Canadian voters will head to the polls on Oct. 21 after what is expected to be a heated federal election campaign.  

Justin Trudeau is aiming for re-election after the release of a 2001 image of the Liberal Party leader in brownface makeup and in the wake of the SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. scandal; while Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives, Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats, Elizabeth May’s Green Party, Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada and Yves-François Blanchet’s Bloc Quebecois jockey for power.  

Here’s a look at what each of the parties have promised so far on the major issues affecting the economy, business and your finances. BNN Bloomberg will keep this platform guide updated as more details are announced. 

Latest update: Oct. 11, 2019 

 

 

FISCAL PLAN 

Bloc Quebecois

  • No specific proposals to date

Conservatives

  • Balance the budget in five years by taking a “measured approach to spending growth” 
  • Deficit would peak at $23 billion in 2020, before dropping to $5 billion in 2023, moving into a surplus in 2024.
  • Cut consultant costs, scale back travel and hospitality, and sell federal real estate to downsize government spending. The party estimates savings will reach $5 billion in the fifth year of the plan.

Greens

Liberals 

  • Make new investments amounting to $9.3 billion in 2020-21, rising to $17 billion by 2023-24
  • Increase the deficit to $27.4 billion next year before reducing it to $21 billion by 2023-24
  • Lower the debt-to-GDP ratio to 30.2 per cent by 2023, from 30.9 per cent in 2020-21
  • Preserve Canada’s AAA credit rating

NDP

  • Run a deficit of $32.7 billion in 2020-21 (including a contingency fund) before lowering it to $16.6 billion in 2023-24.
  • Says debt-to-GDP ratio (including contingency fund) would fall to 30 per cent by 2023-24 from 31.3 per cent in 2020-21.

People’s Party of Canada

  • Balance the budget within two years


 

HOUSING 

Bloc Quebecois

Conservatives

  • Propose changing mortgage stress tests for first-time homebuyers and reviewing the removal of the test from mortgage renewals
  • Increase amortization periods on insured mortgages to 30 years for first-time buyers
  • Launch an inquiry into money laundering in real estate
  • Make federal real estate available for housing developments

Greens

  • Legislate housing as a legally protected fundamental human right for all Canadians and permanent residents
  • Appoint a Minister of Housing to strengthen the National Housing Strategy so it meets the needs of affordable housing in each province
  • Eliminate the first-time home buyer incentive recently implemented by the Liberals
  • Restore tax incentives for building purpose-built rental housing and provide tax credits for gifts of lands to community land trusts to provide affordable housing
  • Refocus the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s mandate on supporting the development of affordable, non-market and cooperative housing, as opposed to one of its primary activities of providing mortgage loan insurance  

Liberals 

  • Introduce federal speculation tax on non-residents and a higher cap on the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive, which was implemented in early September.
  • Increased the amount first-time buyers can withdraw from their RRSPs to $35,000 from $25,000 in budget 2019.

NDP

  • Spend $5 billion building 500,000 affordable homes
  • Allocate $125 million each year to removing GST from the construction of new rental units 
  • Re-introduce 30-year terms for insured mortgages for first-time homebuyers 
  • Double the first-time homebuyers’ tax credit to $1,500
  • Implement a 15 per cent foreign buyers' tax on purchases of residential property by foreign corporations or people who are not citizens or permanent residents 
  • Work with provinces to create a public beneficial ownership registry to increase transparency about who owns properties in an effort to stop money laundering 
  • Offer up to $5,000 in rental subsidies for nearly 500,000 families struggling to pay for housing  

People’s Party of Canada

  • No specific pledges to date


 

SUPPLY MANAGEMENT 

Bloc Quebecois

Conservatives

Greens

Liberals

  • Support supply management, which became a sticking point in the new North American Free Trade Agreement talks. Canadian negotiators ultimately conceded, and under the new pact, which has yet to be ratified by all three countries’ lawmakers, Americans will be allowed to ship more milk to Canada’s protected dairy market. 
  • Trudeau has pledged $1.75 billion over eight years to compensate dairy farmers affected by free trade agreements with Europe and countries on the Pacific Rim. The Liberals have promised a similar program when the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement comes into force. 

