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Get To Know Your Parties: Canada’s Upcoming Federal Election

Updated: Sep 25, 2019

By Bridget Griffin

The Federal Election Party Leaders - Photo courtesy of The Toronto Star

Canada’s 2019 election campaign has just begun, and the time to vote is already fast-approaching. With October 21st on the horizon, here is an introductory guide to the federal parties campaigning this election season, and the leaders who represent them.

The current government is a Liberal majority parliament, headed up by prime minister Justin Trudeau, who’s currently running his second election campaign. Their opposition is the Conservative party, with Andrew Scheer as their leader.

The New Democratic Party (NDP), a third party, is lead by Jagmeet Singh.

Other opponents include the Green Party, headed up by Elizabeth May; the Bloc Québécois, by Yves-François Blanchet; and the People’s Party, by Maxime Bernier.

The Liberal party, situated on the centre-left of the political spectrum, has promised to make a number of changes if they win the upcoming election, including implementing a universal pharmacare program, applying the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as Canadian law, and banning single-use plastics by 2021. They are also expected to consistently reduce the debt-to-GDP ratios in the coming years.

With a month still left of this election campaign, more information about each party’s plans is sure to come out before October 21st, so make sure to keep yourself posted on any new proposals to come.

The Conservative party, a centre-right party, has said they would set emission standards to put pressure on large producers of greenhouse gases, create tax credits to help pay for energy-saving renovations, and various other reformations to help reduce the effects of climate change. Scheer’s campaign has promised to enforce stricter laws around gun control, including graver consequences for being in possession of an illegally acquired gun, a lifelong ban from firearms ownership for anyone convicted of violent crimes, and creating a task force to work with law enforcers to identify smuggling routes for weapons. They also plan to balance the federal budget in five years.

The NDP is considered to be further left on the political spectrum than either of the aforementioned parties, and its plans regarding the environment are much more drastic, as they promise to expand the public transit system. They would like to start powering Canada with net carbon-free electricity by 2030, as well as ban single-use plastics by 2022 as part of a larger waste reduction strategy. Singh also promises to implement a universal pharmacare program, launch an investigation into the role of drug companies in the opioid crisis, and clean the records of LGBTQ+ Canadians in the armed forces who were given dishonourable discharges.

The Green Party’s model is based around the idea of protecting the environment, and wishes to double Canada’s emissions reduction target by 2030. It would also create a new cabinet whose sole purpose would be to reduce the effects of climate change; increase bus services; as well as establish training programs to teach fossil fuel workers about industries that use sources of renewable energy.

As for the Bloc Québécois, they are only running in Quebec’s electoral ridings in order to represent the province’s interests on a federal level. Blanchet wishes to pressure Parliament to respect Quebec’s wishes.

The People’s Party was formed by Bernier after his resignation from the Conservative Party, and is situated on the right of the political spectrum. It believes in moving away from multiculturalism in order to preserve a core Canadian identity, ending open borders policies, and wishes to withdraw from the Paris Accord.

With a month still left of this election campaign, more information about each party’s plans is sure to come out before October 21st, so make sure to keep yourself posted on any new proposals to come.


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