Democratic and Governance Policies
Meaningful renovations to make Parliament more democratic, representative, accountable and effective.
1. We believe that our parliamentary democracy has been seriously damaged by the shift of the power to control the nation’s affairs to the Prime Minister’s Office. We will move to restore the ability and authority of elected representatives in Parliament to exercise the responsibilities mandated to them by their electors by:
a) allowing free votes on all matters, except budgets. A government will only be able to be defeated by a specific motion to that effect,
b) instituting the practice of recall of elected members at 18-month intervals – after an election or a previous recall procedure for that member,
c) restoring the former Canadian and current British and other Commonwealth countries’ practice of our party caucus electing its party leader in Parliament,
d) requiring governments to complete their five-year maximum tenure unless they are defeated in the House of Commons
e) providing greater opportunity for Private members’ initiatives, and
f) requiring all bills to be first approved then introduced by committee.
2. We will support the election of senators, who would then have a democratic mandate to carry out their constitutional responsibilities. We will further support the re-distribution of senate seats on an equal regional basis.
3. To improve the representative nature of our electoral system, we will institute the run- off method of voting until one candidate has secured at least 50% plus one of the votes cast in his/her constituency.
4. We believe that government ought to make judicious use of referenda and hold a binding referendum on any proposed changes to the country’s constitution. We also recognize that issues may arise that are so important to Canadians that direct public initiatives should be permitted.
Supremacy of Parliament
5. We believe that an independent judiciary is a vital bulwark of the freedom of Canadians against the exercise of arbitrary power by the state. However, we also believe that it is not an appropriate role of the courts to debate and balance the conflicting rights inherent in developing public policy. We will therefore ensure that final responsibility for public policy rests with Parliament and not with unaccountable judges and human rights commissars. We affirm the legitimacy of the use of the Section 33 notwithstanding power when a court ruling conflicts with both the intent of Parliament and the will of the citizens. We will initiate the process of approving judicial and senior civil service appointments by the appropriate committees of Parliament. We will disband the misnamed Human Rights Commissions whose arbitrary rulings have seriously damaged so many innocent Canadians.
6. We are committed to restoring tradition and pride in Canada’s military. We will protect our country’s sovereignty, uphold our international and alliance obligations and ensure internal safety and security. To meet these responsibilities, we will fund, train, and equip the Canadian Forces and Reserves to be combat capable across the spectrum of their assigned roles.
7. Our top priority will be to maintain the operational effectiveness of the Canadian Forces. Therefore, we will require that all programs, procurement and command structures be cost-effective, eliminate unnecessary infrastructure and bureaucracy, and ensure all policies are designed to meet that priority.
8. We support an enhanced role for the Reserve Forces which will be integrated with the Regular Force as part of a general mobilization plan.
9. We will restructure and unify Canada’s intelligence and security agencies to better protect Canadians against serious national and international threats in a changing and unstable global environment.
10. We support a foreign policy that protects Canada’s sovereignty and independence, promotes our national interest, contributes to collective international security and defence, promotes democratic principles and human rights, and assists in international development in accountable and practical ways.
11. We will promote our country’s national interests by focussing on those regions and issues that are of greatest importance to Canada. We will pay particular attention to maintaining good bilateral relations with the United States and with our most significant trading partners in the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, contingent upon their appreciation of our position expressed in Point 14 below.
12. We will make Parliament responsible for exercising effective oversight over the conduct of Canadian foreign policy. In particular, no international agreement will have any force or effect unless ratified by Parliament. Parliament will also be responsible for ensuring accountability for expenditures on foreign assistance and international organizations.
13. We affirm Canada’s humanitarian obligation to assist genuine refugees and are proud that our country has often provided relief or a safe haven for distressed people from many parts of the world. To protect Canada’s good international reputation and ensure fairness, we will immediately deport bogus refugees and other illegal entrants and will severely penalize those who organize abuse of the system. We will ensure that refugee status is arbitrated expediently, consistently and professionally. We will end the use of refugee claims as a fast track to gain the benefits of landed immigrant status.
