Understanding Electoral Candidates – 45th Federal Election

What you need to know

Yasmine Elsayed (she/her) // Contributor

With the next Canadian election coming up in 2025, candidates are gearing up to prepare for the campaigns that will determine the future of Canada. 

Public opinion regarding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been at an all-time low due to high inflation rates. There have been discussions of Snap Election over the summer to move up the elections from 2025 to 2024 to undermine the Conservative Party. However, a snap election may be beneficial after Pierre Poilievre became the Conservative Party leader on Sept. 10, 2023. 

New Democratic Party (NDP) strategist Kathleen Monk, in a statement to POLITICO, claims that the Liberals may not be able or ‘dare’ to call for an election until the economic inflation and the threat of a recession are gone. “My odds are for sure 2024,” Monk says. 

Each party has released its platforms for 2025, and its plans in preparation for elections. 

Different topics were constantly discussed between the 2021 and 2025 elections, such as recovering from COVID-19, healthcare, affordability, climate change, workers’ rights, iIdigenous issues, human rights and post-secondary education. 

Bloc Québécois continues to advocate for the prohibition of replacement workers. The Conservative Party of Canada is introducing the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, criticized as regressive and oppressive, potentially impacting Canadians’ rights to protest and strike on public land. Their proposal to “give workers a seat at the table” is specified for the largest federally regulated employers, and the promise to consult with union leaders on changes to the Canada Labour Code raising concerns about the true outcomes of the plan. Under federal labour laws, the Green Party of Canada is not committed to enhancing workers’ rights. The Liberal Party supports banning replacement workers only during lockouts and is advocating for job protections for digital platform workers. The NDP opposes legislation that suspends bargaining and striking rights, prioritizes banning replacement workers, defends the Rand formula, and aims to update the Canada Labour Code for improved health and safety, whistleblower protection, and equal benefits for part-time and contract workers.

The Bloc Québécois prioritizes lowering medication costs and rejects national standards for long-term care. The Conservative Party’s proposal, including the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, faces criticism for being considered regressive, with a focus on potential healthcare privatization. The Green Party emphasizes a universal pharmacare program, an end to for-profit long-term care, and comprehensive mental healthcare. The Liberal Party, while not committing to a national pharmacare program, pledges increased funding for long-term care and emphasized strengthening the Canada Health Act. The New Democratic Party promises a universal pharmacare program, an end to for-profit care, and comprehensive mental healthcare, positioning itself as an advocate for workers’ rights and healthcare system improvements. Each party reflects distinct ideologies in addressing healthcare challenges, spanning pharmacare, long-term care, and mental health, among other issues.

The Bloc Québécois advocates for rigorous environmental criteria in public contracts, an end to pipeline expansion, and a zero-emission standard for government vehicles. However, their support for a private-public tunnel to Quebec City raises concerns among environmentalists. The Conservative Party is criticized for not recognizing the urgency of the climate crisis and proposing a carbon tax policy that may inadvertently promote fossil fuel consumption. They also plan to reverse laws on plastics and remove regulations supporting pipeline development. The Green Party sets ambitious emission reduction goals, plans to cancel fossil fuel projects, and aims for a just transition for energy workers. However, specific execution details are lacking. The Liberal Party provides unambitious emission reduction goals to transition to a green economy by 2050. The NDP presents a comprehensive, just transition plan, commitments to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, and an emphasis on collaboration with Indigenous communities and addressing environmental racism. Each party’s stance reflects varying degrees of environmental commitment and approaches to climate change mitigation. 

The Bloc Québécois denies the existence of racism in Quebec and focuses on addressing the experiences of newcomers facing racism in the rest of Canada. However, their platform lacks mention of disability support, gender equity plans, and LGBTQ+ issues. 

The Conservative Party’s stance on systemic racism is characterized by a lack of recognition of its urgency, and their proposed measures are criticized for criminalization rather than addressing root causes. While they allocate additional funding to the Enabling Access Fund, their proposal to reduce the hours required for Disability Tax Credit eligibility lacks acknowledgment of the difficulties with the application process. Their gender equity initiatives, particularly the cancellation of childcare agreements and the introduction of a tax credit, are viewed as potentially limiting women’s workforce participation, and the party’s approach to LGBTQ2+ rights, such as permitting “non-coercive” conversations during the end of conversion therapy.

The Green Party of Canada takes a comprehensive approach, aiming to dismantle systemic racism and offering detailed measures to address racial disparities in the public service, immigration, and refugee services. Their disability support proposals are extensive, covering equipment provision, federal health transfer payments for rehabilitation, and a Guaranteed Livable Income for people living with disabilities. The party also addresses gender equity and LGBTQ2+ rights through initiatives such as implementing a restorative justice model and supporting recommendations to address discrimination against LGBTQ2+ people in federal workplaces.

The Liberal Party of Canada outlines efforts to combat systemic racism, enhance disability support, and promote gender equity. While their plans for systemic racism include mentoring and sponsoring diverse groups, language programs for racialized employees, and a mental health fund for Black public service workers, there are concerns about the lack of similar support mentioned for Indigenous workers. The party’s approach to disability issues involves a review of access to Disability Tax Credit and the reintroduction of the Canada Disability Benefit, and their gender equity initiatives include pay transparency, pay equity enforcement, and a National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence. However, these initiatives’ timelines and dedicated funding are not explicitly outlined. Their stance on LGBTQ2+ rights includes commitments to end conversion therapy, support the implementation of the Federal LGBTQ2+ Action Plan, and provide a pathway to parenthood for LGBTQ2+ individuals.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) presents a multifaceted approach to systemic racism, disability issues, gender equity, and LGBTQ2+ rights. They commit to working with provinces/territories to collect disaggregated, race-based data and establish various committees and task forces to address systemic issues, including hate crimes and the over-representation of Indigenous peoples and Black Canadians in federal prisons. The NDP’s disability support proposals focus on strengthening the Accessibility Act, expanding income security programs, and providing a livable income for those with disabilities. Their gender equity initiatives include commitments to transparency around compensation, pay equity enforcement, and paid leave for those dealing with family and domestic violence. The NDP’s approach to LGBTQ2+ rights is characterized by promises to end the blood ban, eliminate conversion therapy, ensure equal access to gender-confirming surgery and medication, and add sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression to the Employment Equity Act.

Each party has specific views that may or may not appropriately address the Canadian people’s concerns. However, it is vital to stay updated in order to further your knowledge regarding the change that each platform might bring to the table. These were just a few critical points addressed.

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