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Party time!

A round-up of political parties running for the forty-third Canadian Parliament

The federal election, on Oct. 21, is quickly approaching. Still don’t know who to vote for? Here is the Dalhousie Gazette’s guide to federal parties running, including their campaign promises (or lack thereof) on student issues. 

Liberal Party of Canada   

In this image: Justin Trudeau.
Justin Trudeau. Photo by Women Deliver

Leader: Justin Trudeau  

Halifax MP candidate: Andy Filmore (incumbent) 

Dartmouth-Cole Harbour MP candidate: Darren Williams (incumbent)  

Campaign promises 

Education: 

  • Giving full and part-time students up to $1,200 more per year, through increased Canada Student Grants. 
  • Graduates will not have to start repaying student loans until their salary reaches $35,000 a year; repayments will be on hold if the salary drops below that.   

Climate Crisis: 

  • Achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 nationwide. They will form a committee of scientists, economists and experts to develop recommendations on how this will be achieved. 
  • Two billion trees planted, “over 10 years,” according to a press release.   
  • Ban single-use plastics by 2021. 
  • A new technology and commercial support fund to help Canadian producers of clean energy expand. 
  • Put in place a carbon price in 2019 of $20 per tonne, increasing $10 each year to $50 in 2022.  

LGBTQ2S+  

  • Banning conversion therapy nationwide, and introducing it in the Criminal Code. 
  • Investing $10 million a year, over the next three years, to help LGBTQ2S+ organizations hire staff, expand services and reach more people. 
  • End the ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men. 
  • Investing $2 million a year in the pan-Canadian 24/7 mental health hot-line to ensure members of the LGBTQ2S+ community receive the support they may need.  

Women’s Empowerment 

  • Address gender gaps in medical research and care by creating a national institute for women’s health. 
  • In 2011, Trudeau had stated that he is personally against abortion but supports a woman’s right to choose. During a campaign event in Quebec City, he said that he is now completely pro-choice and no longer feels he has the right to be against abortion.  

Indigenous Rights 

  • Address all critical infrastructure needs, including housing, internet and schools, in Indigenous communities by 2030. 
  • Eliminate all long-term drinking water advisories in Indigenous communities by 2021.  
  • Fully implement the Indigenous Languages Act to protect Indigenous languages. 
  • Reduce the number of Indigenous children in foster through the implementation of the Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Children, Youth and Families.  

Conservative Party of Canada 

In this image: Andrew Scheer
Andrew Scheer. Creative Commons

Leader: Andrew Scheer  

Halifax MP candidate: Bruce Holland 

Dartmouth-Cole Harbour MP candidate: Jason Cole 

Campaign promises: 

Education 

  • No specific proposals at the time this was written (Oct. 10). 

Climate Crisis 

  • Put an end to dumping raw sewage in waterways. 
  • Emitters who produce more than 40 kilotons of greenhouse gas per year must invest in private-sector research and development of clean technology. 
  • Increase the energy efficiency of cross-border trucking through regulatory negotiations, and encouraging the research and development of eco-friendly transportation.  

LGBTQ2S+  

  • Would “propose laws that protect the rights of LGBTQ Canadians,” says Andrew Scheer. No direct commitment has been made to ending conversion therapy.  

Women’s Empowerment 

  •  “I am personally pro-life,” Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said on in the Oct. 8 federal debate. However, if elected, he said his government would do nothing to restrict access to abortions. 

Indigenous Rights 

  • No specific proposals yet but Andrew Scheer has rejected the use of the word genocide by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.  

New Democratic Party (NDP) 

In this image: Jagmeet Singh.
Jagmeet Singh. Photo by BGM Riding Association

Leader: Jagmeet Singh   

Halifax MP candidate: Christine Saulnier 

Dartmouth-Cole Harbour MP candidate: Emma Norton  

Campaign promises: 

Education 

  • Eliminate interest on federal portion of student loans. 
  • Increase access to Canada Student Grants, in an effort to move away from loans. 

Climate Crisis 

  • Reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions to 450 megatons by 2030. 
  • Increase federal funding towards low-carbon transit projects, while modernizing and expanding public transit. 
  • Eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. 
  • Ban single use plastics by 2022. 
  • Make 100 per cent of all new automotive sales “zero-emission vehicles” by 2040. 
  • Create a new Canadian Climate Bank and spur investment into low-carbon economies.  