14. We recognize the importance of an ethical dimension in foreign policy. We will advance the values broadly supported by Canadians and will not provide aid to governments with a record of human rights violations.
Citizenship and Immigration
15. Canada was peopled and built by immigrants and we strongly support continuing to welcome new immigrants. Our immigration policy will take into account Canada’s economic needs and values. We will introduce greater fairness and security into the system including enforcement of sponsorship obligations. We will ensure that support dollars flow to the municipal jurisdictions in which immigrants choose to locate. We will stress the desirability of newcomers adapting to Canadian standards of morality, legality and language.
16. Canadian citizenship is a privilege. We believe the balance needs to be restored between its rights and responsibilities. Becoming a Canadian citizen should be considered a serious commitment, not simply a way to obtain a passport of convenience. We will retain the residency requirement of three years before a person may apply for Canadian citizenship and require that anyone who is granted Canadian citizenship renounce their former citizenship(s). After serious consultatation with affected parties, we will implement administrative solutions to the widely-reported incidents of systemic abuse.
17. Our commitment to individual freedom and equality of citizenship will dictate our approach to issues affecting Canadians of aboriginal ancestry. We will not support the existence of another order of government. We will not support ancestry-based allocation of rights to harvest natural resources. We will support the democratic rights and responsibilities of individual citizens and establish their right to private property.
18. We will reintroduce the positions proposed by Jean Chretien on June 25, 1969 in a White Paper prepared by the ministry of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
a) “The legislative and constitutional bases which have set Indians apart from other Canadians must be removed.” [In other words, the Indian Act, 1867, which has had such a despicable effect, was to have been repealed and Canadians of aboriginal ancestry would have become entitled to all the same rights, privileges, obligations and programs as other Canadians.]
b) “There must be positive recognition by everyone of the unique contribution of aboriginal culture to Canadian life.”
c) “Government services must come through the same channels and from the same government agencies for all Canadians.”
d) “The title to Indian Reserves (now held by the federal government) will be transferred to the Indian people of each reserve.” [The intention was to transfer title to individuals or couples, not to any type of collectivity.]
e) “Lawful obligations must be recognized.” [The White Paper was referring to the few existing treaties and foresaw negotiated closure of historic commitments like providing twine, tools and ammunition. It was not referring to the scandalously immoral and groundless land claims’ pillaging that followed.]
f) “Those who are furthest behind must be helped the most.” [Transitional bridging funds were to be provided to ease the change.]
19. We affirm Canada as a society where people from a world-full of ancestries and backgrounds live and work together and we totally appreciate the resulting cultural and economic advantages this diversity bestows on and country. We will uphold the freedom of individuals and families to nurture aspects of their heritage that are important to them. While cherishing the activities celebrating our diverse backgrounds, we do not believe government should finance them.
20. We affirm the national government’s responsibility to preserve Canada’s historical heritage in parks, museums and historic sites as an enduring reminder of our common experience.
21. We recognize and cherish the bilingual history of Canada as expressed and confirmed in the BNA Act. We support the need and desirability for key national institutions such as Parliament, the Supreme Court and the offices of national programs to be able to serve Canadians in both official languages where demand dictates. We will repeal the Official Languages Act and remove all linguistic barriers to advancement within any branch of the Dominion government.
Economic and Fiscal Policies
Recognize and affirm the historic common law right to ownership and enjoyment of private property
1. We believe the right to own, use and benefit from private property (including real, intellectual and personal property), and to contract freely, lies at the very heart of our legal, political and economic systems and distinguishes a free society. As a guarantee that no citizen will be deprived of this right without due process of law and full, just and timely compensation, we will ensure its inclusion in an amended Constitution.
Foster an economic climate where a thriving private sector creates quality jobs for all who seek them
2. We will create an economic environment in which businesses can thrive and grow, and with success, create ever-expanding job opportunities for Canadians. We will do so by providing deep, broadly-based tax relief; ensuring a stable monetary policy; supporting essential infrastructures nationally in a non-partisan manner; and encouraging basic research in all sectors of medical, scientific and industrial interest.
