic immigrants based on criteria such as age, education, and work experience in Canada, providing a pathway to permanent residence for temporary workers and students (3, 4, 5).


  • Believes family reunification should be central to Canada’s immigration policy and opposes current limitations on family reunification initiatives (6, 7, 8, 9)

  • Opposes the current Temporary Foreign Workers Program, expressing concern about its effect on wages and employment opportunities for Canadian citizens and opposing provisions that require the repatriation of temporary foreign workers without a pathway to permanent status. (6, 10)

  • Has called for increasing the admission of refugees from the Syrian Civil War and opposes cuts in social assistance funding for refugees in Canada. (11, 12)

  • Is critical of the Express Entry system, concerned it will leave low-ranked applicants indefinitely waiting and will promote line-jumping, and opposes its language provisions. (5, 9)


  • Supports family reunification as part of Canada’s immigration policy, plans on streamlining and expanding family reunification initiatives. (13)

  • Has called for the dramatic scaling back of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, and plans on limiting it to a stopgap measure for addressing labour shortages when there are no qualified or willing Canadian workers. (14)

  • Opposes cuts to refugee social services, and is committed to expanding refugee programs and to increasing the number of refugees accepted from Syria and Iraq. (13, 15, 16)

  • Has expressed support for increasing governmental investment in not-for-profit organizations aimed at aiding and integrating immigrant groups. (17)


  • Supports family reunification as part of Canada’s immigration policy, and plans on streamlining and expanding family reunification initiatives. (18)

  • Pledges to eliminate the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, and is committed to targeted immigration increases aimed at combating labour shortages. (18)

  • Plans to expand refugee policy to include an “environmental refugees” category, and is committed to increasing legal penalties for convicted human smugglers but is opposed to the incarceration of refugees who arrive in Canada through irregular entry. (18, 19)

  • Will allocate more funding toward language training for immigrants, establish a pathway for unofficial residents to full landed immigrant status, and repeal existent streamlined deportation legislation. (18)

References

  1. Conservative Policy Book
  2. CBC
  3. The Globe and Mail
  4. CBC
  5. CBC
  6. NDP website
  7. NDP website
  8. NDP website
  9. The Toronto Star
  10. NDP website
  11. NDP website
  12. CBC
  13. Liberal website
  14. The Toronto Star
  15. CBC
  16. Liberal website
  17. CPAC
  18. Green website
  19. Elizabeth May website

Health Care

Part of Law and Domestic Affairs
Updated on May 5, 2015

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Universal Health Care


  • Believes that a balance of public and private health care delivery options should be available in the provinces and territories (1)


  • Believes in a fully publicly funded health care system and will fight the privatization of health care services in Canada (7, 4)


  • Supports the current single-payer, publicly funded Health Care system administered under the Canada Health Act (3)


  • Will defend the current single-payer universal health care system under the Canada Health Act and opposes privatization (4, 10)

Collaboration with Provinces/Territories to Manage Health Care Funding


  • Will tie healthcare transfers to the provinces based on economic growth after 2016-2017 (19)

  • Will work with provinces and territories to create defined objectives and quality indicators (1)

  • Will add a sixth principle to the Canada Health Act to provide stable and transparent federal funding to the provinces for use in improving health care (1)

  • Will conduct a medicare audit to investigate how well Medicare is working, focusing on program design and health-care financing issues (1)

  • Pledges to work with the provinces, territories, and professional medical associations to increase the supply of health care professionals (1)

  • Pledges to work with provinces to create programs and policies to promote wellness and disease prevention (1)

  • Put into place a reduction in the rate of increase in provincial health transfers, due to set in two years from now (14)


  • Pledges to reverse a planned budget cut to, and increase funding of health care transfer payments to provinces and territories (6, 14)

  • Will invest $6 billion over four years into health care (17)

  • Promises to work collaboratively to improve access to primary and long-term care (6)

  • Will commit $200 million as a recruitment grant to help provinces hire approximately 7,000 more family physicians; communities with shortages of health care providers will have priority, and the NDP estimates that this strategy will help them support health care for approximately 41,000 more seniors (8)

  • Will commit $300 million to build or expand 200 health care clinics (9, 13)

  • Will commit $1.8 billion to improve care for seniors, including home care, palliative care, and nursing home beds (9)


  • Pledges to invest $3 billion over four years into health care especially for in-home caregivers, financial supports for family care, and, palliative care (15, 16 p.9)

  • Will meet with the premiers to discuss how to strengthen health care and engage closely in areas where there is direct federal jurisdiction, including health promotion, support to caregivers, and First Nations' health (4, 15)

  • Pledges to amend the Canada Health Act to make annual payments to provinces/territories, subject to consultation with the federal government on quality standards, access to health services in rural areas, and improving cost efficiency (3)

  • Promises to ensure annual payments reflect demographic and geographic factors (3)

  • Will fund initiatives for health promotion, care for the elderly, pharmacare, combating obesity and diabetes, and addressing the health care needs of veterans (3)

  • Pledges to negotiate a new deal with the provinces and territories to replace the 2004 Health Accord, which will focus on creating accountability for measurable outcomes in cost effectiveness, efficiency, and timely access to care (3)


  • Pledges to collaborate with the Provinces and Territories for a renewal of the Health Care Accord of 2004 (4, 10)

  • Promises to increase transfers to provinces based on the age of their population with those with higher ages receiving more (14)


Pharmacare


  • Believes pharmaceuticals are the responsibility of the provinces, not the federal government (19)

  • Promises to adhere to the international standard of a 20-year patent limitation for prescription drugs (1)

  • Promises to enhance freedom for natural health care products with safeguards for public safety (1)


  • Will commit $2.6 billion towards working with the provinces to establish universal comprehensive drug coverage for all Canadians (8)

  • Universal coverage will not be implemented by the end of the NDP’s first mandate, but the NDP estimates that this plan will lower costs for Canadians by 30% through bulk buying of prescription drugs (8, 12)

  • Will provide funding for provincially administered pharmacare programs and encourage use of less expensive drugs (7)


  • Does not support a universal pharmacare program (15)

  • Will work with provinces to lower prescription drug costs (13)

  • Pledge to reduce the cost of pharmaceuticals for Canadians through bulk buying, combining federal, provincial, and territorial purchases (14, 16 p.9)



  • Will create and implement a National Pharmacare Plan to lower the costs of prescription drugs with bulk buying, asserting it could save $11 billion and keep health care providers aware when patients are in danger of over-medication (4, 10)

  • Will expand health care to cover public dental care for low income youth (4, 10)

  • The National Pharmacare Plan will be more rigorous in assessing new drug applications (10)


Mental Health


  • Launched a $31.5-million plan on dementia in partnership with private- and public-sector groups (19)


  • Commits $40 million over four years to launch a national Alzheimer’s and Dementia strategy (6, 9, 13)

  • Will create a $100-million, four-year Mental Health Innovation Fund for children and youth, including $15 million per year for health-care providers and community mental health associations as well as $10 million per year for research and information-sharing among health-care providers (6, 12)

  • Pledges to create a youth mental health innovation fund to reduce wait times and improve access to care (18 p.IV)


  • Pledges to increase funding for mental health initiatives from 5% to 8-10% of the federal health care budget (3)

  • Pledges to implement and fund the recommendations from the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s report, Changing Directions, Changing Lives: A Mental Health Strategy for Canada (3)

  • Pledges to create an office for a national mental health ombudsperson who will issue an annual report on the status of mental health in Canada for Parliament (3)

  • Will work in partnership with mental health specialists, provinces and territories, and groups such as the Alzheimer’s society to create a National Action Plan on Dementia (3)


  • Will integrate extensive mental-health services, including expanded psychotherapy and clinical counselling into the health care system as recommended by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (11)

  • Pledges to invest create a national dementia strategy (14)


Other Policies


  • Pledges to amend the Labour Code to create a new right for “at-risk workers” to be notified when they have been exposed to infectious disease; this right would “transcend” the privacy rights of the infected individual (1 p24)

  • Proposes a three-year initial ban on human embryonic stem cell research starting in 2014, supporting a focus on post-natal stem cell research (1 p25)

  • Will not support any legislation to regulate abortion (1 p25)

