compare 2004 Canadian federal party platforms

This is a featured page. Soon you will be able to compare 2006 Canadian federal party platforms.

No facility to compare policy except a party platform comparison chart was available in the Canadian federal election, 2004. This is that chart, and framing notes, released under CC-by-nc-sa by Craig Hubley.

June 2004 Canadian federal election choice

On June 28th, 2004, or on June 18, 19, 21 in the advance polls, Canadians cast their ballots in the Canadian federal election. Four major parties are contesting every seat in the Canadian House of Commons. Over 98% of all English speaking voters say they will cast their vote for these four (the Bloc Quebecois runs candidates only in Quebec and has no national policies). Here is where the four major national/federal parties stand on the major issues arising in this election:


Using its Frequently Asked Questions and answers to questionnaires distributed during the election, it is relatively easier to discover Green positions than others. Accordingly, they are covered in more depth here than other parties.

Comparing announced policies of the four national parties
(the Bloc Quebecois runs candidates only in Quebec) for the 2004 election:

issue NDP Liberal Green Conservative
5-year cost
$60 billion -
$63.4 billion
$28 billion -
$40 billion
$26.1 billion -
(Greens' own estimate)
$58 billion -
$89.4 billion
corporate income tax major raise to above 40%, higher than the US, UK, EU scheduled cuts to 36% would make it 4% lower than US (40%); remove corporate capital tax scheduled cuts to 36% unchanged (would reduce to present European levels as consumption taxes rise (similar tax structure to EU) on a revenue-neutral basis ("corporate welfare" cut in tandem); replace corporate capital tax with ecological and social indicator incentives so that corporate capital tax rates are lower for ecologically and socially responsible companies; thus, if each unit of corporate income implies equivalent public value was created to taxed-and-spent government expenditure, corporate income tax for that company should be zero - it's already done its public duty. small cut; would reduce to between US and EU level ("corporate welfare" cut in tandem)
personal income tax major raise; would eliminate all tax on those earning under $15,000/year no change small cut as consumption taxes rise; eventually eliminate with major cuts when consumption tax revenue stabilizes major cut; would eliminate middle-income bracket so that all Canadians earning up to $70,000 would pay 16%; estimated cost $21.9 billion
consumption taxes regulate gasoline price; no tax on books, clothing, over-the-counter drugs no change increase as income tax is cut, but remove any "tax on tax", reduce tax on some essentials if provinces will harmonize remove "tax on tax" on gasoline
cities no change to status; shift 5% federal gas tax to all municipalities immediately; remove GST on municipal purchases; no-clawback provisions no change to status; shift 5% federal gax tax to cities over 5 years; no-clawback provisions "determined to...redefine the rights of municipalities,... cities and towns," by creating municipal constitutions and formal status; give municipalities a fixed share of federal tax revenues with conditions on type of infrastructure cities can fund; remove GST on municipal purchases; all conditional on stricter capital asset reporting including well-known human capital attraction and value creation measures that encourage urban arts, gay and "bohemian" communities in downtowns. shift 3% of federal gas tax to cities, but since cities remain entirely under provincial jurisdiction, clawbacks are possible
arts, media, culture protection of domestic media ownership; continue project-based funding arts are part of "social economy" and long term funding is tied to social usefulness, some increases to existing programs, no change to CRTC or CBC mandate; support an international treaty on cultural diversity arts are part of "creative capital" and vital to thriving cities; expand arts funding mechanisms to include smaller, community based, participatory arts programs; expand broadcast access including many new UHF TV channels, reflect cultural diversity; support an international treaty on cultural diversity; develop a common institutional curricula related to cultural heritage; stabilize artists' incomes with income averaging; enable creating arts-friendly villages especially in depressed urban and rural areas audit all federal grant and contribution programs and contracting polices "on an expedited basis"; review role of CRTC and of CBC; criminalize art deemed to be "child pornography" regardless of any "artistic merit"
rural development no change no change encourage organize qualified teachers and health care professionals into 'rural health networks'; new policy structures and research centres designed specifically for rural settings; develop broad knowledge base necessary for rural medicine, minimize urban/specialist bias among medical students; comprehensive shift towards community care; create "green-collar" jobs, post-harvest work remaining where food is grown; national strategy to encourage ethanol and bio diesel production no change
