Bring Transparency to Canadian Government
Lack of transparency has been a problem in Canadian government since the beginning. This has led to financial and moral corruption and mismanagement of taxpayer’s money. Although it is a long-standing issue; however, during the last few governments of recent past the lack of transparency reached at its peak.
With huge number of financial and moral scandals in last few governments, lack of transparency and corruption has become the biggest problem in our democratic institutions and government. Even though, corruption and lack of transparency existed since the first prime minister’s, John A McDonald’s, time, Harper’s Conservative government’s immoral activities has had no boundaries. No previous government has shown such lack of responsibility, lack of accountability and financial mismanagement as Harper’s Conservative Government from 2006 to 2015.
Complete list of the number of scandals of the Canadian governments is beyond this list. Only some of the scandals can be seen under the section “Our Blogs”. This information is public knowledge and have been reported in media extensively.
Centrist Party believes in complete transparency in every walk of government. Government should not only be responsible but should also be accountable to Canadians with full honesty and free of corruption.
Canadian Economy First
Growth of Canadian economy should be the top priority of any government. Canada has a highly developed market economy which is the 9th largest GDP by nominal and 15th largest GDP by PPP in the world. Service industry is one of the main sectors of our economy which employs almost three quarters of Canadians. Canada has the world’s third largest oil reserves and is the fourth largest exporter of petroleum and natural gas. Manufacturing sector based in Central Canada is another important segment of our economy with the automobile and aircraft industry being especially important.
For last several years, the annual growth in Canada’s real gross domestic product (GDP) has been well below 3 per cent. Duet to Covid19 and multiple other factors a growth of less than 1.5 per cent is now expected. Our energy dependent provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, are close to hitting recession.
Centrist strongly believes that number of policy changes are indispensable to promote growth. These include eliminating internal barriers to trade and investment and pursuing more open trade and investment can support our economy. Developing a more competitive tax system and streamlining tax administration can also be helpful. Increasing competition in many sectors of the economy, developing more efficient and effective regulations, supporting greater innovation in business is important. Continuing to support our oil and gas industry while investing in renewable energy sources, shifting energy consumption towards the new sources and increasing energy efficiency in buildings, and vehicles is important. We also need to develop and export our expertise in low-carbon goods and services globally.
Eliminating Deficits, Balancing The Budget And Cutting Taxes
Overspending by the government increases the deficit and leads to increased debt. No party currently seems to believe in fiscal conservatism and prudence. Especially during the pandemic of Covid19, Liberals used it as an excuse and spent in reckless way without any foresight to buy the votes. Our deficit has been increasing which will result in increased taxes. It will be difficult to control the financial situation if a recession hits us. It will be impossible to reduce taxes if our government keeps on borrowing money to spend, leading to more debt.
Eliminating deficit is difficult, although not impossible. Between 1995 and 1997, the Liberal government of Jean Chrétien eliminated a deficit of more than $40 Billion. Although in 2018-2019, government revenues were almost $8 billion higher than expected which could help reduce the deficit. Since Trudeau government spent all that money, the deficit could not be reduced.
Increased deficit leads to debt which translates to increased taxes. A government that is focused on buying votes with increased spending continues to borrow money. Whereas a wise approach is to cut spending and balance the budget, which helps in lowering the taxes.
A centrist government will limit spending and will aim to balance the budget in 5 years. We will review foreign aid, corporate subsidies, revise equalization payment formula and any other unnecessary spending. We aim to lower the personal income taxes after eliminating the deficit as our fiscal situation will improve.
SUPPORTING OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCES OF CANADA
Canadian oil is the biggest export of Canada. Alberta oil sands is the third largest oil reserve in the world with an estimated 162 billion barrels of oil in place. Canada also has one of the largest natural gas reserves with an estimated 1300 trillion cubic feet remaining. Canada is one of the world’s top oil and gas producers. We exported 4.7 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas and 3.7 million barrels per day of oil in 2020, most of it to the United States.
Alberta oil sands have almost 52% of global oil open to free-market investment, not controlled by national government. More than 80% of the oil sands resource is too deep for surface mining and it needs drilling with a fraction of the physical footprint per project.
