Conservative policies? Never mind.
Victory

Ottawa U and the student vote

The following is from student affairs at Ottawa U - some good general info inof on voting, as well as on the parties platforms. I'll publish in it's entirety, with just a few formatting changes.

Please read, and get out and vote.

From: SFUO via NetNews
Subject: Elections 2004
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2004 16:27:03 -0400

Greetings Fellow Student,

As you know, our country finds itself in the grips of an Election. For the first time in a long time, the election is going to be a close one. With no clear leader and no party gaining a clear majority of support, it is a difficult outcome to predict. For some of you, it is the first time you have the opportunity to exercise your right to vote. We keep hearing that students don't feel that it is important to vote and that student apathy is a growing problem. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are at least six issues in which five of the parties have taken an official position. We have included brief summaries of these in this e-mail, as well as information on how to register to vote, and links to the various sites with information.
Tomorrow's government needs to know that Students and the issues which are important to them will impact their electoral hopes. Tomorrow's leaders need to be made aware that students are an important demographic and that what is important to us, should be important to them.
Take the time to go out and vote, it is more important than you know,

Philippe Laliberté, President
Jocelyne Turner, Vice-President of Student Affairs
Guillaume Lemieux, Vice-President Social
Morgan Fielding, Vice-President of Finance
Dan Bova, Vice-President of Academic Affairs.

MORE INFORMATION ON VOTING

You can vote in one of two ways:
1> you can vote in your home riding (where your parents live). To do this, you need to fill out a form at the local Returning Office or Online and a ballot is sent to you which you return in the mail. This process must be started by June 21.

2> you can vote in your current riding in (Ottawa-Vanier if you live in Sandy Hill). You will need to be registered. This can be done by providing 2 I.D.s and proof of address either in advance at the RO Office or on polling day.

If you need more information about the voting process, it can be found at:

http://www.elections.ca/scripts/pss/finded.aspx?L=e&page=newsearch or by calling 1-800-463-6868.

Here are the political parties' official sites and direct links to their platforms:

Progressive Conservative
Official Site: http://64.26.173.32/
Party Platform: http://www.conservative.ca/platform/

Liberal
Official Site: http://www.liberal.ca/
Party Platform: http://www.liberal.ca/platform_e_0.aspx

NDP (New Democratic Party)
Official Site: http://www.ndp.ca/
Party Platform: http://ndp.ca/8commitments/

Green Party
Official Site: http://www.greenparty.ca/
Party Platform:

http://www.greenparty.ca/platform2004/en/index.php?p

Bloc Québécois
Official Site (French Only): http://www.blocquebecois.org/
Platforms are produced regionally

What Follows is the brief summary of the various positions that the parties have taken on: Environment, Taxes, Health Care, Same-Sex Marriage, Government Accountability and of course Education.

Environment

Liberals
* The Liberals plan to boost the use of wind energy under a three-part plan
* Boost the number of wind power projects under the Wind Power Production Incentive (WPPI) from its current 1,000 megawatts to a target of 4,000 megawatts; promote the benefits and cost-effectiveness of wind power; and increase support for research and development on this type of clean energy
* Vow to create a Canadian National Wind Atlas to determine the best place for wind farms
* The budget pledged funding of $4 billion over 10 years to clean up contaminated sites
* Respect Kyoto agreements by working with provinces and territories to develop a climate change plan that respects regional differences
* Pursue the "one-tonne challenge" to help Canadians reduce their emissions by 20 per cent

Conservatives
* The Conservative Party vows to become an "environmental world leader by focusing on clean air, clean water, clean land, and clean energy"
* Harper is opposed to implementing the Kyoto Protocol

