As in many election campaigns, it is easy for voters to get lost in the midst of the mudslinging and scandals prevalent during campaign period. 

But what are Canada’s major political parties promising to do to make life better for the average Canadian? 

Many more promises will be made in the lead up to election day, and Canadian Filipino Net is giving you a quick rundown of social issues relevant to Canadian Filipinos and what the parties are pledging to deliver if they get the voters “sweet yes” (matamis na oo) on October 21.

         1. Immigration 

       a. Liberals

  • On the current Temporary Foreign Worker Program, impose mandatory complaint tracking system, disclosure of investigations into abuses, disclosure of federal employer compliance reviews, compulsory and regular workplace audit and disclosure of the number of temporary foreign workers;
  • Budget 2019 pledged $1.2 billion over five years to improve asylum claims processing and address deportations of people whose claims have been denied; 
  • Proposed to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
  • Resisted calls to suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States.

    b. Conservatives
  • Family reunification;
  • Improve credential recognition and language training for new immigrants; 
  • Promote private sponsorships of refugees;
  • Stop illegal border crossings at unofficial points of entry;
  • Amend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States.

    c. Green
  • Allocate funding for official language training;
  • Family reunification;
  • Increase funding of multicultural associations;
  • Eliminate the Temporary Worker Program;
  • Increase immigration by partnering with employers to establish paths to permanent residency;
  • Improve pathways for international students and foreign workers towards citizenship; 
  • Terminate the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States.

    d. NDP
  • Establish Canadian Immigration Policy that prioritizes family reunification;
  • Simplify application for visitor’s visa for visiting family members; 
  • Drop immigrant application and landing fees;
  • Allow one-time opportunity to sponsor a relative who is not a member of the family class to come to Canada;
  • Fast-track family class sponsorship for applicants from disaster areas.

    2. Climate Change

    a. Liberal
  • Ban single-use plastics by 2021;
  • 2019 Budget offer incentives to buy electric cars;
  • Move to net-zero emissions by 2050;
  • Use revenues from Trans Mountain pipeline to pay for a $3 billion climate action plan.

    b. Conservative

  • Set emission standards for major emitters;
  • Develop a Green Investment Standards Certification program outlining eligible investments;
  • Establish a Green Homes Tax Credit and a green home retrofit code;
  • Establish net zero ready building standards and green construction options;
  • Establish green patent credit, green technology and innovation fund and green hub for innovators.

    c. Green

  • Cut 60% of carbon emissions by 2030;
  • Cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline;
  • Make electric vehicles affordable and expand charging stations;
  • Renew the National Forest Strategy.

    d. NDP

  • Introduce federal incentives for zero-emissions vehicles;
  • Electrify transit and other municipal fleets by 2030;
  • Net carbon-free electricity by 2030 and move to 100% non-emitting electricity by 2050;
  • Ban single-use plastics;
  • Continue carbon pricing;
  • Roll back the breaks to big polluters.

  1. Jobs and the economy

    a. Liberal
  • None to date

    b.Conservative

  • Get pipelines built;
  • Create a National Energy Corridor that would move Canadian oil, gas, electricity, telecommunications.

    c. Green

  • Establish a universal Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI) program;
  • Establish the federal minimum wage of $15 per hour;
  • Set municipal minimum wages in accordance with the differential costs of living across the country;
  • Implement a national mental health strategy to address the link between mental wellness and work productivity;
  • Enhance use of Community Benefits Agreements.

    d. NDP

  • Establish a federal minimum wage of $15 per hour;
  • Ban unpaid internships outside of education programs;
  • Create a National Automotive Strategy;
  • Give Export Development Canada a stronger mandate.