  • Pledges to match donations for this year’s Terry Fox Run up to $35 million (2)

  • Pledges to provide capital funding of $12.5 million to help establish the Canadian Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Centre in Vancouver, BC (2)

  • Will give the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer a renewed 5 year mandate beginning in 2017 and fund the partnership with $50 million dollars (2)

  • Committed to providing Canadian Armed Forces veterans with more expanded and accessible pension programs, disability benefits, and caregiver support, as well as hiring more case managers to provide veterans with individualized care; however, the government cut veterans’ pensions and downsized Veterans Canada offices and staff (20, 21, 22)


  • Will create a designated federal home care transfer to guarantee a basic level of home care services for all Canadians (7)

  • Promises to establish a Patient’s Bill of Rights (7)

  • Pledges to establish a National Health Care Council to ensure enforcement of the Canada Health Act and will extend the range of services offered under the Canada Health Act to include prescription drugs, palliative care, and home care (7)

  • Pledges to work with First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples to address their specific health care related challenges (7)

  • Pledges to expand the Compassionate Care Benefit so people can take up to six months paid leave to care for seriously ill loved ones (18 p.IV)

  • Promises to increase support for Canadian veterans and their families via extending the Veterans’ Independence Program and increasing funding for veterans’ pensions, insurance, and healthcare (7)


  • Will increase the Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefit for persons caring for a seriously ill family member with an additional $190 million per year (which will not require an increase to insurance premiums) to make the eligibility requirements more flexible, allow sharing between family members, and allow persons to claim the six-month benefit in blocks of time over a year long period (5)

  • Pledges to earmark $20 billion over 10 years specifically for "social infrastructure," which includes affordable seniors' housing and long-term care facilities (14)


  • Will focus on preventative strategies in health care and work with the provinces to establish preventative health care guidelines that encourage active lifestyles and healthy diets (4, 10)

  • Pledges to adopt stricter regulations to prohibit cancer-causing chemicals from entering consumer products or food (10)

  • Pledges to conduct a National Conference on Lyme Disease to develop a strategy to combat Lyme Disease (10)

  • Will facilitate the switch to electronic record keeping (10)

  • Encourages team-based medical practice in which the family physician works closely with naturopaths, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, midwives (10)

  • Pledges to provide adequate health care funding for Aboriginal peoples both on and off reserves (10)

  • Promises to expand rural health care infrastructure by investing in telehealth and mobile medical units to ensure Indigenous communities have access to critical care (10)

  • Promises to drastically change policies of care for Canadian Armed Forces veterans, proposing a complete re-write of New Veterans Charter and Veterans Affairs Canada policies for the purpose of increasing benefits, pensions, and disability support for veterans (10)

References

  1. Conservative Party Policy Book
  2. Vancity Buzz
  3. Liberal Policy Book
  4. The Tyee
  5. Liberal Party Platform
  6. NDP Party Platform
  7. NDP Policy Book
  8. CBC
  9. CBC
  10. Green Party Platform
  11. Green Party Website
  12. The National Post
  13. The Toronto Star
  14. CTV News
  15. Liberal Party Website
  16. Liberal Platform
  17. NDP Website
  18. NDP Platform
  19. The Globe and Mail
  20. Government Website
  21. Equitas Society Report
  22. Ottawa Citizen

Aboriginal Policy

Part of Law and Domestic Affairs
Updated on May 5, 2015

Aboriginal policy is one of the most complicated issues facing the Federal government. The issue has roots in the relations between colonizers and Aboriginal peoples since long before Canada became a country. In light of this, any synopsis on the issue is likely to fail to capture the issues’ complexity. Please view the following links in order to get a better idea of the history of the relationship and current issues:

Truth and Reconciliation Comission
The Canadian Encyclopedia
Government of Canada
Assembly of First Nations

Please note: At the time of writing, the Conservative Party of Canada and the NDP have indicated that they plan on unveiling more about their respective policies towards Aboriginal peoples closer to election day.

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

Federal-Aboriginal Relations and Governance


  • Created and are now reviewing the 94 recommendations released by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which had been established by the Conservative government in 2007 as part of the Indian Residential Schools Agreement along with a formal apology for Residential Schools (1, 5, 19)

  • Signed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2010 after initially opposing it in 2007, and refers to it as an aspirational document (19, 24)

  • Believes the Indian Act and related legislation should be replaced with a modern framework that grants full legal and democratic responsibility for First Nations, and the Inuit, within the overall constitutional framework of our federal state (6)

  • Three Conservative Party candidates running for election are Aboriginal, including Leona Aglukkaq, Minister for Health, as of the time of writing (23)

  • More details on the Conservative Party's’ Aboriginal Platform are expected soon


  • Pledged to enact the recommendations of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission (1, 2)

  • Would ensure that all new legislation passed by the Federal Government abides by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (1)

  • Pledged to deliver a nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous peoples (9)

  • Will create a cabinet-level committee, chaired by the Prime Minister, to ensure federal government decisions respect treaty rights, inherent rights of Aboriginals, and Canada's international obligations (1, 2, 11)

  • Twenty-three NDP candidates running for election are Aboriginal, as of the time of writing (23)

  • More details on the NDP Aboriginal Platform are expected soon


  • Pledged to enact the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (1, 2, 11)

  • Pledged to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (1, 9, 11)

  • Pledged to conduct a full review of legislation unilaterally imposed on Aboriginal peoples by the Harper government and scrap those laws if they do not respect Aboriginal rights (1, 9)

  • Pledged to meet with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit leaders each year of a Liberal government’s mandate (12)

  • Pledged to repeal changes made to the Elections Act by the Conservative government, which they believe make it unfairly more difficult for Aboriginal people to vote (12)

  • Plan on introducing an Educational Program to provide all Canadians with an understanding of the history and background that have created the issues currently confronting Aboriginal Peoples in Canada (10)

  • Sixteen Liberal Party candidates running for election are Aboriginal, as of the time of writing (23)


  • Supports the adoption of all recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2, 16)

  • Holds that one of Canada’s first priorities should be to move forward and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (14, 16)

  • Believes that all Canadians must become more aware about the history and contributions of Canada’s First Peoples (15)

  • Opposes policies of assimilation of Aboriginal Peoples (16)

  • Supports the allocation of Senator seats for Aboriginal representatives in a number proportional to the percentage of Aboriginal peoples within Canada’s population (17)

  • Will review all existing federal policies on Aboriginal self-government to ensure that this right is respected (1, 16)

  • Will create a Council of Canadian Governments which will include leaders of Aboriginal groups as well as provincial and territorial leaders (25)

  • Seven Green party candidates running for election are Aboriginal, as of the time of writing (23)

Social Services


  • Pledged $215 million to provide skills development and training for Aboriginal peoples (1, 3, 27)

  • Committed $567 million over five years to help build stronger communities (1)

  • Earmarked $1 billion dollars over five years for Aboriginal education and $500 million over seven years for Aboriginal educational infrastructure beginning in the 2014 and 2015 budgets (1, 2, 13)

  • Have an additional $900 million available for Aboriginal education to accompany education reform, but have not delivered it due to the collapse of First Nations Education Act (13)

  • Introduced Bill C-33, which would have ensured Aboriginal control of education, provided a statutory funding guarantee, provided $1.9 billion over several years, tied new funding to standards set and monitored by Ottawa, and ensured recognition of First Nations languages and culture. Placed Bill C-33 on hold after opposition from First Nations chiefs (4, 5)

  • Reduced Aboriginal budget from current levels by $1 billion dollars by 2017-2018 in their most recent budget (5)

  • Pledged $30 million for a land management scheme aimed at expanding a plan to help communities create their own land management laws and improve economic development on reserves (1, 2)

  • More details on the Conservative Party's’ Aboriginal Platform are expected soon


  • Will remove the 2% annual cap on funding increases to Aboriginal programs (7, 23)

  • Introduced a Bill in 2007, which passed unanimously in the House of Commons, to support ‘Jordan’s Principle’ which would ensure care for vulnerable populations regardless of conflict over jurisdictional disputes within levels of government (7, 8)

  • Believes the government must expand maternal and palliative health care for remote communities to ensure that mothers and elders aren’t forced to leave their communities to receive treatment (7)

