Conservative Party Policy
Here are some of the planks in the Conservative Party’s platform for the 2019 election. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Go to Contact to send me a note.
A Safer Canada
A Conservative government will protect families from gang and gun violence and keep our streets safe:
· End the practice of granting automatic bail for gang members by extending reverse onus bail to all gang crime offences and to those who have previously been convicted of gang crime offences.
· Revoke parole for gang members who return to associating with a gang after release.
· Identify known organized crime and gang organizations in the Criminal Code, similar to the manner in which terrorist organizations are currently identified. This will spare prosecutors from repeatedly having the establish that the gang in question is a known entity with criminal intent each time a gang member is on trial.
· Implement a minimum five year sentence for ordering or participating in violent criminal activity.
· Strengthen background checks for gun licenses by ensuring the RCMP conducts reference checks and follows up with references.
· Make possession of a smuggled firearm a criminal offence with a mandatory sentence of five years in prison.
· Keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals by ensuring that anyone who provides a firearm to someone who is prohibited from owning them faces up to 14 years in prison.
· Create a CBSA firearms smuggling task force that will work with local law enforcement on both sides of the border to interdict smuggled guns.
· Implement better information sharing processes to ensure that different police forces can more easily cooperate with each other and with the RCMP to track illegal firearms.
· Deliver new funding to fight gangs, including a dedicated anti-gang fund, a police infrastructure grant program, and a youth gang prevention fund.
A Conservative government will protect families from the addiction crisis by:
· Revising the Canadian Drugs and Substance Strategy to focus on helping more Canadians recover from addiction.
· Invest in treatment and recovery centres, including recovery high schools and treatment centres. This will give those who suffer from addiction, their families, and those who have recovered, spaces where they can get the help they need and support each other.
· Launch a national education campaign to warn children, youth, and teenagers about the dangers of drug use while highlighting the benefits to young Canadians of staying drug free.
· Partner with municipalities and school districts to help clean up used needles in public spaces.
· We will restore fairness and support the family reunification program, particularly in cases involving parents and grandparents.
· We will close the loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement.
· We will continue to support settlement services. We know that effective funding allocation is critical in ensuring that immigrants in all regions have fair access to services such as language training, credential recognition, as well as specific services for vulnerable newcomers such as women and girls and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
· We will hire 250 additional CBSA enforcement officers. Extra staff resources are required to cope with those who abuse the generosity of our immigration system.
· We will move existing Immigration and Refugee Board judges to common illegal border crossing points, speeding up the process and therefore making it less attractive to enter Canada illegally.
· We will maintain the open federalism policy of the previous Conservative government, listening carefully to the provinces on immigration issues.
1. Cut 25% of foreign aid spending - The reduction will come from middle- and upper-income countries as well as hostile regimes. We will use the savings to pay for policies that help Canadians get ahead at home and also redirect $700 million to strengthen foreign aid in the countries that need it most. We will continue to work in partnership with leading Canadian aid organizations including volunteer-focused groups who provide much-needed assistance to developing countries.
2. We would also redirect $700 million in foreign aid support to the world’s poorest countries, with a special focus on support for children in conflict zones. Under the Conservative plan, the government will work with leading Canadian aid organizations including volunteer-focused groups who provide much-needed assistance to developing countries. We will also continue to consider aid proposals which support non-development objectives such as minority rights and peaceful coexistence taking place in any country
3. Withdraw Canada from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
4. Prioritize the health, education, and safety of children in Canada’s international development policy and place a special emphasis on protecting children in conflict zones.
5. Renew ties with Canada’s democratic alliances (NATO, NORAD, Five Eyes) while at the same time strengthen relations with like-minded countries like Japan, India, and Israel.
6. Ensure that Canada is at the forefront of advocating for the CANZUK alliance.
7. Recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and move the Canadian embassy to Jerusalem.
8. Provide military defensive aid to Ukraine’s military and restore access to Canada’s RADARSAT-2 data to Ukraine.
9. Advocate at the United Nations for Canadian leadership in a peacekeeping mission to secure Ukraine’s borders and expand Operation UNIFIER, Canada’s military training mission in Ukraine.