LGBTQ2S+  

  • Establish a comprehensive plan to address violence against LGBTQ2S+ people. 
  • Ban conversion therapy. 
  • Add sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the Employment Equity Act to counter disadvantages experienced by queer and transgender workers.  
  • Expunge the records of LGBTQ2S+ Canadians in the armed forces who were given dishonourable discharges. 

Women’s Empowerment 

  • Develop a National Action Plan to end gender-based violence. 
  • Implement and enforce pay equity legislation and regulations. 
  • Will promote domestic violence leave in workplaces.  

Indigenous Rights  

  • Invest $1.8 billion to lift all drinking water advisories by 2021. 
  • Implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 
  • Work with Indigenous peoples to co-develop a National Action Plan for Reconciliation. 
  • Introduce Indigenous People’s Day as a national holiday and a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.  

The Green Party of Canada 

In this image: Elizabeth May
Elizabeth May. Photo by Green Party of Canada

Leader: Elizabeth May 

Halifax MP candidate: Jo-Ann Roberts 

Dartmouth-Cole Harbour MP candidate: Lil MacPherson 

Campaign promises: 

Education 

  • Eliminate post-secondary education tuition. 
  • Forgive existing student debt held by the federal government. 
  • Remove 2 per cent cap on increases to funding for the education of Indigenous students. 
  • Eliminate Registered Education Savings Plans.  

Climate Crisis 

  • Stop all new fossil fuel projects. 
  • 100 per cent of Canada’s electricity coming from a renewable source by 2030. 
  • $100 million per year, over the next four years to create Indigenous-led protected and conserved areas. 
  • Have at least 30 per cent of freshwaters, oceans and land protected by 2030. 
  • Ban single use plastics by 2022. 

LGBTQ2S+ 

  • Begin funding a program within Health Canada to support community-services offering mental health and wellbeing assistance targeted to the LBGTQ2S+ youth community. 
  • Ban medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex children, 
  • Ban conversion therapy. 
  • End the ban prohibiting men who have sex with men to donate blood.  

Women’s Empowerment 

  • Develop an action plan to end violence against women and gender-diverse peoples.  
  • Make the sex work industry legal. 
  • Investment of $40 million over four years in the Shelter Enhancement Program, to provide new and renovated first-time shelters and transition houses.  

Indigenous Rights 

  • Upgrade infrastructure to end drinking water advisories. 
  • Implement all calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry. 
  • Implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 
  • Dismantle the Indian Act, while allowing self-governing Indigenous communities to “opt out” of the Act while the dismantling process takes place. 

The Bloc Québécois 

In this image: Yves-François Blanchet.
Yves-François Blanchet. Photo by Mariannlï on Flickr

Leader: Yves-François Blanchet 

No local candidates 

Campaign promises: 

Education 

  • Support the creation of a francophone university in Ontario. 
  • An increase in the Canada Social Transfer to correct post-secondary underfunding.  
  • Increase in research at universities.  

Climate Crisis 

  • Asking the federal government to use taxation as its main deterrent of climate change.  

LGBTQ2S+  

  • No specific proposals at the time this was written. 

Women’s Empowerment 

  • No specific proposals at the time this was written. 

Indigenous Rights 

  • Supports the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 
  • Work towards administrative autonomy for Indigenous communities in Quebec.  
  • Address Quebec’s labour shortages by incentivizing the creation of jobs for and hiring of Indigenous people.   

The People’s Party 

In this image: Maxime Bernier.
Maxime Bernier. Photo by Parti conservateur du Québec

Leader: Maxime Bernier 

Halifax MP candidate: Duncan McGenn 

Dartmouth-Cole Harbour MP candidate: Michelle Lindsay 

Campaign promises: 

Education 

  • No specific proposals at the time this was written.  

Climate Crisis 

  • Bernier denies the climate crisis. No plan for climate action. 
  • Looks to grow the fossil fuel industry in Canada.  

LGBTQ2S+  

  • The People’s Party does not have a unified platform on social issues.  

Women’s Empowerment 

  • The People’s Party does not have a unified platform on social issues.  

Indigenous Rights 

  • Reaffirm the federal government’s power to approve natural resources and infrastructure projects on Indigenous lands, after consultations with affected communities. 
  • Explore replacements for the Indian Act. 
  • Promote the establishment of individual property rights on reserves. 

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