Federal Party Platforms

Federal Party Platforms

Canadians head to the polls on Monday to elect the next federal government. Before making your decision, it’s important to know the intentions of each party. Many parties have candidates but here is some information about the Liberal, Conservative, New Democrat, and Green Party platforms. Bread ‘n Molasses does not endorse any political party. The views expressed below were found on the Party websites.

The Liberals under the leadership of Paul Martin envision:

  • A Canada in which our publicly funded, universally available health care system both provides exemplary care and exemplifies our national values at work.
  • A Canada in which people with disabilities and their families, and the elderly and their families, have the support they need.
  • A Canada in which every child is provided a place to learn, so he or she can get the best start in life. A Canada in which everyone has the opportunity for further education regardless of financial means. A Canada in which universal literacy and lifelong learning are woven into the national fabric.
  • A Canada with safe and healthy neighbourhoods, with clean air and water and plenty of green spaces.
  • A Canada in which we have closed the gap in life chances for Aboriginals.
  • A Canada that is secure in its linguistic duality and celebrates its population’s cultural diversity.
  • A Canada in which no individual and no region is denied the opportunity to participate fully in the building of the nation.

A Liberal vision for a 21st century economy sees:

  • A Canada that is a world leader in developing and applying path-breaking technologies for the environment, health, information and communications, and the life sciences. Whether in today’s more traditional industries or those of tomorrow, these enabling technologies will transform our economic base. They will be the engines of global growth, and Canada must be a leader.
  • A Canada that succeeds in building globally competitive firms – from start-ups to multi-nationals – that create high-quality jobs to keep young Canadians in this country.
  • A Canada built on innovation with world-class research universities, smart regulation and innovative financing – all combining to make Canada a leader in the commercialization of bright ideas.
  • A Canada where there are supports to help people balance work and family responsibilities so that all Canadians, especially women, have the opportunity to participate fully in the workplace.
  • A Canada where the benefits of the 21st century economy are reaped from coast to coast to coast – in our factories and on our farms, in our resource industries, and in our regions and rural communities, where modern communications are helping to surmount the traditional barriers of distance and isolation.

The Liberal vision calls for:

  • A world where Canada speaks with an independent voice for the values of freedom, social justice, tolerance and the rule of law.
  • A world where the benefits of global interdependence are spread more fairly, thus alleviating hunger, poverty and disease. These ills are not only moral affronts; they form a breeding ground for despair and desperation.
  • A world where this growing interdependence – whether from trade, from security threats, or from global environmental challenges like climate change and overfishing – is managed by truly effective international cooperation and problem solving.
  • A world where the international community accepts an obligation to protect people from deadly oppression by their own government. What happened in Rwanda and Bosnia, and in other dark instances throughout history, is simply unacceptable. We need new rules to make it clear when international intervention is justified to protect citizens from tyranny.

For more information or to download the complete Liberal Platform visit the party website at www.liberal.ca

A Conservative government led by Stephen Harper will:

• Direct the Auditor General to audit all federal granting programs and recommend changes to reduce waste and fraud.

• Create an independent Ethics Commissioner appointed by Parliament, not by the Prime Minister.

• End corporate and union political donations, and end forced taxpayer subsidies of political parties.

• Set federal elections on a fixed date every four years and examine other democratic reforms.

• Ensure fairness in party nomination and leadership races.

• Hold elections to fill vacancies in the Senate.

• Increase the power of individual Members of Parliament.

• Give Parliament, not the Courts, the final decision on issues like marriage.

• Improve relations with the provinces and clarify federal and provincial roles.

For more information or to download the complete Conservative Party platform, visit the Party website at www.conservative.ca

The New Democratic Party under the leadership of Jack Layton is committed to:

  • Creating opportunities and jobs in a green and prosperous economy.
  • Improving public health care with innovation – not privatization.
  • Investing in cities and communities through clean water, housing and transit.
  • Expanding access to post-secondary education.
  • Making life more affordable and secure – starting with protecting pensions, removing GST from family essentials and expanding childcare.
  • Strengthening Canada’s independent voice for peace, human rights and fair trade on the world stage.
  • Restoring integrity and accountability in government.
  • Balancing the budget.

