Newfoundland 2016

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Energy Policy

Part of The Economy and Environment
Updated on November 24, 2015

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  • Promises to keep energy prices among the lowest in the country by selling surplus energy to other jurisdictions  (1)

  • Approved the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project, promising to keep energy rates low by subsidizing rates from selling surplus energy from the project to other jurisdictions (1, 2)

  • Will continue to work to implement net metering [which allows individuals and businesses to generate their own electricity, sell their surplus energy back into the grid and use it to offset the cost of electricity they draw from the grid] (1)

  • Will continue to work to create a new National Energy strategy with the other premiers to ensure easy energy transmission through provincial boundaries (1)

  • Will continue to investigate new energy sources such as Gull Island Hydro Project and wind power (1)

  • Pledges to use surplus power from energy prices to subsidize energy prices for people in the province (4)

  • Will make details of the Muskrat Falls project available to the public including how money has been spent on the project (4)

  • Pledge to implement net metering [which allows individuals and businesses to generate their own electricity, sell their surplus energy back into the grid and use it to offset the cost of electricity they draw from the grid] (1)

  • Will develop Pay-As-You-Save programs [which allow you to pay only as you see savings for the upgrades] for improving energy efficiency in residential, commercial, and industrial areas (3)

  • Will ensure that all future appointments to Nalcor’s board of energy are based on recommendations of the Independent Appointments Commission (3)

  • Will investigate small-scale hydro and wind farm developments, particularly for communities far from the main power grid; and the Gull Islands Hydro Project (3)

  • Opposed the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project and believes it will increase energy costs for the province; will provide government subsidized energy efficiency upgrades to reduce energy bills for the province instead (3)

  • Proposes a “Keep The Heat” program to help people make home energy improvements by providing up to $2,500 in rebates for energy-efficient improvements, free energy assessments, low-interest financing for energy upgrades between $5,000-$25,000 (4, 5)

  • Pledge to raise funding for the province’s Residential Energy Efficient Program by $2 million to help low-income homeowners retrofit their homes with energy-efficient upgrades (4, 5)

References

  1. Progressive Conservative Platform
  2. CBC
  3. Liberal Platform
  4. CBC
  5. NDP Platform

Healthcare

Part of Governance
Updated on November 24, 2015

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  • Pledges to expand presumptive coverage for front-line emergency workers, like firefighters and police officers, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and heart injury [presumptive meaning that the care would assume that the damage was a result of the job, without the individual having to prove it to get care and would receive workplace compensation] (5, 14)

  • Pledge to establish a Newfoundland and Labrador Heart Institute for cardiac care (1, 18)

  • Pledges to provide $5.8 to expand the long term-care facility in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to increase its capacity from 50-70 residents (1, 2)

  • Will invest $150,000 for new equipment for Labrador Health Center, and $55,000 at the Ashini Community Clinic (1)

  • Pledges to provide $5.8 to expand the long term-care facility in Happy Valley-Goose Bay to increase its capacity from 50-70 residents (1, 2)

  • Will investigate a public-private partnership to create 360 new long-term care beds in the province (9, 18, 19)

  • Launched the ‘start right now’ program to promote healthy living and physical activity for school-aged children through expanded programs such as Active Schools and Participation Nation (18)
  • Pledges to introduce presumptive cancer care for career firefighters in the province [presumptive meaning that the care would assume that the damage was a result of the job, without the individual having to prove it to get care and would receive workplace compensation](15)

  • Will investigate instituting coverage for front-line workers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and heart injury (15)

  • Will construct a new

  • hospital in Western Newfoundland to replace the out-dated Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook (4)

  • Will create a new chronic disease prevention and management program to enhance early treatment and management and treatment (4)

  • Will implement regulated midwifery to improve maternal health (4)

  • Pledges to create a new Youth Wellness Program to begin wellness coaching and health risk assessments starting in kindergarten (4)

  • Will increase government support for smoking cessation programs (4)

  • Will increase government support for regional adolescent health clinics that offer preventative care services, sexually-transmitted disease (STI) treatment, and counselling (4)