NDP

  • Vows to protect supply management

People’s Party of Canada

  • Phase out supply management over a number of years  
  • Allow Canada’s dairy, egg and poultry farmers to sell their products internationally


 

PERSONAL TAXES

Bloc Quebecois

Conservatives

Greens

  • Close tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy, such as ones on executive stock options and capital gains

Liberals

  • Cap employee stock option deductions for high-income earners in large and mature companies to $200,000 annually (as per 2019 budget
  • Raise basic personal amount to $15,000  
  • Introduce a 10-per-cent tax on luxury cars, boats, and personal aircraft valued at $100,000 or more

NDP 

  • Expects $5.6 billion in revenue in 2020-21 from the “super-wealth tax” that applies a one-per-cent tax to those worth over $20 million
  • Sees eventual $709-million revenue gain  from a 12-per-cent luxury tax on aircraft, boats, and vehicles valued over $100,000
  • Sees $8 billion in revenue in 2020-21 by raising capital gains rate to year 2000 levels
  • Increase the amount of investment profits subject to capital gains taxation to 75 per cent, the rate that was in place in 2000, from 50 per cent 
  • For Canadians making over $210,000, will increase the top marginal tax rate by two points to 35 per cent, raising over half a billion dollars annually.  

People’s Party of Canada

  • Abolish the capital gains tax
  • Cut the federal tax to 15 per cent on income between $15,001 and $100,000, and 25 per cent tax rate on income above $100,000


 

CORPORATE TAXES

Bloc Quebecois

  • Require global technology giants to pay a three-per-cent tax on Canadian revenue, similar to that in France
  • Crack down on large corporations’ use of tax havens by reviewing the Canada Revenue Agency’s role and the country’s tax agreements with such jurisdictions

Conservatives

  • Remove some of the subsidies given to businesses in an effort to save $1.5 billion in costs  
  • Tax large tech companies that host social media platforms, search engines, or online marketplaces. The levy would apply to companies that have worldwide revenues over $1 billion and revenues in Canada over $50 million with a three-per-cent tax on revenues. The party estimates $2.5 billion in revenue over five years.

Greens

  • End offshore tax dodging by taxing funds hidden in offshore havens and requiring companies to prove that foreign affiliates are actual functioning businesses
  • Apply a corporate tax on transnational e-commerce firms doing business in Canada by requiring the foreign vendor to register, collect and remit taxes where the product or service is consumed
  • Eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies, including payments and tax write-offs, including the accelerated capital cost allowance on liquefied natural gas and tax write-offs for oil and gas wells
  • Increase the federal corporate tax rate from 15 to 21 per cent
  • Charge a five-per-cent surtax on commercial bank profits. Credit unions, caisses populaires and co-ops would be exempt
  • Implement a “robot tax” that companies would have to pay every time they replace a worker with a machine. The revenue would be used to fund educational and retraining programs for workers

Liberals

  • Ensure multinational tech giants pay corporate tax on revenue they generate in Canada. This proposal would introduce a three-per-cent income tax on businesses in certain sectors of the digital economy with worldwide revenues of at least $1 billion and Canadian revenues of more than $40 million, beginning on April 1, 2020.   
  • Cut in half corporate taxes for businesses that develop technologies or manufacture products that produce zero emissions

NDP

  • Will roll corporate tax cuts back to 18 per cent (2010 levels) while maintaining the small business tax rate at its current level
  • Expects $2.3 billion in revenue from taxing large internet giants such as Netflix and Google on digital services and advertising  
  • Sees $46 million in revenue in 2020-21 from eliminating stock option loopholes

People’s Party of Canada

  • Lower corporate income tax rate to 10 per cent from 15 per cent
  • End corporate welfare
  • Expand the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance program to all sectors


 

