October 2019
2019 Federal Election: A Municipal Perspective

2019-10-03 12:58:58 PM

CATEGORIES: Elections

On October 21st and the weeks leading up, Canadians will head to the polls and vote in the country’s 43rd federal election. AMCTO has examined the three Election Party Platforms released to date (Liberals, NDP, Greens) with the Conservatives yet to release their platform but have announced a number of commitments.

The 40-day election period has so far seen Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party campaigning on why they should be re-elected for a second term while Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives have been stressing their belief that the Liberals have ignored Canada’s middle class. The NDP, led by Jagmeet Singh, are targeting a progressive working-voter base in hopes of stealing traditionally Liberal voters. Lastly, whilst leading her party through now four federal elections, Elizabeth May and the Green Party have been campaigning as a party that can go beyond environmental issues. 

Below is a brief summary of proposals that hold relevance for local governments.

Climate Change and Environment

Liberals:

  • Achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

  • Commit $3 billion to forest, grasslands, agricultural lands, wetlands, and coastal area conservation and restoration. This includes planting two billion trees over ten years and assisting cities expand and diversify urban forests.

  • Provide $1 billion in additional investment to the Disaster Mitigation and Adaption Fund over the next ten years. The Fund supports large-scale infrastructure projects manage the risks of disaster caused by natural hazards.

  • Install up to 5,000 charging stations along the Trans Canada Highway and other major road networks, as well as in Canada’s urban and rural areas.

  • Create a new Canada Water Agency that will work with provinces and territories, Indigenous communities, and local authorities to ensure safe drinking water.


Conservatives:

  • Re-establish an advisory panel that gives hunting, angling, and conservation groups input on policies and programs on conservation.


NDP:

  • Work with provinces, municipalities, and Indigenous groups to ensure Canadian communities are equipped with resources to deal with extreme weather events. This would involve adding $2.5 billion to the federal disaster mitigation fund.

  • Emphasize funding on low carbon transit projects (such as zero-emissions buses and electric trains) to ultimately electrify transit and other municipal fleets by 2030.

  • Help municipalities improve waste management and recycling programs to eventually move toward a zero-waste future.


Greens:

  • Pass a Climate Change Act requiring a 60% cut in climate-changing emissions below 2005 levels by 2030 and reaching net zero in 2050.

  • Provide municipalities $1 billion annual to hire Canadian youth through the creation of a Community and Environment Service Corps as part of a goal to invest in green economic sectors.

  • Interim targets would be set at five-year intervals beginning with 2025.

  • Direct the Canada Infrastructure Bank to invest in climate-proofing essential infrastructure, prioritizing upgrades to drinking water and waste water systems to protect against flooding, droughts, and contamination.

  • Develop transition principles from a fossil fuel economy to a green economy. This includes consulting with communities, establishing a “just transition funding program” for affected areas.

  • Identify and fund local infrastructure projects in affected communities.

  • Provide charging stations for electric vehicles in post office parking lots as one way to strengthen Canada Post’s mandate.

  • In collaboration with provinces, territories, municipal governments and Indigenous groups, develop a national water strategy for safe drinking water for all Canadians.

  • Implement an extended producer responsibility program to hold manufactures financially responsible for the waste associated with the production, distribution, packaging, and end of life of their products.


Health and Healthcare

Liberals:

  • Provide investments to provinces and territories to expand community-based services and increase programs relating to addition treatment services, such as extending hours for InSite and other safe consumption sites.


Conservatives:

  • Increase funding by at least 3% every year to the Canada Health Transfer and the Canada Social Transfer programs to provinces and territories. The funding would be allocated for relevant public health care and social programs. 


NDP:

  • Declare a national public health emergency for the opioid crisis. This would involve legalizing and funding overdosing prevention sites.

  • Partner with provinces, territories, municipalities, and Indigenous communities to develop a national school nutrition program allowing all children in Canada access to healthy food.


Greens:

  • Declare a national health emergency for the opioid crisis.


Housing

Liberals:

  • Retrofit 1.5 million homes over the next five years.


Conservatives:

  • No municipally relevant proposals yet.


NDP:

  • Working in partnership with provinces and municipalities to build the targeted 500,000 new housing units and do so in a way that meets the party’s environmental energy efficiency goals. This will include social housing, community and non-market housing, and co-ops.

  • Create “fast-start funds” to assist communities in building co-ops and non-profit housing.


Greens:

  • Include new and existing housing as eligible infrastructure for funding.

  • Allocate 1% of GST to housing and other municipal infrastructure.


Infrastructure

Liberals:

  • Require all provinces and territories to identify and approve their long-term infrastructure priorities within the next two years. Funds that are not meant for specific projects by the end of 2021 will be reinvested to communities through the one-time $2.2 billion top up of the federal Gas Tax Fund.

  • Create a National Infrastructure Fund to support projects that will connect different regions of the country.

