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Federal Liberal government provides economic update; Completes first 30 days

Finance Minister Bill Morneau has released his “Update of Economical and Fiscal Projections 2015,” which builds on the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s downgraded economic forecast. The federal government maintains that the Canadian economic outlook is likely to result in a deficit of over $3 billion deficit by year’s end – which differs from the Conservative estimates of a $2.3 billion surplus from earlier this year. The report suggests economic contraction occurred in the first half of 2015, and forecasts modest GDP growth in the second half of the year. Some of this is attributable to lower-than-expected oil prices and a weak Canadian dollar.

While deficits are part of the new government’s plan to spend on infrastructure, and provide some limited tax changes, today’s report was designed to position the fiscal context as a less-than-rosy situation inherited from the Conservatives.  It also establishes a narrative to possibly allow the Liberals to exceed the $10 billion deficits projected during the election. For their part, the Conservatives countered that the government’s figures differed from those of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO).

A new session of Parliament will begin on December 3, 2015, and the Liberals will use this narrative to shield themselves from opposition criticism as they set about navigating the country’s economy and launching its plans for economic stimulus.

Though the government has moved into deficit earlier than expected, the Liberals refrained from outlining any solutions that may appear in Budget 2016.

Trudeau Government: The first 30 days

In the first 30 days since the federal general election, it has been a busy month for the new government. The Liberals have moved quickly to fulfill some campaign promises that do not require legislative action, including by reinstating the mandatory long form census, dropping the legal effort to ban niqabs at citizenship ceremonies, and publishing each Minister’s mandate letters.

As happens with every government, however, unanticipated domestic and international events stand in the way of a government’s plans. Some have compelled the Government of Canada to respond to emerging issues in a manner that is not necessarily supported by platform policy, such as Montreal’s discharge of untreated wastewater.  Others, such as the terrorist attacks in Paris, have created a different context for campaign commitments, including Canada’s acceptance of 25,000 Syrian refugees and the mission against ISIS.

The range of decisions made to date provides us with some insight into the Liberal government’s desired pace of change. As is typical, the Trudeau government wants to be seen hitting the ground running, so it has been deliberate in choosing initiatives to advance that are clear “wins.”

Leadership Team Staff Being Assembled

It is important to keep in mind that initiatives are being undertaken, and events are being reacted to, as the Prime Minister’s senior leadership works behind the scenes to develop the political backbone of the government. To date, only a relative handful of ministerial chiefs of staff have been hired for Ministers. As a result, Ministers are currently relying heavily on their Deputy Ministers and departments, as well as seeking input from the centre (Prime Minister’s Office). In some cases, Ministers are holding meetings without any political staff support, and they are taking their time to make the right choices before they staff up the rest of their offices. This means that policies and initiatives are being driven by a small group of decision-makers around the Prime Minister who are attempting to be deliberate while juggling an inordinate number of balls.

MinisterDepartmentChief of StaffParliamentary SecretaryDeputy Minister
Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau (QC)Prime Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs and YouthKatie TelfordCelina Caesar-Chavannes
Adam Vaughan (Intergovernmental Affairs)
Peter Schiefke (Youth)
Michael Wernick (Clerk of the Privy Council)
Hon. Amarjeet Sohi (AB)Infrastructure and CommunitiesJohn BrodheadPablo RodriguezJean-François Tremblay
Hon. Bardish Chagger (ON)Small Business and TourismRachel BendayanGudie HutchingsJohn Knubley
Hon. Bill Morneau (ON)FinanceRichard MaksymetzFrançois-Philippe ChampagnePaul Rochon
Hon. Carla Qualtrough (BC)Sport, and Persons with DisabilitiesMatt StickneyStéphane LauzonIan Shugart; Graham Flack
Hon. Carolyn Bennett (ON)Indigenous and Northern AffairsRick TheisYvonne Jones Hélène Laurendeau
Hon. Catherine McKenna (ON)Environment and Climate ChangeMarlo RaynoldsJonathan WilkinsonMichael Martin
Hon. Chrystia Freeland (ON)International TradeBrian ClowDavid LamettiChristine Hogan
Hon. Diane Lebouthillier (QC)National RevenueJosée GuilmetteEmmanuel DubourgAndrew Treusch
Hon. Dominic LeBlanc (NB)Leader of the Government in the House of CommonsVince McNeilKevin LamoureuxMichael Wernick (Clerk of the Privy Council)
Hon. Harjit Sajjan (BC)DefenceBrian BohunickyHon. John McKay John Forster
Hon. Hunter Tootoo (NU)Fisheries and Oceans, and Canadian CoastguardGeorge YoungSerge Cormier Catherine Blewett
Hon. Jane Philpott (ON)HealthGeneviève HinseKamal KheraSimon Kennedy
Hon. Jean-Yves Duclos (QC)Families, Children and Social DevelopmentJosée DuplessisTerry DuguidLouise Levonian
Hon. Jim Carr (MB)Natural ResourcesJanet AnnesleyKim RuddBob Hamilton
Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould (BC)JusticeCyrus Reporter (Acting)Sean Casey
Bill Blair
William F Pentney
Hon. John McCallum (ON)Immigration, Refugees and CitizenshipMathieu BélangerArif ViraniAnita Biguzs
Hon. Judy Foote (NL)Public Services and ProcurementGianluca CairoLeona AlleslevMarie Lemay
Hon. Kent Hehr (AB)Veterans AffairsChristine TabbertKaren McCrimmonWalter Natynczyk
Hon. Kirsty Duncan (ON)Science Rob RosenfeldTerry BeechJohn Knubley
Hon. Lawrence MacAulay (PE)Agriculture and Agri-Food CanadaMary Jean McFallJean-Claude PoissantAndrea Lyon
Hon. Marc Garneau (QC)TransportJean-Philippe ArsenauKate YoungMichael Keenan
Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau (QC)International Development and La francophonieGeoffroi MontpetitKarina GouldPeter Boehm
Hon. Maryam Monsef (ON)Democratic InstitutionsAli Salam (Acting)Mark HollandMichael Wernick (Clerk of the Privy Council)
Hon. MaryAnn Mihychuk (MB)Employment, Workforce Development and LabourMatthew MitschkeRodger CuznerLori Sterling
Hon. Mélanie Joly (QC)HeritageLeslie ChurchRandy BoissonnaultGraham Flack
Hon. Navdeep Bains (ON)Innovation, Science and Economic DevelopmentElder Marques Greg FergusJohn Knubley; Paul J. LeBlanc (ACOA); Janet King (CanNor); Nancy Horsman (FedDev Ontario); Dylan Jones (WD)
Hon. Patricia Hajdu (ON)Status of WomenMonique LugliAnju DhillonMeena Ballantyne
Hon. Ralph Goodale (SK)Public SafetyMarci SurkesMichel PicardMalcolm Brown
Hon. Scott Brison (NS)Treasury BoardSabina SainiJoyce MurrayYaprak Baltacioglu
Hon. Stéphane Dion (QC)Global AffairsJulian OvensPamela Goldsmith-Jones
Omar Alghabra (Consular Affairs)
Ian Shugart