Expanding LNG in British Columbia could add more than 96,000 jobs yearly across Canada between 2020 to 2064. If supplied, natural gas from the LNG Canada project could reduce GHG emissions in China equivalent to shutting down of almost 40 coal fired plants. Almost 30% of the source of energy in the world is still coal, used in many countries like China & India. By 2020 there were almost 350 coal fired plants under construction around the world, out of which 184 were in China, 52 were in India, 13 in Japan and 7 in South Korea. Canadian natural gas is well suited to replace the coal fired plants in the first stage, as a complete transition to renewable source can only be gradual.
The energy sector of Canada contributed about 10.6% to Canada ‘s GDP in 2018 which amounts to almost $221 billion from oil, gas, electricity and indirect supporting activities. Canadian oil and gas sector supports almost 500,000 direct and indirect jobs across Canada. Canadian oil and gas sector has contributed almost 490 Billion in government revenues between 2000 – 2018.
Canadian oil and gas industry employs more indigenous people by proportion than any other sector. Oil sand producers spent $2.4 billion in 2019 and between 2012 and 2019, almost $15 billion with indigenous own businesses. Indigenous communities are increasingly becoming partners in Canadian oil and gas development. Indigenous people employed in Canadian oil and gas have much higher median income than other industries. In 2017 two first nations acquired 49% ownership in Suncor Energy’s east tank Farm for $545 million, one of the largest business investments by a First Nations entity in Canada.
Canada has one of the best E.S.G. ratings among the world’s top 20 oil producers. Canadian oil and gas industries spend more on clean-tech than all other sectors combined. In 2016, out of $2 billion total spent on clean-tech, Canadian oil and gas industries spent $1.45 billions. In 2019 Canadian pipelines delivered more than 1.7 billion barrels of cure oil and more than 5.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas safely. Of the total water used by Alberta oil and gas industry in 2019, more than 80% was recycled water. Canadian oil and gas producers reduced GHG emissions intensity by 20% between 2009 and 2018 and they continue to reduce it further.
Climate Change is a global problem and needs global solution. Countries other than Canada are responsible for more than 98% of GHG emissions globally. GHG emission of Canada are only 1.6%, whereas, China are 28%, USA are 15%, India are 7%, and Russia are 5% . According to findings of new research China alone now accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the world’s developed nations. China’s emissions of six heat-trapping gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, increased to 14.09 billion tons of CO2 equivalent in 2019, edging out the total of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development members by about 30 million tons. Therefore, without joint efforts from big polluting nations like China, USA, India, Russia, Canada alone can’t make a meaningful impact.
Most Canadian politicians are targeting Alberta’s oil and gas industry only for political point scoring. They demand to shut down the Canadian oil and gas industry with statements like “Oil is dead”. What is the alternative to the Canadian oil and gas industry, more oil by Saudi Arabia, Nigeria & other oil producing nations?
Canadian oil is produced under much tighter environmental regulations than many other nations. If Canada shuts down its oil/gas industry, China can replace it only within few weeks! Shutting down our own oil/gas industry will make us dependent upon 100% import of oil & make other oil producing nations increase oil production leading to more GHG emissions globally.
Conservative Party also proposed Carbon tax, which is indeed worse than carbon tax proposed by the Liberal party, since we will not be allowed to use our own money the way we want it. Conservative Party Carbon tax is only to attract Eastern Canada voters and compete with Liberal Party for votes, not for climate change. Alberta always supported Conservative Party but Conservatives have always back stabbed Alberta. It was Harper Conservative Government, which devised current equalization formula to favor Quebec at the cost of Alberta to win seats in election.
Conservative Party carbon tax is a blow to already suffering economy of Alberta, and it will further destroy the oil and gas industry of Alberta which is much cleaner compared to oil industry of any other countries. Canadian Political parties engaged in propaganda against our natural resources, oil and gas industry are working on the same agenda as foreign oil producing nations. If you are true patriotic Canadians, you should ask Conservative party this question, do you really care for Alberta?
Centrist government will develop oil and gas industry of Canada to its full potential with the most responsible climate action plan.