Toronto Major waterfront investment; wind turbines along shoreline Major waterfront investment to create recreation space for poor year-round Initiate "Council of 89" (Mayor, 22MPs, 22 MPPs, 44 Councillors) to meet regularly and agree on policy for "the 416"; Would initiate Supreme Court reference on rights of municipalities with distinct cultures or ecological sensitivities to resist mergers or ((secede from province))s (as strongly advocated by urban guru Jane Jacobs; Major waterfront investment to create vibrant arts and recreation economy year-round; Showcase for sustainable building and cohousing; Consider attracting World's Fair to develop specific target sites no position
First Nations would not re-introduce Liberal-authored Indian Affairs changes Indian Act as redefined by Chretien restore integrity to "nation to nation" negotiations; legislate primary or "first use" hunting, fishing, trapping and logging rights for Aboriginal and Métis peoples on traditional lands under federal jurisdiction, subject to mutually agreeable definitions of sustainable harvests; Support First Nations process to address governance issues, and if desired, dismantle Indian Affairs would not re-introduce Liberal-authored Indian Affairs changes; no other policy announced
Pacific Coast BC NDP leader open to inshore oil and gas exploration under some conditions; federal NDP position unclear retain moratorium on BC inshore oil and gas exploration retain moratorium on BC inshore oil and gas exploration; revitalize coastal fishing communities with transport, incubators encourage oil and gas drilling in lower Fraser Estuary from Wreck Beach south to US border,including two bird sanctuaries
Atlantic Canada centralize ACOA and other regional development decisions in Ottawa; remit 100% of oil and gas revenues to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia with "no-clawback" provisions no change reform ACOA into a genuine regional investment bank like Caisse Depot system in Quebec, with mandate to optimize Atlantic quality of life / well-being as measured by already-existing Genuine Progress Indicators; offer direct incentives to provinces to ban non-organic agriculture (as is being considered in PEI); renew coastal communities abolish ACOA grants; remit 100% of oil and gas revenues to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia
energy and Kyoto Protocol implement Kyoto with energy-conserving upgrades to all buildings in Canada, funded with government-backed guarantees based on energy savings; major wind power investment with fixed targets, slow shift off coal and nuclear power by taxing emissions and paying for safety measures implement Kyoto by voluntary measures; wind power to put Canada in leadership position implement Kyoto and all feasible energy-conserving measures; make wind power price-competitive by cutting subsidies quickly - reaching 10,000MW of wind energy by 2010; tax fossil fuel, cut all oil and gas exploration subsidies and tax breaks; Comprehensive strategic energy policy with strong incentives on provinces to co-operate, such as retention of oil and gas revenues reject Kyoto; may cut some oil and gas exploration subsidies
Biodiversity ban clear-cutting of old growth forest under federal management; encourage value-added industries close to points of wood extraction some support for biodiversity measures in Foreign Aid programs; implement Kyoto to prevent climate change which would cause extinction encourage value-added industries close to points of wood extraction; ban paper containing tree fibre from any ancient/endangered forest;strong diplomatic pressure against all global activities leading to deforestation, open ocean fishery depletion, extinction and climate change - beyond Kyoto, make this a priority of international relations and foreign aid no position
securities reform stricter environmental and social value reporting for private sector; capacity for unions to direct their own pension funds; federal securities regulation no change Federal securities regulation standards binding provinces to minimum standards - GAAP - moving to ISO 19011; Initiate G8-wide review of intangibles reporting and UN review of natural capital as part of very rigorous environmental and social value reporting for the monetary system and extend this to the private sector starting with energy and commodities; unions able to direct pension funds by specifying ethical requirements for investments; Canada Pension Plan investment in well-balanced ethical funds that invest in conservation businesses. no change: provincial jurisdiction
industrial strategy / corporate subsidy would cut all corporate subsidies to fossil fuel energy; other subsidies tied to job creation and other typical goals no change: subsidize both oil and gas exploration with several billion dollars per year, subsidize green energy and conservation in smaller programs costing tens or hundreds of millions per year would cut all corporate subsidies except those to strategic energy conserving industries required to meet Kyoto requirements and future energy security; as corporate income tax is cut; close the door" on outdated ecologically- or socially-disruptive practices; encourage ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 certifications; combat fraud and spam; require transparent "open source" software in government work would cut corporate subsidies as corporate income tax is cut; unclear if this applies to oil and gas exploration subsidies