NDP
* Apply the polluter-pay principle
* Build more wind turbines and foster markets for wind energy
* Establish a university degree program in green technology
Transportation
* Share half of the federal gas tax to improve public transit, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in urban areas, and freight rail and rural roads in rural communities
* Provide tax incentives and funding for research into new fuel technology for cars
* Provide GST rebates on greener cars
* Make public transit passes to employees a tax deduction for employers
Kyoto
* Export cleaner power from Quebec and Manitoba to coal-dependent provinces through an east-west transmission grid
* Support only those carbon sink projects that improve local biodiversity
Water
* New deal for cities should make clean drinking water and sustainable waste water treatment a priority
* Implement a ban on bulk water exports Toxics
* Ban all imports of toxic waste
* Require chemical companies to produce scientific evidence of a chemical's safety Biodiversity
* Let scientists, not politicians, determine whether a species is at risk, and aim to protect their habitat
* Impose a moratorium on new genetically engineered crops, and make labeling of all GMO's mandatory

Bloc Québécois
* Ratify the Kyoto Protocol
* Promote/subsidize public transportation, use of electric cars, etc.
* Opposes the widening of the St. Lawrence River under study by the

federal government and the American Army (Army Corp of Engineers)
* Mandatory labeling of all GMO products
* Ratify the Carthaginian biodiversity protocol
* Reducing greenhouse effect pollutants is a priority
* Invest in the wind energy industry in Eastern Quebec
* Inject the same amount of money awarded to the Hibernia project.

This could create up to 15,000 jobs in that industry

Green Party
* Develop renewable and alternative energy sources to phase out fossil

fuel and nuclear power within 50 years
* Add CO2 to the National Registry of Pollutants
* Halt petroleum drilling in ecologically sensitive areas
* Perform an evaluation of all federally funded nuclear programs and

plan to phase out federal funding
* Advocate for the maintenance of natural corridors
* Work with local environmental groups to reduce pollution levels in air, water and land
* Allocate funding for research on future energy and to host bi-annual international energy conferences
* Monitor waste management, and promote technologies that use sewage as an alternate energy source Kyoto
* The Green Party says although the Kyoto Protocol is flawed, it is better to develop the treaty than lose time trying to negotiate a stronger agreement
* The party wants to restart a government-run Greenhouse Gas Emissions Registry
* It will require all companies earning more than $1 million in annual revenue to submit reports to the organization

Accountability

Liberals
* The Liberal government created an independent Ethics Commissioner to report directly to Parliament
* Launched a permanent and ongoing expenditure review of government programs
* Introduced legislation to protect "whistle blowers" who come forward to report wrongdoing in government and Crown Corporations
* Will put ministers' expenses, as well as those of their staff and senior public servants, on the Web Conservatives
* Create an independent Ethics Counsellor, who will report directly to the House of Commons -- to be appointed by Parliament, not the prime minister
* End corporate and union political donations, and forced taxpayer subsidies of political parties
* Increase the power of individual Members of Parliament
* Allow Parliament, not the courts, to make a final decision on issues like same-sex marriage

NDP
* Create an independent ethics counsellor, toughen up conflict-of-interest guidelines and cracking down on expense accounts
* Crack down on unaccountable election slush funds
* Enact whistleblower laws to protect civil servants

Bloc
Be an accountable, transparent and honest government

Green
* Allow the public to obtain detailed quarterly financial reports, including program expenditures and expenses of elected officials and civil servants
* Ensure all newly-elected politicians undergo mandatory training in ethics and management
* Establish "whistleblower" protection

Taxes

Liberals
* The Liberal government has accelerated the phase-in of a new $300,000 income threshold qualifying for the 12 per cent small business tax rate, which goes into effect next year
* The 2004 budget proposes amendments to the capital cost allowance system for computer equipment and data network infrastructure equipment
* Eliminate the deductibility of statutory fines and penalties
* Extending the education tax credit to employees who pursue career-related studies

Conservatives
* Introduce a Registered Lifetime Savings Plan (RLSP) that would allow Canadians to invest up to $5,000 a year. It would tax investors up front, not when they withdraw the funds
* Introduce a $2,000 per child deduction
* Transfer at least 3 cents of the gas tax to the provinces
* Cut corporate subsidies in order to cut taxes for all businesses