10. Reopen the Office of Religious Freedom.
11. Amend the Investment Canada Act to ensure that the takeover of any Canadian company by any foreign state-owned enterprise automatically triggers a national security review.
12. Use Magnitsky sanctions against human rights offenders in foreign regimes.
13. List Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity under Canadian law.
14. Enter discussions with the United States to join the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) program.
15. Engage the House of Commons Committee on National Defence on matters of military procurement to foster a multipartisan consensus.
16. Select a new fighter jet to replace our CF-18s and have the new fleet enter service in 2025.
17. Negotiate a contract with Davie Shipyards to build a second interim supply ship and maintain contracts for Davie Shipyards for ice breakers and federal ferries.
18. Begin the process of replacing Canada’s Victoria class submarines.
- To allow more Canadians with disabilities to access financial support, we will reduce the number of hours spent on life-sustaining therapy required to qualify for the DTC from 14 to 10 hours per week.
- The Fairness for Persons with Disabilities Act will also clarify the activities that count towards these hours to include time spent determining dosages of medical food and formula and activities related to determining dosages of medication, including dietary or exercise regimes.
- An estimated additional 35,000 Canadians who need life-sustaining therapy would qualify for the credit under our plan.
- This Fairness for Persons with Disabilities Act would save Canadians with disabilities, or parents of children with disabilities, an average of $2,100 a year.
- Furthermore, it would make it easier to qualify for the RDSP, which provides up to $3,500 per year in matching grants for Canadians with disabilities.
· A Conservative government will create a National Energy Corridor to carry Canadian energy and resources from coast to coast.
· It will generate economic and social benefits for the entire country by moving oil, gas, hydroelectricity, telecommunications, and potentially accommodating other linear infrastructure.
· A National Energy Corridor would have a range of economic and social benefits, including:
o lowering the cost of environmental assessments without sacrificing quality
o increasing certainty for project proponents
o creating opportunities for Indigenous communities along the route
o and providing opportunities for remote communities to improve their connectivity to the grid and/or to telecommunications infrastructure.
· Energy corridors would have a number of environmental benefits, including:
o allowing clean energy to be more widely distributed
o reducing the overall footprint of linear projects
o increasing the frequency of inspections in the right-of-way and therefore decreasing the risk of spills or accidents
o minimizing risks to sensitive habitats through strategic planning
o and allowing smaller renewable power projects to become more economically viable by reducing the amount of transmission line that must be built in order to connect to the grid.
· A new Conservative government will appoint a blue-ribbon task force to provide recommendations within six months of its establishment on how to proceed.
· The panel would consider such issues as:
o Indigenous consultation
o the role of provinces and relevant provincial laws
o potential uses for the corridor and whether there is potential conflict between these uses
o process options and their related costs
o regions and industries that would benefit most from a corridor
o and a potential route that could connect these regions.
· In addition to creating a National Energy Corridor, a new Conservative government will realize the potential of Canada’s energy sector by:
o repealing the carbon tax
o repealing Bill C-69
o ending the ban on shipping traffic in British Columbia
o ensuring that the Trans Mountain Expansion is built
o establishing clear timelines for regulatory approvals and ensuring Indigenous consultations take place up front and right away
o banning foreign funded advocacy groups from using the approvals process to block important projects in the energy sector
o and asserting federal jurisdiction when necessary.
· A new Conservative government will launch a judicial inquiry into the SNC-Lavalin corruption scandal to get the answers Canadians deserve.
· A new Conservative government will introduce the No More Cover Ups Act to allow the RCMP to access information protected by cabinet confidence by making an application to the Supreme Court of Canada. This will prevent corrupt politicians from hiding behind cabinet confidence to escape police investigation.
· We will Amend s. 39 of the Canada Evidence Act to allow the RCMP to make an application to challenge a certificate of Cabinet Confidence during criminal investigations, including those pertaining to the administration of justice. This will cover both obtaining records as well as conducting interviews.
· Cabinet confidence is an important feature of cabinet governance, but it should not be absolute. In criminal investigations, this principle must be balanced against the need for police to fully investigate allegations of wrongdoing.