  1. Taxes

    a. Liberal
  • Cap employee stock option deductions for high-income earners;
  • Increase personal income tax deduction to $15,000.

    b. Conservative

  • Reduce taxes on the lowest income bracket to 13.75 per cent from 15 per cent;
  • Re-introduce the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and Children’s Arts and Learning Tax Credit;
  • Re-introduce 15 per cent tax credit for public transit passes;
  • Remove federal income tax from Employment Insurance maternity and paternity benefits;
  • Eliminate GST from home heating and energy bills;
  • Establish a single tax return for Quebec residents.

    c. Green

  • Close tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy.

    d. NDP

  • Implement a "super-wealth tax";
  • Increase the amount of investment profits subject to capital gains taxation to 75 per cent;
  • For Canadians making over $210,000, increase the top marginal tax rate.

  1. Health care

    a. Liberal
  • Budget 2019 introduced steps toward a national pharmacare program.

    b. Conservative

  • Spend $1.5 billion to buy new medical imaging equipment;
  • maintain and increase the Canada Health Transfer.

    c. Green

  • Extend the Canada Health Act to other aspects of health care;
  • Expand the Act to include prescription drugs dispensed outside of a hospital
  • Ensure that every Canadian has a family doctor and that primary care is centred on the patient.

    d. NDP

  • Spend $10 billion a year to create a national pharmacare program;
  • Extend public dental coverage for low-income households.
  1. Seniors

    a. Liberal
  • Historically, restored the age of eligibility for Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) benefits from 67 back to 65;
  • Increase OAS by 10 percent;
  • Increase the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) survivor’s benefit.

    b. Conservative

  • Offer incentives to Quebec retirees who want to go back to work;
  • Increase the Age Tax Credit.

    c. Green

  • Develop a National Seniors Strategy that includes increasing the CPP target income replacement rate, amending the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, developing a national dementia strategy and improving the Medical Assistance in Dying legislation.

    d. NDP

  • Protect the pensions of workers/retirees by cracking down on pension theft.

  1. Child care

    a. Liberal
  • Increase the Canada Child Care Benefit by 15%; 
  • 15-week leave for adoptive parents; 
  • Establish a national system of guaranteed paid family leave; 
  • Create up to 250,000 more child care spaces for children under 10; 
  • Lower childcare fees by 10 per cent across the board; 
  • Make maternity and parental leave benefits tax-free.

    b. Conservative

  • Make EI maternity benefits tax-free.

    c. Green

  • Dedicate additional resources to create early learning and child-care (ELCC) system; 
  • Provide the early educator jobs; 
  • Location of child care must respond to family needs and be placed along existing public hubs.

    d. NDP

  • None to date

  1. Small business

    a. Liberal
  • Cut the small business tax rate from 11 per cent to nine per cent;
  • End “swipe fees” for GST and HST; 
  • Create the Canada Entrepreneur Account.

    b. Conservative

  • None to date

    c. Green

  • Maintain the current level of taxation for small business.

    d. NDP

  • Tackle high credit card merchant fees; 
  • Add new legislation to end the unfair tax treatment of family transfers.

  1. Housing

    a. Liberal
  • Introduce federal speculation tax on non-residents and a higher cap on the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive; 
  • Increased the amount first-time buyers can withdraw from their RRSPs (per Budget 2019).

    b. Conservative

  • “Rework” mortgage qualification rules; 
  • Review the re-introduction of 30-year amortizations on insured mortgages.

    c. Green

  • Enhance the federal government’s contribution to meeting the housing needs of Canadians;
  • Legislate housing as a legally protected fundamental human right for all; 
  • Appoint a Minister of Housing to strengthen the National Housing Strategy; 
  • Eliminate the first-time home buyer grant.

    d. NDP

  • Create 500,000 affordable housing units; 
  • Re-introduce 30-year terms for insured mortgages for first-time homebuyers; 
  • Double the first-time homebuyers’ tax credit; 
  • Implement a 15 per cent foreign buyers' tax on purchases of residential property; 
  • Remove GST/HST on the construction of new rental units; 
  • Create a public beneficial ownership registry.

  1. Education

    a. Liberal
  • None to date

    b. Conservative

  • Increase federal contribution to the registered education savings plan to 30 per cent.

    c. Green

  • Make college and university tuition free; 
  • Forgive the federal government portion of existing student debt.

    d. NDP

  • Cancel interest on all existing and future student loans.

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