Canada election: What federal leaders have pledged on the economy

Federal parties vying for victory on Oct. 21 are making a range of promises on how they will better the economy.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, the Conservatives’ Andrew Scheer, New Democrat Jagmeet Singh, Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet and the Green Party’s Elizabeth May have made announcements on how they plan to grow the economy and make life more affordable.

Here’s a list of economic pledges leaders have made.

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  • May 5: Scheer says a Conservative government would balance the books in five years.
  • May 16: In a speech at the Economic Club of Canada, Scheer unveils a series of pledges on the economy, including “a Canada fuelled exclusively by Canadians by 2030.”
  • June 3: Scheer says that as prime minister, he would establish an interprovincial free trade agreement as part of a plan he dubs “a closer and freer federation.”
  • June 18: A Conservative government would establish clear timelines for pipeline approvals and, at times, invoke federal jurisdictions, the Tories say.
  • June 20: The Conservatives promise to revoke Bill C-69, saying the Liberal bill will “phase out Canada’s oil and gas industry.”
  • Aug. 20: Scheer says he will make maternity and parental benefits “tax-free,” providing a non-refundable tax credit of 15 per cent and including a corresponding credit to apply in Quebec.
  • Sept. 6: Scheer says if elected, his government would create a certification system to let consumers know if certain digital products meet federal security standards. He dubs it a “Canada Cyber Safe” certification.
  • Sept. 13: Scheer promises to bring back the public transit tax credit, which the party says is part of its environmental plan.
  • Sept. 15: The Conservatives promise a tax cut for the lowest income bracket, slicing the rate from 15 per cent to 13.75 per cent.
  • Sept. 16: The Tories promise a children’s fitness tax credit and a children’s art and learning credit, with additional money for parents of children with disabilities.
  • Sept. 17: Conservatives promise to boost the federal contribution to the registered education savings plan from 20 per cent to 30 per cent for every dollar families add to the savings program, up to $2,500 per year.
  • Sept. 18: Conservatives say they can find $1.5 billion in savings each year by eliminating some of the federal funding received by businesses. Scheer says a Conservative government will review all federal business subsidies and eliminate programs in which the funds benefit shareholders, corporate executives, foreign companies, lobbyists or consultants.
  • Sept. 19: Scheer pledges to increase the age tax credit by $1,000 to save individual seniors up to $150 per year and couples as much as $300 per year.
  • Sept. 23: Scheer says he’d return to allowing people to take out 30-year mortgages to help lower monthly payments. Conservatives would also ease what’s known as the stress test on mortgages and remove the test altogether from mortgage renewals.
  • Sept. 24: Scheer has promised to reverse the decision by the Liberals that increased the tax rate on small business investments and made it harder for companies to pay dividends to family members.
  • Sept. 25: Tories promise to provide eligible households a 20 per cent refundable tax credit for green improvements to their homes of between $1,000 and $20,000 as part of a two-year program.
  • Sept. 28: The Conservatives would create a national energy corridor to carry oil, gas, hydroelectricity and telecommunications from coast to coast.
  • Sept. 30: A Conservative government would make it easier for thousands of people to get a federal disability tax credit, the party says.
  • Oct. 1: A Conservative government would reduce foreign aid spending by 25 per cent, cutting funding to middle- and upper-income countries and hostile regimes.
  • Oct. 3: Scheer promises to reduce the number of service hours required for volunteer firefighters and search-and-rescue workers to 150 from 200 in order to qualify for a non-refundable tax credit to offset costs for supplies.
  • Oct. 7: Scheer pledges to get rid of admission fees at Canada’s national museums.
  • Oct. 8: Scheer promises a Conservative federal government would try to unclog commuter traffic in Canada’s biggest city by funding a pair of projects to extend Toronto’s subway.
  • Oct. 10: A Conservative government would give parents who adopt children under the age of 18 an extra 15 weeks of EI-funded leave to provide a full year off. They also promise to increase the value of the adoption expense tax credit to $20,000 and make the credit refundable — meaning families may get money back at tax time.
  • Oct. 12: Scheer promises that if elected, in his first 100 days of the job, a Conservative government would appoint Kevin Falcon and Yves Desjardins-Siciliano to oversee the Commission on the Reduction of Government Subsidy Programs to Corporations. The program would review and reduce business subsidies, operating under the Department of Finance.
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  • Sept. 12: Trudeau promises an expansion of the First-Time Home Buyer Incentive program for Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria, B.C., housing markets.
  • Sept. 13: Trudeau promises to eliminate the “swipe fee” merchants pay to credit-card companies on every transaction, reduce the cost of federal incorporation, make federal business advisory services fee-free, create a voluntary payroll system to automate records for small businesses, launch a pilot project to give up to $50,000 to as many as 2,000 entrepreneurs to help them start businesses and give $250 to new businesses to develop a website or e-commerce platform.
  • Sept. 16: A Liberal government would create up to 250,000 more spaces for children in before- and after-school childcare programs, Trudeau says.
  • Sept. 17: The Liberals promise that, if re-elected, they will boost the Canada Child Benefit and make maternity and parental leave benefits tax-free.
  • Sept. 18: A re-elected Liberal government would increase old-age security by an extra 10 per cent once a senior turns 75 and boost the Canada Pension Plan survivor’s benefit by 25 per cent.
  • Sept. 22: Trudeau promises that a re-elected Liberal government would make sure middle-class income earners won’t pay taxes on the first $15,000 of earnings.
  • Sept. 22: Trudeau promises to cut cellphone bills by 25 per cent.
  • Sept. 30:  As part of their platform, the Liberals are promising to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 and employment insurance sickness benefits to 26 weeks from 15 weeks.