3. We will stimulate the private sector by reducing or streamlining bureaucratic regulations and minimizing government interference in the labour market. We will eliminate discriminatory hiring and promotion practices for government employees. We are committed to free and open collective bargaining in the private sector.
4. We will ensure a more competitive environment for the benefit of all Canadians by aggressively pursuing the elimination of trade barriers within Canada, and abroad. We will withdraw government from any commercial or industrial activity better performed by businesses in the private sector. We will end the unbalancing, unfair practice of providing discriminatory subsidies to businesses.
Mandate balanced budgets
5. We believe that responsible government should pay for its current expenses from current revenues, not from borrowings, and that citizens have the right to control government spending of the taxes and fees they pay. We will pass binding legislation requiring the government to balance its budget every year, except in cases of truly major national emergencies. The legislation will include enforceable penalties for non-compliance.
6. To provide flexibility for individual programs, total program spending in any year will be fixed at a maximum increase calculated by a formula incorporating population growth and the consumer price index.
Priority payoff of the national debt
7. We will begin the process of paying off the huge national debt burden by introducing a legislated plan which will include a mandatory annual payment of interest and principal.
Renovated personal and business tax systems
8. We want Canadians to be able to keep more of their earnings for themselves. We will introduce immediate and long-term tax relief, initially focussing on personal tax, and including removal of low-income individuals and families from the tax rolls. We will eliminate capital gains taxes on all non-financial assets.
9. We will lower business taxes to make Canada more competitive with our major competitor-countries thereby encouraging companies and talented individuals to invest and locate in Canada.
10. We will restore public confidence in the fairness of the Canadian tax system by reducing its complexity, taxing only income above the “subsistence” level and moving toward a single rate of personal and family tax on all “discretionary” income above that.
Follow transparent and generally accepted financial accountability principles
11. We will strengthen the capability of the Auditor General’s office to investigate and report all practices of all ministries and programs in order to ensure transparency, accuracy, and efficient and proper use of public funds. The Auditor General will have authorized access to all government documents including those from crown corporations, agencies and cabinet, as well as all ministries.
Regulation of financial institutions
12. We recognize the essential part financial institutions play in the everyday lives of Canadians. We will protect the best interests of consumers by fostering competition and ensuring that the financial services sector is adequately regulated, without impairing stability or opportunity for success and growth in the sector. We will transfer oversight authority to the Industry and Commerce Ministry from the Finance Ministry.
13. In order to achieve a level playing field relative to other countries with export volumes of agricultural products, we will support the phased reduction and elimination of government subsidies and support programs, and trade restrictions, in conjunction with other countries’ doing the same.
14. To ensure a self-reliant, family-owned and economically viable agriculture industry, we will give farmers the freedom to cooperate and form their own marketing, transportation and financing facilities and to direct, structure and voluntarily participate in producer organizations. We are also committed to ensuring the continued viability of supply-managed sectors in the new market-driven environment.
15. We will carefully manage and preserve Canada’s fish stocks in order to ensure that the fishing industry remains economically viable in the long term. Licences and quotas will be distributed based on economic and environmental factors designed to create an efficient and competitive industry.
16. We will ensure that Canadian fleets are given priority over foreign fleets when granting access to stocks and licences for fishing in Canadian waters.
17. We believe that those most affected by the fishery must be given more control over management of the industry. We will give local authorities a greater voice in conservation, quota management and quality control.
18. We believe that responsible exploration, development and production of our natural resources is vital to the continued well-being of our nation. We will establish a unified and timely, single-window approval process and will vigorously enforce environmental regulations with meaningful penalties.
19. We are committed to protecting and preserving Canada’s natural environment, and restoring what man-made pollution has damaged. We will establish and regularly review preservation and management measures that are based on sound science.
Respect for the equality of all citizens before and under the law
1. We intend to keep Canada a tolerant society where diversity is respected. We affirm the equality of all citizens before and under the law and the right of all citizens to the equal protection and benefit of, and obligation toward, the law without discrimination. We will not accept that any group of Canadians should be treated differently by the law because of their ancestry, gender, mother tongue, sexual orientation, or any other distinguishing personal characteristic.