  • Promised that the federal government and Aboriginal communities will be full partners in the development and implementation of health and wellness programs for communities (7)

  • Pledged to increase funding for Aboriginal education and repair educational infrastructure on reserves (9, 22)

  • Pledged to contribute federal funds to build an all-weather road for the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation (1)

  • Are committed to increasing consultation with Aboriginal groups and improving language rights for Aboriginal languages (6)

  • More details on the NDP Aboriginal Platform are expected soon


  • Pledged to lift the 2% cap for funding for Aboriginal programs and services (1, 13, 23)

  • Pledged to increase funding for education in Aboriginal schools (kindergarten to grade 12) by $515 million a year, for a total of an additional $2.6 billion over four years (1, 13)

  • Pledged to invest an additional $500 million for educational infrastructure (1)

  • Promise to ensure that First Nations have control over First Nations education (1, 23)

  • Will make new funding available to help preserve Indigenous languages (1, 23)

  • Will allocate $50 million to the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP), which provides financial assistance to Aboriginal students who attend post-secondary schools (13)

  • Pledged to contribute federal funds to build an all-weather road for the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation (1)


  • Pledged to remove the 2% funding cap on Aboriginal programs and would fully fund the program backlog at a cost of $424 million (1, 16)

  • Support increased health and education funding on and off reserve lands (16)

  • Pledged to restore the $5.1 billion commitment and specifics of the Kelowna Accord over five years to improve: education funding, housing conditions, access to potable water, and community economic development (16, 19)

Land Claims and Natural Resources


  • Allocated $54 million over two years in 2013 to speed up resolution of specific land claims, as demanded by Aboriginal leaders who met with Mr. Harper in 2013 (3)

  • More details on the Conservative Party's’ Aboriginal Platform are expected soon



  • More details on the NDP Aboriginal Platform are expected soon




  • Will create a national strategy to deal with Aboriginal land claims and ensure consultation within a reasonable time frame (10)

  • Pledged to create a ‘Federal Reconciliation Framework’ with mechanisms to resolve grievances associated with existing treaties and modern land-claims agreements, and to review all legislation introduced to ensure that laws respect Aboriginal rights (1, 9)

  • Will create a process for Aboriginal peoples' participation in natural resource issues to ensure that they have a share in revenues generated from resources on their lands (10)


  • In partnership with Aboriginal Peoples, would work towards the creation of an Aboriginal Lands and Treaties Tribunal Act to establish an independent body to deal with specific land claims, ensure treaty negotiations are financed and conducted fairly, and ensure that claims resolutions do not result in extinguishment of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights (1, 16)

  • Commit their support to those First Nations who have taken leadership in opposing supertankers and pipelines from going through their territory (15, 18)

  • Pledged to negotiate and legislate hunting, fishing, trapping, and logging rights for Aboriginal peoples on traditional lands, particularly those under federal jurisdiction, subject to standards of sustainable harvesting (1, 16)

  • Will ensure that governments and corporations honor and abide by the Sparrow Decision and the Tsilhqot'in ruling, which recognize Aboriginal right to fish and Aboriginal title respectively (16, 23)

  • Pledged to amend laws to recognize Indigenous approval of natural resource projects as equivalent in weight to federal government approval (2)

References

  1. CBC
  2. National Post
  3. Toronto Star
  4. Globe and Mail
  5. Toronto Star
  6. The Globe and Mail
  7. NDP Website
  8. National Center for Biotechnology Information
  9. Winnipeg Free Press
  10. Liberal Website
  11. Liberal Website
  12. Liberal Website
  13. CBC
  14. Green Party Website
  15. Green Party Website
  16. Green Party Website
  17. Green Party Website
  18. Green Party Website
  19. The Globe and Mail
  20. Government of Canada Budget
  21. Government of Canada Website
  22. Toronto Star
  23. CBC
  24. CBC
  25. Green website
« Page 1 »

Infrastructure

Part of The Economy and Environment
Updated on October 11, 2015

Infrastructure refers to the physical facilities, structures, and systems that are essential to the functioning of a community – the literal building blocks of society. Some common examples include:

  • Transportation infrastructure: roads, bridges, tunnels, railways, airports etc.
  • Social infrastructure: schools, hospitals, prisons, etc.
  • Utilities: electricity production, water treatment and distribution, etc.

Investing in new infrastructure is one method governments use to stimulate the economy, since it creates jobs and provides upgrades to public services like transportation, education, etc. While all parties have pledged to invest money in infrastructure, the Liberals and Greens have made infrastructure investment a central platform promise, while the NDP and Conservatives place more emphasis on keeping a balanced budget.

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Promises to invest $65 billion over 10 years (1, 5)

  • Emphasizes the importance of balancing the budget while making moderate investments (5, 9)

  • The bulk of the $65 billion commitment was announced in 2013 as the New Building Canada Plan, which pledged $53 billion in new and existing funding for infrastructure over 10 years. (1, 2, 9)

  • This includes:

    • $32.2 billion from the Gas Tax Fund for municipal roads, public transit, recreational facilities and community infrastructure

    • $14 billion in a new fund for major economic infrastructure projects including: highways, public transit, gateway and trade corridor-related infrastructure, drinking water, wastewater, connectivity and broadband, and innovation

    • $1.25 billion for P3s (public-private partnerships)

    • An additional $6 billion yearly to be transferred to provinces, territories, and municipalities


  • Created the Gas-Tax Fund, in 2007, which provides dedicated, predictable funding for municipal infrastructure projects, and currently pays out $2 billion annually (1, 3)

  • In 2008, founded PPP Canada Inc., a corporation designed to facilitate P3s, or public-private partnerships in infrastructure projects (1, 4)

  • In November 2014 pledged $5.8 billion over six years to build and renew federal infrastructure and on-reserve schools (1, 5)

  • In May 2015 announced $150 million “Canada 150” fund to refurbish community facilities in honour of the 150th anniversary of confederation (1, 2, 6)

  • Pledges $750 million over two years, starting in 2017-18, and $1 billion annually thereafter to establish a Public Transit Fund (1)


  • Promises to increase spending from Conservative commitment by $4.5 billion annually over next four years (7, 10)

  • Emphasizes the importance of balancing the budget while making moderate investments (5, 9)

  • Plans to keep the Conservative’s Gas-Tax Fund for municipal infrastructure, while adding an additional cent to the gas tax transfers to cities which is expected to add $1.5 billion annually by 2019-2020, bringing the total transfer to $3.7 billion in that year (5, 8)

  • Announced the Better Transit Plan, which would give $1.3 billion annually over 20 years to public transit infrastructure projects (8)

  • Pledges to introduce an income tax break for capital investments that are reinvested in rental housing; expected to incentivize the creation of 10,000 new affordable housing units over 10 years and cost $500 million a year (8, 11)

  • Pledges $440 million next year towards renewing federal social housing agreements (11)


  • Promises to increase spending from Conservative commitment by $60 billion billion over 10 years, or $9.5 billion annually (12, 16)

  • Plans to nearly double federal investment over the next ten years, with $20 billion spent in the first 3 years in an effort to kickstart economic growth (12)

  • Intends to run a deficit of up to $10 billion a year for the next three years to fund this investment (9, 12)

  • Promises dedicated funding for the following types of infrastructure:

    • Public transit

    • Social infrastructure: affordable housing, seniors facilities, early learning and child care, cultural and recreational infrastructure

    • Green infrastructure: local and wastewater facilities, climate resilient infrastructure, clean energy, clean-up of contaminated sites, protections against natural disasters and extreme weather due to climate change (12)


  • Pledges to increase the transparency of the New Canada Building Fund, which evaluates and approves infrastructure project proposals, as well as speed up the approval process (12)

  • Proposes to create a Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), which would use the government’s strong credit rating and lending authority to provide low-cost loans to fund new projects (12)


  • Promises to increase spending from Conservative commitment by $6.4 billion annually over next four years, plus $1 billion annually for national affordable housing program and other smaller initiatives (13, 14)

  • Announced plan to spend $6.4 billion annually on infrastructure projects, split evenly between 6 areas:

