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Federal Politics
Election 2021

Which Parties Have the Big Ideas This Election? Watch This Video

We face vast challenges. Here are the 10 most sweeping responses being promised.

David Beers 14 Sep

David Beers is founding editor of The Tyee.

Remember when a lot of pundits were rolling their eyes at Justin Trudeau for calling an election for no good reason? Maybe your reaction instead matched ours here at The Tyee: Bring it!

The issues are huge, from a pandemic to climate crisis to remaking a just economy. If there has ever been a time for the parties to go big or go home, this is it.

So how did they do? Watch the Tyee’s video above for a fast and informative tour of the boldest proposals that parties have put forward to solve the major problems Canada faces. And please share it widely in your circles. Among the game-changing ideas our presentation unpacks:

A guaranteed livable income. The NDP would start with seniors and people with disabilities and build it out from there. The Greens have their own version.

Vaccine mandates. A refreshingly non-dithering alternative to holding the majority hostage to the anti-science whims of most vaccine resisters, this is most firmly advanced by the Liberals and NDP. The Conservatives would accept regular tests instead, and the Greens are vague.

Ten-dollar-a-day child care. Like the two ideas above, this could have sweeping effects on Canadian society. The NDP is for it, and the Liberals have already set it in motion.

Some fairly large-ish ideas also referenced in the video include:

Extending medical coverage to paying for medication and dental care. The NDP and Greens both support this.

Paid sick days for workers in federally regulated industries. The Liberals and NDP are in.

Removing long-term care facilities from private ownership. The NDP wants to do this, saying it would improve conditions by removing the profit-motive.

That’s a lot to put into a short video. If we’d had more time, we’d have included these biggies, although they also seem the most challenging to pull off:

Electoral reform. Changing our voting system from first-past-the-post to an approach that incorporates some more representative form would dramatically change Canadian democracy. Trudeau first was elected on that promise, then he and his Liberals reneged. On Saturday Trudeau spoke favourably of a ranked ballot approach but not proportional representation but re-affirmed electoral reform was “not a priority” for the Liberals. The NDP and Greens are the only parties pledging such a shift.

Ending subsidies to fossil fuels. That’s no small shift. Federal subsidies currently add up to $18 billion by some estimates. That’s enough to directly fund 180,000 jobs at $100,000 per year. Which is almost exactly the number of full-time oil and gas workers in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. The NDP and Greens both say they’ll do it.

Shutting down Canada’s fossil fuel industry. The legalities and practicalities of phasing out existing oil and gas operations in Canada are murky, but it sure is a big pledge by the Greens.

What is the most gigantically new idea among all the party platforms? You be the judge. But certainly, here’s one candidate…

Governing for no-growth. The Greens commit political heresy by forthrightly stating that government should no longer assume its role is to promote an expanding economy as measured by rising gross domestic product. Instead, the Green party says it wants to “abandon unending economic growth as a goal and replace it with a goal of maximizing human and environmental health and well-being.” Many thinkers have said reimagining a good life with less consumption is what it will take to ward off climate catastrophe. But as far as we know at The Tyee no political party has made it gospel. Until now.


Conservative party

Green party

Liberal party

New Democratic Party

Bloc Québécois

Our video was produced by Avo Media in partnership with members of The Tyee. Many thanks to Avo’s team: Jesse Lupini, Lucas Kavanagh, Koby Michaels, Nicole Doucette and Blair Barrington.  [Tyee]

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