The next federal election will take place on Sept. 20, 2021. Elections matter, especially when it comes to the health of Canadians. Health isn’t just about health care. Our economic, social and environmental circumstances affect our health. These are important issues at stake in the election.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) asks you to vote for your health. At the heart of RNAO’s platform is its concern with equity. A healthy post-pandemic recovery means a just recovery for all Canadians.
It is vital that all parties and all candidates address the longstanding inequities laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic.
RNAO has asked the leaders of the major federal parties for their views on these issues. We will post their responses as we receive them. We urge you to take the time to ask your candidates whether these issues matter to them and what they plan to do about them.
IMPLEMENT NATIONAL STANDARDS IN LONG-TERM CARE (LTC)
COVID-19 has exposed long-standing underfunding and understaffing in LTC. Across Canada, more than 15,000 residents of LTC homes have died from COVID-19, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of all COVID-19 related deaths in Canada. The federal government deployed Canadian Armed Forces personnel, and contracted with Red Cross, to provide and support care in more than 50 LTC homes during the pandemic. The federal government has repeatedly promised to implement national LTC standards to ensure appropriate and dignified care for an increasingly complex number of LTC residents.
RNAO urges nurses and the public to vote for candidates that commit to implementing national LTC standards based on RNAO’s Nursing Home Basic Care Guarantee (NHBCG) and Ontario’s LTC COVID-19 Commission, inclusive of four worked hours of nursing and personal care per resident, per 24 hours, and a national LTC health human resource standard consisting of:
- a skill mix of 20 per cent registered nurse (RN) care, 25 per cent registered practical nurse/licensed practical nurse care, and no more than 55 per cent personal support worker care per resident, per day
- one nurse practitioner (NP) and a minimum of one Infection Prevention and Control RN per 120 LTC residents
- salaries in LTC commensurate with those paid to the same health workers in other sectors, such as hospitals
- full‐time employment with benefits for staff, who want full‐time work, to enable continuity of care for residents, improve staff retention and remove the need to work in multiple locations
Medicare is one of Canada’s greatest achievements. Canadians live longer, healthier lives because of it and it serves all of us when we need it. Medicare also makes economic sense. But the job is not done. Many essential health services are not covered by our system. It is time to change that.
RNAO urges nurses and the public to vote for candidates that commit to expanding Canada’s universal, publicly-funded, not-for-profit health system through the provision of a national:
- pharmacare program that covers all medically necessary drugs at no cost to Canadians
- dental care program covering all essential dental care services
- home care program that enables people to receive a full basket of services in their home
INCREASE THE NUMBER OF NPs AND RNs SERVING INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES
Indigenous communities – particularly those in remote settings – have insufficient health human resources to serve their populations. An increased supply of NPs and RNs working in Indigenous communities can remedy this health inequity. The expanded scope of the NP, including the ability to diagnose and treat independently, promotes timely access to care, improves health outcomes and reduces health system costs. Increased numbers of RNs will also help address the unmet health needs identified by Indigenous communities.
RNAO urges nurses and the public to vote for candidates that commit to increase the number of NPs and RNs serving Indigenous communities including at a minimum, one NP per community.
RE-INSTATE A NATIONAL CHIEF NURSING OFFICER (CNO)
Countries around the world – including provincial governments such as Ontario – and major health organizations have CNOs. A national CNO serves as a voice for nurses and nursing and a focal point for nursing policy leadership nationally and internationally. CNOs play a critical role in directing attention to social determinants of health, transforming health policies, improving health outcomes and advancing health systems. This is even more critical now as Canada addresses the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable and underserved populations and the nursing human resource shortfalls that are emerging across the country.
RNAO urges nurses and the public to vote for candidates that commit to re-instating a national CNO to provide advice on a broad range of issues including health policy, nursing and health human resource planning.
A re-elected Liberal government will work with provinces and territories to ensure personal support workers receive a wage of at least $25 an hour. To address the workforce shortage, we will invest $500 million to train up to 50,000 new personal support workers.
