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NO WEEKLY BRIEF NEWSLETTER FOR THE WEEKEND OF OCT. 16-17

Promise tracker: What the parties are pitching on the campaign trail

·22 min read

OTTAWA — A running list of specific promises announced by the Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, Greens and People's party since the official start of the federal election campaign on Aug. 15.

Liberals

Sept. 18: Revisit the idea of electoral reform if a consensus emerges on the issue. Leader Justin Trudeau says he's open to amending the first-past-the-post system currently in use, butwould not favour proportional representation as an alternative. Trudeau has expressed a preference for ranked ballots and stated that electoral reform is not a priority issue.

Sept. 13: Make it a criminal offence to obstruct access to any building providing health services, including hospitals, vaccine clinics, testing centres, pharmacies and abortion clinics. Make it a criminal offence to intimidate or threaten any health-care professional carrying out their professional duties.

Sept. 7: Stop "renovictions'' and deter "unfair'' rent increases that fall outside a normal change in rent.

Sept. 6: Expand the Canada Workers Benefit to an additional one million Canadians in low-wage jobs. Introduce a new Labour Mobility Tax Credit to allow building and construction trades workers to deduct up to $4,000 in eligible expenses when they need to travel or temporarily relocate for a job, for a tax credit of up to $600 per year. Double the Union Training and Innovation Program.

Sept. 3: Mandate that travellers on planes, trains and cruise ships be fully vaccinated.

Sept. 1: Establish regulations under the Canada Health Act governing accessibility for sexual and reproductive health services, such as abortion. Revoke the charitable status of anti-abortion organizations, such as crisis pregnancy centres, which ``provide dishonest counselling to women'' about abortion rights.

Make it mandatory for owners of assault weapons to either sell the firearm back to the government for destruction and fair compensation or have it rendered fully and permanently inoperable. Require that long gun magazines capable of holding more than five rounds be permanently altered so that they can never hold more than that. Set aside a minimum of $1 billion for provinces or territories who implement a ban on handguns.

Eliminate the federal interest on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans. Increase the repayment assistance threshold to $50,000 for Canada Student Loan borrowers who are single.

Establish a Canada Financial Crimes Agency, dedicated to investigating and combating all forms of major financial crime.

Increase the Eligible Educator School Supply Tax Credit from 15 to 25 per cent.

Develop a National School Food Policy and work toward a national school nutritious meal program at a cost of $1 billion over five years. Introduce new restrictions on the commercial marketing of food and beverages to children and establish new front-of-package labelling ``to promote healthy food choices.''

Make the Canada Caregiver Credit refundable, allowing caregivers to receive up to $1,250 per year.

Introduce a new EI benefit for self-employed Canadians.

Introduce legislation to ban the use of replacement workers when a union employer in a federally regulated industry has locked out employees.

Develop a new ``right to disconnect'' policy to promote ``healthy work-life balance.''

Update CBC/Radio-Canada's mandate ``to ensure that it is meeting the needs and expectation of today's Canadian audiences'' and distinguish it from private broadcasters. Provide $400 million over four years to CBC/Radio-Canada so that it is less reliant on private advertising with a goal of eliminating advertising during news and other public affairs shows.

Aug. 31: Establish a Canada Mental Health Transfer of $4.5 billion over five years. Invest $500 million over four years to improve student mental health on campus. Fully fund a national, three-digit mental health crisis and suicide prevention hotline. Put $1.4 billion toward co-developing a mental health and wellness strategy with First Nation, Inuit and Metis Nation partners.

Aug. 30: Invest $1 billion over 10 years to restore and protect large lakes and river systems. Establish and fully fund a Canada Water Agency. Invest $37.5 million over six years for freshwater research at the International Institute for Sustainable Development's Experimental Lakes Area.

Aug. 29: Have a net-zero electricity grid by 2035. End thermal coal exports by 2030. Set five-year targets starting in 2025 for the oil and gas sector to achieve net zero by 2050. Establish a $2-billion Futures Fund for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. Provide $5,000 toward zero-emission vehicle purchases. Build 50,000 more charging stations. Require that at least half of all passenger vehicles sold in Canada are zero emission by 2030, and all are zero emission by 2035. Provide retrofit grants of up to $5,000 and interest-free loans of up to $40,000.

Aug. 28: End plastic pollution by 2030. Require all plastic packaging to be 50 per cent recycled plastic by 2030. Establish a $100-million fund to help companies scale up and commercialize solutions to reusing and recycling plastics. Implement a ``right to repair'' for home appliances.

Aug. 27: Introduce a $1-billion fund for provinces and territories that implement a proof-of-vaccination system. Invest $100 million in studying the long-term effects of COVID-19.