NDP
* Ensure all Canadians who make less than $15,000 do not pay federal income tax
* Abolish security fees on air travel
* Implement a U.S.-style tax inheritance on amounts of more than $1 million
* Reverse corporate tax deductions
* Cancel all tax treaties with tax havens like Barbados
* Close corporate and very high income tax loopholes

Bloc
* Recover billions of dollars paid to Ottawa due to having two levels of government in place duplicating many services
* Impose a surtax on large oil company profits
* Enable Quebeckers (Quebecois) to choose in terms of taxation priorities
* Increase Federal transfers for the poorest families and individuals (for example old age pension, etc.)
* Have a refundable tax credit for all families with children under 18 years of age
* Insure that GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) is made available to all eligible Old Age persons. Ottawa should reimburse the $3.2 billion that it did not give out.

Green
* Lower taxes on income, profit and investment, while raising taxes on harmful activities such as pollution, waste and inefficiency
* Increase fuel taxes by ten cents per litre - to be phased in over

three years
* Remove tax breaks on pesticides
* Implement a carbon tax on gasoline, diesel and coal
* Exclude ethanol blends and biodiesel from fuel tax increases
* Use half the revenue from pollution taxes to decrease income taxes
* Cancel planned cuts to corporate capital taxes
* Establish a special five-year tax break on energy efficiency retrofits in commercial and residential buildings
* Implement a national GST "feebate" program to promote fuel efficient cars and trucks - increase the GST on personal vehicles that are in the bottom half with respect to fuel efficiency, eliminate the GST for personal vehicles in the top half
* Create tax breaks for companies that are certified for ISO 9000 and ISO 14000

Health Care

Liberals
* Just days into the election campaign, Paul Martin and his team unveiled a health-care platform called 'A Fix for a Generation'
* It calls for an additional $3 billion in general health-care funding over two years, designed to close the so-called "Romanow Gap"
* An additional $4-billion will be spent over the next five years on a "National Waiting Times Reduction Strategy."
The plan has two parts;
* The first would see provincial/territorial governments make waiting times date public and consult with medical experts to define reasonable and medically appropriate wait times
* The second part of that plan is a "Five in Five" strategy that will look at five key types of care where pressures are greatest -- cancer, heart, diagnostic imaging, joint replacements and sight restoration.

Targets for reducing waiting times for each type of care will be set by the end of 2005, and met by the end of 2009
* Increase the number of spaces in universities, colleges and residency programs by supporting a program to train 1,000 new Canadians to deal with the shortage of primary care providers
* The Liberals will establish an Aboriginal Health Transition Fund to create a more cohesive way of integrating provincial and territorial health care systems

Conservatives
* "The Conservative Party will work with the provinces to implement the commitments of the 2003 Health Accord
* Will provide funding of $2 to $3 billion per year over five years in additional transfer payments for health care
* Allocate between $600 million and $800 million over the next four years to pay for the establishment of a national catastrophic drug

program
* Supports the goal of achieving national catastrophic drug coverage by 2005-06, and will report to Canadians on how provinces are planning to ensure this goal
* Will ensure that performance indicators on timely access, quality, sustainability and health status and wellness are developed
* Clear the drug approval backlog and bring drug approval waiting times in line with the U.S. average
* Treat natural health products as "food style" rather than "drug style" products

NDP
* Canadians should be entitled to quality health care, regardless of wealth
* Reduce prescription drug costs with a national bulk-buying program
* Prohibit public money from going to private-for-profit clinics, and make diagnostics such as MRI's medically necessary services
* Restore funding to ParticipAction, that national program that encouraged physical activity
* Ban trans fatty acids in foods as they have done in a few European countries
* Ensure access to safe, therapeutic abortions
* Ensure the federal government address by "Romanow Gap" by paying 25 per cent of its costs within two years
* Better recognize foreign credentials of health professionals
* Implement recommendations on nursing shortages, made by the Canadian Nursing Advisory Committee
* Establish a Royal Commission to look at how to protect the sustainability of medicare

