Canada is officially in recession. The economy shrank in the second quarter of 2015, making it the second quarterly contraction in a row. Gross domestic product in Canada fell at a 0.5% annualized rate in the quarter. In the first quarter the economy shrank by 0.8%.
If elected, an NDP government would raise the federal minimum wage, create an innovation tax credit worth $40 million, and work on a plan to create more than 40,000 youth jobs, paid internships, and co-op placements.
A Libertarian government would eliminate all tax credits and reduce federal income taxes to a maximum rate of 15%. They would increase the personal income tax exemption amount.
If elected, a Green government would focus on shifting from a carbon-based economy to a "green economy". They would create jobs by promoting the retrofit of homes and businesses to make them more energy efficient. They would work to create jobs in manufacturing, installing, operating, and maintaining wind turbines, solar panels, public transit vehicles and infrastructure, insulation, rail stock, and other elements of a clean and efficient economy.
With the Arctic warming faster than any other biome recently, Canadians are particularly concerned about the impacts of climate change. The country generates enormous wealth from its oil and gas operations. However, those operations make significant contributions to carbon emissions.
If elected, a Libertarian government would implement a system where harm to the environment caused by pollution could be addressed through the judicial system.
A Conservative government would reduce Canada's emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. In 2014, the Conservative government contributed $300 million to the UN Green Climate Fund to help developing countries fight climate change.
A Green government would immediately focus on leading world climate negotiations and developing "concrete plans" to reduce Canada's carbon emissions.
If elected, an NDP government would invest in retrofitting homes to make them more energy efficient, and eliminate subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. The NDP also plans to strengthen laws to protect Canada's lakes and rivers.
The Liberal Party promises to improve the protection of Canada's marine areas, land, and wildlife. They would adjust national park admission fees to encourage families and new Canadians to visit them.
The relationship between the Crown and Aboriginal people in Canada is one which has been in near constant evolution since it was first established over 300 years ago. It has been impacted by commercial and economic pressures, by shifting alliances and external threats, as well as by policies of protection and subordination.
If elected, an NDP government would call a national inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women within 100 days of taking office. They would also consider implmenting other recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
A Libertarian government would recognize the sovereignty of all Aboriginal groups across the country. They would also streamline the current Land Claims process.
The Conservative government's previous budget allocated $248.5 million over five years in Aboriginal labour market programming to support a skilled and engaged Aboriginal labour force. In addition, they have allocated $170 million per year over next the four years to support the construction, rehabilitation, and renovation of affordable housing on First Nations reserves.
If elected, a Liberal government would call for a national inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women, and implement all 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They would also invest $515 million per year in annual funding for First Nations K-12 education.
If elected, a Green government would transform Canada's relationship with Indigenous peoples to a "true nation-to-nation dialogue" and honour the rights of Aboriginal peoples, including treaty rights and the inherent right to self-government.
The way Canada develops and exports its natural resources — especially bitumen, the oilsands crude that’s become the economic heart-blood of Alberta and, to a lesser degree, Saskatchewan — has been contested at debates and photo ops across the country.
If elected, a Green government would continue to oppose all existing pipeline proposals to including Kinder Morgan, Northern Gateway, and Energy East
The Libertarian Party is pro-pipeline so long as land is not expropriated by government to facilitate the pipeline's creation.
The current Conservative government approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, and will support the proposed TransCanada Energy East project and the TransCanada Keystone XL project.
If elected, a Liberal government would support the Keystone XL Pipeline project while opposing the Northern Gateway Pipeline project.
Crime rates have been dropping steadily in Canada for two decades. Conservative insistence on the need for tougher sentences for a raft of offences has continued unabated. And it’s not just rhetoric: According to a 2013 report from the Parliamentary Budget Office, spending on criminal justice as a percentage of GDP was trending downward until 2006, when the Conservative Party was first elected, but, since then, has increased both in real terms and as a share of the total Canadian economy.
A Liberal government would legalize and regulate marijuana. They would also introduce new initiatives to support emergency workers across the country.
A Libertarian government would legalize marijuana and sex work. They would also make responsible gun possession legal and decriminalize the possession and consumption of drugs.
If elected, a Green government would immediately repeal Bill C-51 and introduce "legislation that would make Canadians safer, not less safe". They would repeal all laws establishing mandatory minimum sentences, ensure resources are available for communities that wish to use restorative justice programs, and provide guidance for judges making bail determinations to avoid release for violent crimes when there is a risk of re-offending.
If re-elected, a Conservative government would not legalize or decriminalize marijuana. They would also consider the Association of Canadian Police Chiefs' call for a ticketing system that would penalize people possessing 30 grams of pot or less.
An NDP government would decriminalize marijuana immediately and study the resulting health and societal effects. An NDP government is open to considering legalization, but is calling for a commission to consult Canadians and instruct Parliament on how to carefully regulate non-medical use.
Canadians usually name health care as one of their top issues in an election campaign, but we’ve heard surprisingly little about the issue during the 2015 campaign. That could be because the Conservatives did their best to neutralize the issue back in 2011, getting the jump on the premiers by presenting a funding arrangement to the provinces and telling them to take it or leave it.
The Libertarian Party would allow private alternatives for care and insurance. They would also ensure that healthcare is exclusively a provincial responsibility.
If elected, a Liberal government would invest in providing improved home care for seniors, work with the provinces to lower prescription drugs costs, and create a more flexible and accessible Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefit.
If elected, an NDP government would establish a national Alzheimer's disease and dementia strategy, build and expand 200 healthcare clinics across Canada, and invest in mental health innovation for children and youth.