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  • Feb 20: Singh says he would reintroduce 30-year terms to mortgages insured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for people who qualify for mortgages but need extra room in their budget. He says the NDP plans to build 500,000 affordable homes in the next decade, including investments in co-operative and non-market affordable housing units.
  • Sept. 2: New Democrats say the party would “immediately” establish a $15 federal minimum wage.
  • Sept. 13: The NDP promises the introduction of a price cap on cellphone and internet services, backed by a Telecom Consumers’ Bill of Rights, to make plans affordable and to end caps on internet usage.
  • Sept. 14: The NDP vows to establish a Canadian Food Strategy aimed at building and linking local producers to consumers.
  • Sept. 14: Singh promises a $300-million automotive innovation strategy, however he says the money is contingent on keeping auto jobs in Canada.
  • Sept. 20: Singh says an NDP government would end “pension theft” and ensure that if a company goes bankrupt, workers do not lose a portion of their pension.
  • Sept. 25: NDP promise to spend $20 million for a dedicated RCMP unit to investigate money laundering, launch a national registry to show who profits from real estate and institute a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers to address housing speculation.
  • Sept. 26: Singh promises to make $5,000 rent subsidies available to nearly 500,000 families as part of the party’s housing strategy. It would cost $1.35 billion per year and another $450 million from the provinces starting next year, the party says.
  • Sept. 28: Singh promises $30 million in funding to reduce B.C. Ferries fares, says he wants to make it cheaper for families relying on the service.
  • Sept. 30: An NDP government would spend $10 billion over the next four years to create 500,000 new childcare spaces in Canada.
  • Oct. 8: The NDP promises to immediately remove all interest on current and future post-secondary federal student loans and replace student loans with non-repayable grants.
  • Oct. 11: The NDP says it will run a deficit of $32.7 billion next year if it wins the federal election, with no plan to return to balance.

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  • May 16: The Green Party unveils an extensive climate action plan dubbed “Mission: Possible,” which includes ending all imports of foreign oil and prioritizing “adaptation measures” for Canada’s agriculture, fishing and forestry industries.
  • Aug. 8: May reveals a plan to help transition Canadian fossil-fuel workers to jobs in the renewable energy sector.
  • Sept. 25: Greens promise to raise new revenue by taxing financial transactions at 0.5 per cent, close a capital gains loophole and impose a one per cent tax on wealth above $20 million. The party would also allocate one per cent of the GST to housing and other municipal infrastructure, balance the budget in fiscal year 2024-25, if economic circumstances allow, and implement a tax on “sugary drinks.”
  • Sept. 26: Under the Greens’ climate change plan, May says the party would cancel proposed pipeline projects and move Canada to a carbon-free electricity grid system.
  • Sept. 29: Green Party promises a “robot tax” on companies that replace workers with machines.

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  • Sept. 15: The Bloc Québécois releases its election platform, which includes a range of promises on the economy. Some promises include protecting Quebec companies from takeovers, supporting startup companies, targeting companies that use tax havens and preserving supply-management systems.

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— With files from the Canadian Press

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