youth and education free education for all qualified entrants; no private universities no change comprehensive human capital strategy; subsidize skills development in public interest, e.g. ecology; some provincial Green partiesfavour private degree-granting colleges and universities acceptable under provincial jurisdiction and within constitutional limits no change: provincial jurisdiction
food and fitness restore old Liberal "Participaction" fitness program no change; some investments in urban infrastructure increase consumption tax on unhealthy food; encourage bicycle and walking by bicycle-friendly transit including rural bus routes no change: provincial jurisdiction
abortion no change; strong pro-choice bias on part of individual members no change; forbid Private Members Bills from government members on this issue no change; some pro-choice bias on part of individual members; pro-life members favour reducing abortion by strong prenatal and postnatal support for mothers in need no change; would abide by House ruling in case of Private Members Bill; strong pro-life bias on part of individual members
childcare and early learning implement Quebec-style daycare for $7/day across Canada 150,000 new daycare spaces, but, price set by provinces national childcare strategy: tax-incentives for businesses to implement flexible schedules and on-site childcare; multimedia education funding; inexpensive nutritious food; pay equity; promote a 32-hour work week; additional student loan relief for low-income childcare professionals; referendum on creating a national public daycare program no position; opposes involvement in provincial jurisdiction
health no structural change: additional funding for home-care program no structural change: additional funding for home-care program integration of agriculture, nutrition,environmental and public health functions; additional $500M funding for Health Canada to deal with public/population health issues no structural change: additional funding for drug program
professions and immigrants permit Canadian credentials to be acquired by professionals abroad so they are recognized when they arrive as immigrants $75 million to upgrade credentials of immigrant professionals facilitate lifelong learning with access to college and university level instructional programs; free National Mentorship Program and Free Online Multimedia Library including all government publications and government-funded institutions to facilitate professional ugrades via the Internet, and inter-generational contact between professionals and students entering the professions; ensure students in professions critical to peace and ecological safety can graduate without debt loads no change: provincial jurisdiction
marijuana decriminalize decriminalize small amounts fully legalize and tax for $2B revenue/year, plus recovered law enforcement resources and benefits of eradicating major organized crime revenue source no change
same-sex marriage strongly support; would legislate to ensure Canada-wide compliance strongly support: would abide by present Supreme Court reference support: would abide by present Supreme Court reference no position: would withdraw Supreme Court reference and permit Private Members Bills, and abide by the position of the House of Commons; BUT would not use notwithstanding clause to overrule a Supreme Court ruling on an actual case of same sex marriage recognition in any of the provinces
criminal justice more youth restorative justice measures no change more youth restorative justice measures moving towards transformative justice with judges trusted to offer creative alternatives to confinement longer sentences; reduced judicial discretion including mandatory consecutive sentences; major prison expansions; no gun registry
public accounts reform require reporting on well-being; continue to rely on GDP as main measure of progress require reporting on well-being and ecological health, but base fiscal policies on Gross Domestic Product measures expand Auditor General role to include all public funds, and tie all fiscal policy and public sector capital investment to well-being and ecological health value reporting; __stop reporting GDP as it misleads__ expand Auditor-General role to include all public funds; continue to rely on GDP as main or sole measure of progress
trade repeal NAFTA; negotiate all trade issues with US one by one no change: use NAFTA, GATT, WTO appeals to negotiate trade issues; cultivate close relationship with the US via Congress strong tariffs against ecologically destructive imports; cut agricultural subsidies to all non-organic agriculture; totally replace or abolish WTO; end disputes with ecological basis (like softwood lumber or BSE) by adopting higher standards and reducing subsidies; cultivate close relationship with individual states and lateral groups like Great Lakes Commissions, New England Governors, and the States' Attorneys-General; bioregional trade role and some common standards as part of bioregional stewardship" programs in border regions no change: cultivate close relationship with US via Congress