  • Create a Tourism Community Infrastructure Fund to invest $100 million to communities that rely on tourism over the next four years. These funds will be delivered and managed through regional economic development agencies.

  • Ensure 95% of Canada will have high-speed internet by 2026 and reaching to 100% of coverage by 2030.


Conservatives:

  • No municipally relevant proposals yet.


NDP:

  • Fund public infrastructure projects through community benefits agreements.

  • Expand cell coverage and affordable broadband internet to rural and remote Canadian communities.

  • Convene an auto summit with provincial, municipal, industry, and labour leaders to develop a consensus on a National Automotive Strategy.


Greens:

  • Create a Municipal Fund that would institutionalize federal transfers to municipalities.

  • Double current gas tax funding.

  • Change the Canada Infrastructure Bank to reduce rates to municipalities on loans for infrastructure projects.

  • Generate a hundred percent of Canada’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This includes getting remote and northern communities of diesel generators.

  • Establish charitable tax credits for the private donation of easements on heritage properties to charitable organizations or local governments

 
Immigration and Refugees

Liberals:

  • Create a Municipal Nominee Program to allow local communities, chambers of commerce, and local labour councils to sponsor permanent immigrants. At least 5,000 new spaces will be available.

  • Introduce a permanent refugee stream for human rights advocates, journalists, and humanitarian workers at risk. The target is to resettle 250 people per year.


Conservatives:

  • Improve credential recognition and provide low-skilled workers with an avenue to residency and improving language training.


NDP:

  • Re-settle refugees in communities with necessary support (no specific number is proposed).


Greens:

  • Work with municipalities and provinces better integrate new Canadians into society.

  • Increase funding of multicultural associations to provide immigrant support programs, such as language programs.


Jobs and Skills Training


Liberals:

  • Create the Canadian Apprenticeship Service in partnership with province, territories, employers, and unions. This will provide up to $10,000 per apprentice for every new position created over four years.


Conservatives:

  • No municipally relevant proposals yet.


NDP:

  • No municipally relevant proposals yet.


Greens:

  • Work with the Council of Canadian Governments and Statistics Canada to set municipal minimum wages according to the different cost of living across communities. 

  • Enhance the use of Community Benefits Agreements to increase economic inclusion and opportunity for marginalized communities of colour.


Public Safety

Liberals:

  • Work with provinces and territories to give municipalities the ability to further restrict or ban handguns.

  • Create a buyback program for all assault rifles legally purchased and provide law enforcement agencies the resources necessary to administer the program.

  • Invest an additional $50 million each year, for five years, to help municipalities deal with gang-related violence.


Conservatives:

  • Create a Police Infrastructure Grant program to allow the agencies, typically in “rural, suburban, and smaller urban centres” to buy new equipment.

  • Increase funding by 25% to the Youth Gang Prevention Fund to support existing counselling, skills development, and other related programs.

  • Cost-share new anti-gang law enforcement initiatives with provinces and territories.


NDP:

  • Provide cities the ability to ban handguns.

  • Invest $100 million over five years to after-school, sports, and drop-in centre programs to prevent youth from getting into violence.


Greens:

  • Run a confidential buy-back program to support a ban on handguns and assault rifle bans.


Technology

Liberals:

  • Create a Canadian Digital Charter that will be overseen by a more powerful Privacy Commissioner. The Charter will feature online rights relating to their personal data, including the right to challenge the amount of personal data a company or government has collected.


Conservatives:

  • No municipally relevant proposals yet.


NDP:

  • No municipally relevant proposals yet.


Greens:

  • Strike a parliamentary committee to look at the implications of introducing 5G technology.


Transit and Transportation                                              

Liberals:

  • A $3 billion annual investment in public transit.

  • Work with municipalities to address exceptional circumstances for new federal investments that support zero-emission buses and rail systems in 2023.

  • Create a fund to help school boards and municipalities purchase 5,000 zero-emissions school and transit buses over the next five years.

  • Providing residents in the Northern Zone at least $1,200 in deductible travel costs and $600 in deductible travel costs for those in the Intermediate Zone as part of improvements to the Northern Resident Deduction.

  • Direct the Competition Bureau to oversee the pricing of transportation in the North.


Conservatives:

  • Eliminate the Canada Infrastructure Bank, which funds transit projects.

  • Revive a public transit credit that the Liberal government eliminated in 2017.


NDP:

  • Implement a permanent, direct, and allocation-based funding mechanism for public transit and work with municipalities to create fare-free transit.

  • Re-establish rural bus routes and expand bus service in rural regions.

  • Support creating a high-frequency rail along the Quebec-Windsor corridor.

  • Restore the Ontario Northland Railway – a passenger train from Cochrane, Ontario to Toronto.


Greens:

  • No municipally relevant proposals yet.


For more information, please see below:

Liberal Party Election Platform

NDP Party Election Platform

Green Party Election Platform

Federation of Canadian Municipalities: Election 2019



 


 


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