  • Promises to lobby the federal government for the creation of a national pharmacare program (6)

  • Pledges to provide an additional $1.7 million to the Medical Transportation Assistance Program, helping patients who must travel far from home for medical care to: double the reimbursement rate to for individuals from Labrador to $2,000 annually, no longer require individuals to pay the first $400 of their expenses, and eliminate the 50% co-payment required up-front for airfare (16, 17, 22)

  • Pledges to expand the Adult Dental Plan by raising the spending cap and covering cleanings (22)

  • Will implement regulated midwifery to improve maternal health (22)

Mental Health
  • Will develop mental health services for the incarcerated, those in long-term care homes, foster homes (18)

  • Pledges to rebuild the aging Waterford Hospital, aiming to start the work in 2017 (4)

  • Will establish an adult inpatient unit for treatment of eating disorders (4)

  • Will add a mental health and addictions course to high school students tailored to their needs (4)

  • Pledges to replace the Waterford Hospital (22)

  • Will immediately increase the number of community mental health workers (22)

  • Will invest $7 million to hire more professional counsellors in schools immediately and an additional $500,000 each year to ensure that schools have access to mental health services for students (8)

Seniors
  • Will broaden the eligibility for the Paid Family Caregiving Home Support Option to include clients who currently receive subsidized home support services, allowing individuals to hire a member of their family to provide their care at home (18)

  • Will provide direct government support to 50+ Clubs throughout the province (18)

  • Will implement a Dementia Management Program (4)

  • Pledges to improve access to a wide-range of healthcare professionals available for homecare and home support programs to help keep seniors in their homes longer (4)

  • Pledges to invest an additional $10 million into the Newfoundland Prescription Drug Program for seniors to add an estimated 8,750 seniors (6, 7, 22)

Public Private Partnerships
  • Believes that some public-private partnerships may be a good way to expand care in the province while saving taxpayer money, but would only engage in one if the same public standards, safety procedures, and staffing levels all apply (9)

  • Opposes private companies playing a role in delivering health care services (9)

  • Are prepared to look at money-for-value analysis when it comes to building healthcare infrastructure (9)
  • Opposes private companies playing a role in delivering health care services (9)

Specific Diseases
  • Pledges to develop and implement a new strategy to address diabetes (18, 20)

  • Will continue their initiative to replace the “IQ 70” standard, used to determine eligibility for government-funded support, and implement a new online Autism Spectrum Disorder Training Program (18, 21)
  • Will create a new Diabetes Prevention and Management Program (4, 20)

  • Would create a diabetes registry to allow stakeholders to consult and add input into a provincial strategy to deal with diabetes (20)
  • Pledges to develop and implement a Provincial Strategy on Diabetes in partnership with the Canadian Diabetes Association (10, 11, 20, 22)

  • Will cover the cost of glucose test strips for those without drug plan coverage (10, 11, 20)

References

  1. Progressive Conservative Website
  2. CBC
  3. CBC
  4. Liberal Website
  5. CBC
  6. CBC
  7. NDP Website
  8. NDP Website
  9. CBC
  10. NDP Website
  11. CBC
  12. NDP Website
  13. CBC
  14. CBC
  15. CBC
  16. CBC
  17. NDP Website
  18. Progressive Conservative Platform
  19. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Website
  20. Canadian Diabetes Association
  21. CBC
  22. NDP Platform

Oil and Gas

Part of The Economy and Environment
Updated on November 27, 2015

Revenue for offshore oil deposits provided nearly a third of provincial government revenue in Newfoundland in 2013(1). The slump in the price of oil worldwide is estimated to have reduced the province’s revenues by around $1.5 billion, according to RBC, and now forms only around 20% of provincial revenue(1, 2). This has led to a projected deficit of $1 billion in the last 2015-2016 budget even as the Progressive Conservatives have sought to cut costs(1).