Over the last 20 months, we’ve seen how standards without enforcement fail to protect workers and residents. So we will work with our partners to introduce a Safe Long-term Care Act that ensures standards of care are upheld across the country.
A re-elected Liberal government would invest a further $3 billion to improve the quality and number of beds.
Finally, Liberals have a plan to help more seniors age at home. We will double the Home Accessibility Tax Credit, providing an additional $1,500 for renovations to make seniors’ homes more accessible.
We will create a new Multigenerational Home Renovation tax credit to help families add a secondary suite to their home so a family member can live with them. And the new Age Well at Home initiative will fund practical supports that connect low-income and vulnerable seniors with help for tasks they are no longer able to manage.
In 2022, we are renegotiating homecare agreements with provinces and territories to improve access to homecare and transitions to long term care or palliative care.
Canada’s Conservatives will invite the provinces to work with us to develop a set of best practices for long-term care homes. In the meantime, we will devote $3 billion of infrastructure funding over the next three years to renovate long-term care homes in all provinces and territories across Canada to improve the care that residents receive. We will boost the number of personal support workers in these homes by providing priority in immigration programs for those who can work in long-term care homes or health care.
A New Democratic government will eliminate the for-profit ownership of long-term care homes in Canada and stop the contracting out of services. Within our first 100 days in office, we will bring the provinces, territories, workers and experts together to develop a national strategy on long-term and continuing care that will include national standards for care. These standards will include minimum hours and baskets of care, as well as a workforce strategy.
Yes, the Green Party will implement and enforce National Standards of Care through accountability and penalties.
In addition to continuing our work on national universal pharmacare, a re-elected Liberal government will also invest an additional $4.5 billion over 5 years to support access to mental health services when Canadians need them. This would bring federal support for mental health to $2.5 billion per year by 2025-26. We will also invest $500 million dollars in making evidence-based treatment for problematic substance use more available for Canadians seeking help.
Homecare and long-term care are equally important health services for Canadians. The Liberal Party is committed to building better, safer long term care and will be renegotiating the homecare agreements with provinces and territories in 2022. We know that better care starts with better supports for frontline workers and better accountability. A re-elected Liberal government would invest in better wages, improve the quality and number of beds in long term care, and work with partners to introduce the Safe Long Term Care Act.
Finally, removing barriers to achieving optimal oral health is important, particularly for our most vulnerable populations. The Liberal Party continues to be open to new ideas to address health inequalities, and to explore how we can strengthen policies, programs, clinical practice, and research on oral health with governments and partners.
A re-elected Liberal government would continue to support Parliament in studying and analyzing the possibility of a national dental care program to examine what the most appropriate federal role would be in this area.
Canada’s Conservatives have committed to meeting with the premiers within 100 days of forming government to propose a new health agreement with the provinces and territories that boosts the annual growth rate of the Canada Health Transfer to at least 6%. This will inject nearly $60 billion into our health care system over the next 10 years
A New Democratic government will work with the provinces and territories to implement universal public pharmacare as rapidly as possible – with a target launch date of 2022. We will immediately extend coverage for dental care and mental health care to uninsured Canadians, as a first step towards bringing these essential services into our public system. And we will work collaboratively with patients, caregivers, and provincial and territorial governments to develop national care standards for home care and long-term care, regulated by the same principles as the Canada Health Act.
The Green Party is committed to implementing a universal pharmacare program that provides coverage for a list of essential medicines by 2022 and a comprehensive program by 2025. The Greens will also expand Medicare to include free basic dental care, so that every citizen has access to high-quality basic dental care, regardless of their insurance status. Finally, the Greens will shift LTC policy towards aging in place by having the Seniors’ Care Transfer include transformative investment in home and community care (such as naturally occurring retirement communities, co-housing models, and enhanced home support programs).
For far too long, Indigenous peoples have faced poor access to health care and experienced reduced health outcomes. Since 2015, the Liberal government has invested over $5.5 billion to improve health outcomes in Indigenous communities to improve access to timely and culturally appropriate medical care and mental health services. Building on that progress, Budget 2021 pledged an additional $1.4 billion to maintain essential health care services for First Nations and Inuit , continue to transform First Nations health systems and response to health impacts of climate change. Budget 2021 also invested an additional $1.2 billion to support the immediate response to COVID-19 including hiring more nurses.
