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Conservative Platform

This was taken from the Globe and Mail website, April 6.

 

The Economy

  • Cut corporate taxes to 15 per cent (from its current 16.5 per cent)
  • A two-year extension to the ‘accelerated capital investment,’ which allows manufacturers to write off investments faster on machinery and equipment
  • $420-million to extend Employment Insurance pilot projects to help recipients find jobs while on benefits and aid those who can only obtain sporadic employment
  • A $10-million extension for work-sharing funding to help companies avoid layoffs by offering EI to staff willing to work reduced hours
  • Expanding the Wage Earner Protection Program, which provides compensation to workers for unpaid wages, vacation pay and severance if their company goes bankrupt
  • Resurrect a budget proposal to create a one-year hiring credit to help small businesses hire new employees
  • Cut a $2.2-billion deal with Quebec to implement an HST-style tax in the province

 

Education

Beef up the Canada Student Loan Program to increase the income threshold for loans and grants to part-time students; cut interest rates charged in some cases so Canadians can study part time while working

 

Health

  • In the recent federal budget, the Conservatives vowed to forgive a portion of the federal share of Canada Student Loans for family physicians, nurse practitioners and nurses who practice in underserved rural or remote communities
  • New physical fitness tax credit worth up to $75 for adult fitness expenses and increase existing credit for parents of kids in sports to a maximum of $150 from $75.

 

Defence

Continue with a plan to purchase a fleet of 65 F-35 joint strike fighters. The Harper government says the planes will cost $9-billion to buy, and another $6-billion to service. The Parliamentary Budget Officer says the price of the planes will be closer to $29-billion

 

Seniors

The recent federal budget included $300-million a year to top up Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits by $600 for single seniors and by $840 for couples.

 

Family

Although the rest of the Conservatives’ platform has not yet been made public, a number of family-friendly measures were outlined in the recent federal budget:

  • Extending the ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes program, which provides grants of up to $5,000 to offset the cost of making energy-efficiency improvements
  • Introducing a new family caregiver tax credit that will provide tax relief to caregivers of infirm dependent relatives
  • Introducing a new tax credit on fees associated with children’s artistic, cultural, recreational and developmental activities
  • Lifting the $10,000 cap on the medical-expense tax credit, which allows taxpayers to claim medical- and disability-related expenses incurred by financially dependent relatives

 

Immigration

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has vowed to re-introduce a bill against human smuggling without amendment

 

The Environment

  • Phase out some of the subsidies to the fossil fuel industry from the 2007
  • The recent federal budget included $17-million to contain the spread of plum pox, a lethal plant disease
  • Create a hunting and wildlife advisory panel made up of hunters and fishers and conservation groups to offer Ottawa advice on endangered species and wetland protection.
  • Provide a loan guarantee of $4.2-billion for Newfoundland and Labrador’s $6.2-billion Lower Churchill River hydroelectric project.