REFORMING IMMIGRATION POLICY
There is no doubt that Canada has been built by immigrants. Canada’s indigenous people, who make almost 4% of the total population, are the only authentic non-immigrants. The remaining 96% of the population are descended from immigrants.
Due to the increase of the aging population and the small family size of Canada, the elderly people will outnumber the young working people, which may lead to social services crisis. With just over 38 million citizens, residents aged 55-59 years of age make up the largest number (2.7 million). We need to bridge the gap and ensure our population continues to grow.
There is a trend that deems population growth has a strong tie to the maintenance of a growing economy. If a country’s population decreases, its economic output also decreases. Fewer workers mean fewer goods and services can be produced, so economic output shrinks. Recently, Canada’s economy has been growing at a rate of 1.5% annually. Immigrants do help to maintain level of economic growth, provide manpower and add to Canada’s total purchasing power. Immigrants are huge consumers that not only contribute to buying but also selling entrepreneurial products that place more emphasis on the supply and demand in our economy. Without immigrants, Canada would have to self-help and produce its goods and services with fewer workers to aid. New immigrants work hard, start new businesses, and create jobs.
Immigration experts believe that to keep our economy strong and growing we need to focus more on highly skilled people who can help build a stronger Canada. Economic immigrants work hard to run small businesses that are the backbone of our economy. Such immigrants do shift work, live with limited means in apartment buildings for decades paying rent to landlords. It is also known that immigrants work longer hours than native born as they come to Canada for a new life. Most family members of immigrant families are usually working and contributing to our economy.
Centrist Party believes that we must ensure that Canadians get the full and first opportunity in the work force and we should adjust our immigration to needs of our market. Therefore, it important that we reform our immigration policy by limiting the number of immigrants and focusing on economic and highly skilled immigrants rather than irregular border crossers.
Eliminating Systemic Racism
Canada is the best country in the world, however, hate and discrimination still affect our communities. The roots of racial discrimination were founded with the inception of Confederation of Canada in the form of residential schools. The indigenous children were forcefully admitted in these schools against the consent of their parents. These were government sponsored religious schools under the churches. Thousands of children suffered physical and sexual abuse in these schools. More than six thousand children died and many of these children’s bodies were never returned to their families. Mr. Johan A Macdonald, the first prime minister was the founder of these schools.
Indigenous and racialized communities still experience hate and discrimination in our country. Systemic racism and discrimination can affect the way people are offered interviews for jobs, hired or promoted, the level of public service they receive, or how they interact with institutions like schools, hospital, law enforcement and courtrooms.
Racism diminishes the humanity of marginalized people. Racial communities and Indigenous peoples face discrimination and racism in their daily lives even when dealing with governmental institutions.
In Canada today, racialized people are less likely to find an employment suitable for their qualification. Immigrants and racialized communities are the targets of divisive rhetoric; therefore, we cannot stand by and allow racism to divide our communities.
“Diversity is our strength” is only a talk if we do not take practical actions to counter racism.
Centrist Party of Canada will always stand against hate in all its forms and work to end systemic injustice, racism, and discrimination.
Eliminating Polarization and Hyper-Partisanship
Political polarization, fear mongering and hyper-partisanship started to grow in Canadian political landscape with Conservative government in 2006. Lately, the worsening political polarization and riots in 2020 presidential election in the US further impacted Canadian society. Left-wing voters moved further left on the political spectrum, and the right-wing voters are only moving righter. Both sides have become emotionally involved in the political climate, furthering the divide.
Leaders of opposing parties feed on the support of the hyper-partisan individuals who support them, further widening the political spectrum. As society is split amongst political and personal differences in ideologies, strong left- and right-wing voters become more prominent in society. Such people are less likely to compromise their political views and want the government’s policies to align with their ideologies only. Political leaders can also further promote polarization to help further their power in the country. The polarization is fueled by politicians who promote their view on religion, different ethnicities, cultures, and many other social issues in society.