A re-elected Liberal government is committed to implementing Joyce’s principle to ensure that Indigenous peoples have equitable access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services as well as the right to enjoy the best possible physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
To do this, we will full implement Joyce’s principle and ensure it guides our work in co-developing distinctions-based Indigenous Health legislation to foster health systems free from racism and discrimination where Indigenous peoples are respected and safe.
Canada’s Conservatives are committed to funding Indigenous health care. In fact, the Leader of the Conservative Party, the Hon. Erin O’Toole, devoted his first question in Question Period after becoming leader to Indigenous health care, specifically Call to Action 19 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.
Our Canada Recovery Plan has also pledged $1 billion in funding over five years for First Nations, Métis and Inuit mental health and drug treatment programs.
New Democrats believe the federal government must step up to close the health gap in Indigenous communities and support Indigenous health self-determination. We recognize that healing the ongoing trauma caused by colonialism and residential schools will require long-term partnership and reliable, ongoing funding. We will act immediately to ensure Indigenous people can access the health care services they need in their own communities through substantial new investments in staffing, infrastructure, supplies and diagnostic equipment.
The Green Party will uphold Jordan’s Principle in full, ensuring Indigenous Peoples receive the health care they need without being delayed by bureaucratic disagreements over jurisdiction. It will Implement all Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission including 18-24, improving health care for Indigenous Peoples. It will also support First Nations, Métis and Inuit in (re)building traditional knowledge systems around healing and wellness, including the formal inclusion of traditional healing within mental wellness and home and community care programs. This process must be led by First Nations, Métis Nation and Inuit organizations, and staffing recommendations would inform the number of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, and other health care workers.
Throughout the pandemic we have put public health first. We recognize that when the Pandemic passes we will need to conduct a broader review and ensure that lessons learned from the pandemic are incorporated into our health system for the future.
Nurses are a vital part of our healthcare system and have been a key driver of Canada’s success in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Liberal Party is open to all ideas for how to build better healthcare for Canadians, including changes to the way we receive advice and engage with key stakeholders. A re-elected Liberal government will work with the health community to look at ways to strengthen our health policy and public health framework, including the need for a Chief Nursing Officer, as we review Canada’s pandemic response and work together to build back better.
Our platform includes a detailed plan to protect Canada from future pandemics. Part of countering the threat is more scientific leadership and strengthening Health Canada.
The elimination of Canada’s Chief Nursing Officer has resulted in a fragmented approach to nursing policy across the country that weakens our capacity to crises like COVID-19. New Democrats agree that the federal government should re-instate this critical role, with appropriate resources and a mandate to advise on a board range of issues.
We will commit to considering the reinstatement of a national Chief Nursing Officer. We recognize the unique perspective and value a CNO would bring, and this would have significant value for health policy oversight. Also, the federal government could hopefully work in collaboration with provinces and territories regarding human resource planning.
RESPOND WITH URGENCY TO THE OPIOID OVERDOSE CRISIS
In every province and territory across Canada, in both urban and rural communities, the opioid overdose crisis rages on. More than 21,000 people have died from opioid overdose between 2016 and 2020, including 6,000 in 2020, reflecting a rapidly escalating crisis. Nearly all of these deaths are accidental and preventable.
RNAO urges nurses and the public to vote for candidates that commit to responding to the opioid crisis by:
- decriminalizing personal possession and use of drugs
- expanding safer supply programming
- extending exemptions for overdose prevention sites
MAKE THE RIGHT TO HOUSING A REALITY
Housing is a human right. Yet on any given night, 35,000 Canadians have no home to call their own. In addition, 1.7 million Canadian households reside in homes that are unaffordable, overcrowded and/or in need of significant repair. The combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, housing market trends and public policy choices threaten to dramatically increase the number of Canadians experiencing homelessness.
RNAO endorses the Vote Housing platform of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) including its calls for: an Indigenous housing strategy; the prevention and elimination of homelessness; and a significant increase of supportive housing and affordable non-market, co-op and not-for-profit housing.