Conservatives will introduce a Green Homes Tax Credit for green home renovations and improvements. Canadians will be eligible to receive a 20% refundable credit for green improvements to their homes of over $1,000 and up to $20,000. This will allow Canadians to save up to $3,800 on their renovations each year.
- The Green Homes Tax Credit will save Canadians money in the short term and in the long term. These home improvements do not just save energy; they can also save money through lower home energy costs. Green home improvements can contribute to the value of your home as well.
- We want to encourage all Canadians to play a part in the fight against climate change. In 2017, buildings represented about 12 per cent of Canada’s emissions, or 85 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. The Green Homes Tax Credit will help reduce emissions here at home.
- The Green Homes Tax Credit is a two-year plan to encourage and incentivize Canadians to adopt green home improvements.
- Enviro Economics estimates that the Green Homes Tax Credit will reduce emissions by 9.02 megatonnes, resulting in energy savings that remain permanently after any retrofitting is complete.
To support small businesses, a new Conservative government will:
· Repeal Justin Trudeau’s tax increases on small business investments so hard-working owners aren’t punished for saving for a rainy day or their retirements
· Exempt spouses from Justin Trudeau’s tax increases on small business dividends to recognize the contributions families make to small business success
· Make it easier to navigate Canada’s tax system and get set up with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) by creating new, helpful information packages for small businesses and entrepreneurs
· Reduce the complexity of rules the CRA enforces
· Appoint an expert panel to undertake a comprehensive, system-wide review of taxation in Canada and suggest ways to modernize it, simplify it, and make it fairer
· Review and implement panel recommendations with a view to improving Canada’s international competitiveness and growing the Canadian economy
To reduce small businesses’ regulatory burden, a new Conservative government will:
· Immediately repeal Justin Trudeau’s job-killing, growth-choking measures contained in Bills C-69, C-55, C-48 (the Tanker Ban), and the carbon tax
· Reduce federal regulations by 25 per cent over our four-year mandate
· Implement a 2-for-1 rule whereby before imposing any new regulation the government would get rid of two others
· Assign a minister reporting directly to the Prime Minister to lead government-wide regulatory reduction modeled on Australia’s recent experience and tasked with eliminating, where possible, regulatory discrepancies and duplication with the provinces
· Mandate ministers and regulators to support innovation, economic growth, and global competitiveness
· Set concrete targets for each Minister to reduce the regulatory burden in their purview
· Champion Canada’s small businesses the world over and recognize they are the backbone of the Canadian economy
Small businesses are responsible for 41.5 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). Unleashing their full potential is critical to growing Canada’s economy to ensure we can all get ahead.
A Conservative government will:
1. Fix the mortgage stress test to ensure that first-time homebuyers aren’t unnecessarily prevented from accessing mortgages; and work with OFSI to remove the stress test from mortgage renewals to give homeowners more options.
2. Increase amortization periods on insured mortgages to 30 years for first-time homebuyers to lower monthly payments, and make home ownership affordable.
3. Launch an inquiry to root out corrupt practices that inflate housing prices.
4. Make surplus federal real estate available for development to increase the supply of housing.
A Conservative Government will:
1. Enshrine, in legislation, a Military Covenant between the Government of Canada and Canada’s Veterans. The Covenant will demand that at all times Veterans be given the respect they deserve by federal officials and institutions and mandate the delivery of services in a timely manner.
2. Clear the unacceptable backlog of Veterans benefit applications within 24 months.
3. Fix Justin Trudeau’s failures on pensions by correcting the problem identified by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, which found that Veterans with severe and permanent injuries will be worse off by an average of $300,000 over their lifetime under the Liberal so-called ‘pensions for life’.
4. Take action on transition services by reviewing rules around service attribution and mandating that the Canadian Armed Forces retain medically releasing members until all benefits and services from the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs Canada, and the Service Income Security Insurance Plan have been confirmed and are put in place.