    • Community brownfield reclamation

    • Water and wastewater treatment

    • Sports, culture and recreation

    • Mass transit promotion

    • Cycling and pedestrian promotion

    • Community housing


  • Announced national affordable housing program which would build 20,000 housing units per year and renew 8,000 more, costing $1 billion annually over 5 years

  • Additional infrastructure spending commitments:

    • $700 million annually over 5 years to improve the National rail system (13)

    • $1 billion annually to upgrade electrical grid technology (13)

    • $350 million per year in green energy retrofitting for municipal, university, school and hospital buildings, as well as low-income housing (13)

    • $800 million annually to improve drinking water and housing conditions for First Nations communities (13)


  • Proposes to change tax laws to allow municipalities to issue new Municipal Registered Retirement Savings (RRSP) bonds, which would create a new pool of funding for municipal infrastructure (15, 17, 18)

  • Proposes to create Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB) which which would use the government’s strong credit rating and lending authority to provide low-cost loans to fund new projects (15)

References

  1. Federal Economic Action Plan
  2. Federal Budget 2013
  3. Infrastructure Canada
  4. P3 Canada
  5. Toronto Star
  6. Globe and Mail
  7. NDP Website
  8. NDP Website
  9. Globe and Mail
  10. NDP website
  11. Toronto Star
  12. Liberal Paty Website
  13. Green Party Website
  14. Green Party Website
  15. Green Party Website
  16. Liberal website
  17. Green Party Website

Environmental Protections

Part of The Economy and Environment
Updated on October 9, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • To increase efficiency, introduced legislation amending the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act that implemented fixed timelines for assessments, reduced the number of departments and agencies that can conduct reviews from 40 to 3, and made it so that only members of the public with ‘direct interest’ can participate in the process (1, 2)

  • Amended the Fisheries Act in 2013, removing the requirement to protect the habitats of federally-protected fish from economic activity (3)

  • Amended the Navigable Waters Act, reducing the number of federally protected waterways from all waterways to three oceans, 97 lakes and 62 rivers (4, 5)

  • Plans to invest $9 million over 3 years to Destination Canada in order to promote recreational hunters, anglers, and snowmobilers in the Canadian north so as to create economic activity that promotes conservation (6)

  • Plans to launch a $252 million Wildlife Conservation and Enhancement Program in 2017 to improve habitats for common game animals (7, 8)

  • Vows to protect BC’s natural environment by partnering with the Pacific Salmon Foundation and investing $15 million of Federal funds to protect marine habitats (9)


  • Strongly opposes changes made to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act under the Conservative Government (10, 11)

  • Pledges to overhaul the Canadian Environmental Assessment review process to include increased public participation, meaningful Aboriginal contribution and consultation, and the inclusion of climate change and sustainability impacts (12)

  • Proposes stricter rules for transporting hazardous waste (13)

  • Pledges to adopt the "polluter pays principle" as a tool to prevent oil spills and ensure rapid and proper clean up by those responsible (14)

  • Strongly opposes changes made to the Navigable Waters Act passed by the Conservatives in 2014, which reduced the number of federally protected waterways from 2.5 million to 159, and wishes to restore the requirement for ministerial approval on all structures on, under, or through all waterways (15, 16)

  • Will restore funding to marine safety, oil spill responses, and environmental clean up capacity on Canadian coasts, cut under the Conservative Government (17)


  • Will restore thorough oversight of Federal Environmental Assessments to enhance public participation and analyze upstream impacts; will include greenhouse gas emissions and prohibit government ministers from interfering in assessments (18, 34 p.41-42)

  • Will strengthen environmental protection against oil spills by formalizing the moratorium on crude oil traffic along B.C’s Northern Coast (19)

  • Vows to conduct a full-scale review of Conservative changes to the Fisheries Act and the Navigable Waters Act, and re-establish the protected areas lost under Conservative legislation (20)

  • Will restore the $40 million cut by the Conservative government from the federal government’s Ocean Science and monitoring program (21)

  • Will partner with provinces, Indigenous groups, coastal communities, and other stakeholders to develop co-management partnerships to protect and make use of marine resources (22)

  • Will meet the Aichi Biodiversity targets made under the 2010 International Convention on Biodiversity by increasing the amount of protected marine and coastal areas in Canada from 1.3% to 5% by 2014, and 10% by 2020 (23, 24)

  • Will conduct a Species-At-Risk Action Plan and strengthen protections for endangered species (25)


  • Will establish effective environmental protection regulatory infrastructure by restoring changes made to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, the Canadian Fisheries Act, and the Navigable Waters Protection Act (26)

  • Calls for a serious stock analysis of the economic costs/values/benefits of ecological functions to provide a comprehensive understanding of the true economic value of Canadian biodiversity (27)

  • Will strengthen the Canadian Environmental Protection Act with specific regulations to reduce particulates, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and other airborne contaminants (28)

  • Will create a large Clean Canada Fund to address all toxic waste sites across Canada by 2030 (29)

  • Will amend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to include the right of all Canadians to clean freshwater and breathable air (30)

  • Seeks to improve water quality, with emphasis on First Nations communities, by establishing national drinking water regulations, mandatory water testing, and increased funding to municipal governments through a new Water and Waste Treatment Facilities Municipal Superfund (31)

  • Will establish a Canada Water Fund of $215 million per year for 5 years to support watershed health and Great Lakes water quality (32)

  • Plans to expand funding to support ongoing environmental research and monitoring by Environment Canada, Fisheries Canada, Parks Canada, and Health Canada (33)

References

  1. Government website
  2. The Globe and Mail
  3. The Globe and Mail
  4. Government website
  5. CBC
  6. National Observer
  7. Conservative website
  8. Government website
  9. Conservative website
  10. NDP website
  11. NDP website
  12. NDP website
  13. NDP website
  14. NDP website
  15. NDP website
  16. CBC
  17. NDP website
  18. Liberal website
  19. Liberal website
  20. Liberal website
  21. Liberal website
  22. Liberal website
  23. Liberal website
  24. Convention on Biodiversity website
  25. Liberal website
  26. Green website
  27. Green website
  28. Green website
  29. Green website
  30. Green website
  31. Green website
  32. Green website
  33. Green website
  34. Liberal website

Agriculture

Part of The Economy and Environment
Updated on October 8, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Ended the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly on grain exports in 2012 with the ‘Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act,’ and sold the Wheat Board in 2015 (1, 3)

  • Introduced ‘Growing Forward 2’ in 2013, a 5-year policy framework for Canada's agricultural sector, which includes a $3 billion dollar-investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments for programs focusing on innovation, competitiveness and market development (31)

  • Passed Bill C-18, the ‘Agricultural Growth Act’ (November 2014), an omnibus bill touching on many aspects of agricultural production, including strengthening intellectual property rights for plant breeders and facilitating farmers’ access to advance payments for their crops.(4, 5)

  • In 2013, announced a 15% spending cut to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which it maintains will not compromise food safety (7, 8)

  • Invested $4 million to support agriculture in the North, including $2 million to establish a permanent campus for the Northern Farm Training Institute in Hay River, NWT (9)

  • Has negotiated Canada into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive international trade deal involving 12 countries and 40% of the world economy, with major implications for Canadian agriculture; while the agreement has been made, the legal text has not been drafted nor has it been formally adopted by the negotiating countries (6, 32, 34)

  • As part of the TPP, Canada would gain access to significant new markets for agricultural exports, especially pork, beef, barley, processed foods, and canola oil (34, 36)

  • As part of the TPP, Canada would open a small amount of its dairy (3.25%), poultry (2.1%), and egg markets to allow for small amounts of duty-free imports, but it would not dismantle Canada’s supply-management regime for dairy (34, 36)

  • Has promised $4.3 billion in compensation for farmers who suffer as a result of the TPP and the earlier Canada-European trade agreement (34, 35)


  • Voted against the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board, and was highly critical of the process of its sale (11, 12)

  • Envisions a national Food Strategy, entitled “Everybody Eats”, highlighting support for local farms, young/new farmers, market supply managed sectors, and sustainable farming practices. (10)

  • Promises to create a payment protection plan for fruit and vegetable growers, which will provide financial protection to producers in the event of a buyer’s bankruptcy or withheld payments (14, 15)