Aug. 26: Permanently increase the guaranteed income supplement by $500 annually for single seniors and $750 for senior couples, starting at age 65. Double the home accessibility tax credit to provide up to an additional $1,500, and introduce a home renovation tax credit to support families looking to add a secondary unit so a relative can live with them.

Aug. 25: Raise the corporate income tax rate paid by banks and insurance companies on all earnings over $1 billion from 15 per cent to 18 per cent. Establish a Canada Recovery Dividend to be paid by large banks and insurance companies.

Aug. 24: Build, preserve or repair 1.4 million homes over four years. Make $4 billion available to cities through a Housing Accelerator Fund. Introduce a Multi-generational Home Renovation tax credit. Introduce a Home Buyers' Bill of Rights that would ban blind bidding. Commit $1 billion in loans and grants to develop and scale up rent-to-own projects so renters can own their homes in five years or less. Introduce a tax-free First Home Savings Account to let Canadians under 40 save up to $40,000 for their first home, and withdraw it tax free for their purchase with no requirement to repay. Double the First-Time Home Buyers Tax Credit from $5,000 to $10,000. Reduce the cost of mortgage insurance. Ban new foreign ownership of Canadian houses for the next two years.

Aug. 23: Facilitate the hiring of 7,500 family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners with $3 billion over four years. Put $6 billion to help eliminate health system wait lists. Provide $400 million over four years to expand virtual health services.

Aug. 20: Introduce 10 days of paid sick leave for federally regulated workers. Put $100 million toward school ventilation improvements. Provide $100 million to the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative, including $70 million for increasing indoor ventilation. Introduce a tax credit for small businesses to invest in better ventilation.

Aug. 19: Train up to 50,000 new personal support workers. Guarantee a minimum wage of $25 an hour for PSWs. Double the Home Accessibility Tax Credit. Develop a Safe Long Term Care Act. Give provinces and territories $3 billion in funding to address quality and capacity in long-term care.

Aug. 18: Funding to train 1,000 community-based firefighters and to purchase related equipment. Would also help Canadians make their homes more resilient against climate change, through retrofits and upgrades.

Aug. 17: Reduce fees for child care by 50 per cent on average in the next year and deliver $10-a-day on average child care within five years everywhere outside of Quebec.

Aug. 16: Extend the Canada recovery hiring program to March 31, 2022. Provide the tourism industry with temporary wage and rent support of up to 75 per cent. Launch an arts and culture recovery program that will match ticket sales for performing arts, live theatres and other cultural venues to compensate for reduced capacity. Extend COVID-related insurance coverage for media production stoppages. Implement a transitional support program for workers from the creative industry.

Conservatives

Sept. 13: Allow new parents to earn and keep up to $1,000 per month while on maternity or parental leave. Provide expecting parents with the Canada Child Benefit starting in the seventh month of pregnancy. Create a national adoption strategy.

Sept. 12: Amend the Canada Labour Code to allow for three days of paid bereavement leave in the event of a miscarriage. Ensure that EI parental benefits are extended for at least eight weeks following the death of an infant.

Sept. 9: Revise supply chain legislation to ``meaningfully enforce'' Canada's commitment not to import products made with slave labour.

Sept. 8: Offer the "Dine and Discover'' program, which would provide a 50 per cent rebate for food and non-alcoholic drinks bought during in-person dining at restaurants between Monday and Wednesday for one month, "once it is safe to do so.'' Provide a 15 per cent tax credit for vacation expenses — up to $1,000 per person — for travel within Canada in 2022. Eliminate the "Liberal escalator tax on alcohol,'' which is a federal tax on alcohol products that increases annually.

Sept. 7: Allow international telecommunications companies to provide services in Canada. Connect all of Canada to high-speed internet by 2025.

Sept. 5: Hire an additional 200 RCMP officers to combat gangs and gun and drug smuggling. Provide $100 million over five years to support training for non-provincial police forces in sexual exploitation, sexual offences, cybersecurity and online offences.

Sept. 4: Resume national public health briefings. Ensure political parties and campaigns follow all national, provincial and local public health restrictions. Get vaccination rates over 90 per cent in two months. Launch a national marketing, social media and mailer campaign on vaccinations, provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated, provide free transportation to a vaccination clinic with taxis and ride-hailing services. Invite provinces to participate in a national proof-of-vaccination system. Deliver a national booster shot strategy. Provide more rapid tests to provincial governments.

