Canadian Federal Political Platform Imaginings

As I did with a quasi-Provincial level platform, I wanted to spend some time thinking about what a Federal platform for me would look like.

I started this before our last election and have been working on it on and off for a while now. I am sure there is still a ton of learning I need to do to really understand the scope of the things I’m saying, but I like the general direction I am trying to go in. Feel free to rip into any part of it as I am not married to any of it. I am hoping to push people to talk about this stuff.

Taxes

  • Raise the basic personal amount to $26,000 by 2026. 
  • Cut the tax rate on income under $60,000 from 15% to 13%.
  • Cut the tax rate on income between $60,000 and $105,000 from 20.5% to 20%.
  • Keep the current tax rate of 26% from $105,000 to $155,000.
  • Increase the tax rate on income between $155,000 to $215,000 from 29% to 30%.
  • Increase the current top tax bracket rate from 33% to 35% on income over $215,000 up to $400,000.
  • Create a new top tax bracket on income over $400,000 with a rate of 37%.
  • Create a “super-wealth tax” of 1% on wealth exceeding $10 million.
  • Work to close tax loopholes, credits, and write-downs/offs that the wealthy often exploit.
  • Allow partial income splitting for joint-filing couples, thus creating the opportunity for the higher earner or single-earner to transfer income of an amount up to the available basic personal amount of the spouse, to the lower or non-earner spouse. 
  • Increase the federal corporate tax rate from 15% back to 18% as it was previously in 2010.
  • Spend $5 million dollars to investigate the feasibility of enacting an automation tax on corporations that are replacing human workers with machines or computer software.
  • Impose a financial transaction tax of 0.1% on the financial sector for all investment transactions (stock, bonds, ETFs, etc…)
  • Legitimize the B Corporations Certification in Canada and provide businesses with a 5% non-refundable tax credit on revenue for B Corporations.
  • Companies proven by the CRA to be shifting corporate profits for the express purpose of tax evasion will be fined.
  • Put a 12% tax on luxury vehicles (cars, boats, aircraft) over $120k (value to increase with inflation, rounded to the nearest $1000) with exemptions for electric vehicles. Make sure that this tax applies to people (not corporations importing for resale) importing vehicles as well.
  • Put a 2% tax on junk food (chocolate, chips, candy) and sugar added beverages (pop, sugar added juice, chocolate milk).
  • Increase the excise tax on tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol by 2% per year over the next four years.
  • Place a 20% foreign buyers tax on purchases of residential and commercial properties by foreign corporations or people who are not citizens or permanent residents.
  • Remove the GST from home heating and energy bills.
  • Increase the overall budget of the CRA by 2% per year for the next four years. With a focus on technological efficiency and modernization and a mission to focus on high income earners and large corporations.

Economy & Affordability

  • Create a basic income called the Valued Canadians Dividend. Provide all citizens and permanent residents over 16 years old with $1800 per month. This will replace various income support programs typically making up payments below this threshold. This amount will increase with inflation.
  • Remove the federal minimum wage, but allow and support cities, counties, and provinces in enacting their own minimum wage as best fits their regional area.
  • Eliminate the Old Age Security system and its complicated sliding scale payment system in favour of the VCD.
  • End the Canada Child Tax Benefit as the VCD and other listed changes are better.
  • Eliminate GST/HST credits. As tax credits for regular people only creates additional complexity and doing your taxes should be simple. Also, payouts from VCD will offset more than this amount.
  • Increase the Child Disability Benefit by 5% per year for the next four years.
  • Remove corporate welfare and federal financial transfers and investments in industries like oil and gas, petrochemicals, and chemical companies.
  • Require Canadian telecom services and packages to be within 20% of average G7 rates for similar services.
  • Lower investment and citizenship requirements for new telecom players to increase competition in the Canadian market.
  • Create a $X billion dollar per year venture fund to invest in innovation companies with a focus on green industries and high-tech industries. These investments will be made with the expectation of partial ownership in the invested companies and thus a return on investment with successful companies. 
  • Create a $XXX million dollar per year venture fund to invest in transforming Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba economies towards an economy focused on research and innovation. These investments will be made with the expectation of partial ownership in the invested companies.

Jobs & Skills Training

  • Eliminate all fees from the Business Development Bank of Canada, Export Development Canada, and Farm Credit Canada for business advisory services like mentorship and training.
  • Create a Canadian Apprenticeship Bursary providing up to $15,000 per apprentice for every new position created to a maximum of 1,000 positions over four years.
  • Improve credential recognition to make it easier for immigrants with equivalent skills or training to garner employment.