Oceans and Fisheries oppose Newfoundland seal hunt in present form; ensure strict fleet separation no change full participation in bioregional stewardship of Gulf of Maine, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Labrador Current and Gulf Stream ecosystems to similar standards as Great Lakes; work toward global oceanic stewardship; implement custodial management of Nose and Tail of Grand Banks; enforce strict fleet separation by disallowing corporate "trust agreements" or capital cost allowances for non-safety-related investments in owner-operator boats; commit $50M to conserve endangered wild Atlantic salmon and spawning rivers, and a like amount for Pacific coho and sockeye implement custodial management of Nose and Tail of Grand Banks;
transport encourage hydrogen and hybrid vehicle production in Canada no change clarify and harmonize existing regulations on trucking rest rules re: US border and ferries; build highway rest areas for truckers; improve road system to reduce idling in populated areas;encourage hydrogen and hybrid vehicle production in Canada no change; may cut federal gasoline tax
Quebec recognize Quebec as "distinct society" no change recognize Quebec as "distinct society"; continue to allow Quebec to supplant federal programs without penalties; Quebec National Assembly requested to nominate a list of preferred candidates, from which Greens would select the three Quebec judges on the Supreme Court of Canada. no recognition of "distinct society" status unless for all provinces
Quebec sovereignty repeal Clarity Act; Provincial government of Quebec can set its own question and feds will negotiate on 50% + 1 vote no change to Clarity Act: clear question required, feds will negotiate only if 60% achieved "Respect Quebec's right to secede from Canada on the basis of a two-thirds majority vote," given any question, or the (Clarity Act's) 60% on an acceptably clear question; would consider tradeoffs where very specific disclaimer-like question might require a lower 55% or 50%+1 threshold no position: predecessor party leaders Stockwell Day and Preston Manning advocated 50% + 1
Foreign Aid increase Canada's foreign aid contribution to above 0.7% of GDP increase Canada's foreign aid contribution to above 0.7% of GDP increase Canada's foreign aid contribution to above 1% of GDP but tie to actual ecological health and well-being improvements; unify military, humanitarian relief and conflict prevention budgets; outlaw Canadian involvement in foreign projects that result in fatal deforestation such as that seen in Haiti and the Phillipines; restrict Canadian banks and contractors from working on ecologically unsound projects, even those sponsored by the World Bank no change
Foreign Affairs continue Canada's traditional lead role in the UN; work harder to protect citizens' rights abroad, especially when detained by/in the US continue Canada's traditional lead role in the UN; work with US closely on border issues to create "deep integration" on security only continue Canada's traditional lead role in the UN; question NATO's role and repurposing; avoid biometric identifications and databases especially fingerprints or DNA which can be abused to falsify evidence (iris scans cannot); support the Dalai Lama to lead an autonomous region and government of Tibet within China; ensure Hong Kong and Taiwan retain at least current autonomy; support establishment of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq; support formal process of UN recognition of abused or seceded regions whether or not they are "nations" tight cooperation with US on all North American domestic security issues; most members support stronger US ties and alignment of foreign policy, with more NATO operations regardless of UN rulings
Defense reject US SDI and protest weapons in space; commit Canada to UN peacekeeping missions; join in US SDI; reject US SDI and protest weapons in space; unify various development and diplomatic agencies to focus on conflict prevention; reorganize military along rapid-response and humanitarian relief model; re-evaluate NATO involvement; declare Canada a military nuclear free zone. join in US SDI; expand military capacity with heavy equipment (tanks and carriers); would review military helicopter replacement program and delay it "to ensure the public is receiving value for money"
CA electoral reform abolish Senate; some form of proportional representation to augment regional MPs no change; would consider Senate reform proposals from provinces some form of proportional representation to augment regional MPs; would consider lowering voting age to 16 or implementing partial votes (1/2 vote for 16, 1/4 for 14 year olds, as California is considering); begin incremental Senate reform by appointing Senators from under-represented parties of long standing elected "equal" Senate under provincial supervision; may implement fixed term elections as in BC and Ontario
acceptable coalition partners Liberal, Green, Bloc NDP, Green NDP, Liberal, Bloc, Conservative Green, Bloc