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Advocacy and Representation
  • Developed and will continue with the implementation of a generic royalty program to removes fiscal uncertainty for future developments in the industry (3, 4)

  • Pledges to create ‘The Generations Fund’ to set aside a portion of offshore oil and gas revenue for future generations  (3)

  • Have spent, through Naclor Energy a crown-corporation, approximately $43.6 million into exploration programs between 2010 and mid-2015 (6)

  • Supports and will continue with the implementation of a generic royalty program as it removes fiscal uncertainty for future developments in the industry (5)

  • Pledges to create a “Legacy Fund” when the province’s financial situation improves, to put a proportional of total oil revenues into a diversified wealth fund (5)

  • Will create an Oil and Gas Industry Development Council of government officials and energy stakeholders for the purpose of creating a long-term vision of province’s oil and gas sector (5)

  • Promises to ensure transparency in the oil and gas industry and ensure regulatory bodies have the resources they need (5)

  • Believes all future hydraulic fracturing must only occur with a social license from the community (5)


  • Will lobby the federal government to return federal offshore holdings, like their 8.5% share of Hibernia oil returns, to the province (7)

  • Promises to create an independent offshore safety authority to protect both the workers and the environmental (7)

  • Pledges to invest more in companies that create ‘green jobs’ to help move the province away from their historic dependence on offshore oil (8)

  • Pledges to ban fracking in the province (7)


References

  1. City News
  2. The Globe and Mail
  3. Progressive Conservative Platform
  4. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Website
  5. Liberal Party Platform
  6. CBC
  7. NDP Platform
  8. CBC

Post Secondary Education

Part of Sociocultural
Updated on November 24, 2015

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Personal
  • Will continue the tuition freeze for undergraduate students at Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic (1, 2)

  • Shifted provincial student aid from a loan to a non-repayable grant program, completing the transition on August 1st, 2015; these grants cover around 40% of student financial assistance, the remainder comes from the federal government (5, 6)

  • Pledge to make it easier for international students who attend school in Newfoundland and Labrador to get achieve permanent resident status (1)

  • Will work to align private and public post-secondary institutions with the needs of industry in the province (1)

  • Supports maintaining a tuition freeze for students from the province but would consider raising tuition for out-of-province students (7, 8)

  • More details on the Liberals education plan expected soon (9)

  • Will reinstate a tuition and residence fee freeze for all students at university and college, including graduate students  (10, 11)

  • Pledges to roll back recent tuition and residence fee increases at post-secondary institutions (10, 11)

  • Supports the grant system in place of a system of loans for students’ financial aid (10)

References

  1. Progressive Conservative Platform
  2. CBC
  3. CBC
  4. CBC
  5. CBC
  6. CBC
  7. CBC
  8. CBC
  9. Liberal Party Website
  10. NDP Website
  11. CBC

Taxation

Part of The Economy and Environment
Updated on November 24, 2015

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Personal
  • Introduced a 2% increase in the HST (from 13% to 15%) in their most recent budget to help offset the decline of government revenues from falling oil prices (1)

  • Introduced taxes on those earning over $125,500 in their last budget: from 13.8% to 14.3% on income from $12,500 to $175,700 and from 14.3% to 15.3% on income over $175,700 (6, 7)

  • Will work with municipalities to create a new progressive tax regime less reliant on property assessment and taxes (2)

  • Will eliminate the 2% increase in the HST introduced in the most recent provincial budget (from 15% to 13%), and borrow more to cover the government’s deficit (1, 4, 8)

  • Will create a comprehensive review of tax expenditures [credits provided to reduce the tax burden to businesses and individuals] to make it more simple and reduce the costs of paying taxes on businesses and individuals (8)

  • Will work with municipalities to create a new progressive tax regime less reliant on property assessment and taxes (2)

  • Pledge to raise the personal income tax rate for the top tax bracket, those maknig over $175,000 from 14.3% to 17.3% (10)

  • Will work with municipalities to create a new progressive tax regime less reliant on property assessment and taxes (2)

Corporate
  • Pledge to reduce small businesses taxes to the lowest in Canada, currently that rate is 3% in Newfoundland and Labrador with the lowest being Saskatchewan at 2% (2, 3, 5)