RNAO urges nurses and the public to vote for candidates that commit to CAEH’s Vote Housing platform.
IMPLEMENT THE 'CALLS-TO-ACTION' OF THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION (TRC)
Canada’s TRC, informed by interviews with survivors, sets out the history of Indian Residential Schools and its legacy of deep inequities and pain. Unmarked graves of more than a thousand Indigenous children have been uncovered on the grounds of residential schools. Canada has been slow to implement the TRC’s calls-to-action and reconcile with its history of violent colonization and cultural genocide.
RNAO urges nurses and the public to vote for candidates that commit, in accordance with the principles of reconciliation, to:
- implementing, with urgency, the “calls to action” of the TRC
- ensuring sufficient funding and resources to address the social, economic and health challenges identified by Indigenous communities, flowing from long-standing and ongoing discriminatory practices, including:
- access to health care
- adequate housing
- clean water
- providing funding and support to enable Indigenous peoples to search for missing children on former residential school sites throughout Canada, and obtain records to determine who is missing
RNAO also urges nurses and the public to vote for candidates that commit to implement the “calls for justice” of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
A re-elected Liberal government will:
- Introduce a comprehensive strategy to address problematic substance use to end the opioids crisis;
- Invest $25 million for public education to reduce the stigma associated with with problematic substance use;
- Invest $500M to support the provinces and territories in providing access to a full-range of evidence-based treatment, recognizing that successful treatment is not determined by immediate, long-term abstinence.
- Support provinces and territories in creating standards for substance use treatment programs so that Canadians can access quality and evidence-based support when they need it most.
- Support the many lower-risk and first time offenders by reforming the Criminal Code to repeal relevant mandatory minimum penalties, and requiring police and Crown prosecutors to consider diverting individuals out of the criminal justice system.
This builds on our track record of investing in and delivering a compassionate and evidence-based approach to problematic substance use so that we can eliminate the tragic and unnecessary deaths caused by the opioid epidemic.
Canada’s Conservatives will treat the opioid epidemic as the health issue that it is. To help more Canadians recover from addiction, we will revise the federal government’s substance abuse policy framework to make recovery its overarching goal. We will reorient the Canadian Drugs and Substances Strategy towards ensuring that everyone suffering from addiction has the opportunity to recover and to lead a drug-free life and that all policies that fall under the strategy have the reduction of harm and promotion of recovery as their objectives.
- Invest $325 million over the next three years to create 1,000 residential drug treatment beds and build 50 recovery community centres across the country.
- Support innovative approaches to address the crises of mental health challenges and addiction, such as land-based treatment programs developed and managed by Indigenous communities.
- Partner with the provinces to ensure that Naloxone kits are available for free across Canada
Decades of failed drug policy have caused incalculable harm to communities across Canada. In the last five years alone, we have lost over 20,000 loved ones to overdoses. Criminalization, a toxic illicit supply and a lack of timely access to harm reduction, treatment and recovery services are driving this ongoing catastrophe. It’s time for a new approach.
New Democratic government will decriminalize substance use in Canada and expunge criminal records for personal possession. The trauma and stigma caused by criminalization cannot be meaningfully addressed with half-measures.
We will work with the provinces and territories to extend low-barrier access to a safe supply of regulated substances to every region of the country. This is essential to save lives. And we will bring in a national strategy to ensure that harm reduction, treatment, and recovery services are available to all those who seek access.
The Green Party believes that drug addiction should be treated as a healthcare issue rather than a criminal one. A Green government will first declare the drug poisoning crisis a national public health emergency. It will then move to decriminalize the possession of illicit drugs for personal use, and it will remove criminal penalties for the personal possession and use of all drugs under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The Greens will additionally create a programme through the federal government so people can access pharmaceutical alternatives of drugs of choice safely. A Green government will also invest in an integrated system of decriminalization and access to meaningful services for those persons who are seeking treatment, while increasing funding to community-based organizations to test drugs and support those who use drugs. Finally, the Greens will implement a national education and distribution program for Naloxone, so Naloxone kits are widely available to treat overdoses and every Canadian knows what it is and how to use it.
