Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau announced his party’s platform on Sunday during a campaign stop in Mississauga, Ont.
The platform featured a wide array of new promises and also touched on previous commitments the Liberals have made on the campaign trail.
Described as “fiscally responsible” by Trudeau, the plan proposed new taxes on wealthy Canadians and international businesses while at the same time reducing taxes for the middle class.
But even with those proposed taxes implemented, the Liberals are pitching another four years of deficits, starting at $27.4 billion next year and eventually falling to $21 billion by the fourth year.
Here’s a roundup of takeaways from the Liberal platform and what the other parties are promising on those issues.
The Liberal platform, released with a specific emphasis on students and their “education journey,” promised several changes for post-secondary education repayment.
Should Trudeau be re-elected, Canada Student Grants would increase by up to $1,200 a year, and students would receive a two-year grace period before they would be required to start paying off their loans.
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The Liberals would also allow new parents to pause repayments to the Canada Student Loans program until their youngest child turns five years of age. Those making under $35,000 would also be able to defer payments, up from the previous threshold of $25,000.
The NDP says it would immediately make student loans interest-free. The party also included in its campaign platform a long-term promise to make post-secondary education a part of the public school system. The Green Party promised a budget to make post-secondary education free for all Canadians.
The Conservative Party, which has not yet unveiled its full platform, has promised to boost government contributions to registered education savings plans (RESPs).
The Liberal platform reiterated a promise to introduce a national pharmacare plan — a program that would be negotiated with the provinces.
No specific costs were attached to the plan aside from the $6-billion promise made when the Liberals first announced their pharmacare proposal. That amount is intended to serve as a “down payment” on the plan and would be spread out over four years.
An advisory panel created by the Liberals set the price of implementing pharmacare at $3.5 billion over the course of 10 years starting in 2022 and rising to $15.3 billion annually by 2027.
Climate change has been a dominant issue during this campaign season.
The Liberal platform states that if re-elected, the federal government would set “legally binding” five-year milestones based on consultations with experts and attain net-zero emissions by 2050.
The platform also included the party’s commitment to plant two billion trees, which would be part of a $3-billion plan that would create 3,500 seasonal jobs.
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The Conservatives have promised a “tech, not taxes” approach to handling climate change, requiring major emitters of greenhouse gases to invest in green tech and research. The Tories have also vowed to scrap Trudeau’s carbon tax.
In the NDP’s climate change plan, the party would declare a “climate emergency” once elected and aim to cut Canada’s greenhouse emissions in half over the next decade.
The Green Party has the most climate-focused plan, with many policies centred on the issue. Among their policies is a plan to cut carbon emissions by 60 per cent as of 2030 and reduce them to zero by 2050.
The Liberals also put forward a series of promises pertaining to the LGBTQ2 community, one of them being a federal ban on conversion therapy.
The discredited practice, aimed at converting a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, has so far been banned or restricted in three provinces.
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Federal cabinet ministers have previously written to provincial and territorial governments urging them to stop the practice.
The Liberals also announced that if re-elected, they would end Canadian Blood Services’ restrictions on donation from sexually active gay and bisexual men, a policy that has been criticized as discriminatory.
The NDP and Green Party also pledged to put an end to conversion therapy and the blood ban. During the summer, Scheer said his party was against forced conversion therapy but would be taking a “wait-and-see” approach before weighing in on possible Liberal policy aimed at banning it.