  • Voted against Bill C-18 (‘Agricultural Growth Act’) (13)

  • States that an NDP government would not consider itself bound by a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as it believes that the TPP's negotiation is not being carried out legitimately; comments that the partnership could undermine Canada’s market supply-managed sectors and manufacturing sectors (16, 33)


  • Voted against the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board, and asked the Governor General to block the Conservative Party’s sale of the Canadian Wheat Board on the grounds that the sale did not follow due process (17, 18)

  • Pledges to invest $160 million over four years in an Agri-Food Value Added Investment Fund to provide technical and marketing assistance to help food processors develop new value-added products (37 p.16)

  • Pledges to invest $100 million over four years into agricultural research (37 p.16)

  • Voted in favour of Bill C-18 (‘Agricultural Growth Act’) (19)

  • Calls for a moratorium on the sale and use of pesticides based on neonicotinoids (a chemical found in certain pesticides which has been found to be harmful to bees), and asks that pollinator health effects be made a more important factor in the approval of new pesticides (20)

  • Will increase the budget for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency by $80 million (37 p.16)

  • Will not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if concessions are made over Canada’s supply-managed dairy sector and have criticized negotiation process, stating it has been secretive (21, 33)


  • Voted against the sale of the Canadian Wheat Board (22)

  • Envisions a National Agricultural and Food Policy, emphasizing food safety; local, direct food sales for farmers; and a shift to smaller-scale and organic agriculture (23, 24)

  • Believes that voluntary codes of humane animal treatment should be mandatory (30)

  • Will end subsidies to the production of any biofuel crop that can’t return as much energy as it took to produce (26)

  • Opposes the widespread use of pesticides with genetically modified, pesticide-resistant seed; supports farmers’ right to save and use non-genetically modified seed at no cost; and will make GMO food labelling mandatory (27)

  • Voted against Bill C-18 (‘Agricultural Growth Act’) (38)

  • Supports a moratorium on the use of neonicotinoids (a chemical found in certain pesticides which has been found to be harmful to bees) (25)

  • Supports increasing funding for and strengthening the mandate of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (28)

  • Opposes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (29)

References

  1. Government website
  2. Globe and Mail
  3. Government website
  4. Government website
  5. openparliament.ca
  6. CBC
  7. Globe and Mail
  8. National Post
  9. CBC
  10. NDP document
  11. openparliament.ca
  12. NDP website
  13. openparliament.ca
  14. iPolitics
  15. NDP Media Backgrounder, on website of Canadian Horticultural Council
  16. Globe and Mail
  17. openparliament.ca
  18. Globe and Mail
  19. openparliament.ca
  20. Liberal policy document
  21. ipolitics.ca
  22. openparliament
  23. Green Party website
  24. Green Party website
  25. Green Party website
  26. Green Party website
  27. Green Party website
  28. Green Party website
  29. Green Party website
  30. Green Party website
  31. Government Website
  32. Globe and Mail
  33. CBC
  34. Globe and Mail
  35. Globe and Mail
  36. Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development Canada
  37. Liberal Party Platform
  38. Votes.MP

Job Training

Part of The Economy and Environment
Updated on October 6, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Created the Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit (a tax credit given to businesses who pay qualifying apprentices) in 2006, and promises to increase the existing maximum credit amount of $2000 to $2500 and expand it to apply to later years of training (1, 2)

  • Introduced the Canada Apprentice Loan, which gives apprentices access to $4000 interest-free loans while undergoing periods of unpaid technical training (3, 4, 5)

  • As part of Economic Action Plan 2009, introduced the Apprenticeship Completion Grant, a $2000 cash grant for apprentices who successfully complete their training (6, 7)

  • As part of Economic Action Plan 2013, introduced the Canada Job Grant, which provides up to $5000 per worker to be matched by provincial governments and employers to fund worker training (8)

  • Did not support Bill C-636 (Intern Protection Act) on the basis that it went “too far,” that it “discourages employers from offering legitimate and meaningful opportunities,” and that it would not reflect the variety of situations in which internships are undertaken (9)


  • Promises to put $200 million over four years towards creating 40,000 jobs, paid internships, and co-op placements for young people in conjunction with non-government employers (10)

  • Will require infrastructure projects receiving at least $10 million in federal funding (as well as development projects by federally regulated airports, port authorities, and Crown corporations) to hire a certain ratio of apprentices to other workers (11)

  • Pledged $5 million a year in grants to municipalities to create 1,250 new apprenticeships (12)

  • Promises to “crack down” on abuse of unpaid internships, and ensure health and safety protections for interns (13)

  • Tabled Bill C-636, the ‘Intern Protection Act’ (November, 2014), which would have made unpaid interns entitled to the same protections as regular employees under the Canada Labour Code (14-15)


  • Promises to create 40,000 youth jobs every year for the next 3 years by investing $300 million annually into Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy, and would subsequently set its funding at $385 million per year (17-18)

  • Pledges to increase funding for provincial and territorial job training programs by $750 million a year (16)

  • Pledges to work with provinces and other institutions to develop and expand pre-apprenticeship training programs (19)

  • Promises to invest $40 million per year to create new co-op placements in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and business programs by offering to pay up to $5000 of a co-op student’s salary to employers who create new co-op positions (20)

  • Will give $25 million per year to a new ‘Youth Service Program’ designed to give young people experience by participating in “community building projects” across the country (21)

  • Voted in favour of Bill C-636 (Intern Protection Act) (27)


  • Proposes to create a ‘Youth Community and Environment Service Corps" that will provide federal minimum wage employment for 40,000 youth every year for four years in a variety of locally determined community projects; upon completion of the program, youth will be given a $4000 tuition credit towards further education or training (24)

  • Believes that the federal government must do a better job of streamlining labour market development transfers to the provinces and territories (22)

  • Will require businesses above a certain size to allocate at least 1% of their annual payroll toward training new workers (as currently exists in Quebec) (23)

  • Will abolish tuition fees for post-secondary education and job training by 2020 (25)

  • Promises to ban unpaid internships (26)

References

  1. Conservative website
  2. Maclean’s
  3. Government website
  4. Government website
  5. Conservative website
  6. Government website
  7. Government website
  8. Government website
  9. Open Parliament
  10. CBC
  11. CBC
  12. CBC
  13. CBC
  14. Open Parliament
  15. NDP website
  16. Liberal website
  17. Government website
  18. Liberal website
  19. Liberal website
  20. Liberal website
  21. Liberal website
  22. Green website
  23. Green website
  24. Green website
  25. Green website
  26. Green website
  27. Open Parliament

Corporate Tax

Part of The Economy and Environment
Updated on September 30, 2015

The federal net corporate tax rate is currently 15%. For small businesses, this figure is 11%. However, businesses are also subject to provincial taxation, so their total tax rate will be higher. Canada’s average combined federal-provincial tax rate is currently 26.3%. By comparison, the average corporate tax rate for G7 countries is 29.9% and in the United States it is 39% (but the U.S. has a complex system of tax deductions which effectively reduces overall corporate tax rate).

Those in favour of lowering corporate tax rates argue that high taxation harms economic growth. They point out that a reduction in corporate tax rates does not always lead to a significant reduction in government revenues from corporate taxes. As taxes decrease, companies are more likely to invest and expand, potentially leading to more taxable profits and higher tax revenues by government. Reducing corporate tax rates also provides incentives for multinational firms to shift taxable activities into countries with lower tax rates. By contrast, increasing corporate tax levels would initially increase government income, but this may be short-lived as corporations alter their spending habits and investment in the long-run to avoid taxation. Those in favour of raising corporate tax rates argue that there is no definitive proof that higher taxes harms economic growth, and could in fact help spur growth through increased government spending and investment. They also argue that corporations gain benefits from government spending such as better infrastructure, healthier workers, and better human capital from education and social programs, so corporations should be expected to contribute to these.

