What are opposition leaders in Canadian politics

Elections in Canada: The parties and their leaders

Who stands for what in the Canadian general election? A brief portrait of the chairmen of the five largest parties.

Stephen Harper, Conservative Party, Prime Minister:

Harper said the main points of his election manifesto included economic stability, tax breaks for businesses and families, free trade agreements with 39 countries, a long, large infrastructure program and crackdown on crime, including the mandatory minimum penalty.

Among other things, he promises for his program from 2015:

  • an extended broadband access.
  • Tax breaks for members of charities.
  • Reducing bureaucracy.
  • Reduction of adoption costs.
  • Home ownership assistance.
  • Public transport support.
  • advanced skills training.

Tom Mulcair, NDP:

Actually a lawyer, Mulcair was a Liberal MP in the National Assembly of Québec and then Minister for Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks in the Provincial Government of Québec under Liberal Prime Minister Jean Charest in the mid-2000s. He served as an NDP MP and vice-party chairman, and eventually became the NDP opposition leader in the lower house in 2011.

Mulcair accuses Harper of damaging Canada's economy by focusing too much on the oil sector while ignoring manufacturing at the expense of 400,000 jobs.

Among other things, the NDP promises:

  • a reversal of spending cuts in the health and education sectors.
  • a childcare program that aims to create a million new places.
  • better nutrition programs.
  • a very important promotion of public transport.
  • Decriminalize marijuana possession with the aim of bringing marijuana production and distribution out of the control of organized crime.
  • a $ 400 million annual Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) increase to lift 200,000 seniors out of poverty. He also promises to gradually reduce the retirement age to 65 after Harper Conservatives raised it to 67.
  • a move away from the conservatives' tough approach to crime-fighting.

Justin Trudeau, Liberal Party of Canada:

Prior to his 2008 election, Justin Trudeau was a teacher and chair of Canada's National Youth Program. He is the eldest son of Pierre Trudeau, the former Liberal Prime Minister of Canada (1968-1984).

The Liberals promise, among other things:

  • Tax relief, child care and parental allowance for the middle class.
  • fair taxation
  • funding for infrastructure, especially clean technologies
  • a gradual elimination of fossil fuel subsidies
  • Veteran benefits.
  • increased spending on education for the First Nations of $ 2.6 billion over four years.
  • a national committee of inquiry into murdered and missing women of indigenous peoples.
  • Legalize marijuana use.

Elizabeth May, Greens:

The US-born Canadian lawyer and politician is the leader of the Green Party and, since 2011, the first party member to enter parliament as a member of parliament. She represents Saanich — Gulf Islands in British Columbia. From 1989-2006 she was a board member of the Sierra Club of Canada. Among other things, she campaigned against the use of insecticides in Nova Scotia, against uranium mining in Nova Scotia and for the resistance against nuclear energy.

The Green Party's plans and commitments include:

  • more jobs, including in the renewable energy sector
  • fair taxation, including a polluter pays tax
  • a green venture capital fund and support for regional businesses
  • a resolute approach to reducing greenhouse gases
  • a democratic reform
  • international support for peacemaking

Gilles Duceppe, Bloc Québécois:

The fourth party, the Bloc Québécois, which can only be elected in Québéc, is unlikely to win many seats, if at all. Their main commitments can be read here: Bloc Québécois Platform.