Sept. 3: Amend the Criminal Code to make it easier for police and prosecutors to combat gang networks. Partner with the private sector on a gang exit strategy. Develop and expand programs to keep youth out of gangs. Mandate the automatic surrender of firearms to law enforcement when an individual is charged with a criminal offence. Impose a mandatory minimum sentence of two years on the unauthorized possession of a firearm if the person was previously banned from owning one or previously convicted of a firearms offence.

Sept. 2: Pursue a free-trade agreement with Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom that would allow Canadians to live and work in the countries.

Sept. 1: Invest in "nationally significant'' infrastructure projects such as the SkyTrain extension to Langley, B.C., Ontario's Greater Toronto Area transit plan, Quebec City's Third Link, the Calgary Green Line and Via Rail's high-frequency rail project. Reserve funding specifically for infrastructure in the North. Connect all of Canada to high-speed internet by 2025.

Aug. 30: Ban puppy mills. Ban cosmetic testing on animals. Add animal cruelty as an aggravating factor in domestic violence prosecutions. Provide $10 million a year to train judges and prosecutors on the links between violence against animals and violence against people.

Aug. 29: Launch a Rebuild Main Street tax credit. Reform the Business Development Bank of Canada to ensure its loan programs are accessible to small businesses.

Aug. 28: Increase the maximum penalty for price fixing from $24 million to $100 million and introduce criminal penalties for executives convicted of price fixing. Introduce legislation on open banking. Order the Competition Bureau to investigate bank fees.

Aug. 27: Increase EI benefits for seriously ill workers from 26 to 52 weeks.

Aug. 26: Require gig economy companies to make contributions equivalent to Canada Pension Plan and employment insurance premiums into a portable employee savings account each time they pay their workers. The tax-free funds can be used to pay CPP premiums or accumulate savings that can be withdrawn by the worker at their discretion.

Aug. 25: Provide enough funding through health transfers for an additional one million Canadians to receive mental health treatment every year. Encourage employers to add or boost mental health coverage by offering a tax credit for 25 per cent of the cost of additional mental health coverage for the first three years. Provide $150 million over three years in grants to non-profits and charities delivering mental health and wellness programming. Create a national three-digit suicide prevention hotline. Provide $1 billion over five years to boost funding for Indigenous mental health and drug treatment programs.

Aug. 24: Prevent executives from paying themselves bonuses while managing a company going through restructuring unless the pension plan is fully funded. Mandate that companies report the funding status of their pension plans.

Aug. 23: Require federally regulated employers with more than 1,000 employees or $100 million in annual revenue to include worker representation on their boards of directors.

Aug. 22: Invest $325 million over three years to create 1,000 residential drug treatment beds and build 50 recovery community centres. Enhance culturally appropriate addiction treatment and prevention in First Nation communities. Provide $1 billion over five years for Indigenous mental health and drug treatment programs.

Aug. 21: Double the Disability Supplement in the Canada Workers Benefit. Provide an additional $80 million per year through the Enabling Accessibility Fund. Reduce the number of hours required to qualify for the Disability Tax Credit and the Registered Disability Savings Plan. Overhaul disability supports and benefits.

Aug 20: Pay a 25-per-cent subsidy for all net new hires for six months, with up to an additional 25 per cent top-up depending on if the worker had been unemployed for several months.

Aug. 19: Build one million homes over three years. Ban foreign investors who live outside the country from buying property for at least two years, while encouraging foreign investment in affordable purpose-built rental housing. Release at least 15 per cent of the government's real estate portfolio for homes. Require municipalities receiving federal funding for public transit to increase density near that transit. Allow the deferral of capital gains tax when selling a rental property.

Aug. 18: Pass an Anti-Corruption Act to strengthen federal legislation on ethics, lobbying, and transparency. The act would feature increased fines for ethical violations, prevent members of Parliament from collecting speaking fees and create financial penalties for any violation of the Conflict of Interest Act.

Aug. 17: Implement a month-long ``GST holiday'' in December, in which all purchases made at retail stores would be tax free.

Aug. 16: Balance the budget by 2031.

Recover one million jobs lost during the pandemic. Pay up to 50 per cent of the salary of new hires for six months after the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy ends. Provide a five per cent investment tax credit for any capital investment made in 2022 and 2023. Provide a 25 per cent tax credit on amounts of up to $100,000 that Canadians personally invest in a small business over the next two years. Provide loans of up to $200,000 for small and medium businesses in the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors, with up to 25 per cent forgiven.

Accelerate domestic development and production of vaccines. Prioritize the signing of contracts for booster shots. Deploy rapid testing at all border entry points and airports to screen new arrivals.