There is debate as to the extent and ability of some high-income professionals to reduce the amount of income tax they pay by abusing the lower corporate tax rate for small businesses . They can do this by shifting their income into a Canadian Controlled Private Corporation (CCPC) that qualifies as a small business, and then giving their revenue as dividends to lower-income family membersall while taking advantage of other benefits to reduce their tax burden. Economist Jack Mintz has estimated that 60% of the small business deduction goes to households with incomes of more than $150,000, while economist Michael Wolfson has estimated that 5-10% of small businesses act as tax shelters (a means of avoiding taxes), and that the government loses around a half billion dollars per year due to this. However, these estimates are difficult to prove and small business associations have argued that this is the exception to the rule. Moreover, they argue that small businesses should be given greater tax benefits as they face higher wages, tax, and other costs relative to larger corporations.

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Reduced the corporate tax rate to 15% from 22% in 2006 (1, 2)

  • Has legislated a reduction in the small business tax rate from 11% to 9% by 2019 (2)

  • Has steadily reduced subsidies to oil and gas industries and will eventually phase them out (4)

  • Has legislated a reduction in payroll taxes (money businesses and employees contribute to the Employment Insurance program) from a tax of $1.88 per $100 earned to $1.49 per $100 earned by 2017 (7, 8)

  • Pledges to extend the Northern Mining Exploration Tax Credit, which gives a 15% tax credit for those who invest in mineral exploration in Northern communities, by another three years (3, 4, 5, 6)

  • Pledges to provide an enhanced credit  of 25% of a company’s corporate tax to subsidize proposed mining projects that face steep overhead costs due to remote locations or distance from transportation routes (such as the Ring of Fire in Ontario and Plan Nord in Quebec) (4, 5, 6)


  • Pledges to impose a "slight and graduated increase in corporate taxes" that would remain below the average that the Conservatives have had in place for 10 years (17.5%) (9, 13)

  • Promises to reduce the small business tax rate from 11% to 9% (2, 11, 13)

  • Believes the small business tax credit should be “tweaked” to ensure that it cannot be used as a tax dodge by wealthy individuals (12)

  • Will immediately end all subsidies to the oil and gas industries and shift the tax breaks to clean and renewable energy projects (14, 16, 17)

  • Pledges to create a new Innovation Tax Credit and offer targeted tax breaks to manufacturers and businesses that invest in machinery, equipment, and property to promote innovation and increase productivity (10, 11, 13)

  • Promises to extend the accelerated capital cost allowance for machinery and equipment by two years (13)

  • Opposes extending the Northern Mining Exploration Tax Credit (4)


  • Pledges to keep corporate tax rate the same (15)

  • Promises to reduce the small business tax rate from 11% to 9% (2, 13)

  • Believes the small business tax credit must be significantly changed to ensure that it cannot be used as a tax shelter by wealthy individuals (12, 15)

  • Pledges to reduce payroll taxes (where money businesses and employees contribute to the Employment Insurance program) from a tax of $1.88 per $100 to $1.65 per $100 earned (7)

  • Will end all subsidies to oil and gas industries and invest $200 million per year into clean and renewable energy projects (14)

  • Opposes extending the Northern Mining Exploration Tax Credit (4)



  • Pledges to return corporate taxation to 2009 levels, 19% (2, 18, 20, 21)

  • Promises to reduce the small business tax rate from 11% to 9% (2, 20, 21)

  • Believes the small business tax credit should be changed to ensure that it cannot be used as a tax dodge by wealthy individuals (19)

  • Will end all subsidies to oil and gas industries and create $1 billion per year in technology commercialization grants for entrepreneurs to accelerate emerging technologies (19)

  • Promises to create a carbon-fee-and-dividend that taxes polluting industries and returns all funds to Canadian citizens above the age of 18 (13, 18, 19)

  • Will work with provinces to increase taxes on alcohol and tobacco (2, 21)

References

  1. The Toronto Star
  2. National Post
  3. The Toronto Star
  4. CBC
  5. CBC
  6. Conservative Website
  7. The Winnipeg Free Press
  8. The Toronto Star
  9. Macleans
  10. The Star Pheonix
  11. NDP Website
  12. The Toronto Sun
  13. The Toronto Star
  14. CBC
  15. CBC
  16. NDP Website
  17. Macleans
  18. The Globe and Mail
  19. CBC
  20. Green Party Website
  21. Green Party Website

Further Reading

National Parks

Part of The Economy and Environment
Updated on September 12, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Cut over $29 million from Parks Canada in 2014, cutting 30% of Parks Canada’s Science Research Division and staff, which led to shorter park seasons (8)

  • Has increased lands protected by parks Canada by 50% (9)

  • Enacted and passed the Rouge National Urban Park Act, creating Canada’s first urban national park, protected by Parks Canada (1,3)

  • Expanded the number of Canadian parks, including the addition of Sable Island National Park to Parks Canada (4)

  • Allowed many of Parks Canada's services to be privatized (10, 11)


  • Opposes the Conservative funding cuts to Parks Canada (2)

  • Voted against Bills C-40 (Rouge National Park Act) and S-15 (Act to Amend the Canada National Parks Act, creating Sable Island National Park) on the grounds that the necessary regulations to maintain proper care and safety have not been met (3,4)

  • Pledges to reopen talks between B.C and Federal governments on the creation of Okanagan-Similkameen National Park (5)


  • Will reverse the Conservatives' $29 million cuts to programs, services, and science within parks (6,8)

  • Pledges to expand Canada’s protected lands and coastal areas from 10% to 17% (6)

  • Will invest $50 million per year into the development of Canada's parks, national wildlife areas, and migratory bird sanctuaries, including an expansion on learn-to-camp programs for low- and middle-income families (6)

  • Opposes private development within national parks borders (6)

  • Promises to suspend all admission fees for 2017 (the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation) and ensure that new Canadians and children will have free access to parks (6)


  • Opposes Conservative cuts to Parks Canada and pledges to restore funding for science research and preservation (7)

  • Pledges to expand Canada’s protected lands, from 10% at present to 17% of Canada’s lands and 10% of coastal areas, by 2020. (7)

  • Will ensure that industrial activity and expansion are prohibited within National Parks. (7)

  • Leader Elizabeth May opposed seismic testing inside and drilling directly under Sable Island National Park (4,7)

References

  1. Government website
  2. NDP website
  3. Open Parliament
  4. Open Parliament
  5. Spencer Chandra Herbert
  6. Liberal website
  7. Green website
  8. The Globe and Mail
  9. Conservative website
  10. Huffington Post by Elizabeth May
  11. CBC

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Part of The Economy and Environment
Updated on September 5, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 (1)

  • Opposes carbon taxation, and has criticized NDP and Liberal plans to price carbon as “job killing tax[es] on everything” that would endanger Canadian jobs and increase costs for Canadian consumers on items such as gasoline, groceries and energy; however, it will not oppose or attempt to dictate provincial policies should they choose to introduce such measures (2, 6, 7, 27)

  • Introduced new rules to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas sector, such as industrial leaks and as flares which make up a significant portion of industry’s total emissions; however do not want to impose regulations on the oil and gas industry without similar enactments from the United States (1, 4)

  • Believes that climate action and regulation must be taken cooperatively with trading partners like the United States, especially with integrated sectors of the economy like oil and gas (4, 8, 10)

  • Has been reducing subsidies to fossil fuel industries in line with a 2009 G20 commitment (28)

  • Increased renewable content of diesel fuels and gasoline, increased requirements for energy efficiency of vehicles, passed regulation to phase out traditional coal-fired power plants in Canada, and have announced plans to regulate hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in refrigerants (3, 5, 10)

  • Has been reducing subsidies to fossil fuel industries in line with Canada’s 2009 G-20 commitment to do so (27)


  • Promises to introduce stronger commitments to greenhouse gas reduction consistent with an NDP private member's bill introduced in June, which aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34% below 1990 levels by 2025, and 80 per cent by 2050 (29)

  • Favours a cap-and-trade system that would allow market to create a price on carbon; will use revenue generated to invest in renewable and green energy projects, and to increase energy efficiency (4, 9)

  • Will consider equivalency agreements to exempt some provinces from federal regulations on climate action if they can demonstrate they have alternative measure to achieve a comparable outcome (4)

  • Promises to respect Canada’s international commitments on greenhouse gases (11, 12, 13)

  • Pledges to shift tax breaks and fossil fuel subsidies and reinvest those funds in clean and renewable energy sources (11, 12, 13)