Jack Layton and Canada’s NDP will build our communities by:

  • Sharing half the federal gas tax with municipalities for sustainable transportation: public transit, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in our cities and freight rail and road investment in rural communities. This transfer should not depend on matching funds from provinces, many of which are fighting deficits directly linked to Paul Martin’s choices while finance minister.
  • Re-starting a 10-year national housing program to build 200,000 affordable and co-op housing units (including homes for seniors, people with disabilities and students), renovate 100,000 existing units, and provide rent supplements to 40,000 low-income tenants, many of whom are single mothers who pay a large percentage of their income in rent. This program would also help Canada’s forest communities by stimulating Canadian demand for lumber.
  • Including in the housing program tax incentives for developers to renovate and restore buildings in downtown cores, creating new housing stock and rebuilding our city centres and downtowns as an alternative to more urban sprawl.
  • Using the large profits generated by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to underwrite low-interest mortgages for affordable housing and requiring the CMHC to change its mandate to make it easier for community-based housing organizations to get funding.
  • Implementing a permanent national infrastructure program so that accountable local governments can own and deliver clean drinking water, waste water reduction, sewage treatment and solid waste reduction strategies to their communities – and create jobs.
  • Providing incentives to fund public transit passes for employees by giving tax-exempt status to employer-provided transit benefits.
  • Ensuring all municipalities, not just cities, receive a full refund for the GST they pay as well as a portion of the federal gasoline tax targeted for green transportation infrastructure. It is unfair to force cash-strapped municipalities to pay money received from property taxes to a federal government that has a surplus and for gas taxes to be hoarded by Ottawa.

For more information or to download the complete New Democrat Party platform visit their website at www.ndp.ca

Jim Harris and the Green Party are committed to:

  • Restoring democracy in Canada by implementing a proportional representation voting system.
  • Making wise investments for better health, better education and clean energy.
  • Ending subsidies that result in more pollution and increased health risks.
  • Creating “green collar” jobs for Canadians.
  • Opposing an Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense system on Canadian soil.

What should you expect from a Green Party government?

We will protect our children and their grandchildren from being sold out for short-term gains.

We will be a voice for sustainable industries and lifestyles.

We will avoid government expansion and top-down solutions.

We will give voters more power, more choices and a balanced budget.

We will stand up for Canada and our uniquely diverse culture.

We will form the most open and democratic government that Canada has ever seen.

Many Canadians are waiting for a political party that they can really believe in. The Green Party has grown from the bottom, up — one conversation at a time, among people who are dedicated to doing politics differently. We are not a political machine. We do not have financial backers with deep pockets. We are just ordinary citizens, making an extraordinary commitment.

The Green Party is focused on the future — not tomorrow or next year, but ten, twenty or one hundred years down the road. Long-term thinking leads to long-term solutions. If elected, Green Party representatives will ensure that change happens today, for a better tomorrow. The Green Party fosters dialogue about the future and allows people with different perspectives to participate. We don’t have all the answers, but we are committed to finding them.

We don’t really think of ourselves as politicians, just as ordinary citizens making an extraordinary commitment. Accordingly, we don’t measure success the same way politicians do.

Here’s what winning looks like to us . . .

When we introduce innovative ideas to voters, we win.

When we nurture a new generation of citizens to take up political activism, we win.

When other parties “borrow” our ideas and start thinking green, we win.

When we stand up for grassroots democracy, we win.

When we stay true to our principles, we win.

When our candidates speak from the heart, we win.

When people who have given up on politics are inspired to vote, we win.

When you vote for the Green Party, we will win — and so will you.

For more information or to download the complete Green Party platform, visit their website at www.greenparty.ca