By: Greg Staley
Written on: 2021-08-20
It would be impossible to cover every intricate detail of the “Secure the Future” plan that the Conservative Party has put forward (83 pages) in one article but we will do our best to bring forth what we believe to be some of the most important parts of the plan. We recommend you read the Secure the Future plan yourself to get a more comprehensive understanding.
Beating Covid-19 – The conservative party plan says that the way Canadians beat Covid-19 is through vaccination and widespread testing. “The first step in getting Canadians back to work and keeping them there is avoiding future lockdowns by protecting Canadians from a fourth wave.” The conservative plan also says that “Canadians will likely need booster shots to protect against COVID-19” and that “we need to be ready for this.” The Secure the Future plan notes that “Canada’s Conservatives will implement a plan to ensure that Canada has faster and more consistent access to vaccines and that we have rapid access to booster shots to deal with future variants.”
The Conservatives say that “protecting our most vulnerable and keeping our economy open will depend on testing and contact tracing.” The Secure the Future plan also says that “Canada’s Conservatives will implement a national rapid screening program to allow businesses and public institutions to remain open in the face of future variants and protect our country.” So more Covid testing will be on the way if the Conservatives are elected.
The Conservatives also took shots at Trudeau and his government for not prioritizing the signing of contracts for booster shots. Here’s the issue – this is very misleading. Prime Minister Trudeau has secured boosters through 2023 and possibly 2024 with Pfizer. The secure the Future document says we must “prioritize the signing of contracts for booster shots to ensure that Canadians are protected as quickly as possible against new variants.” It finishes by concluding that “we cannot afford to repeat Justin Trudeau’s failures which left Canadians behind in vaccine procurement.”
The document also calls for investment in companies like Sanofi, Providence Therapeutics, Medicago and others to “accelerate homegrown development and production of vaccines by Canadian companies.” I’m not trying to give points to Trudeau again but this process has been underway since April of 2020. Check out the grants given to Resilience BioTechnologies Inc., AbCellera Biologics Inc. and Medicago below for the purposes of creating GMP vaccine/antibody production facilities and for the purpose of vaccine development.
O’Toole all about UNDRIP – It would appear that Erin O’Toole and the Conservatives are completely on board with UNDRIP – something the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms has called “useless, dangerous, and divisive”. The Secure the Future document reads; “The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) has affirmed the right of Indigenous communities to pursue economic opportunities and benefit from the development of resources on their traditional territories.”
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms pointed out the danger of this legislation in April of this year when they said; “UNDRIP essentially provides that Indigenous people, among other things, own the land and resources, have the right to self-government and to their own distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions and educational systems, and that the federal government shall foot the bill.” The JCCF also added that “the duty to consult Indigenous communities has become a threat to the Canadian economy.“: The JCCF says that it’s unclear on what steps would have to be taken for the government to satisfy the duty to consult. “What does a government have to do, exactly, to satisfy the duty to consult? The term is undefined and unclear. The courts seem unable to set out any parameters or guidelines, except after the fact.” This is the most dangerous policy to the future of Canada in the Conservative platform.
Net Zero – The Conservatives want to “develop a Net Zero Foundations program to begin putting in place the building blocks required to meet our net zero goals.” Let me interject with words from Dan McTeague, the President of Canadians for affordable energy who said; “Net Zero by 2050 is the latest version of the environmental scare tactic of forcing consumers to accept things like Trudeau’s carbon taxes, or green energy plans, or any other policy madness that really means expanding government control, enriching special interests, and hurting consumers.”
Support a two-state solution in Israel – The Conservative party supports a two-state solution in Israel. They go as far as to say they will “establish a Canada-Palestinian Territories Trust Account at the International Monetary Fund,” with the goal of “providing training and economic instruments upon the arrival of a two-state solution.” The plan also seeks to establish a free-trade agreement with the Palestinian state (when and if a two-state solution happens) and appoint Canada’s first Muslim Ambassador, who will also be an Ambassador to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
The Conservative plan says they will support the two-state solution by doing the following:
• Supporting the current religious status quo surrounding Al-Aqsa / Temple Mount and recognize the special role that Jordan plays in the safeguarding of Holy Sites in Jerusalem.