  • Critical of Prime Minister Harper’s absence from high-level climate talks and the small impact of the Conservatives' new and proposed regulations on greenhouse gas emissions; accuses the Government of “stalling” on climate change (4, 24, 25)


  • Pledges that Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau will attend the December 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, invite all premiers to join him, and will hold a First Ministers meeting within 90 days of the conference to work together to create a framework for combating climate change (14, 15 page 4, 16)

  • Promises to create national emissions-reduction targets and ensure that provinces have the tools to design and create their own policies to meet these targets—including their own carbon pricing policies—and would provide federal funding to help them meet these targets (14, 15, 16)

  • Supports provincial efforts aimed at carbon pricing, carbon taxes, or cap-and-trade programs (14)

  • Will phase out subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and allow the use of Canadian Exploration Expenses tax deduction only in cases of unsuccessful resource exploration, with the savings directed to investments in new, clean technologies (15 page 5)

  • Remains skeptical about the Conservatives' plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels (a reduction of around 225 megatons), since annual emissions have only fallen by 25 megatons since 2005 to date and carbon emissions have risen in the past four years (14)


  • Believes Canada should cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% below 2005 levels by 2025, with a long-term target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and further cuts to greenhouse gas emissions of at least 80% to 90% compared to 1990 (25)

  • Plans to introduce its Carbon Fee and Dividend Plan, which would charge fees based on greenhouse gas emissions as the primary source of those emissions (well, mine, or imported fuel source); the revenue will be redistributed to all Canadians equitably to compensate them for potentially increased energy costs and fight income inequality in Canada; full details can be found here. (17, 18, 19, 20, 21)

  • Will remove all subsidies and supports to oil, coal, gas, and coalbed methane industries in Canada (21)

  • Believes Canada must meet its international commitments in order to remedy the negative effects that Canada’s inaction is having on its international reputation (22)

  • Criticizes the current federal government’s inaction on climate change, their lack of a plan for dealing with the crisis, and their taking credit for provincial action on climate change (23)

References

  1. CBC
  2. CBC
  3. Government website
  4. The Globe and Mail
  5. Government website
  6. CBC
  7. Openparliament.ca
  8. CBC
  9. NDP website
  10. The Globe and Mail
  11. NDP website
  12. Macleans
  13. NDP website
  14. Liberal website
  15. Liberal website
  16. The Globe and Mail
  17. Green website
  18. Green website
  19. Green website (20)
  20. Green website (21)
  21. Green website
  22. The Globe and Mail
  23. Green website
  24. Toronto Star
  25. The Globe and Mail
  26. Green website
  27. CBC
  28. CBC
  29. The Globe and Mail

Pipelines

Part of The Economy and Environment
Updated on August 20, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Supports the development of the Keystone XL pipeline, pending approval from the United States, and has been actively lobbying the United States government to get it started (5)

  • Approved the Northern Gateway pipeline project, subject to 209 legally-enforceable conditions to be issued by the National Energy Board (6)

  • Supports the Kinder Morgan pipeline pending its completion of the review process (19, 20)

  • Supports the development of the Energy East pipeline to increase Canada’s energy markets and create jobs for all Canadians (15)

  • Continues to support exploration for fossil fuels, pipeline construction, transportation efficiency, and plant improvements to increase energy conversion efficiency and reduce pollutant and greenhouse gasses (7)


  • Opposes the creation of the Keystone XL pipeline (12)

  • Opposes the creation of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline (11)

  • Will restart the review process for the Kinder Morgan pipeline process (16)

  • Will establish a formal environmental review process prior to approval of any pipeline project, focusing on safety and sustainability while prohibiting National Energy Board recommendations from being overridden. (8, 9)

  • Pledges to end limits on public participation in the project, maintaining a legal responsibility to consult First Nations communities (8, 9)

  • Promotes Canadian job growth in the energy sector as opposed to exporting raw bitumen (8, 9)

  • Supports increasing West-East pipeline capacity as a means to keep refining and manufacturing jobs within Canada (10)


  • Supports the development of the Keystone XL pipeline, stating it would create jobs and economic growth (1)

  • Opposes the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline due to a lack of both consultation with First Nations communities and environmental responsibility (1)

  • Supports the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion with the support of the local community (16)

  • Tentatively supports the Energy-East pipeline, though believes it must first win the support of the communities it will affect and address environmental concerns (17, 18)
  • Believes that a stronger environmental policy with stronger oversight, tougher penalties, and some form of carbon pricing is necessary for the development of more pipelines and would help them garner more support domestically and internationally (13)

  • Would re-create Canada’s environmental process and modernize the National Energy Board to restore the credibility of the process, ensure proper consultation with Aboriginal Peoples, and allow the public to meaningfully participate (14)


  • Opposes all current pipeline plans (3)

  • Opposes all pipeline proposals that ship raw bitumen out of Canada (3)

  • Supports investment in renewable energies as opposed to fossil fuels (4)

References

  1. Liberal website
  2. National Post
  3. Green website
  4. Green website
  5. Conservative website
  6. Government website
  7. Conservative Policy Book
  8. NDP website
  9. NDP Policy Book
  10. NDP website
  11. NDP website
  12. NDP website
  13. Liberal website
  14. Realchange.ca
  15. The Globe and Mail
  16. Vancouver Sun
  17. CTV News
  18. CBC News
  19. Vancouver Sun
  20. Times Colonist

Clean and Renewable Energy

Part of The Economy and Environment
Updated on August 18, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Created a new working group with United States and Mexico in 2015 to harmonize regulations and enhance cooperation on cutting carbon emissions while supporting the exchange of clean energy technology and the development and deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage in the United States and Canada (1)

  • Launched the United States-Canada Clean Energy Dialogue in 2009 to enhance bilateral cooperation on the development of clean energy sources to reduce greenhouse gases and support a transition to a low-carbon North American economy (2, 3)

  • Has been reducing subsidies to the fossil fuel industry in line with Canada’s 2009 G20 commitment (4)

  • Promotes the deployment of clean energy technologies to Aboriginal and Northern communities (5)

  • Pledges to support economically viable energy projects that will assist regions and provinces in the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable fuels sources, provided the project has a national or regional significance, has economic and financial merit, and will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions (6)


  • Believes that Canada must take immediate action in building a clean and renewable energy program that is essential for growing Canada’s economy, creating jobs, developing a competitive and skilled workforce, and ensuring Canada’s long-term prosperity (7, 8, 9)

  • Will foster Canada's renewable energy industry to ensure its participation in a global industry, expected to be worth $3 trillion dollars by 2020 (9, 10, 12)

  • Will use revenue from a cap-and-trade system that puts a market price on carbon to invest in renewable and clean energy projects (11)

  • Pledges to shift tax breaks to renewable energy and away from the oil industry (12, 13)

  • Promises to halt the expansion of Canada’s nuclear energy program while upgrading the safety and security of current nuclear energy facilities (14)


  • Will work with the provinces to create a national energy strategy that will boost energy conservation and increase clean and renewable energy in Canada's grid, in part through direct federal infrastructure commitments (15)

  • Will work with private industry to make Canada one of the most competitive tax jurisdictions for clean energy investment by expanding the scientific research and experimental development tax credit to cleaner-energy areas, creating a Canadian Green Investment Bond, and extending the accelerated capital cost allowance to cover renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies (15, 18)

  • Pledges to invest $200 million dollars more annually to create sector-specific strategies and support innovation in clean technologies in the forestry, fisheries, mining, energy, and agricultural sectors (16, 17)

  • Promises to invest $100 million dollars more annually in organizations that have been successful at supporting the emergence of clean technology firms, such as Sustainable Development Technology Canada, and would create Canada Research Chairs in sustainable technology (16, 17)


  • Supports the development and investment in clean energy across the country and believe it would better protect Canada from oil price shocks and create more jobs than the oil sector (19)

  • Pledges to build an economy powered by renewable energy sources and discourage wasteful practices, including investing in an East-West energy grid to make better use of renewable energy sources (20)

  • Will use revenue generated by eliminating tax subsidies and havens, as well as other sources of revenue, to support green energy and infrastructure and give an annual commitment to the Green Climate Fund (19)

  • Believes that Canada should invest in a transit system with non-polluting vehicles, energy efficiency retrofits, and energy-efficient agriculture (19, 20)