Economic inequality is another factor that can create a divide amongst individuals. For example, the Canadian oil industry and the rising issue of climate change has enraged some individuals, while it has forced others to support their economy. Following extremist positions in this regard has caused a great division of public opinion. Lastly, mass media had played an influential role in political polarization. Most social media platforms use algorithms that make certain sources of information polarized to the public.
Centrist Party of Canada believes polarization in the society is a serious threat to social fabric of our multicultural and peaceful country. Therefore, the Centrist Party of Canada does not follow a right-wing or left-wing political ideology. The founding principle of the Centrist Party of Canada is to follow pragmatic and most practical approach to solve problems faced by Canadians. A centrist government will take all necessary steps to eliminate polarization and division in Canadian society.
Addressing top social issues including Gun Control and Recreational Cannabis
Among all other social issues, the gun related crimes and limiting recreational cannabis use are two top of mind for Centrist party for the first phase. This is primarily since gun related crimes have been on the rise in all communities. Guns are commonly used weapon to threaten and intimidate women. Violence against women remains an unaddressed issue in our society. Furthermore, innocent people are killed and injured because many perpetrators are using military style assault rifles which are designed for mass casualties.
We support medicinal cannabis fully. Research has shown it can help many neurological and psychiatric conditions.
Similarly, politicians support use of recreational Cannabis care more about votes than protecting public health. Recreational use of Cannabis is now legal in Canada and most parties even if they opposed initially are in support of this legislation. They maintain that legalizing recreational marijuana is not only economically beneficial for the country, but falsely say that it also helps save lives. Those who supported legalizing recreational marijuana say that it reduces opioid abuse and overuse deaths.
Centrist sees gun related violence as well as recreational cannabis should not be a partisan issue as safety of Canadians should be of utmost importance to any government. Centrist Party believes that government and opposition parties should be on the same page about gun related violence and recreational cannabis. Furthermore, our provincial governments should implement educational programs starting at elementary school level about impacts of violence on society, firearm violence, side effects of marijuana use for people under then age of 25, and character building which should be mandatory part of educational curriculum.
The indigenous population of Canada is comprised of First Nations, Inuit and Metis. It is quite diversified and makes up about 5% of Canada’s total population. There are almost 600 First Nations communities living in various parts of Canada and more half of them do not live on reserves. Since the inception of confederation, many injustices have been committed by the Canadian government towards indigenous people.
There is a great disparity in the socioeconomic status of Indigenous communities across Canada. Most of the Indigenous communities are living under the conditions of poverty than the average Canadian population. These communities struggle with serious social problems such as substance abuse, crimes, domestic violence, and mental health issues. They have been deprived of many necessities such as clean water. In addition, there are other major issues including treaty negotiations, housing, and property rights on reserves.
The lack of real private property on reserves is one of the important factors responsible for poverty, issues of housing leading of failure of economic development. The paternalistic Indian Act keeps indigenous peoples in a state of dependency and allows the federal government to control many aspects of their lives.
Although federal government spends more than $20 billion a year on indigenous programs, there is not much improvement in the living conditions of the indigenous communities due to dysfunctional bureaucratic process and lack of participation of effective Indigenous voices. A Centrist government will address these issues by taking into account the needs of the indigenous population.
- A Centrist government will work to replace the Indian Act with a new legal framework that guarantees equal rights to indigenous people as Canadians.
- A Centrist government will work to establish the individual property rights on reserves. This will empower its residents, providing them increased control over their lives.
- A Centrist government will respect our treaties and approve natural resources and infrastructure projects only after full consultations with all affected indigenous communities and will work in partnership with them to ensure they can benefit from these economic opportunities.
- A Centrist government will increase the federal spending to improve the programs dedicated to benefit the indigenous communities
- A Centrist government will ensure that indigenous communities fully participate in management of the services they receive in partnership with the federal government of Canada.
Climate change is an undeniable fact and is causing a serious impact on the social, economic, and environmental aspects of our communities, in addition to detrimental health effects. Since climate change is a global issue, it needs a global solution and all countries must come together so that massive changes can be made simultaneously. It is noteworthy that Canada alone is responsible for a very small percentage of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (between 1-2%) yet has one of the world’s highest per capita emission factors at 15.6 tonnes per capita. If the whole world does not act together, we will find it very difficult to make a meaningful difference. We need to build our national climate plan keeping in mind of our own as well as global situation with new measures to achieve a net-zero emission future of Canada without seriously compromising our economy.