Bloc
* Create an independent health-care system, run by Quebec
* Make health prevention a priority
* Maintain universal health care and increase its financing
* Ottawa must correct the fiscal imbalance between the Quebec government and the federal government via a massive fiscal transfer from Ottawa to Quebec

Green
* Promote more outdoor activities and nutritious eating
* Provide research funding for alternative healing practices
* Enforce stricter labeling of food
* Replace the current Canada Food Guide with a new food guide that emphasizes fruits, vegetables and (for the first time) alternatives to meat and dairy products
* Respect the rights of the terminally ill to refuse treatment
* Reduce by 15 per cent the prevalence of obesity, as well as some cancers, including breast, colon, lung and prostate
* Encourage the full-cost pricing of tobacco products and junk food
* Prohibit reproductive cloning
* Allow the creation of embryonic stem cells through nuclear transfer

EDUCATION

Liberals
* Provide assistance to children from low-income families with a new Canada Learning Bond worth up to $2,000
* Provide new grant of $3,000 for first-year post-secondary students from low-income families
* Enhance the Canada Education Savings Grant from 20 to 40 per cent for families from low-income families and from 20 to 30 per cent for

families from middle-income families
* Raise the weekly loan ceiling in the Canada Students Loans to $210 from $165
* Income thresholds for determining eligibility for student loan interest relief will be increased by five per cent
* Increase the maximum amount of debt reduction for students facing financial difficulty to $26,000, from 20,000
* Invest $125 million over five years for the Aboriginal Human

Resources Development Strategy

Conservatives
* Work with the provinces to reduce financial barriers to post-secondary education and training
* Improve the Canada Student Loans Program NDP
* Cut tuition fees for post-secondary education with a plan to reduce fees by 10 per cent and then freeze them by increasing federal funding
* Provide needs-based grants to replace those administered by the Millennium Scholarship Fund
* Work with the provinces to establish a Canada Post-Secondary Education Act to prevent private, for-profit universities

Bloc
* Education is a priority.
* Students that have been awarded bursaries should be exempt from certain regulations if they need a health or maternity leave during the course of their studies
* Re-establish education transfer payments

Green
* Increase funding for early childhood education programs
* Re-invest in core funding for universities and colleges
* Roll back tuition to more affordable levels
* Allow retired people tuition-free access to college and university programs
* Exempt education from future international trade agreements

Same-Sex Marriage

Liberals
* Paul Martin added a fourth question regarding whether the traditional definition of marriage contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
* In their platform, Martin says the Liberals will not invoke the "notwithstanding clause" of the Charter to deny equal rights Conservatives
* A Conservative government would withdraw the four questions put to the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage and would instead hold a free vote in Parliament
* Harper believes the Supreme Court would likely not overturn Parliament's decision

NDP
* The NDP supports same-sex marriage, while respecting the rights of each religion to determine its own definition of marriage
* Abandon Martin's appeal of the court decision extending retroactive CPP survivor benefits to same-sex couples

Bloc
* Majority of Bloc Quebecois representatives support same sex marriage
* Gilles Duceppe favors a free vote regarding same sex legislation

Green
* The Green Party supports same-sex marriage
* Plans to uphold decisions by Ontario and B.C. courts

Marijuana

Liberals
The Liberal government under Paul Martin reintroduced legislation in February decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana

Conservative
* Stephen Harper has been a harsh critic of the legislation that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana
* He rejected the findings of a Senate committee report in 2002, saying he doesn't believe alcohol is more harmful than pot

NDP
Introduce a non-punitive rule-based approach to deal with adult marijuana use

Bloc
* Favors decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.
* Impose fines for possession, no criminal record

Green
* Legalize, regulate and tax marijuana production
* Use part of the tax revenues to fund addiction prevention and treatment
* Allow provinces to decide where and in what circumstances marijuana can be purchased legally
* Law enforcement should be directed at prohibiting exports and illegal production
* Provinces should create safe-injection clinics, needle exchanges and giving certified drug addicts access to safe doses

Dan Bova,
Vice-President aux affaires academique/VP, Academic SFUO/FÉUO

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