• Enhancing aid in a targeted manner in the areas of governance and institutional capacity building in support of eventual Palestinian statehood. Investing in the economic empowerment of Palestinian women and support economic and civil society projects and an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace.
When the Conservatives say they will “enhance aid in a targeted manner” it must be asked of them which groups this enhanced aid would be targeted at – who would receive this aid?
Encourage Indigenous communities and resource development companies to work together – You could earn $10 million a year under Erin O’Toole’s plan if you run an organization that promotes “mutually beneficial conversations between Indigenous communities and resource project proponents.” If you do this Erin O’Toole is willing to provide you “$10 million per year to “foster collaboration and encourage partnerships between these two groups.”
Health – Under the Conservatives plan, healthcare transfers to the provinces would increase. “Canada’s Conservatives have a comprehensive plan to improve our healthcare system, including increasing health transfers to the provinces after years of slow growth under the Liberals.” The Conservatives estimate that this will cost “nearly $60 billion” over the next ten years.
Securing the border – Under the Conservatives plan, asylum seekers who come from the United States would not be considered asylum candidates. “An asylum seeker should stake their claim in the first safe country in which they land” the document reads. “No one should be making an asylum claim in Canada if they are coming from the United States.” The CPC plan says that they will “end the practice of the RCMP and the CBSA acting as unofficial welcoming committees.” The document also seeks to set up “joint border patrols” with the US at high traffic points on the land border.
Quebec – The Conservative plan is very Quebec friendly and calls for a no strings attached approach to federal money transferred to Quebec when used for social programs. The plan says that the Conservatives will “make annual federal transfers for social programs unencumbered by restrictive conditions.”
Trans Mountain pipeline – Mr. O’Toole has promised that he will get the Trans Mountain pipeline built but the plan did not mention using the constitution to get this project completed. What happens if a certain province refuses? “Getting Trans Mountain built despite Justin Trudeau’s rhetoric, the construction of the pipeline has faced numerous delays. We will get it built.”
Bill C-69 – Mr. O’Toole’s plan says that he won’t eliminate bill C-69 but will instead “eliminate the unfairness of Trudeau’s Bill C-69.” Critics say the bill creates confusion and uncertainty around future projects, causing foreign investors to take their money to other more certain markets. The Conservatives say they “will fix the Impact Assessment process created by Bill C-69 “basing these changes on the recommendations made by the Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment, and Natural Resources.”
Pass bill to prevent protestors from blocking key infrastructure – Mr. O’Toole says that his government will “pass a Critical Infrastructure Protection Act to prevent protestors from blocking key infrastructure.” The plan references last years rail blockades as an example for the need of this act. The plan calls for amending s. 431.2 of the Criminal Code to make it an offence of interference with an infrastructure facility or public transportation system when they’re blocked and that it will be “punishable by either summary conviction or indictment, depending upon the severity of the offence.” They add that peaceful protest are a fundamental right in Canada, “but respect for the rule of law means that illegal blockades that shut down critical infrastructure, threaten access to vital supplies, or endanger lives cannot be tolerated.”
Long-term care – “Canada’s Conservatives will devote $3 billion of infrastructure funding over the next three years to renovate Long-Term Care Homes in all provinces and territories across Canada to improve the care that residents receive.” Almost the entirety of the Conservatives plan to increase staffing numbers in these long-term care homes hinges on prioritized immigration. The Conservatives say they will provide “priority in immigration programs to those who can work in Long-Term Care or homecare.”
The document adds that they will promote these careers through immigration and refugee settlement programs. Another provision in the Conservatives long-term care plan was to “provide stronger protection for seniors by amending the Criminal Code provisions on failing to provide the necessities of life to make clear that the operator of a licensed care facility shall be presumed to have a legal duty to the residents of that facility.”