  • Supports the diversification of Canada’s national energy mix to include more renewable energy solar, wind, tidal, geothermal and run-of-the-river hydroelectric power (21)

  • Opposes the use of nuclear power and would work to phase out existing reactors, place a moratorium on uranium mining and refining, and remove subsidies to nuclear plants aside from those that assist in maintaining the safety of nuclear facilities (22)

References

  1. Scientific American
  2. Government Website
  3. Government Website
  4. CBC
  5. Conservative website
  6. Conservative website
  7. NDP website
  8. Alexandre Boulerice website
  9. NDP website
  10. CBC
  11. CBC
  12. NDP website
  13. Macleans
  14. NDP website
  15. Liberal website
  16. Liberal website
  17. CBC
  18. Huffington Post
  19. Green website
  20. Green website
  21. Green website
  22. Green website

Oil Sands

Part of The Economy and Environment
Updated on August 1, 2015

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Supports the exploration and exploitation of oil sands (1)

  • Has not imposed greenhouse gas (GNG) regulations on the oil sands, stating that GNG regulations on the oil sands will only be enacted in unison with the United States (2)

  • Supports foreign investment in Canadian Oil Sands, and approved the Nexen purchase by CNOOC International Ltd, a Chinese oil company, in 2013 (4, 5)

  • Placed greater restrictions on foreign takeovers in the oil sands after the Nexen purchase, particularly those owned by state enterprises (16)

  • Launched a multimillion dollar ad campaign to promote foreign investment into Canadian oil sands (6)


  • Supports oil sands development but prefers to work with provinces to refine more oil in Canada rather than export it (11, 17)

  • Holds that if the federal government did more to enforce existing environmental legislation, polluting companies would pay more for those impacts, which would bring down the dollar and help stabilize the economy (10)

  • Proposes to cap the level of greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the overall limit over time, while not discussing regulations specific to the oil sands (13)

  • Is critical of the CNOOC/Nexen purchase and maintains that foreign investment in the Canadian oil and gas sector has not had enough oversight (12)


  • Supports oil sands development but criticizes the lack of emissions and environmental regulation (7)

  • Believes the Conservative government has failed the oil industry by giving its critics ammunition to attack its environmental performance (7,9)

  • Will adopt a national climate policy, in collaboration with provinces, to target consumers and industry to help limit greenhouse gas emissions including the oil sands (8)

  • Supports foreign investment in the oil sands (16)


  • Opposes expansion of oil sands development (16)

  • Proposes a climate action plan, including a federal Carbon Fee and Dividend System, with the intention of making the fossil fuel sector, and specifically the oil sands, less financially viable for producers and consumers (14)

  • Believes that by 2100, Canada’s bitumen production should be going to petrochemical products, not fuel (15)

References

  1. Conservative Policy Book
  2. The Globe and Mail
  3. The Globe and Mail
  4. Financial Post
  5. The Globe and Mail
  6. The Toronto Star
  7. The National Post
  8. The National Post
  9. The Globe and Mail
  10. The National Post
  11. NDP website
  12. Financial Post
  13. NDP website
  14. Green Party website
  15. Green Party website
  16. Bloomberg
  17. The Toronto Star

Science and Technology

Part of The Economy and Environment
Updated on April 26, 2015

Synopsis

Science and Technology (S&T) includes the fields of natural sciences, social sciences, health sciences, humanities, and engineering. Areas of technology include information and communication technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, medical, agri-food, environmental, manufacturing, transport, construction, and chemical technologies.

Strength in S&T is necessary for Canada to compete in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy for the following reasons:

  • It attracts high-skilled labour and investment
  • It results in a highly trained and skilled labour force, able to work in the knowledge economy
  • It serves as an effective tool for job creation and economic growth
  • It results in innovative goods and services that Canadian entrepreneurs can then exploit in global markets, contributing to Canada’s economic growth

S&T policy usually targets Research and Development (R&D) investment, patent policy, a friendly environment for tech start-ups, support for research at post-secondary institutions, and commercialization of new technology.

Canada benefits from successful universities, engineering schools, teaching hospitals, and technical institutes. Canada produces science that is recognized globally, and also leads in R&D funding through tax incentives. However, Canadian firms face limited financing for commercialization of new products. The Conference Board of Canada ranks Canada 13th among its 16 peer countries on innovation.

For more on the state of S&T in Canada, review The Conference Board of Canada analysis.

conservative-logondp2-logoliberal-logogreen-logo

  • Created the Canada First Research Excellence Fund in 2014 to disburse $1.5 billion over seven years to post-secondary institutions conducting research in the fields of natural resources and energy, information and communications technology (ICTs), environment and agriculture, health and life sciences, and advanced manufacturing (1, 2)

  • Committed $10.9 million per year from existing sources to support programs that encourage youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. (3)

  • Committed $222 million over five years, starting in 2015-2016, to support Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics (4)

  • Committed $100 million over five years to support the Automotive Supplier Innovation Program (5)

  • Committed $30 million over four years to support R&D in the satellite communications sector (6)

  • Pledged $1.33 billion to support the Canada Foundation for Innovation to support research infrastructure at universities, colleges, and research hospitals (7)

  • Promises to develop an open science initiative to facilitate access to publications resulting from federally-funded research (8)

  • Working with partners to develop a digital research infrastructure strategy (9)


  • Will introduce an Innovation Tax Credit worth $40 million to support research and development, boost innovation, and pay for the cost of machinery and equipment in the manufacturing sector. (10, 11)

  • Pledges to end all fossil fuel subsidies and transfer those funds to renewable and clean technologies (32, 33)

  • Pledges $40 million over four years in the Canadian Space Agency’s Space Technology Development Program to help companies commercialize new technology (13)

  • Pledges to champion aerospace innovators and lead trade delegations promoting the Canadian aerospace industry globally (14)

  • Will create a four-year fund, worth $160 million, to encourage small-and-medium sized aerospace industries to adopt new technology and increase production (15)


  • Will make significant investments in innovative technologies, sciences, and data collection to create jobs (16)

  • Pledges to invest $200 million dollars annually to create sector-specific strategies and to support innovation in clean technologies in the forestry, fisheries, mining, energy, and agricultural sectors (18)

  • Promises to work with provinces, territories, universities, and colleges to support emerging clean technology companies to conduct research, commercialize new products, and train workers (19)

  • Pledges to work with provinces and territories to make Canada a competitive tax jurisdiction for investment in research and development and manufacturing of clean technologies (20)

  • Will consolidate government science for easy access to the public (21)

  • Will create a Chief Science Officer to ensure government scientists can speak freely and that government science is easily accessible to the public (23)


  • Will invest in undergraduate research fellowships to support innovation and encourage youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (24)

  • Will emphasize funding for environmental innovation and design (25)

  • Pledges to create funding for emerging technologies (26)

  • Will prioritize the federal government’s scientific capacity in Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans, Parks Canada, and Health Canada (27)

  • Will restore the Ocean Contaminants & Marine Toxicology Program, renew and increase capacity in the Canadian Coastguard, and reverse cuts to climate adaptation programs (28)

  • Pledges to create the position of Chief Scientific Advisor, independent of political control (29)

  • Will ensure that government scientists can freely publish their research and speak to the media without being affected by bureaucracy (30)

  • Will create an independent National Academy of Sciences to provide lawmakers direct access to science (31)

  • Will initiate a review of closure of federal science libraries (32)

References

  1. Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper website
  2. CBC News
  3. Industry Canada
  4. Industry Canada
  5. Government of Canada
  6. Government of Canada
  7. Government of Canada
  8. Industry Canada
  9. Industry Canada
  10. CBC News
  11. NDP website
  12. CBC News
  13. Global News
  14. Global News
  15. The Globe and Mail
  16. Liberal website
  17. Liberal website
  18. Liberal website
  19. Liberal website
  20. Liberal website
  21. Liberal website
  22. Liberal website
  23. Green Party website
  24. Green Party website
  25. Green Party website
  26. Green Party website
  27. Green Party website
  28. Green Party website
  29. Green Party website
  30. Green Party website
  31. Green Party website
  32. NDP website
  33. Macleans
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