With the 2019 federal election only days away, where do the parties stand on issues that matter to industry – and to your business?
CBC News has compiled an issues-based breakdown of the positions adopted by the six main parties on a host of issues, from gun rights to child care to housing.
Below we present a quick rundown of party positions on a series of issues of special interest to this magazine’s readers.
Manufacturing: The Liberals say they would cut taxes by 50 per cent for companies behind zero-emission technology or products. Trudeau has called for a national manufacturing strategy but it hasn’t materialized. The Conservatives have been pretty quiet about manufacturing, but in 2018 Leader Andrew Scheer said he would continue to support manufacturing in southern Ontario through the FedDev Ontario program and a federal auto-sector investment fund. The NDP have been calling for a national auto strategy with $300 million for innovation, and a national industrial strategy to build a low-carbon manufacturing economy. The Bloc Québécois hasn’t released a policy yet. The Green Party focus on increasing manufacturing in green industries, hoping to create thousands of jobs in wind turbines, solar panels and other green industries. The People’s Party hasn’t released a policy.
NAFTA: The Liberals managed to reach a new deal with the U.S. but it hasn’t been ratified yet. Conservatives criticized the deal and have released ads attacking it, but wouldn’t re-open the deal if elected. The NDP also don’t think the deal is good enough for Canada and hope to see changes approved by the U.S. Congress. The BQ was especially incensed by what they saw as Canadian concessions on supply management and want to introduce a bill to prevent further cuts to supply management. The Green Party congratulated Canada’s negotiators for reaching a new deal but are concerned about impacts on supply management and drug costs. The People’s Party called Canada’s negotiators “amateurs” and was disappointed supply management wasn’t eliminated completely.
Pipelines: The Liberals are a mixed bag, supporting some and not others, the Conservatives want to build pipelines faster, the NDP says fracking and fossil fuels are on the way out and provinces should be able to veto infrastructure projects on their territory, including pipelines, the BQ is against new pipelines, the Greens would not approve any new projects and would cancel Trans Mountain, and the People’s Party strongly supports new pipelines.
Small business: The Liberals have pledged cash incentives for startups and say they will cut corporate taxes in half for businesses making zero emission products or technologies. The Conservatives promise to repeal the Liberal tax reforms and make the tax system easier to navigate and say they will keep the small business tax rate at 9 per cent. The NDP say their universal pharmacare plan would save small business money on benefits. The party would keep the small business tax rate at 9 per cent. The BQ hasn’t said much, but may release more details this week. The Greens want a law that would force government to consider the impact of future legislation on small businesses. They propose a Green Venture Capital Fund to aid green business startups and want to eliminate the need for a small business to file taxes multiple times. The People’s Party hasn’t released a policy, although leader Maxime Bernier was minister of state for small business under Stephen Harper.
Taxes: The Liberals will raise the basic personal income tax deduction to $15,000 for those earning under $147,000, and plan to tax luxury vehicles and tech giants generating revenue in Canada. The Conservatives promise a “universal tax cut” of 1.25 per cent over three years on taxable income under $47,630. The NDP want to raise the rate for capital gains inclusion from 50 per cent to 75 per cent, and to raise the top federal personal income tax rate from 33 per cent to 35 per cent. The BQ wants the Quebec government to collect federal income taxes and promise to clamp down on tax havens. The Greens want to increase corporate tax rates from 15 to 21 per cent, and the People’s Party wants to cut them from 15 to 10 per cent while eliminating the personal capital gains tax.
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