JOBS AND ECONOMY

Bloc Quebecois

  • Implement measures to protect Quebec jobs and corporations from foreign takeovers
  • Launch an investment fund aimed at promoting the province’s high-tech sectors such as gaming, green technology, aerospace and pharamceutical
  • Offer a remediation agreement with SNC-Lavalin 
  • Establish a tax credit for young graduates who move to Quebec, matching an existing provincial credit
  • Transfer responsibility for the foreign workers program from Ottawa to Quebec
  • Establish incentives to hire Aboriginal workers
  • Establish loans and loan guarantee programs for companies looking to automate in the face of labour shortages
  • Plan to consult with unions and socio-economic groups on adjusted taxation and reduced tax rate for overtime work

Conservatives

  • Appoint a Quebec Minister of Canada Economic Development and a political minister from Quebec
  • Launch a judicial inquiry into the Liberal government’s involvement in SNC-Lavalin’s criminal prosecution
  • Shelve the Canada Infrastructure Bank, which the Liberals gave $35 billion in funding to over 10 years to finance infrastructure projects. Instead, the Conservatives promise to prioritize spending on projects that reduce commute times
  • Spend $187 billion on infrastructure investments over 15 years instead of the 12 years currently promised by the Liberals.

Greens

  • Develop a Sustainable Generations Fund to invest in green trades and apprenticeship training, as well as education facilities 
  • Enhance the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy by creating a Community and Environment Service Corps. that will provide $1 billion annually to municipalities to hire Canadian youth
  • Study the impact of adopting a shorter work week
  • Ban unpaid internships in private sector workplaces
  • Raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour
  • Implement a “robot tax” that companies would have to pay every time they replace a worker with a machine. The revenue would be used to fund educational and retraining programs for workers

Liberals

  • Extend EI sickness benefits from 15 to 26 weeks at a cost of $507 million by 2023-24; implement a new Career Insurance Benefit for people who have worked continuously for the same employer for five or more years, and are laid off when the business closes
  • Aim to award at least five per cent of federal contracts to businesses led by Indigenous Peoples
  • Add an additional $9 million over three years to help more visible minority newcomer women find work

NDP

People’s Party of Canada

  • Limit the number of temporary foreign workers
  • Privatize Canada Post
  • Privatize airports

 


 

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

Bloc Quebecois

  • Promises to end fossil fuel subsidies
  • Committed to meeting the Paris Agreement targets on climate change, and has goals to exceed them
  • The party is against the proposed Energy East pipeline that would have run through Quebec, and wants to have a veto over any pipeline that would need to go through the province

Conservatives

  • Repeal Bill C-69, which overhauls the review process for resource projects in Canada
  • End Bill C-48, which bans oil tankers that are carrying more than 12 500 metric tons of crude oil along northern British Columbia  
  • Enact legislation to clarify roles of proponents and governments in consultations
  • End foreign-funded interference in regulatory hearings
  • Provide certainty on approval timelines and schedules
  • Eliminate the Trudeau government’s carbon tax
  • Introduce a 20 per cent refundable tax credit for anyone who spends between $1,000 and $20,000 on energy-saving home renovations
  • Create a national energy corridor that would carry oil, gas, hydroelectricity and telecommunications from coast-to-coast. The Conservatives say the plan would help the federal government address environmental concerns upfront, increase investor certainty and help get critical projects built

Greens

  • Upgrade Canada Post’s fleet to electric vehicles
  • Broaden postal carriers’ mandate to check in on those who live alone or have mobility issues, particularly during extreme weather events
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent by 2030 and to zero by 2050
  • Cancel the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion
  • Make electric vehicles affordable, expand charging stations and ban the purchase of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2030
  • Mandate energy retrofits for all buildings by 2030
  • Regulate the CPP Investment Board to require divestment of coal, oil and gas shares 

Liberals

NDP

  • Create a publicly-funded "climate bank" to increase clean energy investments 
  • Build an east-west corridor to carry clean energy across Canada
  • Expand federal funding by $2.5 billion for diaster relief and adapting infrastructure to withstand extreme weather events
  • Introduce federal incentives for zero-emissions automobiles 
  • Electrify transit and other municipal fleets by 2030.
  • Power Canada with net carbon-free electricity by 2030 and move to 100 per cent non-emitting electricity by 2050 
  • Ban single-use plastics.    
  • Continue carbon pricing, including rebates to households that fall under the federal backstop plan; roll back the breaks to big polluters
  • Create a $40-million Coastal Protection Fund to defend wild salmon, remove derelict vessels, clean up the coast, and improve Coast Guard equipment and training
  • Allocate $1.5 billion for green transit and transportation spending each year
  • Generate $611 million in revenue in 2020-21 from eliminating fossil fuel subsidies

