Here is Canada’s current ruling party’s manifesto in October 2015. Excerpts are on our own.
Chapter 1. Growth for the Middle Class
~ Economic security for the middle class
~ Investing to strengthen the middle class
p.12: PUBLIC TRANSIT
We will invest in public transit to shorten commute times, cut air pollution, strengthen our communities, and grow our economy.
Canadian cities have been growing at a rapid rate, but investment in public transit has not kept pace.
Stephen Harper’s failure to invest has led to worsening traffic congestion, making it harder for families to spend time together. This gridlock also costs our economy billions of dollars in lost productivity each year.
We will get our communities moving again, by giving our provinces, territories, and municipalities the long-term, predictable federal funding they need to make transit plans a reality.
Over the next decade, we will quadruple federal investment in public transit, investing almost $20 billion more in transit infrastructure.
In communities all across Canada, transit projects are ready to go.
In British Columbia’s Lower Mainland, for example, plans are in place to:
• increase SeaBus service to every ten minutes during morning and afternoon rushes;
• extend rapid transit service along Broadway, currently the busiest bus corridor in North America; and
• bring light rail transit to Surrey, one of the fastest growing parts of the region.
We will work with provinces and municipalities across the country to get projects like these done.
p.13-14: GREENER COMMUNITIES
We will invest in sustainable infrastructure that makes our communities safer and more resilient.
Responsible governments do not walk away from challenges, or pretend they do not exist. We will protect our communities from the challenges of climate change and grow our economy by making significant new investments in green infrastructure.
This includes investments in local water and wastewater facilities; clean energy; climate resilient infrastructure, including flood mitigation systems; and infrastructure to protect against changing weather.
We will boost investment in green infrastructure by nearly $6 billion over the next four years, and almost $20 billion over ten years.
When it comes to infrastructure that will help keep Canadians safe and better prepared for emergencies, local leaders know what needs to be done. What they need is a federal partner willing to invest to help build stronger, more resilient communities.
In St. John’s, this means upgrades to its wastewater plant.
In Trois-Rivières, this means improving the Maples and Cardinal-Roy reservoirs, and finding ways to mitigate the regular flooding of the Millette, Bettez, and Lacerte rivers.
In Calgary and Southern Alberta, this means investments in flood mitigation projects, to help protect local families and businesses.
We will help Canada’s agriculture sector be more innovative, safer, and stronger.
Canada’s farmers and ranchers are the foundation of our food sector. The work that they do to feed Canada and the world is vital, but government support is needed to help them with challenges ranging from transportation to water management to research and food safety.
To attract investment and create good jobs in food processing, we will invest $160 million, over four years, in an Agri-Food Value Added Investment Fund. This will provide technical and marketing assistance to help food processors develop new
value-added products that reflect changing tastes and market opportunities.
To support innovation in the agricultural sector, we will invest an additional $100 million, over four years, in agricultural research. To better allocate research funding, we will establish a transparent process that involves food producers.
We will invest an additional $80 million, over four years, in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for more food safety inspections of domestic and imported foods.
We will continue to defend Canadian interests during trade negotiations, including supply management.
We will also work with provinces, territories, and other willing partners, to better address water and soil conservation and development issues, including investments in appropriate infrastructure.
~ Help that works for modern Canadian families
p.21-22: CANADA’S NORTH
We will invest in Canada’s North, to help northern Canadians with the high cost of living, and help our northern economies grow.
Canada’s North is a vast and beautiful part of the world, home to a rich culture and tremendous economic potential. Because of its isolation, however, it is also a very expensive place to live.
The Northern Residents Deduction was designed to help mitigate these higher costs, and help attract workers to the North. Unfortunately, the deduction amount has not kept pace with inflation, making its help less valuable to those who need it.
To help northern residents with higher costs of living, and to help our northern economies grow, we will increase the residency component of the deduction by 33 percent to a maximum of $22 per day. We will also index this benefit so that it keeps pace with inflation.
To ensure that northern families have access to affordable, healthy food, we will increase investments in the Nutrition North program by $40 million, over four years. We will also work with northern and remote communities to ensure that the program is more transparent, effective, and accountable to northerners and other Canadians.
As part of new, ten-year investments in social infrastructure and green infrastructure, we will prioritize investment in affordable housing and climate change preparedness, both of which are important to the quality of life for northern Canadians.
For residents in Canada’s Northern Zone, our enhanced Northern Residents Deduction will provide a new annual maximum deduction of $8,000 per year, from the $6,022 currently available.
Those living in the Intermediate Zone will see their annual maximum deduction rise to $4,000 from $3,011 per year.
In total, this enhanced deduction represents a $50 million annual tax savings for Northern Canadians.
Chapter 2. Fair and Open Government
~ Open and transparent government
~ Open and fair elections
~ Giving Canadians a voice in Ottawa
~ Better service for Canadians
~ Evidence-based policy
Chapter 3. A Clean Environment and a Strong Economy
p.40-41: CLEAN JOBS
We will make it easier and more financially rewarding for Canadian businesses to invest in creating clean jobs.
Clean technology can deliver real benefits for our environment and our economy, including more good, middle class jobs.
We will invest $100 million more each year in clean technology producers, so that they can tackle Canada’s most pressing environmental challenges, and create more opportunities for Canadian workers.
We will deliver more support to emerging clean tech manufacturing companies, making it easier for them to conduct research and bring new products to market.
We will also invest $200 million more each year to support innovation and the use of clean technologies in our natural resource sectors, including the forestry, fisheries, mining, energy, and agricultural sectors.