We believe in adopting scientific-based GHG emissions reduction targets for 2030, that will help in pursuing efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Climate change will disproportionately impact indigenous communities due to geography. We believe in working with indigenous communities to develop projects with their involvement and understanding to mitigate climate change. Centrist Party of Canada will work to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 by supporting innovation, clean technology investments and embracing sustainable systems.
To help achieve the 2030 emission goals and net zero emissions by 2050; Centrist Party of Canada believes that climate change is not a partisan issue, and we will be working with all other political parties to develop and implement a comprehensive climate action plan. We will devise programs by engaging the community, subject matter experts, economists and relying on science-based facts.
Centrist Climate Action Plan
For a comprehensive understanding, we describe effect of the changing climate from three main aspects.
- Develop educational curriculum.
We will develop an educational curriculum (that will integrate critical topics such as climate change at the elementary level.
- Involving Grassroot organizations
We will engage municipalities, community organizations, schools, and universities to join initiatives that promote sustainable development such as planting trees, adopting clean and efficient energy technologies including solar energy, geothermal and wind energies, in addition to assisting in retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency.
- Change of work environment
We will invest in technologies so that people can work from home, especially during pandemics and other natural occurrences which we may not have control over. We will run campaigns to educate people to live car free and use other means such bicycle, walking and zero emission means as much as possible. We will work with academia and corporate sectors to support online conferences, and corporate meetings which can reduce air travel. We will support paperless infrastructure.
- Change of personal lifestyle
We will plan to decrease waste production. We will develop a stronger campaign to promote healthy and minimalist living. We will be promoting healthy eating and educating Canadians on the risk of obesity and other health concerns that lead to diseases and early death. We can advocate for healthy eating by creating food education campaigns.
- Protecting people against climate risks
To help people to protect against climate risks, we will design programs which can protect against the worst effects of climate change. We will protect homeowners at high risk of flooding by creating a low-cost national flood insurance program. Further, we will work with provinces and territories to complete all flood maps in Canada to better understand the risks home buyers face. We will develop a national action plan to assist homeowners with potential relocation for those at the highest risk of repeat flooding.
- Work with Provinces and territories
We will work with provinces and territories to develop national emission reduction targets. Provincial and territorial governments will design their own policies to meet these commitments. We will provide targeted federal funding to help achieve these goals.
- Developing smaller cities
We will develop plans to protect land from over-development especially in mega cities and will develop smaller cities, which will help to deal with many other problems such as congestion, traffic, drugs, and crimes.
- Fare-free public transit system
We will electrify our transit fleets by 2030, and work with mega municipalities to assess the possibility of a fare-free public transit system.
- Helping overpopulated countries
We will help countries with problems of overpopulation to implement family planning and population control measures.
- Rail and public transportation network
We will modernize and expand the service of VIA Rail, and electric buses to remote and rural areas to provide safe public transit working in partnership with the provinces and territories. Our government will also support creating a high-frequency rail along the Quebec-Windsor corridor, to decrease number of cars on the road.
- Planting Trees
We will take steps that will remove carbon from the atmosphere by planting trees. We have a vast land which can help us to have natural climate solutions like planting trees and protecting grasslands to obtain lower emissions. We will design plans to plant one (1) billion trees in five (5) years. This will create thousands of volunteer positions and jobs in tree planting each year.
- Conserving Forests, wetlands, and agricultural lands
We will commit to better conserve and restore forests, agricultural lands, wetlands, and coastal areas. We will help cities expand and diversify their urban forests. We will invest to protect Canada’s trees from infestations and rebuild our forests after any wildfires.
- Change of local transportation
We will facilitate developing smaller cars and vehicles, which are fuel efficient and promote carpooling. We will assess implementing a cycling program to attract commuters to use a bicycle in good weather.
- Constraining the use of profligate energy
We will adopt policies that constrain the use of profligate energy.