A re-elected Liberal government will:
- Appoint a new Federal Housing Advocate within the first 100-days of a new mandate to ensure the federal government’s work toward eliminating chronic homelessness, as well as other housing commitments, are fulfilled.
- Move forward with our plan to invest in Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy to support communities across the country.
The housing plan we outline in our platform will support the construction of more than 20,000 units of new affordable rental housing, and ensure 130,000 units are revitalized from a state of critical disrepair helping thousands of families per year access better housing that works for them.
To address homelessness, Canada’s Conservatives will:
- Re-implement the Housing First approach, which has been watered down by the current federal government to aid in the fight against Canada’s addictions crisis.
- Revise the federal government’s subsidy abuse policy framework to make recovery its overarching goal.
- Invest $325 million over the next three years to create 1,000 residential drug treatment beds and build 50 recovery community centres across the country.
- Support innovative approaches to address the crises of mental health challenges and addiction, such as land-based treatment programs developed and managed by Indigenous communities as part of a plan to enhance the delivery of culturally appropriate addictions treatment and prevention services in First Nations communities with high needs.
New Democrats are committed to ending homelessness in Canada within a decade. We’ll partner with provinces and municipalities to create half a million units of affordable housing over the next ten years. This will include social housing, community and non-market housing, as well as rental assistance for co-ops. We’ll also streamline the application process and provide dedicated fast-start funds to help communities get projects off the ground immediately.
Our housing strategy will include measures to support Canadians at risk of becoming homeless, adopting a “housing first” approach. To help people find an affordable home in the long term, we’ll support the creation of more social housing and other affordable options. We’re committed to building 500,000 affordable homes, as part of our plan to see 1.7 million homes built, preserved or renovated over the next 4 years. To deliver help to the most vulnerable right away, we’ll also work with the provinces and municipalities to fast-track the purchase, lease and conversion of hotels and motels for emergency housing relief until more permanent, community-based solutions are available.
Yes, the Green Party supports this measure.
A re-elected Liberal government will:
- Accelerate the implementation of the Action Plan with Indigenous partners
- Accelerate our work with partners on our collective and shared priorities for the 2021 National Action Plan
- Create a standing Federal-Provincial-Territorial table on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People to facilitate and coordinate this work.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls have identified significant gaps in opportunity and outcome between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Canada’s Conservatives will develop a comprehensive plan to implement TRC Calls to Action 71 through 76, fund the investigation at all former residential schools in Canada where unmarked graves may exist, and develop a detailed and thorough set of resources to educate Canadians of all ages on the tragic history of residential schools in Canada.
Leader Erin O’Toole’s first question in Question Period after becoming Conservative Party Leader was about the Call to Action 19, about Indigenous health care.
New Democrats will work in partnership with Indigenous women, the families of the missing and murdered, and communities to implement the National Inquiry’s Calls for Justice and the calls to action brought forward by communities. This includes establishing a comprehensive plan to address violence against Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQI2S+ People — ensuring that all those fleeing violence have access to culturally appropriate programming, emergency shelters and transitional housing.
In partnership with Indigenous peoples, we will fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. We will work with Indigenous peoples to co-develop a National Action Plan for Reconciliation, drawing directly from the Calls to Action and the Declaration to ensure that Canada’s laws, policies, and practices are consistent with Canada’s human rights commitments – including cultural rights, land rights, and rights to self-determination and self-government.
The Green Party is committed to implementing all 94 of the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and all of the Calls for Justice from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A COMPREHENSIVE CLIMATE ACTION PLAN
Unprecedented growth in greenhouse gas emissions is warming our planet at an alarming rate. As a result, Canadians are experiencing more severe weather, more flooding, more heat waves and more wildfires. Changes in our environment affect our health. It means more people are dying of heat-related illness. The resulting worsened pollution affects those with respiratory and cardiovascular disease, and has led to the spread of Lyme disease and West Nile virus.