Respect and support for law and order, including substantial reform of the justice system
2. We will make providing safety and security for Canadian citizens, their families and their property, the overriding objective of the justice system. We will strongly support effective crime prevention measures and sensible programs designed to safely restore offenders to society.
3. The rights of victims will take precedence over those of criminals. We will place the protection of society ahead of systemic quirks that currently produce unjust delays and loopholes.
4. Law enforcement will be given the tools and resources it needs to fight crime, including supports for restitution and community program alternatives for minor offences.
5. We will introduce measures to hold young lawbreakers more accountable to their victims and the larger community. Serious offenders over fourteen will be tried as adults as will all other offenders over sixteen. Detention facilities for young offenders will be separate and will emphasize skills training, discipline and community awareness.
6. We are committed to keeping guns out of the hands of criminals as a necessary part of keeping our communities safe. We will maintain the long-standing national handgun registry and Firearm Acquisition Certificate (FAC) systems, while repealing Bill C-68, the long gun registry system that has proven to be totally ineffective and obscenely expensive. We will enforce the existing, mandatory penalties for using a firearm in the commission of a crime.
7. We believe in “truth in sentencing” and will ensure that more sentences are actually fully served. In order to ensure that all crimes have consequences, multiple crimes will draw consecutive sentences. Habitual and violent offenders will be more consistently designated as dangerous offenders subject to indefinite incarceration.
8. Convicts will not be permitted to vote.
9. We support increased involvement by the community, particularly the victims, in decisions regarding parole.
10. We will not allow Canadians’ safety to be jeopardized by non-citizens who engage in criminal activity and will deport them immediately after their sentence has been served.
Personal responsibility, individual freedom and independence balanced by reasonable support for those of our neighbours who are unable to secure the necessities of life
1. We are proud of our heritage of individual freedom and will refrain from interfering in the lives of Canadians without proof of a clear and compelling reason to do so.
2. We value self-reliance and self-sufficiency tempered by a commitment to care and provide for those who require assistance to move toward independence or who cannot provide for themselves. We believe families, neighbours, communities and non-governmental organizations are best positioned to respond to specific needs on a personal basis.
3. We believe government must provide a safety net to ensure no one is left in distress. We will restructure the current complicated, wasteful patchwork of income support programs to eliminate overlap.
4. We believe the national government should be responsible for ensuring a safety net for workers who lose their jobs. However, we will renovate the Employment Insurance programme, using sound insurance and actuarial principles, in order to remove the incentive to treat unemployment as a lifestyle option.
5. We value retirement security as a vital element of independence. We will honour obligations under current government-run programs to retired Canadians and those close to retirement, and will maintain support for low-income seniors. We will provide future retirees with a greater choice between an actuarily-sound public pension plan and mandatory personal plans. We will allow individuals greater opportunity to save for their own retirement to give them greater control over their financial security during retirement.
Recognize the family as the essential building block of a healthy society
6. We believe that the family, which we define as individuals related by blood, marriage or adoption, is essential to the well-being of individuals and society. We believe that pertinent legislation should serve to strengthen and protect the family and relevant bills and regulations will carefully consider their impact on families.
7. We affirm the right and duty of parents to raise their children responsibly according to their own conscience and beliefs. We believe that no government or agency has the right to interfere in the exercise of that duty so long as the actions of the parents do not constitute abuse or neglect.
A superior health care system
8. We are committed to maintaining the founding principles of our health care system, ie; universality, portability, comprehensiveness, accessibility and public financing.
9. We believe that the needs of patients must come first in the delivery of health care services and we will not stand in the way of Canadians exercising freedom of choice when it comes to ensuring their physical well-being and their access to the best medical care and facilities.
10. We will work closely and co-operatively with health care professionals to ensure that they have the resources and flexibility to find more effective approaches to the management and delivery of the best possible health care in the world.