If re-elected, a Conservative government would increase annual health funding to the provinces to grow in line with nominal GDP, beginning in 2017-18.
A Green government would oppose any privatized, for-profit healthcare and work to further strengthen a universal, publicly funded healthcare system.
Few governments are credited with adequately funding Canada’s men and women in uniform, and fewer still are able to equip the troops without blowing timelines or budgets. Liberals and Tories have both cut and boosted spending as dictated by economic hard times. The former exacted deep cuts in the 1990s, and the latter chopped military spending as the government wrestled with austerity.
If re-elected, a Conservative government will increase the automatic annual escalator for The Department of National Defence's budget to 3% starting in 2017–18. Over ten years, this will provide the Department with an additional $11.8 billion.
If elected, a Liberal government would work to strengthen ties with Canada's North American counterparts. They would also end the current bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria.
If elected, an NDP government would end the current bombing campaign and pull out all military personnel from Iraq and Syria while boosting humanitarian aid to help refugees affected by ISIS.
The Bloc Québécois believes in the primacy of the rule of law and multilateralism. The Bloc opposes any aggressive unilateral action and is against conflicts that are preventable.
A Green government would re-orient the Canadian military towards peacekeeping and disaster response. They would work to end the lump sum payment for injuries and bring back lifetime pensions for veterans.
Critics slamming what they say has been limited—and slow—assistance from the Canadian government to Syrians and Iraqis displaced by civil war and unfathomable Islamic State violence have forced the Conservatives onto the defensive often since the migrant crisis exploded in 2012.
The Bloc Québécois supports the terms laid out in the Canada-Quebec Accord relating to Immigration and Temporary Admission of Aliens of 1991. The Accord outlines how Quebec, and not the government of Canada, would manage settlement as well as linguistic and cultural integration of permanent residents.
If elected, a Green government would eliminate the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and offer foreign workers pathways to citizenship. They would explore avenues for the 200,000 people living in Canada without official status to achieve full landed immigrant status.
If elected, an NDP government plans to make family reunification central to immigration policy and would immediately bring 10,000 Syrian refugees to Canada, and a total of 46,000 over the next 4 years.
The Conservative party introduced a policy in April 2011 that requires any temporary foreign worker who has been here for four years to leave to prevent the creation of a “permanent underclass,” that is, a large group of foreign workers who, rather than occupying temporary jobs, end up living in Canada over the long-term with no citizenship or mobility rights.
A Libertarian government would eliminate the Temporary Foreign Worker Program andreplace it with a residency program. They would streamline the current immigration system to make it easier and safer for both immigrants and Canadians.
When pollsters ask voters about their priorities, employment is always at or near the top of the list. The Conservatives pitch their annual budgets as plans for “jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.” Finance Minister Joe Oliver habitually framed his budget last spring as coming after the Tories created “1.2 million net new jobs” since the depths of the last recession. But the NDP points to vanishing manufacturing jobs, while Liberals stress high youth unemployment rates.
If elected, a Green government would make the elimination of student debt a national goal by moving to institute a grant system instead of a loan system.
If re-elected, a Conservative government would increase the number of computers in schools to have more Canadians engage in the digital economy. The Conservatives will work with business and industry associations in order to better align with postsecondary institutions.
Over the next four years, the Conservative government plans to spend $2.3 billion per year to give Canadians access to affordable housing.
The Bloc Québécois wants immediate investments made to affordable housing. In it's budgetary submission last April, the Bloc asked for $400 million in additional funding for social housing.
If elected, a Green government will work to create a national housing strategy to ensure every Canadian has access to affordable, safe, and secure housing.
If elected, an NDP government would provide incentives for the construction of 10,000 affordable and market rental housing units.
If elected, a Liberal government would create a national housing commission to work in conjunction with all levels of government, and provide tax incentives for developers and landlords to build and renovate rental units.
The Libertarian Party would repeal Bill C-51 along with all other legislation that allows warrantless searches and seizures.
If elected, an NDP government would repeal Bill C-51 and provide more reviews of Canada's national security agencies.
The Conservative government states that voters have already laid out their opposition to different forms of proportional representation, including in referendums in Ontario and British Columbia.
The Liberal Party would replace the current first-past-the-post electoral system while exploring mandatory and online voting. They would work to restructure the Senate and empower the Information Commissioner to make government data more open.
If elected, a Green government would legislate the end of first-past-the-post voting and establish an all-party Democratic Voting Commission to conduct a public consultation on the style of proportional representation best suited to Canada. They would also move to reduce financial barriers to running for political office and lower the voter age to 16 to encourage greater youth participation.
The Bloc Québécois supports reforming the financing of political parties, so that corporate donation limits would be lowered and contributions by the government would be raised.
If re-elected, a Conservative government would oppose a 'Netflix' tax on digital streaming services and spend $200 million on expanding Canada's high-speed broadband Internet network across rural and remote areas.
An NDP government would cancel Canada Post's plans to end door-to-door mail delivery, create additional childcare spaces across the country, and invest in supporting sporting programs to disadvantaged youth. They would also restore Statistic Canada's mandatory long-form census.
Its objective is to prove that Québec, in order to truly flourish, has to be recognized as an independent nation. The Bloc seeks to have Québec gain the authority to make its own political decisions to reflect its particular values, interests and culture.
If elected, a Libertarian government would remove prohibitions on the ownership of guns for recreational purposes, self-defence, and hunting.
If elected, a Green government would introduce a Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI). A GLI would provide a regular payment to every Canadian, at a subsistence level above the poverty line, to meet basic needs while encouraging additional income generation.