People's Party of Canada 

  • Find a private buyer for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project
  • Repeal Bill C-48 and Bill C-69
  • Scrap the federal carbon tax
  • Withdraw from the Paris Accord, an international agreement to fight climate change signed in 2016
  • Remove subsidies for green technology  
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TRADE

Bloc Quebecois

Conservatives

  • Work with provinces to implement an Interprovincial Free Trade Agreement (IFTA) 
  • Appoint a Minister of Interprovincial Trade, who would be responsible for leading negotiations and implementing the IFTA

Greens

  • Revamp national trade policy to align with national and international climate change plans
  • Renegotiate Canada’s trade and investment agreements to remove the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions that give foreign firms the ability to challenge government laws and policies

Liberals 

  • Create a Canada Free Trade Tribunal to help resolve cases involving domestic trade barriers
  • Introduce a Canada Commercial Consular Service to connect companies that encounter significant trade disputes with local legal assistance

NDP

  • Modernize Canada’s trade remedy system and make sure that trade unions have full standing in trade cases and the ability to initiate disputes, as is the case in other countries.
  • Improve transparency during trade negotiations 
  • Will require use of Canadian steel and aluminum for infrastructure projects across the country 

People’s Party of Canada

 


 

CHILD CARE 

Bloc Quebecois  

  • No specific proposals to date

Conservatives

Greens

  • Increase federal child care funding to at least one per cent of GDP annually, adding an additional $1 billion each year until the benchmark is reached
  • Eliminate all GST on all construction costs related to child-care spaces

Liberals

NDP

  • Spend $10 billion over next four years to create 500,000 new child-care spaces across the country
  • Allow new parents to condense their EI benefits so they can take shorter parental leaves while still receiving the full benefit
  • Spend $1 billion in the first year of power to work toward universal child care, with the cost rising by $1 billion each year

People’s Party of Canada

  • No specific pledges to date

 

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BNN Bloomberg speaks with David Macdonald, senior economist at Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), about the costs of raising a family and what policy can do to help.

 


 

RETIREMENT AND SENIORS

Bloc Quebecois

  • Provide employers with a tax credit for training and retaining workers who are 65 and older
  • Create an income support benefit for older workers  
  • Provide tax incentives for seniors who choose to remain in the workforce beyond their retirement age

Conservatives

Greens

  • Over time, increase the Canada Pension Plan’s target income replacement rate from 25 per cent to 50 per cent of income received during working years
  • Protect private pensions by amending the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to establish the pre-eminence of pensioners during company insolvency proceedings

Liberals 

NDP

  • Protect the pensions of workers/ retirees by cracking down on pension theft
  • Spend $500 million by 2023-24 on increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS)
  • Spend $45 million in the first year making the Caregiver Tax Credit refundable, up to $60 million by 2023-24

People’s Party of Canada

  • No specific pledges to date

 


 

PHARMACARE AND HEALTHCARE 

Bloc Quebecois

Conservatives

  • Spend $1.5 billion to buy new medical imaging equipment for facilities across Canada
  • Maintain and increase the Canada Health Transfer, which provides long-term healthcare funding to the provinces and territories

Greens

Liberals 

  • Invest $6 billion over the next four years to kickstart negotiations with the provinces aimed at improving a range of health-care services, including discussions on national pharmacare
  • The government introduced steps toward a national pharmacare program, including the creation of a new Canadian Drug Agency to coordinate purchases of prescription drugs and make high-cost drugs for rare diseases more affordable (as per 2019 budget

NDP

People’s Party of Canada

  • Replace the Canada Health Transfer cash payments with a permanent transfer of tax points of equivalent value to the provinces and territories, to give them a stable source of revenue
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National pharmacare could prove to be a key battle issue in the upcoming federal election, but provincial divisions could complicate any such plan. For more on this, BNN Bloomberg spoke with Mark Satov, founder of Satov Consultants.