- Supporting clean technology and climate research
The term “cleantech” refers to ongoing efforts to improve environmental outcomes with energy production. This includes reducing GHG emissions, as well as reducing land, water, and air impacts. We will support “cleantech” manufacturing and start campaign with Buy Canadian procurement. This will require policy changes and developing an approach from conceptual to procedural to production stage that will make sure that all phases of the manufacturing are addressed with the objective of prevention or minimization of short and long-term risks to human health and environment. We will offer funding for climate research to universities and as well as to research companies. We will develop a body of scientists, and climate experts to provide guidelines with five-year milestones.
- Electric vehicles and charging stations
We will work on a plan to building more zero emissions vehicles in Canada. We will also work to make it easier to buy and charge zero emissions vehicles. Newer taxis will be gradually replaced by electric vehicles. We will build a coast to coast to coast electric vehicle charging system so that drivers have no problems while driving across the country.
- Switch to biofuels
Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel that is sustainable and clean burning and can be made from various sources such as vegetable oils and animal fats. Biodiesel is seen as a renewable, domestic, and safe biofuel. We will support the development of local, small scale biodiesel production.
- Establish partnerships with Indigenous people for renewables
We will work with Indigenous peoples, providing economic opportunities by developing renewables on their lands, and harness abandoned oil wells for geothermal energy. We will work with Indigenous communities as one team in establishing partnership for renewable energy.
- Creating jobs and training for workers
We will work to create jobs in the clean energy sector in all communities and provide support and training of those workers who will shift to a low carbon economy.
- Employment Insurance Disaster Assistance Benefit
We will support a new Employment Insurance Disaster Assistance Benefit, to help people have job loss due to a disaster. This will support families who lose income temporarily by not able to work to protect their homes, or relocation.
- Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund
We will invest in the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, so communities have a sustainable way to address the emerging threats of climate change.
- Setting our own new targets
We will establish our own new targets and assess the situation with time to avoid compromising our economy. We aim 60 percent GHG reductions against 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.
- National building retrofit
We will make all new residential, commercial, and institutional buildings net-zero by 2030, and complete energy efficiency retrofits on all existing housing by 2050. This will save families on home energy costs with energy efficient upgrades and that will create millions of new jobs as well.
- Zero Oil imports
We will aim to end all imports of oil from foreign countries. We should only use Canadian oil and invest in upgrading our solid bitumen into gas, diesel, propane, and other products for the Canadian market, providing jobs in Alberta.
Developing adaptation measures
Adaptation measures can be taken at national, regional, and local levels. We will invest significant resources in adaptation measures in agriculture, fishing, building flood defences, adapting building codes, choosing to protect endangered trees, and forestry practices less vulnerable to storms and fires etc. from the impact of climate change.
We will also focus on helping to cut down emissions from international shipping, aviation, military, and other such resources.
We will launch a campaign at global level to restore carbon sinks, focusing on replanting forests and restoring the planet’s mangrove forests.
We will promote Canada as a reliable source of natural gas at global level for decommissioning coal-burning power plants.
Once the Trans Mountain Expansion Project is completed, it could result in additional federal corporate income tax revenues of approximately $500 million yearly, which will be invested in clean energy projects.
We will support development of CCS technology, and electrification generated from nuclear and wind resources by providing financial incentives.
We will plan to invest in infrastructure to protect against extreme weather condition e.g. floodwalls and resilient power grids.
We will promote Canada as Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) leader at international platforms and use our current international relationships like G7 to ensure that ESG holds other resource producers to the standards which Canada promotes.
Domestic oil and gas industry will be supported while a constant work to lower its emissions will continue. This will make Canada self-sufficient in its energy needs and Canada can help other countries as a leader in environmental regulations. It will also end imports from countries where oil industry has much lower standard environment regulations. We will support natural gas as a bridge fuel until renewables being developed. Canada has up to 200-300 years of supply, and it’s the cleanest of all the fossil fuels. Natural gas emits 50% less CO2 from a new power plant compared to an old coal power plant.
The current federal carbon tax would be scrapped. Implementation of carbon pricing or regulations will be a provincial matter.