  • Will create a comprehensive review of tax expenditures [credits provided to reduce the tax burden to businesses and individuals] to make it more simple and reduce the costs of paying taxes on businesses and individuals (8)

  • Promises to eliminate the tax on small businesses  to ensure that their proposed increase of $1 to the minimum wage does not negative affect them (9)

  • Pledges to increase the wage top-up for those taking parental leave (9)

  • Would increase corporate income tax by 1.5%  (10)

References

  1. CBC
  2. Conservative Platform
  3. CBC
  4. CBC
  5. Canada Revenue Agency
  6. CBC
  7. Tax Tips
  8. Newfoundland Liberals Platform
  9. CBC
  10. NDP Platform

Women’s Issues

Part of Sociocultural
Updated on November 27, 2015

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Advocacy and Representation
  • Are running 6 women candidates (15%) in the election (6)

  • Supports increasing funding for women’s organizations (2)

  • Are running 8 women candidates (20%) in the election (6)

  • Has said that there will be a strong female presence if elected (3)

  • Pledges to work with women’s organizations to reduce barriers to gender diversity in leadership (4)

  • Pledges to introduce multi-year funding for women’s organizations to reduce time spent by organizations lobbying for funding (2, 4)

  • Uses a Women’s Commission whose role is to search for qualified female candidates in the province (6)


  • Are running 18 women candidates (45%) in the election (6)

  • Pledge increase funding for women’s organizations to $200,000 per year and would introduce 3 year-funding to reduce time spent by organizations lobbying for funding (2, 5, 7)

  • Would examine creating gender-parity seats in the legislature, seats reserved for women, to increase the number of women (2)

  • Uses the Helen Fogwill Porter fund to help support women’s political  campaigns (6)


Economic Inequality
  • Committed to an equal pay policy (2)

  • Will continue to expand opportunities for women entrepreneurs through partnerships with NLOWE and other organizations (1)

  • Pledge to hold a biennial conference on the status of women to help women network and share their successes within the province (2, 4)

  • Will examine ways to improve working conditions for early child educators and front-line health workers, two areas dominated by women, by increasing t he Early Learning and Child Care supplement by $3/hour (2)

  • Pledges to introduce pay-equity legislation to ensure that women workers are paid equally for work with equal value (7)

  • Pledges to increase the minimum wage by $1 which would help many women in low-paying jobs (2)

  • Would implement a government tendering process that would take into account the contractor’s commitment and record on equity of pay (2)


Violence Against Women
  • Shut down the Family Violence Intervention Court for budgetary reasons (8)

  • Created the Violence Prevention Initiative: a six year program to coordinate government and communities to find solutions to the problems of violence against more vulnerable members of society (9)

  • Would increase the educational programming in schools to help decrease violence against women (1, 2)

  • Committed to overhauling sex education to emphasize teaching consent (2)

  • Has called for national inquiry into the missing and murdered aboriginal women (2)

  • Would increase the educational programming in schools to help decrease violence against women (2)

  • Committed to overhauling sex education to emphasize teaching consent (2)

  • Believes improving the mental health system in the province, such as a new Waterford Hospital and more guidance counsellors is the best way to tackle violence against women (2)

  • Would increase the educational programming in schools to help decrease violence against women (2, 7)

  • Committed to overhauling sex education to emphasize teaching consent and fighting homophobia and transphobia (2)

  • Pledges $500,000 to replace the women’s shelter in Corner Brook (5, 7)

  • Pledges to enhance funding for individuals and organizations that help fight violence and provide support to victims (2)

  • Pledge to increase support for transition houses and financial support for victims of domestic violence (2)

  • Pledges to support the permanent Domestic Violence Courts at three site and provide them with the resources they need (7)

References

  1. Progressive Conservative Platform
  2. The Independent
  3. CBC
  4. Liberal Platform
  5. CBC
  6. The Independent
  7. NDP Platform
  8. CBC
  9. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Website
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