The Conservatives also proposed “paying $200 per month per household to any Canadian who is living with and taking care of a parent over the age of 70.”
CANZUK Agreement -The CANZUK agreement would pursue a Canada-Australia-New Zealand-United Kingdom (“CANZUK”) agreement that may include a deal that is similar to the European Union’s. In addition to calling for free trade and flow of capital investment between the partner nations the Conservatives plan may also allow for the “reciprocal freedom to study, live and work for citizens under expanded areas of labour coordination as agreed upon by all parties.” The plan also seeks to expand intelligence cooperation between the partners in areas like cyber-warfare and combatting disinformation.
Streaming services and digital media tax – The Secure the Future plan will “require large digital streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video to reinvest a significant portion of their Canadian gross revenue into producing original Canadian programming, of which a mandated proportion must be French language programming.” The plan says that “If they fail to do so on their own in a given year, they will be required to pay the difference into the Canadian Media Fund.” The plan adds that “content reinvestment requirements will also recognize and incentivize partnerships with Canadian independent media producers.” The Conservative plan would require digital producers like Amazon and Netflix to pay 3% of the gross revenue earned in Canada if they don’t pay corporate income tax in Canada. Hopefully these companies don’t pass this cost onto the consumer.
“Protecting media” – If elected, Erin O’Toole says that he will “end Trudeau’s $600 million media bailout.” The Conservative plan says that “government funding of “approved” media undermines press freedom, a vital part of a free society.” One of the points of contention I have with the plan was the idea of introducing a “digital media royalty framework.” The Conservatives say that this is “to ensure that Canadian media outlets are fairly compensated for the sharing of their content by platforms like Google and Facebook.” Here’s where my concern comes from, the plan calls for the “creation of an intellectual property right for article extracts shared on a social media platform.” If I understand this correctly, this could mean that sharing other media outlets articles with a simple extract may no longer be allowed without expressed permission from the entity who owns that property. This could potentially mean less sharing of the information that’s important to Canadians.
Parental Leave/Maternity leave – The CPC plan says that “Canada’s maternity and parental leave programs play an essential role in enhancing equality and strengthening our economy.” The Conservatives propose to improve these programs by allowing those on maternity and parental leave to “earn up to $1,000 per month to enable them to stay connected to the workforce and ease their return to work.”
“Supporting Expectant Parents” – The Conservatives secure the future document discusses the rising cost of raising a child and says that they will “expand the Canada Child Benefit by allowing benefits to begin at the 7th month of pregnancy rather than at childbirth.” The supposed purpose of this is to help with the costs of things like a crib, clothes etc.
Lobbying – The CPC plan to combat lobbying is to require “all corporations and other organizations that lobby to register and report their meetings” and to “ban lobbying by an individual or entity on a matter that is the subject of a criminal proceeding” – a direct shot at the Liberals SNC-Lavalin scandal.
Frequent flyers may pay more tax under O’Toole – If you are a frequent flyer or the owner of a non-electric luxury vehicle you may pay more tax under O’Toole. The CPC plan says there is the potential of “Introducing new taxes on frequent flyers, non-electric luxury vehicles and luxury second homes to deter activities that hurt the environment.”
Gang Violence – The Conservatives plan to hire “200 RCMP officers to combat gangs and the smuggling of guns and drugs.” According to the plan, the “officers will be based in the GTA and the Lower Mainland.”
Rural Crime – It would appear the Conservatives approach to rural crime is a step in the right direction. The Secure the Future plan says that “Canada’s Conservatives will add a sentencing consideration for courts based on evidence that an offence was “directed at a property or person that was vulnerable because of their remoteness from emergency services.” It’s nice to know that it will be considered in sentencing that you live in a rural area but this doesn’t fix the problem by any means.
