Vote with Confidence – Follow Up

Andrea Micieli has graciously summarized our platform analysis and candidates debate in Trinity-Spadina.  Thank you once again to all the volunteers who gave analyzed the platforms and to Adam from for moderating the all candidates debate.

We truly want to thank Rachel Barney, Olivia Chow, and Christine Innes for joining our discussion and helping us vote with confidence on May 2nd.


By Andrea Micieli

In light of the federal election on May 2nd, our April discussion was focused on a review of the major federal party platforms followed by a Question and Answer period from candidates in Trinity-Spadina. We hope that every person who participated in our discussion is now better able to “vote with confidence” on Election Day. We encourage you to further evaluate the party platforms to make an informed decision. Online links to the platforms can be found here:

Conservative Party:

Green Party:

Liberal Party:

New Democratic Party:

Thank you sincerely to the federal candidates who attended our Question and Answer period: Rachel Barney (Green –, Olivia Chow (NDP –, and Christine Innes (Liberal –

For the purpose of clear comparison, I will highlight the policy positions of each party under the following themes: Jobs and the Economy, Healthcare, Family Care, Students and Youth, the Environment, Foreign Affairs, Municipalities, and Democracy and Government. This is not exhaustive, so don´t hesitate to review the platforms online and contact your local campaigns if you have further questions.

Jobs and the Economy

Conservative: One year Employment Insurance break for 525,000 Canadian small businesses to encourage them to hire new employees; Reduce income tax rate for businesses of all sizes; Provide loans to recent immigrants to help pay for skills training and accreditation.

Green: Create jobs through investment in renewable energy, expanding passenger rail and modernizing freight, retrofitting thousands of buildings to high standards for energy efficiency; End corporate bail-outs for big business, and subsidies to nuclear and fossil fuels; Implement a revenue-neutral carbon pricing system.

Liberal: Reduce the deficit to one-percent of GDP within two years; Cancel corporate tax cuts and restore to 2010 levels (18 percent); Cancel $30-billion purchase of F-35 fighter jets; Review all federal program spending and implement sustainable savings with a plan to save $500-million per year by second year.

NDP: Reduce the small business tax rate from 11 percent to nine percent; Introduce a Job Creation Tax Credit that will provide up to $4,500 per new hire and create 200,000 jobs; Cap credit card interest rates to five per cent above prime; Ensure Foreign Investment passes a strengthened “net benefit to Canada” test.


Conservative: Increased funding for Brain Canada´s efforts to develop treatment and cures for brain disorders, including Alzheimer´s Disease; More doctors and nurses for rural communities.

Green: Eliminate and oppose two-tier healthcare and expand the national Health Accord; Transfer funds to provinces to open more long-care facilities; New Crown Corporation for bulk purchase of drugs; study feasibility of a national pharmacare program.

Liberal: $100-million for Brain Health Strategy; $40-million over two years to improve rural health services; Maintain current 6% health care funding escalator beyond 2014; Canadian Health Promotion Strategy through a Buy Local Fund, labeling regulations, and improved food inspection.

NDP: Negotiate a new 10-year Health Accord; Train 1200 new doctors over the next ten years and 6000 new nurses over the next six years; End kickbacks from pharmaceutical companies to pharmacists; Extend coverage to out-of-hospital services including home care and long-term care.


Conservative: Universal childcare benefit of $1200/year/child under 6; Child Tax Credit of $2000/year/child under 18; Children´s and Adult´s Fitness Tax Credits up to $500/year; extra $600/year top-up benefit for seniors´ Guaranteed Income Supplement.

Green: Lower income taxes and introduce full income splitting for married couples and families; Introduce an early childhood education system, including more workplace child care spaces and support for those who stay home.

Liberal: Early Learning and Childcare Fund, rising to an annual commitment of $1-billion, administered as a fund provinces and territories can apply to for cost-sharing programs; Family Care Employment Insurance Benefit up to six months; Family Care Tax Benefit up to $1350/year.

NDP: Double Canada/Quebec Pension Plan Benefits; Create Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefit to permit family members to take up to six months leave from work to tend to sick relatives; Introduce a new $1,500/year Caregiver Benefit; Establish 25,000 new child care spaces per year for four years.

Students and Youth:

Conservative: Enhance the Canada Student Loans Program for low- and middle-income students; Make scholarships and bursaries tax free; Increased support for Canada Summer Jobs Program.

Green: Youth Community and Environment Service Corps to employ 40,000 youth/year, aged 18-25, in federal minimum-wage employment; Increase federal transfers to provinces and territories earmarked to post-secondary education.

Liberal: Canadian Learning Passport – $1000/year (or $1500/year for low-income families), over four years for students enrolled in full-time post-secondary education (reduced amount for part-time students); $1,500 in student loan forgiveness for youth in volunteer service; Youth Hiring Incentive, of a 100% Employment Insurance holiday for all new youth hires.

NDP: Establish a Post-Secondary Education Act and invest $800-million in provincial transfers to lower tuition fees; Increase the funding in the Canada Student Grants Program by $200-million a year, targeting accessibility for Aboriginal, disabled and low-income students.


Conservative: Support economically viable clean energy projects; Enact a National Conservative Plan to for new protected areas and ecosystems; Align climate-change targets with the U.S. – 17 percent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels by 2020.