5. Put vital commemoration projects, like the National Memorial for Canada’s War in Afghanistan, back on track.
6. Conduct an independent inquiry to study the effects of the anti-malarial drug mefloquine on members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
7. Establish guidelines and fund a program to provide service dogs to Canada’s Veterans.
More MRI & CTs
A new Conservative government would invest $1.5 billion in its first term to purchase new MRI and CT equipment and replace aging equipment. This increase in the total number of machines will bring Canada’s medical imaging equipment in line with international standards and reduce wait times. This investment will ensure Canadians will be able to access vital scans for cancer, stroke, and heart and other conditions more quickly.
Conservatives will help seniors by increasing the Age Credit by $1,000 per person, up to an income of $37,790 (the credit then phases out toward a max income of $87,750). That credit translates to $150 extra in cash per individual.
Seniors will also benefit from the tax cut on the lowest tax bracket (see below), which includes pension earnings; and benefit from removing the GST on heating fuel, not introducing a carbon tax in Alberta, and restoring the public transit tax credit.
The Conservative Party has announced a Health and Social Program Guarantee: a commitment to maintain and increase the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) and the Canada Social Transfer (CST) by at least 3% per year, as is currently mandated in legislation.
In 2019-2020, the two transfers are providing $55 billion to provinces and territories.
It is critical for provincial/territorial planning for the delivery of health and social services to know how much they will receive in transfer payments from the federal government. This commitment will give them a guarantee of predictable minimum increases each year.
It is also critical for Canadians to have confidence that these programs will be there for them when they need them. That’s what this guarantee is about.
Our opponents will accuse Conservatives of planning to cut spending for health and social services. This guarantee means Canadians can be assured that those opposition attacks are just partisan nonsense.
Universal Tax Cut
The Conservative Party will reduce the tax rate on the lowest tax bracket (earnings up to $47,630) from 15% to 13.75%. That helps everyone because everyone pays the lower rate on the first $47,630 of earnings, but lower and middle income people will see the greater relative benefit. Individuals with average income will save up to $440, and couples about $850. It will be phased in from 2021 to 2023.
The policies outlined in this plan will further lower Canada’s emissions and strengthen environmental protection without taking money out of Canadians’ pockets. Our plan does not have a carbon tax.
A Real Plan to Protect Our Environment is built on three guiding principles:
Green Technology, Not Taxes
A Cleaner and Greener Natural Environment
Taking the Climate Change Fight Global
This is a detailed plan with 65 commitments. Download the plan here: https://arealplan.ca/
Kids’ Sports & Lessons
Conservatives will restore the 15% tax credit for kids' fitness, arts & learning that the Trudeau Liberals cancelled. Spend $500 and get $75 back; spend $1000 & get $150. Extra money available for kids with disabilities. Sports fees, lessons like ballet or second languages, and extra tutoring all qualify.
Even the most conservative estimates don’t have global demand for oil and gas peaking until 2030, with OPEC projecting demand to skyrocket past 2040. So we have a choice to make.
Justin Trudeau has made his. He would rather countries like Iran, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia meet that demand and, in doing so, boost regimes that abuse human rights and take virtually no steps to protect the environment. And he would rather the United States fill the void in the North American market, ceding investment and jobs that should be ours to our biggest economic competitor.
Conservatives would make a different choice.
The world is no better off when dangerous regimes are able to ramp up their economies because Canada has vacated the market.
And Canada is no better off when it allows its competitors to take the field uncontested.
The fact is Canada has more than enough oil – not only to displace imports from the aforementioned rogue states – but to put an end to all foreign imports once and for all.
An energy independent Canada would be a Canada firing on all cylinders – across all sectors and regions.
Conservatives will restore the 15% tax credit for the purchase of transit passes (such as monthly passes). This could be worth several hundred dollars depending on the amount spent on the pass.
The Green Public Transit Tax Credit is part of our Real Plan to Protect the Environment - a plan that strikes a balance between conserving our environment for future generations, protecting our children from the effects of climate change, and making a real impact on global emissions reduction, and our core promise of leaving more money in the pockets of Canadians.