RNAO urges nurses and the public to vote for candidates that commit to developing and implementing a comprehensive climate action plan that includes:
- establishing greenhouse gas emission targets consistent with current scientific evidence
- strengthening the national carbon pricing regime
- phasing out fossil fuel subsidies
- investing in green infrastructure, including public transit and active transportation
ENSURE ACCESS TO CLEAN DRINKING WATER AND PROTECT WATER SOURCES
Access to clean drinking water continues to be a problem for many Indigenous communities – a shocking circumstance in the 21st century. At present, there are approximately 50 long-term boil water advisories in effect in 32 Indigenous communities. Some advisories have been in place for decades.
RNAO urges nurses and the public to vote for candidates who, in recognition of a universal right to clean water, commit to ensuring that all Indigenous communities have and can maintain access to clean, safe drinking water.
A re-elected Liberal government will continue to deliver on all policy and fiscal measures outlined in our Strengthened Climate Plan from December 2020, implement the recently passed Net Zero Emissions Accountability Act, and advance new measures to achieve an ambitious 40-50% reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels including by
Continuing to put a rising price on pollution, while putting more money back into the pockets of Canadians.
- Making sure that the oil and gas sector reduces emissions at the pace and scale needed to achieve net-zero by 2050, with 5-year targets to stay on track to achieving this shared goal.
- Requiring oil and gas companies to reduce methane emissions by at least 75% below 2021 levels by 2030 and work to reduce methane emissions across the broader economy.
- Accelerating our G20 commitment to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies from 2025 to 2023.
- Introducing a clean electricity standard that will set Canada on a path to cut more emissions by 2030 and to achieve a 100% net-zero emitting electricity system by 2035.
- Continuing to help Canadians improve the energy efficiency of their homes and reduce their energy bills, providing grants up to $5000 for home retrofits and interest-free loans of up to $40,000 for deep retrofits.
- Accelerating the development of a Neto-zero emissions model building code for 2025 adoption .
- Investing an additional $1.5 billion in the iZev rebate program and broaden the eligibility to a wider range of vehicle types, including used vehicles, to help over 500,000 Canadians get into a zero emissions vehicle.
- Establish a $2 billion Futures Fund for Alberta, Saskatchewa, Newfoundland and Labrador that will be designed in collaboration with local workers, unions, educational institutions, environmental groups, investors, and Indigenous peoples who know their communities best. We will support local and regional economic diversification and specific place-based strategies
Canada’s Conservatives have a detailed plan to tackle climate change and will meet our Paris climate commitment and reduce emissions by 2030. To reach our goal, we will:
- Implement a national Personal Low Carbon Savings Account, which will engage consumers in the process of building a lower carbon future.
- Introduce a zero-emission vehicle mandate based on the mandate in British Columbia.
- Lower industrial emissions by proposing minimum North American standards.
- Finalize and improve clean fuel regulations.
- Invest an additional $3 billion between now and 2030 in natural climate solutions.
- Develop a national clean energy strategy.
A New Democratic government will set an ambitious target of reducing our emissions by at least 50% from 2005 levels by 2030. To help us reach that goal we will eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, bring in multi-year national and sectoral carbon budgets, and change the mandate of the Bank of Canada to focus on contributing to net zero. We will create good jobs in all regions, with green infrastructure investments that will ensure that working people are not left behind as the world moves to a zero-carbon economy. Our plan to create one million new good jobs will help rebuild local economies while helping vulnerable workers and those impacted by the shifting economy
The Green Party will reduce Canada’s emissions by 60% below 2005 levels by 2030, and it will set a goal of the country being net negative by 2050. To accomplish these goals, a Green government will cancel all new pipeline projects and all new oil exploration projects. It will end the leasing of federal lands for fossil fuel production and retire existing licenses, and it will ban hydraulic fracturing. The Greens will end all subsidies to the fossil fuel sector, and it will phase out existing oil and gas operations so that they continue on a declining basis with bitumen production phased out between 2030 and 2035. Finally, the Greens will ensure that companies are held accountable for paying for the costs of cleaning up and restoring land, instead of passing these to the public.