Deficits & Debt

  • Ensure that Canada’s debt servicing to GDP growth ratio stays the same or improves over an eight year fiscal horizon.

Health

  • Put in place a national head to toe healthcare plan. Medically required vision care, preventative or prescribed dental care, prescribed mental health services, and prescribed medications should all be fee free for Canadians.
  • Create and fund a Canada-wide drug purchasing agency to work at reducing the cost of medications.
  • End the ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men. 
  • Spend $XX million per year on a program within Health Canada to support community based organizations offering targeted LGBTQ2S+ youth mental health and well-being services.
  • Spend an additional $XXX million per year on a National responsible drinking, substance use, and support information/education/advertising campaign directed at youth and young-adults.

Energy

  • Eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies and tax write-offs. 
  • Ban hydraulic fracturing operations.
  • Create and fund a national Renewable Energy Development Committee to work with provinces to grow Canada’s leadership in renewable energy.
  • Invest $XXX million in additional funding towards nuclear energy programs, redevelopment, repairs and upgrades.
  • Educate and engage the public on options for Gen 4 nuclear fission reactors in Canada.
  • Invest $XX million per year in energy storage research and development as well as trial installations in at-risk areas of Canada.

Climate Change & Environment

  • Increase federal carbon tax to $60 per tonne from $50 and increase it to $120 per tonne by 2026.
  • Have 100% of Canada’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030.
  • Invest and hire teams to plant XX million trees per year and provide support to monitor and manage growth of the new planting to increase tree survivability to maturity.
  • Ban dumping raw sewage into waterways.
  • Ban the sale of internal combustion engine passenger vehicles for non-commercial or industrial needs by 2026.
  • ICE commercial & industrial passenger vehicle sales to be banned by 2030.
  • Provide a 5% tax credit to businesses purchasing all-electric semi-trailer trucks. 
  • Double investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
  • Add a minimum of two electric vehicle charging stations at each and every federal parking lot.
  • Increase gas tax 5% over the next four years.

Indigenous Affairs

  • Establish and fund a National Council for Reconciliation.
  • Establish a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
  • Invest in Indigenous history education programs for all Canadians.
  • Create and invest $XX million per year on an Indigenous Culture Archive with a focus on preserving and promoting Indigenous languages, cultural history, stories, music and digital records of art.

Immigration & Refugees

  • End the cap on applications to sponsor parents and grandparents. 
  • End the Temporary Foreign Workers Program.
  • Allow provinces and territories to set their immigration limits. Each year they’ll report how many people they are willing to receive, and the government of Canada will use that combined number to determine the total Canadian immigration number with the understanding that the Federal government is not going to mandate that new entrants live in a specific province or territory.

National Defence

  • Increase the number of military service personnel by an additional 2,500 per year for the next four years. This is over top of current expected growth. This will create federal job opportunities and expand the ability for the Canadian Forces to be staffed and available for domestic emergencies, as well as better staff replacement scheduling for overseas deployments.
  • Create non-deployment positions for enlisted Canadian Forces members and allow anyone injured or unfit for deployment to carry on in the Canadian Forces if they have the skills or interest in a non-deployment position within the Canadian Forces rather than having them released. These positions are only available for service people to transfer to, thus protecting the universality of service as an entry requirement for new members.
  • Increase the per capita equipment spending on military service persons by an additional five percent per year for the next four years. This should help resolve some lapses in equipment maintenance and purchasing that has contributed to morale issues.
  • Provide an immediate one-time salary adjustment of X percent for all non-commissioned members and adjust payment schedule based on this increase. Despite a recent increase that happened, this is to further make the Canadian Forces pay structure more competitive with the private sector.
  • Sign and ratify the Treaty to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
  • Upgrade the Royal Canadian Navy’s submarine capability.
  • Establish an arctic naval fleet to focus on Canada’s arctic sovereign rights.
  • Require a mental health screening review every three years for all active Canadian Forces members.
  • Increase civilian mental health practitioner employment opportunities to support the Canadian Forces members and their families.