Scrap all Liberal government childcare funding deals with the provinces and territories and provide a refundable tax credit covering up to 75 per cent of the cost of child care for lower-income families.

Introduce the Canada Seniors Care benefit, paying $200 per month per household to any Canadian who is living with and taking care of a parent over the age of 70.

Double the Canada Workers Benefit up to a maximum of $2,800 for individuals or $5,000 for families and pay it as a quarterly direct deposit. Launch a "Super EI'' that temporarily provides more generous benefits when a province goes into recession. Increase EI sickness benefits to 52 weeks for those suffering from a serious illness.

Build one million homes in the next three years.

Scrap the carbon tax in favour of a "personal low carbon savings account.''

Meet with the premiers within the first 100 days of forming government to propose a new health agreement that boosts the annual growth rate of the Canada Health Transfer to at least 6 per cent.

Aug. 15: Require unvaccinated Canadian passengers to present a recent negative COVID-19 test result or pass a rapid test before getting on a bus, train, plane, or ship. Require federal public servants who aren't vaccinated to pass a daily rapid test.

NDP

Sept. 13: Make it a Criminal Code offence to harass or block someone from accessing health care. Make assault on health-care workers an aggravating factor in sentencing.

Sept. 9: Establish a guaranteed livable income, starting with seniors and people living with disabilities.

Sept. 8: Strengthen FedNor, the federal agency responsible for supporting economic development in northern Ontario, and prioritize northern steel, lumber, and minerals in infrastructure projects.

Sept. 7: Double the investment in public transit projects. Help municipalities fully electrify their fleets by 2030. Make transit fares more affordable or free.

Sept. 5: Commit $1 billion in targeted supports to ramp up vaccination programs. Quickly implement a national vaccine passport. Extend pandemic supports.

Sept. 4: Start a federal dental care plan by covering uninsured families earning less than $90,000 a year.

Sept. 3: Respond to the Quebec government's call for an increase to health transfers. Give Quebec the right to opt out of federal programs with compensation. Subject infrastructure projects to Quebec's environmental assessment procedure. Formalize the appointment process for appointing judges representing Quebec to the Supreme Court and ensure the bilingualism of Supreme Court judges. Ensure no federal government can sign a unilateral agreement with web giants without consulting Quebec. Formally consult Quebec on all international trade agreements. Invest more in the production of original French-language content.

Sept. 1: Commit an additional $3 billion over four years to help municipalities respond to disasters and build climate resilience infrastructure.

Use available federal lands for affordable housing.

Aug. 31: Increase the taxable amount of capital gains profits for house flippers from 50 to 75 per cent.

Aug. 30: Close tax loopholes. Crack down on tax evasion. Strengthen Canada Revenue Agency enforcement. Increase public reporting on corporate taxes.

Aug. 28: Forgive up to $20,000 of student loan debt. Remove interest from federal loans. Double federal student grants. Give new graduates a five-year grace period on federal loan payments.

Aug. 27: Immediately begin working with provinces to deliver a universal, single-payer, public pharmacare program starting next year.

Aug. 26: Double the first-time homeowner's credit to $1,500 and transform it into a rebate to ensure first-time homebuyers can get the money when they move in rather than "at tax time.''

Aug. 25: Lower cellphone and internet bills. Work with the CRTC to force large telecommunications companies to reduce prices on all of their plans and cap their fees below the global average.

Aug. 24: End for-profit long-term care. Establish a Care Guarantee for seniors, families and workers. Develop national long-term care standards.

Aug. 23: Identify and eliminate subsidies to oil and gas companies and reallocate the money to the renewable energy sector. Cut Canada's emissions by more than half by the year 2030, such as through electrifying public transit. Put $500 million in funding to support Indigenous-led stewardship programs.

Aug. 22: Change the name of the Toronto-Danforth riding to Danforth-Layton.

Aug. 21: Tighten the rules to prevent developers from "renovicting'' families. Provide help of up to $5,000 a year for families' rents while tackling wait lists for affordable housing.

Aug. 20: Appoint a special prosecutor on residential schools. Demand all residential school records from institutions such as governments and churches be released. Work to fully implement all outstanding recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Aug. 19: Create a $250 million Critical Shortages Fund to help train and hire 2,000 nurses. Ensure that provinces commit funding specifically for health-care workers.

Aug. 18: A 20 per cent foreign homebuyers' tax along with the construction of 500,000 affordable housing units in the next decade. The tax would apply to the purchase of homes for those who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Aug. 17: Expand domestic manufacturing capacity and invest in small businesses.

Aug. 16: Take back money from CEOs who received federal subsidies intended for protecting workers' jobs and redirect it to supports for families.