Supporting the CAF – The Conservative plan talks about procuring two heavy icebreakers for the Royal Canadian Navy to combat “increased Russian and Chinese Arctic activity.” The plan also discusses the need for a Canadian armed forces Cyber command to defend Canada from cyber-attacks. If elected, the Conservatives would seek to expand the Canadian Rangers in number and make “investments in their preparedness, equipment and training” – although the amount that would be allocated is not disclosed. The CPC would also create a NATO Centre for Arctic Defence at the Resolute Bay CAF Training Centre to “enhance cooperation and interoperability with allies.”
Erin O’Toole government will support Lithium Mining in Canada – The Secure the Future plan says that we should “implement a Critical Minerals Strategy to take advantage of Canada’s abundant resources of the minerals needed to power our clean energy future.” The Conservatives say this will create jobs and support the indigenous economy and contribute to a cleaner environment as well as reduce global reliance on critical minerals coming from China. The Conservatives say this will “include adopting policies to facilitate the responsible exploitation and mining of lithium” but no specifics are given.
Promoting Human rights – The Conservatives say that they will “dramatically revise supply chain legislation to meaningfully enforce Canada’s commitment not to import products made with slave labour” but how they will accomplish that is not laid out in their plan. The Conservatives also say they will “pursue reform of the UN Human Rights Council to prohibit gross human rights abusers from becoming members” – again it is unclear how this will be accomplished. The Conservatives also claim they will engage in “regular emergency sessions to address human rights crises worldwide, and stop the Council from unjustly singling out Israel.”
“Address human rights crises worldwide?” Start with the human rights crises at home Mr. O’Toole. This is almost comical considering the Conservatives kicked out Jonas Smith, their Yukon candidate, for opposing mandatory vaccines and vaccines passports – the two biggest human rights violations of our time. The Covid vaccine is still not approved but is instead under interim emergency use and therefore cannot be mandated.
This was even confirmed on a Department of National Defence webpage where it said “DND management cannot require a public servant to get a vaccine, nor is mandatory vaccination supported under Canadian law.”
The Conservative plan to promote human rights also includes a portion that would “make it a criminal offence for Canadians to go abroad to benefit from serious violations of human rights, such as becoming complicit in organ trafficking through receiving an organ that has been forcibly harvested.” The Conservative plan calls for decoupling critical parts of our supply chains from China – something that is a absolute must for the security of Canada. The plan says that Canada will “work with our allies to build a “coalition of democracies” with the goal of decoupling critical parts of our supply chains from China.” The Conservatives also say they will “withdraw from the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.”
Tax credit refund for Child Care expenses –The Conservatives say they’ll “convert the Child Care Expense deduction into a refundable tax credit covering up to 75% of the cost of child care for lower income families.” It is unclear what qualifies as low-income and what is more unclear is how this helps someone who can’t afford daycare. If you can’t afford the monthly cost of daycare how would you be able to afford it for an entire year to receive the tax credit at the end of that year? Are you supposed to take out a loan for the year to get the tax credit in order to pay off the debt?
Ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G infrastructure – The Conservatives say they will ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G infrastructure “and further investigate the company’s role in providing surveillance capabilities that have been used against the Uyghur people and other persecuted minorities in China.” This is an odd position to take to the politically observant as Mr. O’Toole has a former Huawei executive on his team.
“Peace and security” – The Conservatives say they will focus “untied aid” on “regimes and states that confront corruption.” “While maintaining a clear commitment to delivering untied aid, Canada’s Conservatives will ensure that our aid policy advances Canada’s national interests and values and delivers concrete results. We will prioritize regimes and states that confront corruption.” The Conservative plan says it will “ensure that Canadian development assistance will not advance the Communist Party of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.”