Public Safety & National Security

  • Ban all military-style assault and semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.
  • Continue and strengthen the handgun ban in Canada as 60-70% of all homicides committed using a firearm over the last half decade were with a handgun.
  • Invest in a national firearms safety training service to provide no-cost firearms safety training.
  • Require the Communications Security Establishment and CSIS to have a warrant before accessing the communications of Canadians.
  • Institute Canada’s Digital Charter so people can control their personal data and their right to be forgotten. This means allowing you to have social media services not just hide your account, but actually remove all of your data from their service. 
  • Require that ISPs can only release data when required by a warrant, except in imminent emergencies where people would be physically harmed by waiting for a warrant.

Infrastructure

  • Reduce interest rates to municipalities on loans for infrastructure projects via changes to the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
  • Change the national building code to require new construction to meet net-zero emission standards by 2026.
  • Reduce the red-tape for airline travel companies in Canada to improve services and prices through potential competition. 
  • Investigate the options and opportunities to invest in the new generation of low Earth orbit satellite Internet options being launched with the goal of making sure Canada has access to these services and secondarily to find opportunities for investment for the benefit of social programs funding.
  • Reduce restrictions on autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles on the national highway system.

Retirement & Seniors

  • Develop and fund a national dementia strategy.
  • Amend Medical Assistance in Dying legislation to allow everyone the option of “dying with dignity”.
  • Invest $XX million dollars over four years into innovation opportunities in Elderly care.
  • Place details on Federal costs relating to elderly care online for research and educational purposes to highlight the trends and issues we face providing services.
  • CPP will no longer be taxed as income.
  • Adjust the Criminal Code with penalties for elder abuse.

Housing

  • Impose a 15% surtax on foreign buyers.
  • Add a 2% annual tax on properties owned by those who are not Canadians and who do not live in Canada.
  • Invest $XX million dollars as seed money to create the National Housing Development Corporation, a home building firm to build affordable and mid-market housing. The goal of the company is to increase the Canadian housing supply while also employing Veterans and other experienced people that may normally have difficulty finding or retaining employment. The expectation is that beyond the fourth year this company will be revenue neutral. If it is unable to meet that goal, then reassess and potentially shut down the company.
  • Invest $X billion dollars towards building new affordable housing in the first 24 months.
  • Invest $XX million dollars per year to increase and improve youth and homeless shelters.

Education

  • Make all one year certificate, two and three year diploma college level education tuition free for students without a diploma or degree.
  • Increase access to Canada Student Grants for full-time students to a maximum of $5,000 with it increasing at a rate of inflation plus one percent per year.
  • Eliminate interest on federal portion of student loans.
  • Establish free online services and resources for learning English and French as second languages.

Child Care & Family

  • Provide adoptive parents with the same access to parental leave benefits as natural birth parents.
  • Invest $XXX million dollars over the next four years in public non-denominational not-for-profit child care.
  • Eliminate GST on all construction costs related to child-care spaces.
  • Invest $XX million dollars over the next four years in Pregnancy & Infant Loss services and support.
  • Extend maternity leave benefits to parents that have experienced a miscarrage. Up to 15 weeks at a 55% benefit rate.

Agriculture & Food

  • Provide a $X billion dollar grant fund over the next four years for farmers wanting to modernize, automate or innovate in the food production industry. With a focus on environmentally friendly technologies and techniques for sustainable farming.
  • Require boat-to-plate traceability standards for all Canadian seafood products.

Foreign Affairs

  • Decrease spending by 5% over four years towards supporting UN peacekeeping missions.
  • Adjust spending on foreign aid with a focus on moving funds from countries with a Human Development Index over 0.6 to countries below that bar. For example, Canada has a Human Development Index of 0.926, India is currently at 0.64 and Madagascar is currently at 0.519.
  • Review NATO commitments with a focus on efficiency, long-term planning and Canada’s needs. Look for budgetary cuts in this area and re-commit to only a 1% GDP maximum.

International Trade

  • Create a $10 million a year export investment grant for small and medium sized businesses (under $200,000 in exports per year) to grow their export opportunities. Reducing the complexity compared to the CanExport program. 
  • Create a central Import/Export corporation website that provides insight domestically and internationally to connect business to each other in a more seamless way.
  • Open discussions with provinces and territories regarding co-investing in opening provincial trade representation offices in strategic global markets. Set aside $X million per year for set-up and staffing of such offices.
  • Spent $X million per year on creating training sessions for helping businesses understand the process to expand their operations Internationally and export Canadian products/services. 

