Key election campaign promises so far from the federal parties
Stephen Harper delivers a speech during a campaign rally in Malpeque, PEI, Friday, April 1, 2011. (Adrian Wyld / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, April 14, 2011 2:13PM EDT
Published Thursday, April 14, 2011 2:13PM EDT
- Allowing families with children under 18 to split up to $50,000 in income to pay less tax, but only once the federal books are balanced -- likely not until 2015. Tories say it will cost $2.5 billion annually and save 1.8 million families an average of $1,300 a year.
- A one-year small-business tax credit to encourage hiring, originally in the federal budget, of up to $1,000 when employment insurance costs go up. The Conservatives say it would be available to 525,000 employers and save them up to $165 million.
- Financial support, such as loan guarantees, for the Lower Churchill hydro mega-project in Labrador.
- Extend six initiatives under "Here for Workers" plan, including a job-sharing program aimed at reducing or preventing layoffs. Continue scheme to help older workers in hard-hit communities, extend employment-insurance pilot programs, eliminate mandatory retirement for workers in federally regulated workplaces.
- Cut per-vote subsidies to political parties over a three-year transition period.
- Once budget is balanced in 2015, spend $145 million a year to double the existing fitness tax credit for children to $1,000, and introduce a new $500 fitness tax credit for adults at an annual cost of $275 million.
- End the long-gun registry.
- Forgive a portion of Canada Student Loans for new family doctors and nurses who will work in rural communities. Originally proposed in federal budget.
- A $3,000 tax credit for volunteer firefighters. Originally proposed in federal budget.
- Bridge loans worth $6 million a year to help recent immigrants pay for skills training or education to ensure credentials are recognized in Canada. Originally proposed in the federal budget.
- Once budget is balanced in 2015, double the amount of money individuals can be contribute each year to a Tax Free Savings Account to $10,000 from the current $5,000.
- Balance the books by 2014-15, a year earlier than previously announced.
- Compensation of $2.2 billion over two years to Quebec for collecting the GST on behalf of federal government, after a deal is reached with the province.
- Create office of religious freedom within Foreign Affairs, costing $20 million over four years, to monitor and promote religious freedom.
- Move the head office of the Economic Development Agency of Canada from Montreal to "one or more" regional centres in Quebec.
- Student-aid grants to post-secondary students of $1,000 a year for four years, $1,500 a year for students from lower-income families, using the existing RESP system. Liberals say the program would cost $1 billion a year.
- Expand Canada Pension Plan benefits with the help of the provinces, allow people to voluntarily save an additional five to 10 per cent of their income in a CPP-backed fund and boost the Guaranteed Income Supplement by $700 million a year.
- Start fund to create early learning and child-care spaces, with initial $500-million investment, rising to $1 billion by fourth year. Would not replace $100-a-month Universal Childcare Benefit.
- A $1-billion Family Care Plan to let people take time off work to care for seriously ill or aging relatives, and help with cost of care giving. Includes six-month Family Care Employment Insurance Benefit, similar to the EI parental leave benefit, and a new tax benefit of up to $1,350 a year.
- Return corporate tax rates to 2010 levels, cap oilsands tax breaks and cap stock option deductions for more than $9 billion in additional revenue to finance promises over first two years of a Liberal mandate.
- Introduce a $13,500 Green Renovation Tax Credit for retrofitting homes to make them more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.
- Four years of government-paid education or technical training for new veterans, grandfathered for those who served in Afghanistan, at an annual cost of about $60 million.
- Support loan guarantees for Newfoundland and Labrador's massive hydroelectric project on the Lower Churchill, a commitment also made by the Conservatives.
- Maintain annual health-care increases of six per cent, or about $2 billion a year, after current deal with provinces expires in 2014.
- Cap credit card interest rates at five percentage points above prime and limit transaction fees retailers are forced to pay credit card companies. The NDP says the rate cap would save a typical card holder an average of about $60 a month.
- Cut small-business taxes two percentage points, set up a job-creation tax credit for businesses worth up to $4,500 for each new hire and extend the accelerated capital cost allowance for four more years. The NDP estimates the cost at $2.3 billion a year, financed by cancelling Conservative cuts to corporate taxes.
- Eliminate $2 billion in government subsidies for the oilsands, and put the money toward clean energy.
- Spend $165 million to train and recruit 1,200 doctors and 6,000 nurses over the next decade. Work to repatriate 300 Canadian doctors living abroad.
- Provide $103 million a year for improved benefits for disabled and retired veterans, including ending government clawbacks, restoring the Service Income Security Insurance Plan and setting up a "helmets-to-hardhats" job retraining program.
- Gradual doubling of CPP and QPP benefits, in conjunction with the provinces, with rise in payroll deductions of as much as 2.5 per cent.
- Add $700 million to the Guaranteed Income Supplement to help seniors in the lowest income brackets.
- A program to help finance home retrofits to accommodate elderly parents, providing forgivable loans to a maximum of $35,000.
- Expand the compassionate care provisions under Employment Insurance by extending leaves from six weeks to six months.
- Introduce a "caregiver benefit" worth $1,500 a year to assist middle- and low-income households with the extra burden of caring for family members.
- A national home-care program worth $250 million a year, increasing to $1 billion after four years, plus an additional $250 million a year for the provinces to increase the number of long-term care beds.
- A crime prevention strategy worth $250 million a year that would put an additional 2,500 police officers on the street, double funding for programs that try to keep children from joining gangs and make gang recruitment illegal.
- Build all navy replacement ships in Canada; review F-35 jet-fighter purchase with a view to retendering.
- Bring in new accountability legislation to limit the power of the prime minister to prorogue Parliament.
- Bring in a cap-and-trade system to control greenhouse gases.
- Balance the federal books by 2014-15.
- Crack down on offshore tax havens.
- Give Quebec $2.2 billion in compensation for harmonizing its sales tax and allow British Columbia to keep its $1.6 billion if it chooses to scrap the HST.
- Pull out of the Afghanistan training mission.
- Reduce deficit reduction by $10.7 billion over three years.
- Implement a revenue-neutral carbon pricing system.
- Full income-splitting for married couples and families, expand access to employment insurance for workers, reduce EI and Canada Pension Plan contributions for businesses.
- Explore options for Canada's electoral system, including popular representation, and hold a vote on whether the current "first past the post" system should be replaced.
- Cancel schedule corporate tax cuts to raise an additional $4.6 billion this year, eliminate tax credits for logging the mineral exploration, scrap subsidies for nuclear and fossil fuels.
- Create a "toxic" tax that will bring in $193 million this year.
- Spend $2.5 billion over three years to establish national affordable housing program.
- Spend $150 million a year to retrofit municipal, university, school and hospital facilities.
- Spend $1 billion per year on electrical grid updates.
- Legalize and tax marijuana to bring in $2.5 billion over three years.
- Spend $1.6 billion over three years on home energy retrofit grants.
- Cut military spending by nearly $9 billion over three years.