To support both large- and community-scale renewable energy projects, the new Canada Infrastructure Bank will issue Green Bonds to fund projects like electric vehicle charging stations and networks, transmission lines for renewable energy, building retrofits, and clean power storage.
We will enhance existing tax measures to generate more clean technology investments, and work with the provinces and territories to make Canada the world’s most competitive tax jurisdiction for investments in the research, development, and manufacturing of clean technology.
We will deliver a better quality of life for all Canadians by working with the provinces to set stronger air quality standards, monitor emissions, and provide incentives for investments that lead to cleaner air and healthier communities.
As the country’s single largest employer, customer, and landlord, we will lead by example and increase government use of clean technologies. This will boost domestic demand for clean technology, support entrepreneurs, and fuel new jobs.
We will improve energy efficiency standards for consumer and commercial products, and use new financing instruments to encourage investments in energy-saving retrofits to Canada’s industrial, commercial, and residential buildings.
We will provide more support for our clean technology companies to successfully export their products by training trade officials and leading trade missions focused on clean technology. These companies will also be provided with useful training, data, and technical assistance on export opportunities in a more coordinated way.
We will look for ways for government to be an “early adopter” of emerging green technologies, and will support clean transportation by adding electric vehicle charging stations at federal parking lots, and rapidly expanding the federal fleet of electric vehicles.
To foster the creativity that leads to cutting-edge research, we will establish Canada Research Chairs in sustainable technology.
We will also work closely with the provinces and territories to develop a Canadian Energy Strategy to protect Canada’s energy security; encourage energy conservation; and bring cleaner, renewable energy onto the electricity grid.
We will protect our freshwater and oceans.
Canada is uniquely blessed with an abundance of freshwater, and marine and coastal areas that are not only ecologically diverse, but also economically significant: our ocean-based industries contribute nearly $40 billion each year to the Canadian economy.
To protect these valuable natural resources, we will deliver more robust and credible environmental assessments for all projects that could impact our freshwater and oceans.
We will treat our freshwater as a precious resource that deserves protection and careful stewardship. We will work with other orders of government to protect Canada’s freshwater using education, geo-mapping, watershed protection, and investments in the best wastewater treatment technologies.
To protect our freshwater ecosystems, we will renew our commitment to protect the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River Basin, and the Lake Winnipeg Basin. We will also act on the recommendations of the Cohen Commission on restoring sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser River.
To aid in making the best possible decisions, we will restore $1.5 million in annual federal funding for freshwater research – a program that was cut by the Conservatives – and make new investments in Canada’s world-leading IISD Experimental Lakes Area.
Stephen Harper’s failure to meet our international commitments to protect marine and coastal areas puts these areas and our international reputation at risk.
We will make up for Conservative inaction and increase the amount of Canada’s marine and coastal areas that are protected – to five percent by 2017, and ten percent by 2020.
To help achieve this, we will invest $8 million per year in community consultation and science.
Chapter 4. A Strong Canada
~ A renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples
~ The future we owe our veterans
~ Keeping Canadians safe
~ Investing in our cultural and creative industries
~ Supporting strong communities
Chapter 5. Security and Opportunity
~ Opening the door to prosperity
~ A more compassionate Canada
~ Expanding exports and opportunities for Canadians
p.66-67: THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO
We will renew and repair our relationships with our North American partners.
For the past decade, Stephen Harper has led a government that is increasingly partisan, suspicious, and hostile when dealing with our closest neighbours: the United States and Mexico. We will end this antagonism and work with our partners to advance our shared interests.
As a first step, we will immediately lift the Mexican visa requirement that unfairly restricts travel to Canada, and commit to rescheduling and hosting a new trilateral leaders’ summit with the United States and Mexico.
We will work with the United States and Mexico to develop a continent-wide clean energy and environment agreement.
Because Canada relies on international trade to create jobs and grow our economy, we will work to reduce the barriers that limit trade. With a re-focused Building Canada Fund, we will promote a steadier flow of goods and business travellers by modernizing border infrastructure and streamlining cargo inspections.
To underscore the importance of the United States to Canada, we will also create a Cabinet committee to oversee and manage our relationship.
~ Renewing Canada’s place in the world and strengthening our security
Chapter 6. Fiscal Plan and Costing
p.74-75: OUR FISCAL APPROARCH
… In 2019/20, we will:
• Reduce the federal debt-to-GDP ratio to 27 percent
• Balance the budget …
p.76-77: PLANNING FRAMEWORK
With the Liberal plan, the federal government will have a modest short-term deficit of less than $10 billion in each of the next two fiscal years – less than half the average Harper deficit of over $20 billion per year. After the next two fiscal years, the deficit will decline and our investment plan will return Canada to a balanced budget in 2019/20. Combining fiscal prudence with investments in economic growth, we will end the Harper legacy of chronic deficits and reduce Canada’s federal debt-to-GDP ratio each year.
The Conservatives and the NDP have based their planning framework on assumptions from the April 2015 budget, before it was understood that Canada was in a recession. Our plan is transparent and honest about the weakened fiscal position that the federal government is facing.
Our plan includes measures that, according to Department of Finance multiplier projections, will have positive impacts on economic growth, particularly infrastructure investment and measures for lower-income Canadians.
This new economic growth would in turn improve the fiscal position of the federal government. With our plan’s level of investment, this would translate into additional billions per year for the fiscal bottom line. While these improvements to the bottom line would be material, consistent with Department of Finance practices, we have not included them in our planning framework.