Greens

Sept. 7: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030. Aim for net negative emissions by 2050.

End all subsidies to the fossil fuel sector. Phase out existing oil and gas operations. Replace every high-paying fossil fuel sector job with a high-paying green sector job through wage insurance, retraining programs and early retirement plans.

Raise taxes on environmentally harmful goods and services. Increase carbon taxes by $25 per tonne each year between 2022 and 2030.

Ensure that all Canadian electricity comes from renewable sources by 2030.

Ban the sale of all internal combustion engine passenger vehicles by 2030 and expand charging stations. Introduce vehicle buy back programs.

Ban the further development of nuclear power in Canada.

Promote more plant-based eating and reduced consumption of animal-source foods. Adopt animal welfare legislation to prevent inhumane treatment of farm animals.

Require that all plastic packaging contain at least 50 per cent recycled content by 2030.

Allocate one per cent of GST to housing and other municipal infrastructure. Declare housing affordability and homelessness a national emergency. Invest in the construction and operation of 50,000 supportive housing units over 10 years. Build and acquire at least 300,000 units of "deeply affordable'' non-market, co-op and non-profit housing over a decade.

Establish a guaranteed livable income.

Abolish post-secondary education tuition. Cancel all federally held student loan debt.

Fully fund a universal pharmacare program. Expand medicare to include dental care.

Make a universal, affordable early learning and childcare system a reality.

Establish a national mental health strategy and suicide prevention strategy.

Order a public inquiry into the response to COVID-19.

Create an adverse effects reporting database for doctors and emergency rooms to keep track of health impacts of pesticides and other chemicals.

Implement all of the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. End all drinking water and boil water advisories. Provide sustainable funding for new and existing Indigenous healing centres. Call on the Pope to apologize for the Catholic Church's involvement in residential schools. Establish an independent body to decide specific land claims.

Reduce funding to the RCMP and direct it to community and social services.

Eliminate mandatory minimum sentences. Reduce the number of people held in pretrial detention.

Restore the per-vote subsidy for political parties.

Sept. 3: Establish a national database to track police use of force.

Sept. 1: Decriminalize the possession of drugs. Create a national safe supply of drugs of choice. Establish more safe injection sites.

Aug. 31: Replace one-third of food imports with domestic production. Work with provinces to create land trusts. Increase urban agriculture to ensure access to local food. Protect the supply management system.

Aug. 16: End the construction of new pipelines, fracking, and oil and gas exploration.

People's party

Sept. 12: Find a private buyer for the Trans Mountain pipeline. Repeal bills C-48 and C-69. Approve pipeline projects using a streamlined process. Reassert federal jurisdiction over pipelines.

Sept. 7: Liberalize trade and labour mobility between provinces and territories. Force provinces to apply the principle of mutual recognition, so if a worker, product or service meets the regulatory standards in one province, it applies in other provinces. Appoint a minister of internal trade.

Sept. 5: Substantially reduce immigration levels, thereby reducing housing demand. Stop funding social housing. Privatize or dismantle the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Work with provinces to curb speculation and money laundering by foreign non-resident buyers.

Sept. 4: Repeal legislation adding gender identity and gender expression to prohibited grounds of discrimination under the Canada Human Rights Act. Modify a bill banning conversion therapy. Maintain sports for women in which ``biological men'' cannot participate.

Sept. 2: Replace the Firearms Act. Replace the current firearms licensing system with a lifetime certification system that will legalize simple possession of firearms for certified Canadians as long as they don't commit a crime that would disqualify them from firearms ownership. Reclassify all firearms based on the Simplified Classification System.

Aug. 31: Reduce the total amount of equalization paid to the provinces and ensure only provinces with the greatest needs benefit from it. Establish a parliamentary committee to review and make recommendations on a new equalization formula.

Aug. 28: Defund the CBC/Radio-Canada and end the $600-million program giving funding to news outlets.

Aug. 26: Fire Dr. Theresa Tam, the chief public health officer of Canada. Repeal vaccine mandates and regular testing for federal civil servants and workers in federally regulated industries. Repeal vaccine passports for travellers. Support legal challenges of provincial vaccine mandates and certification systems. Support emergency provincial measures that protect the most vulnerable from COVID-19.

Aug. 24: Reduce health transfers to the provinces and territories with a permanent transfer of tax points of equivalent value to give them stable revenue.

Aug. 23: Phase out all pandemic spending programs. Eliminate the deficit in four years.

Aug. 19: Set the Bank of Canada's inflation target at zero per cent instead of two per cent.

Aug. 18: Repeal any existing legislation or regulation that curtails free speech on the internet.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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