Decades of neglect has led to the unacceptable reality that many people who live on First Nations’ reserves do not have access to safe, clean and reliable drinking water.
The Liberal government has worked with First Nations’ communities to lift 109 long-term water advisories and prevent another 188 long-term water advisories, and to put in place project teams in every community with an outstanding long-term drinking water advisory to implement an action plan to resolve it.
A re-elected Liberal government will make any investment necessary to eliminate all remaining advisories. This includes investing in training and resources to prevent short-term advisories from becoming long-term, continuing to move forward on our agreement in principle to resolve national class action litigation related to safe drinking water, and investing $6 billion to ensure sustainable access to clean water for First Nations
The fact that many Indigenous communities still lack safe drinking water is a national shame. Clean water is essential to human health and well-being and making meaningful progress must be a priority for any government. Canada’s Conservatives will:
- Recognize safe drinking water as a fundamental human right and end long-term drinking water advisories.
- Target high-risk water systems.
- Work with Indigenous communities to find new approaches, such as regional or coalition-based governance, that will help ensure water systems investments are protected and continue providing clean drinking water in the long term.
New Democrats recognize the universal right to clean water and believe that it’s well-past time for the federal government to step up and fully fund the services and infrastructure that Indigenous communities need to thrive. That means making the full investments required to ensure clean water and lift all drinking water advisories in Indigenous communities as rapidly as possible, not years in the future, and supporting Indigenous-led water management training programs and water system operations as an urgent and immediate priority.
Yes, the Green Party is committed to ending all drinking water and boil water advisories as soon as possible, and will invest in and upgrade critical infrastructure to ensure safe water access and to be able to lift boil water advisories in every community. It will also support Indigenous-led processes to implement safe drinking water and wastewater management systems.
EXPAND FEDERAL SHARE OF GOVERNMENT HEALTH EXPENDITURES
Provincial and territorial governments receive health funding from the federal government in the form of Canada Health Transfers (CHT) and directed program funding including, during the pandemic, the Safe Restart Program. The federal CHT percentage of provincial/territorial public spending on health has declined from 35 per cent in 1976 - 77 to less than 25 per cent in 2019 - 20.
RNAO urges nurses and the public to vote for candidates that commit to restoring the federal share of total health-care expenditures covered by the CHT to 35 per cent.
While the federal share of health-care costs continues to fall well below historic levels, the federal government has been cutting corporate tax rates. Since 2000, the federal corporate tax rate has been cut from 28 per cent to 15 per cent. In addition to that lost tax revenue, the federal government loses billions every year in tax evasion and tax avoidance. The wealth exists – it is just accumulating increasingly at the top, where the wealthiest one per cent have increased their share dramatically over the course of the past decade.
RNAO urges nurses and the public to vote for candidates that commit to ensuring corporations and individuals pay their fair share of taxes.
In 2021-22, the federal government will provide over $43 billion in cash support to provinces and territories through the Canada Health Transfer. The health transfer is set to grow each year, in line with the growth rate of the economy, with a minimum increase of at least 3% per year.
In addition to the transfer, the Liberal government committed $11 billion dollars in the last mandate in targeted funding to support provinces and territories to address priority issues such as access to mental health and substance use services and access to homecare. Budget 2021 also committed $4 billion in new spending to help provinces and territories clear waitlists, many of which have grown longer during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A re-elected Liberal government will continue to work with provinces and territories to improve healthcare by continuing to invest in priority areas including
- $10 billion to eliminate waitlists – that is $6B in new funding on top of the $4B already committed in Budget 2021
- $3 billion to hire 7500 family doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners over four years
- An additional $400 million to support the expansion of virtual health care services
- $9 billion to make long term care safer for residents and workers, and to improve work conditions and accountability.
- $4.5 billion over 5 years to assist the provinces and territories to expand the delivery of mental health services
- $500 million to support the delivery of a full-range of evidence-based treatment for problematic substance use
Canada’s Conservatives believe that the federal government should pay its fair share. Under the previous Conservative government, federal transfers to the provinces grew 6% per year. Unfortunately, in 2017, the Trudeau government cut this in half.