The Green Public Transit Tax Credit will also reduce congestion on our roads and cut commute times for Canadians so that everyone can get home faster at the end of the work day
Repeal Bills C-48 (anti-tanker) and C-69 (anti-pipeline)
Bill C-48 (tanker moratorium on BC’s northern coast) is specifically targeted to Alberta oil. It does not apply to oil tankers plying the St. Lawrence seaway or Atlantic coasts (some of which contain oil from environmentally reckless countries). It does not apply to US oil tankers going down the BC coast from Alaska to Washington. It does not apply to products other than Alberta oil, such as British Columbia LNG. It is only about Alberta's core product. One province. One product. Conservatives will repeal this bill if it is passed.
The new Impact Assessment Agency created by Bill C-69, and the minister responsible, will have much more discretion, including a veto before assessments commence. The legislation has broad terms and loose definitions imposing few limits on the minister’s discretion. The bill adds considerably to the uncertainties associated with future major projects, and ups the risks, and ultimately the costs.
We have a regulatory system in Canada that is already too complex – as demonstrated by the contradictions and confusion among government, regulators and the courts. As your Member of Parliament, I will strongly advocate for a simpler and more credible system that works for Canada’s economic benefit and respects the rights of all Canadians; one that enables greater certainty with clear timelines, and without the loopholes that threaten to make the hearings and decision-process go on forever.
We must strike the right balance between the development of Canadian resources and preserving Canada’s environment. This government has failed to meet that simple goal.
Conservatives have pledged to increase the amount government contributes when you invest in an RESP for your kids' education from 20% to 30%. The lifetime grant is increased from $7,500 to $12,000. Low and middle income Canadians will receive a higher grant on the first $500 contributed (50% and 40% respectively).
Replace the carbon tax
The fact is, Canada’s carbon tax is not going to significantly reduce emissions. It is a tax plan, not an environmental plan. In fact, the Parliamentary Budget Officer says that in order to meet Canada’s Paris Accord commitments (30% below 2005 levels by 2030), the carbon tax would have to rise five fold. That would be an extra 23 cents on every litre of gasoline - about $1000 per year for an average family.
The Liberals also put the biggest burden on families and small businesses, which will pay 92% of the carbon tax, versus 8% for the big emitters.
And yet, Canada is getting further and further away from our Paris targets. In 2016, Canada was 44 megatons (MT) of CO2 over our Paris target. In 2017 that rose to 66 MT. Last year, we were 103 MT over.
Conservatives will replace the unfair and ineffective carbon tax with an environment plan that reduces emissions by focusing on big emitters, new technology investments, and on alternative energy projects with global scale. Climate change is a global issue, and Canada must play its part both at home and by supporting countries with very large emissions.
Home buyers’ stress test
Conservatives are committed to reviewing the “stress test” on home buyers introduced in 2018. The rules require uninsured-mortgage applicants to qualify at a rate 200 basis points higher than what their federally regulated lender is offering.
Existing borrowers looking to change lenders must pass the test again, even if they passed it with their first lender. Conservatives would remove that provision because it gives the existing lender too much leverage over the borrower, and makes it hard for borrowers to shop around for better rates.
Conservatives would also consider bringing back 30-year amortizations, and would review red tape that hikes the cost of building homes, in order to encourage more new housing units in the market, and thus lower the cost.
Remove tax on EI parental benefits
When parents go on EI parental or maternity leave, they sacrifice up to 45 per cent of their salary. They then have to pay tax on the benefits they receive. With tax being withheld from every cheque, it means that families with a parent on leave see their take-home benefits cut down and many get hit with an extra tax bill afterwards when they file their income taxes.
Conservatives would introduce a non-refundable tax credit which would average $4,000 for a parent earning $50,000.
It makes no sense to support new parents with one hand, and tax away the benefits with the other hand.
Remove GST on home heating
The Conservatives are committed to replacing the carbon tax. In addition, we will remove the GST that is applied to home heating fuel. The savings would be in the range of $118 per year per Alberta family, would be capped at $200, and would not apply to commercial heating or investment properties.
"Heating your home in winter isn't a luxury for Canadians. It is a necessity," said Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. "We don't tax other basic necessities like groceries, medical supplies and prescription drugs, and we shouldn't be taxing home heating."
Save interest payments by reducing debt
We all understand how debt payments with interest can eat up a big part of your monthly budget. It is no different with government. When governments spend beyond our means, and pile up debt, the government has to pay interest on that debt.