Justice

  • Immediately financially support provinces/territories so that they can hire over 200 new Crown prosecutors and 100 new judges to help reduce delays.
  • Introduce criminal code for possession of a smuggled firearm.
  • Give trial judges greater discretion in criminal sentencing by reducing reliance on minimum sentences.
  • Increase federal funding for legal aid by 20%.
  • Decriminalize all drug possession so we can send those with issues to treatment instead of prison. Of course, any associated act while on a drug will still handled like the crime that it is.
  • Pass legislation to end solitary confinement that lasts over 48 hours.

Youth

  • On a Canadian citizen or permanent resident’s 16th birthday, provide eight free Via Rail open destination travel vouchers to travel anywhere in Canada that the rail service allows. 
  • Develop and implement a national autism strategy for youth.

Democracy & Governance

  • Federal Election Voting Day to be a National holiday.
  • Lower the Federal voting age to 16. This will allow students to register at their high schools, learning party platforms can be part of the discourse at schools, and we can place voting stations in high schools to make it easy to vote. It has been proven that if you start someone voting, it is highly likely they’ll continue to vote.
  • End First Past the Post voting via electoral reform and replace it with Single Transferable Vote. This will create a system of governance that better reflects voting patterns and remove the feeling of wasted votes and reduce the fear of strategic voting.
  • Reduce maximum campaign spending for Federal election campaigns to the median family income in the riding the representatives are running in or $50,000, whichever is lower.
  • Require all printed election marketing material to be recyclable.
  • Provide a yearly chart available online, broken down into a single taxpayer dollar to show how federal tax dollars are being spent in an easy to comprehend way.
  • Freeze Prime Minister and Member of Parliament salaries for the next eight years.
  • Reduce MPs office expense account budgets by 25%.
  • Reduce the number of Federal Public Sector employees through retirement and attrition thanks to shutting down multiple money management programs within the Federal Government and switching to a more streamlined system.

Veterans

  • Clear backlog of Veterans’ benefit applications within twelve months.
  • Provide one caseworker for ever 24 veterans instead of one every 32.5.
  • Expand the veterans education benefit, making it easier to be approved.
  • Provide all veterans a job guarantee up to the age of 65. If after one year post service, a veteran is experiencing difficulty with employment and they are not in an educational program, provide them with a Federal civilian occupation in infrastructure, housing, veteran services, or another best fitting opportunity.
  • Increase access to preventative mental health services for veterans and their families by funding mental health support training to active service people and their families on military bases.

Arts & Culture

  • Provide $5 million dollars every four years in financial support for Indigenous theatre at the National Arts Centre.
  • Allow income tax averaging for artists and cultural workers. This allows them to lower their taxes slightly by leveling out their income over multiple years to deal with the inconsistency in their income. For example, if they have one year where they earn $20,000 and the next where they earn $100,000, they could submit their taxes as two years of $60,000 each.
  • Immediately increase the per-capita level of funding for the CBC to that of the BBC.
  • Establish a public board of qualified people to oversee the CBC. Working towards it becoming an arm’s reach crown corporation and run more like other media organizations with a focus on reducing its Federal funding requirements. The continued amount of decrease to be determined after a four year period of investigation.
  • Finance free tickets to all children/youth (ages 0-16) to enter museums, galleries, and cultural venues.
  • Exempt stage theatres from collecting/remitting GST.

Genomics

  • No experiments that alter a human’s or animal’s reproductive cells and/or gene drive genetics programs should be allowed to leave the laboratory environment. This law should be reviewed every 4 years and removed if for some reason it benefits Canada to do so.
  • No living entities with the changes above can be imported into Canada.
  • Any person, even at the request of a corporation, caught defying these rules will be subject to up to ten years in jail.
  • Corporations caught defying these rules will lose their license to operate within Canada and be heavily fined.
  • We will put political pressure on companies creating human health related gene therapies to price them reasonably.
  • Create a Genetics Science Council to monitor and report on projects being undertaken in Canada and around the world to better inform both government officials and the public regarding genetic engineering developments.

Artificial Intelligence

  • Create an Artificial Intelligence Council together to monitor and report on projects being undertaken in Canada and around the world to better inform both government officials and the public regarding AI developments.
  • Work with the Alberta Provincial government to grow an A.I technology hub in Edmonton to take advantage of the high quality students graduating the Artificial Intelligence programs from the University of Alberta.

If you made it this far, you deserve a medal!

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