Toughening the Conflict of Interest Act – The Conservatives say they will toughen the conflict of interest act by “expanding the monetary penalties to cover all violations of the Act. ” This would increase the monetary penalties in the Conflict of Interest Act from a maximum of $500 to a maximum of $50,000 with the fine being “proportionate to the severity of the offence and the offender’s history and personal net worth.” The Conservative plan would also seek to amend the Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament to prevent them from “collecting speaking fees while serving in the House of Commons since speaking to Canadians is a part of the job.” Both of these things are steps in the right direction if implemented and enforced but time will tell if this is a serious part of the Conservatives plan.
Reviewing the Pandemic – The Conservatives will “call an immediate public inquiry to examine every aspect of the government’s pandemic response.” The Conservatives also say they will “reinstate the tariff on imported PPE to recognize and secure the longevity of Canadian manufacturers of PPE.”
MAID Medical assistance in dying – The Conservatives would “reinstate the ten-day waiting period to make sure somebody does not make this decision at their lowest point.” The Conservatives say they would also “restore the requirement for two fully independent witnesses to ensure that a vulnerable person is not being forced or coerced” into medical assistance in dying. The Conservatives say they would also “require that any discussion of MAID only occur if raised by the patient” and would “prevent healthcare workers from suggesting it to someone who is not seeking it.” The Conservative plan says that “Canadians living with disabilities report regularly being in situations where MAID is suggested to or pushed on them” and that “this undermines their sense of security in healthcare environments.” The Conservative plan would also repeal Bill C-7 which would allow medical assistance in dying for those with mental health challenges.
Conservative approach to cleaning up pensions – “Canada’s Conservatives will change legislation to ensure that pensioners have priority over corporate elites in bankruptcy or restructuring” the plan reads. The Conservatives say they will better protect Canadians pensions by “preventing executives from paying themselves bonuses while managing a company going through restructuring if the pension plan is not fully funded” and by “no longer forcing underfunded pension plans from being converted to annuities” – something the Conservatives say “locks in losses and results in workers getting less money.” The CPC would also require companies to report the funding status of their pension plans more clearly but how that will be accomplished is not made clear.
Minister of red tape reduction – Canada’s Conservatives say they will “Appoint a Minister Responsible for Red Tape Reduction” that will be “tasked with introducing and passing at least one red tape reduction bill per year” and “eliminating unneeded or counterproductive red tape.”
Expert panel to make recommendations on simplifying the tax system – The Conservative party says that they’ll “appoint an expert panel tasked with reviewing the tax system and making recommendations to make it simpler and fairer.”
Break down interprovincial trade barriers – The Conservatives say they’ll remove “interprovincial trade barriers with
the help and participation of provinces.”
“Patent box” – The Secure the Future plan says that it will make Canada a “low tax jurisdiction for innovation and new product development” by introducing a “patent box” regime in an attempt to “cut the tax rate in half on income earned from patents on innovative products developed here.” The CPC also plan on covering up to $10,000 dollars of administrative and legal costs for the first five patents filed by any Canadian small or medium-sized businesses.
Job plan – The Conservatives plan on “paying up to 50% of the salary of net new hires for six months following the end of CEWS.” This is a big expenditure to put on a government that is already broke and causing inflation to soar through debt spending. The CPC says they will also “pay at least 25% of the salary of a net new hire, with the subsidy increasing up to a maximum of 50% based on how long the new hire has been unemployed.”
The CPC say to support the hospitality and tourism sectors they’ll “provide a 50% rebate for food and non-alcoholic drinks purchased for dine-in from Monday to Wednesday for one month” when its “safe” to do so. The Conservatives will also give a “15% tax credit for vacation expenses of up to $1,000 per person for Canadians to vacation in Canada in 2022” – another expensive proposal. The Conservative plan also calls for a 25% tax credit on amounts up to $100,000 for Canadians who “personally invest in a small business over the next two years.”
Small business – The Conservatives say they’ll support small businesses by providing loans of up to $200,000 – up from the current Canada Emergency Business Account amount of $60,000 dollars which the Conservatives say is “too small for thousands of small and medium businesses.” Other proposals include forgiving up to 25% of a loan depending on a company’s revenue loss.
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