In fact, by the end of 2019, the Trudeau Liberals will have added $71 billion to the national debt. The share for each Canadian family of that colossal $705 billion millstone is more than $50,000 a piece. Put another way, each Canadian family is responsible for about $7,000 per year in interest payments on government debt. What would you do with $7,000?!
The cost of servicing that debt will rise 40% to $34 billion in just a few years, almost the same as the federal government spends on health care.
That’s actually a $34 billion spending cut - money the government does not have available to spend on health care, family supports, tax relief or other priorities. It also means future tax increases, for us and for our children, to pay for stuff we bought today but couldn’t afford.
A Conservative government will tell the difference between “need” and “want”; and will make choices. Just like families do.
What to Cut
Liberals will tell you the only place to cut is in front line services. But it isn’t true. It is meant to scare you into thinking that responsible spending means slash and burn to services you value. Conservatives are explicitly committed to not cutting services and supports like the Canada Child benefit, seniors’ benefits, or transfers to provinces (health etc.).
Here are a few examples of Liberal boondoggles that Conservatives will cut.
$256 million that Canada has in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. China doesn’t need it. It’s against our national interests for them to have it. And Canadians can certainly use it.
The Liberals’ failed Canada Infrastructure Bank. Aside from being a money-sucking administrative nightmare, supporting projects that make no economic sense, the Canada Infrastructure Bank is a $35 billion boondoggle waiting to happen – with taxpayers assuming all the risk while corporate investors make all the profit.
And Conservatives will end the Liberal practice of handing out taxpayers’ money to billion dollar companies - like $12 million to the very profitable Loblaws Corp. to buy new fridges.
Cost of Living Anxiety
We all know that big economic recovery numbers aren’t trickling down to our households. Two thirds of Canadians say they have trouble paying their monthly bills, or have nothing left after they’ve paid them. Almost half say they are only $200 away from insolvency and couldn’t handle an unexpected loss of revenue or unplanned expense. Half say they have stopped saving for retirement and are just trying to stay afloat.
Government piles on with new taxes. More than 80% of Canadian families are paying $800 more per year in taxes than when the Trudeau Liberals came to power in 2015.
And the Liberal government has actively gone out of its way to harm Alberta’s core industry: oil and gas. Pipeline delays, discouraging investor confidence with bills like C-69 and C-48, and even just statements from the Prime Minister that we need to phase out the oil sands - all of that scares away investors and keeps unemployment in our province too high.
Conservatives will end the “death by a thousand cuts” taxation hikes, will attract new investment that means new jobs, and will keep government growth in spending to a more moderate level, allowing the debt and deficit to diminish, and reducing the amount of our budget we must dedicate to interest payments.
The Trudeau Liberals increased spending by 21% during their term. If they had held spending increases to just half that amount - still a considerable year-over-year increase in spending - the deficit today would be just $3 to $4 Billion, with the possibility of a balanced budget on the horizon. Drastic spending cuts aren’t necessary, but discipline is. New spending ideas must be accompanied by an equivalent cut to a no-longer-necessary program.
Gun Control & Crime Prevention
The Liberals have said that gun control policy is an issue that they will raise during the 2019 election. But for four years, the Liberals have failed to address gun crime. Instead, their policies target law-abiding gun owners. That doesn’t address the problem.
Criminals do not register their firearms, and they will not comply with firearm bans.
Conservatives will protect the rights of law-abiding firearms owners such as farmers, hunters and recreational shooters, while also taking important practical steps to keep Canadians safer from those who use firearms for criminal purposes.
We have announced a plan for A Safer Canada, which will:
End Automatic Bail for gang members
Identify Gangs in the Criminal Code
Revoke parole for gang members
Create tougher sentences for ordering gang crime
Create new sentences for violent gang crime
Ensure that possessing a smuggled firearm means prison time
Create a CBSA Firearms Smuggling Task Force
Ensure firearms don’t fall into the hands of dangerous individuals
Provide new funding to fight gangs
Create a police infrastructure grant program
Ensure better information sharing to solve gang crimes
Create stronger background checks for gun licences
Provide more support to keep young people from joining gangs
Make prison time meaningful