Canada’s Conservatives will take immediate action to restore health funding and to tackle the urgent crises of mental health and addiction. We will meet with the Premiers within the first 100 days of forming government to propose a new health agreement with the provinces and territories that boosts the annual growth rate of the Canada Health Transfer to at least 6%. This will inject nearly $60 billion into our health care system over the next 10 years.
The enormous stress placed on our public health care system from years of federal underfunding has become painfully evident throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Decades of cuts and neglect by Liberal and Conservative governments have brought our health care system to the brink of collapse – and resulted in devastating loss of life in long-term care facilities.
When Medicare was first established in Canada the federal government agreed to assume half the costs incurred by provinces and territories. However, the federal share of overall health care spending has since plummeted to about 22 percent today. A New Democrat government will reverse this trend. We will work in full partnership with the provinces and territories to strengthen and expand Canada’s public health care system.
A Green government will increase health transfers by basing them on demographics and real health care needs in each province, replacing the current formula based on GDP growth introduced by the Harper government and retained by the Liberals. It will also reevaluate the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) so that rural communities are being covered with an equitable amount of funding to meet the needs of the community.
A re-elected Liberal government will:
- Raise corporate taxes on the largest, most profitable banks and insurance companies who earn more than $1 billion per year and introduce a temporary Canada Recovery Dividend that these companies would pay in recognition of the fact that they have recovered faster and stronger than many other industries.
- Create a minimum tax rule so that everyone who earns enough to qualify for the top bracket pays at least 15% each year (the tax rate paid by people earning less than $49 000), removing their ability to artificially pay no tax through excessive use of deductions and credits.
- Implement a tax on luxury cars, boats, and planes as outlined in Budget 2021
- Significantly increase the resources of the Canada Revenue Agency to combat aggressive tax planning and tax avoidance that allows the wealthiest to avoid paying the taxes they owe. This will increase CRA’s resources by up to $1 billion per year in order to close Canada’s tax gap.
- Modernize the general anti-avoidance rule regime in order to focus on economic substance and restrict the ability of federally regulated entities, including financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies, to use tiered structures as a form of corporate tax planning that flows Canadian-derived profit through entities in low-tax jurisdictions in order to reduce taxes back in Canada.
Canada’s Conservatives have a detailed plan to secure tax fairness. The Trudeau Liberals recently admitted that their high-net-worth compliance program had failed to prosecute even one person over the last six years. Under Justin Trudeau, the Canada Revenue Agency continues to go after small businesses while ignoring those rich enough to pay for expensive lawyers and accountants. We will fix this program and ensure the wealthy pay their fair share.
We will provide more funding to the Canada Revenue Agency, increasing to an additional $750 million per year, to fund stronger enforcement of taxation for multinational firms, taxation of large corporations, international taxation, and other tax evasion. This cost will be more than made up for by the increase in compliance, leading to an increase in how much the government collects what it is owed.
Ultra-rich individuals and corporate giants have exploited this pandemic to make obscene profits. It’s only fair for them to pay for the recovery. New Democrats will introduce an excess profit tax on large corporations that have profiteered from COVID-19. To make our tax system fairer, a New Democratic government will increase the capital gains inclusion rate to 75 percent. We will also bring in a new wealth tax on fortunes over $10 million and a luxury tax on elite purchases like yachts and private jets. To boost the integrity of our tax system and combat tax evasion, we will take measures to close loopholes and strengthen enforcement.
The Green Party is committed to ensuring a fair system of taxation in Canada. A Green government will: apply a corporate tax on transnational e-commerce companies doing business in Canada; impose a financial transactions tax of 0.5 per cent in the finance sector; increase the federal corporate tax rate from 15 to 21 per cent; charge a five per cent surtax on commercial bank profits; apply a one per cent tax on net (family) wealth above $20 million; close stock options tax loopholes and capital gains tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy; end offshore tax evasion by taxing funds hidden in offshore havens; provide adequate funding to the CRA to collect tax; and establish an arm’s length Federal Tax Commission to analyze the tax system for fairness and accessibility.
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