 


 

 

IMMIGRATION

Bloc Quebecois

  • Introduce a bill to ensure that those who are applying for citizenship in Quebec have sufficient knowledge of French
  • Require the federal government to grant Quebec a veto on any federal decision to expel refugees
  • Suspend Canada’s Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S.
  • Allow Quebec to impose conditions for granting permanent residence

Conservatives 

  • Renegotiate the Safe-Third Country Agreement with the United States and put an end to illegal border crossings at unofficial points of entry
  • Improve language training, credential recognition and make it easier for new Canadians who have existing skills that meet the country’s standards to apply their trades
  • Will prioritize people facing true persecution
  • Move existing Immigration and Refugee Board judges to common illegal border crossing points.
  • Hire an additional 250 border guards.
  • “Listen carefully to provinces” on immigration issues, including a willingness to discuss the foreign resident selection with the Quebec government and possible amendments to the Canada-Quebec Accord on Immigration.

Greens

  • Ensure professionals being considered for immigration have licensing requirements for their professions clearly explained before entry
  • Allocate greater funding for training in official languages for new immigrants
  • Eliminate the Temporary Foreign Workers Program and address labour shortages by increasing immigration, working with employers to establish paths to permanent residency
  • Terminate Canada’s Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S.

Liberals

NDP

  • Work with the provinces to address gaps in settlement services and improve foreign credentials recognition.
  • End cap on applications to sponsor parents and grandparents; take on the backlogs that delay reunification 

People’s Party of Canada

TECHNOLOGY

Bloc Quebecois

Conservatives

  • Establish a cabinet committee on cyber security and data privacy
  • Create a “Canada Cyber Safe” brand to ensure consumers know when products have met certain security standards
  • Ensure companies collecting electronic data receive informed consent from Canadians

Greens

  • Mandate more affordable cell phone and internet plans
  • Implement corporate tax on e-commerce companies like Netflix
  • Enact provisions to protect consumers and investors from fraud and theft in cryptocurrencies
  • Strengthen digital privacy laws with measures such as prohibiting warrantless intrusions on Canadians’ communications, banning cyber surveillance programs that use bulk data collection, requiring companies to respect the “right to be forgotten,” and making data breach reporting mandatory for government departments, companies, banks and political parties
  • Implement a “robot tax” that companies would have to pay every time they replace a worker with a machine. The revenue would be used to fund educational and retraining programs for workers

Liberals

NDP

  • Work with international allies to deal with threats to national security, including cyber crime
  • Enforce a price cap to make sure that Canadians aren’t paying more than the global average for their cell phone and internet bills
  • Spend $750 million in 2020-21 on providing quality cell service, additional $500 million in each of the following years

People’s Party of Canada

 

EDUCATION  

Bloc Quebecois

Conservatives

Greens

Liberals

  • No specific proposals to date

NDP

 

 

SMALL BUSINESS 

Bloc Quebecois

Conservatives

  • Repeal tax increases on small business investments implemented by the Liberal government
  • Exempt spouses from tax increases on small business dividends
  • Reduce federal regulations by 25 per cent and assign a minister dedicated to red tape reduction efforts

Greens 

  • Maintain the current level of taxation for small business

Liberals 

  • End “swipe fees” for GST and HST that merchants must pay to credit card firms every time one is used  
  • Create the Canada Entrepreneur Account, which would provide up to 2,000 entrepreneurs every year with as much as $50,000 to launch a new business

NDP

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

People’s Party of Canada

  • No specific pledges to date

 

CANNABIS

 

Bloc Quebecois

  • No specific proposals to date

Conservatives

  • No specific proposals to date

Greens

Liberals

  • Under new regulations, cannabis edibles, extracts and topical products will become legal by Oct. 17. However, the products are not expected to hit legal retail stores until mid-December.

NDP

  • No specific proposals to date

People’s Party of Canada

  • No specific proposals to date

 

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this post included incorrect information about the NDP’s proposed threshold for a tax on luxury aircraft, boats, and vehicles. BNN Bloomberg regrets the error.