Green: Cancel logging tax credit; Cancel corporate mineral exploration tax credit; Develop national energy retrofit standard; Substantial research and development funding for renewable energies; Match provincial and territorial investments in transit between 25%-75% of cost.

Liberal: Green Innovation Tax Credit to retrofit 1-million homes by 2017 – households can claim up to $13,500; Cleaner Oil Sands development; Work with the U.S. and Canadian provinces to implement a North American cap-and-trade system by 2015.

NDP: Introduce a home heating federal sales tax rebate; Introduce a permanent Eco-energy retrofit program; Put a price on carbon through a cap-and-trade system; Introduce a Green Bond Fund for investments in green energy research and development.

Foreign Affairs

Conservative: Re-introduce legislation to combat terrorism; Lead on the world stage to improve the health of women and children in developing countries; provide development and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, after Canada´s combat role ends.

Green: Refocus the Canadian mission in Afghanistan to poverty alleviation and development; Oppose the United Nations´ Responsibility to Protect doctrine for countries that object to it; advance UN Convention on Rights of the Child.

Liberal: Balance between defense, development, and diplomacy; Global Networks Strategy to increase trade, specifically with India and China; Canada Service Corps for youth serving abroad; Support the Responsibility to Protect to prevent human rights abuses.

NDP: End to Canada´s combat involvement in Afghanistan and commitment to a civilian program; Increase Overseas Development Assistance to 0.7 percent of GDP/year; Ensure Canadian companies operating abroad abide by international human rights and environmental standards.


Conservative: Permanent Gas Tax Fund, to provide a predictable revenue stream for municipalities; Continued Public Transit Tax Credit; Youth Gang Prevention Fund.

Green: Invest in sustainable long-term funding support for municipalities to repair infrastructure; Double funding to re-invest in public transportation; Oppose funding for highway and bridge expansions.

Liberal: Increase federal investment in affordable housing to $550-million over two years; Infrastructure priorities in highways and major roads, local and regional rapid transit, and municipal infrastructure.

NDP: Fund urban public transit with an additional cent of the existing gas tax; Enact the legislation to ensure secure, adequate, accessible and affordable housing for Canadians.

Democracy and Government

Conservative: Senate reform (elected, with term limits); End the direct subsidy of political parties; Continuation of the Open Government initiative through open data, open information, and open dialogue.

Green: Establish a Public Inquiry into Democracy to address anti-democratic trends within Canada; Explore the options for a more meaningful electoral system.

Liberal: Post Access to Information requests and responses online; Online database for grants, contributions, and contracts; Restore the long-form census; Direct Elections Canada to develop and online voting option.

NDP: Introduce a Parliamentary Act to limit prorogation of Parliament to non-confidence matters, and with a mandatory Parliamentary vote; Propose electoral reform; Propose the abolition of the Senate.

Thank you to everyone for participating in this spirited democratic exercise. We hope you came out of this event knowing more about the federal party platforms than you did before. Most importantly, please get out and VOTE on May 2nd! For more information about voting on this day or during the Advanced Polls this weekend visit:

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5 Comments on "Vote with Confidence – Follow Up"

  • Cate says

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  • Ceyda says

    Declan.I have considered that if NDP wasn’t in such a pioavtl position, I probably would. In the current climate the Green party just isn’t, can’t be, a factor. Not yet. I wish them all the best, but they need to work on their platform and candidates before I consider voting for them. I do hope they get enough votes to again get funding from Elections Canada, that was an amazing coup for them last year and they, and any other party, deserve all the support they can get.For now though I have to go for the NDP. They have a chance to gain the 2 seats that they needed last time to hold the balance of power. My riding nearly provided one of those seats.jane-m: Ya, poor RC seems to think that politicians come in different varieties unfortunately they all come in one box.

  • Apples, oranges and fruit salad.The Mintz and Olewiler paper ( caeaulctld a 10c/L tax to gasoline on the premise of imposing a carbon tax of $42 per tonne of CO2 on the emissions specific to the combustion of gasoline. There is no mention in the paper that the 10c/L is the cumulative impact of upstream CO2 emissions and, indeed, at an emissions intensity of 2.341kg/L (CO2-e per NIR emissions factor) a $42/t tax would result in a levy of 9.8c/L. (The Apple)If the NDP proposal is to apply the $45/t floor to refineries and upstream, that’s a separate tax point-of-sale and would lead to your estimate 3.5-4c/L. (The Orange) Without the direct tax on the specific emissions for combustion of gasoline, the refiners don’t have the cost push to increase sale prices by 10c/L. (Which is to say, I agree with you last paragraph.)The Mintz and Olewiler paper did not stop at the proposal to impose a CO2 tax. They proposed it as a replacement to other inefficient or ineffective taxes. Revenue-neutrality was a critical element of the proposal. In all likelihood, the way forward with CO2 taxes will require revenue-neutrality or at least a give-to-get reduction in other taxes. So while we can all postulate about tax impacts based on emissions intensities for each element of the supply chain, we are simply speculating on the ultimate economic impact to individuals without due consideration of the whole picture. (The Fruit Salad) Let’s not loss focus. The environment isn’t getting any better if its business as usual.

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