Parliament Returns December 3

The return of Parliament on December 3rd will bring with it a flurry of activities before the year’s end. Key items will include the Speech from the Throne on December 4th, and an economic update that will include a mini-budget focused on the income tax measures that the government hopes to have in place by January 1, 2016. The Throne Speech will follow the tone and tenor of the campaign platform, and will reflect the content of the Ministerial mandate letters released last week. A summary of these can be found below.

The Throne Speech will give a better sense of timeline for action on these ambitious Ministerial priorities and the roadmap ahead for the new Government of Canada. At the same time, the opposition parties (one of which is well-versed in the pitfalls of governing) will be looking for opportunities to exploit the inexperience of Ministers and a political leadership that does not yet have the resources it needs.

Rt. Hon. Justin TrudeauPrime Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs and Youth
  • As Prime Minister, Trudeau’s mandate is to ensure that his cabinet minister fulfills the mandates they have been given.
Hon. Catherine McKennaEnvironment and Climate Change
  • Develop a plan to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, consistent with Canada’s international obligations and Canada’s commitment to sustainable economic growth.
  • Establish national emissions-reduction targets, ensuring that the provinces and territories have targeted federal funding and the flexibility to design their own policies to meet these commitments, including their own carbon pricing policies. As part of this effort, support the Minister of Finance in creating a new Low Carbon Economy Trust to help fund projects that materially reduce carbon emissions under the new pan-Canadian framework.
  • Work with provinces and territories to set stronger air quality standards, monitor emissions, and provide incentives for investments that lead to cleaner air and healthier communities.
Hon. Jim CarrNatural Resources
  • Develop a Canadian Energy Strategy to protect Canada’s energy security; encourage energy conservation; and bring cleaner, renewable energy onto an improved electricity grid.
  • Invest in clean technology producers.
  • Support innovation and the use of clean technologies in Canada’s natural resource sectors, including the forestry, fisheries, mining, energy, and agricultural sectors.
  • Enhance existing tax measures to generate more clean technology investments, and engage with provinces and territories to make Canada the world’s most competitive tax jurisdiction for investments in the research, development, and manufacturing of clean technology.
Hon. Bill MorneauFinance
  • Ensure that The Liberal government’s fiscal plan is sustainable by meeting its fiscal objectives of balancing the budget in 2019/20 and continuing to reduce the federal debt-to-GDP ratio throughout our mandate.
  • Implement a middle-class income tax cut and increase taxes on the most affluent Canadians.
  • Cancel income splitting and other targeted tax breaks, while retaining income splitting of pensions for seniors.
  • Enhance the Canada Pension Plan in an effort to provide more income security to Canadians when they retire.
  • Develop the Canada Infrastructure Bank to provide low-cost financing (including loan guarantees) for new municipal infrastructure projects in our priority investment areas.
  • Improve and modernize Employment Insurance and the job training system.
  • Ensure that EI contributions are only used to fund EI programs.
Hon. Navdeep BainsInnovation, Science and Economic Development.
  • Restore the long-form census and update legislation governing Statistics Canada to reinforce the institution’s independence.
  • Improve the quality of publicly available data in Canada. This will require working with Statistics Canada, the President of the Treasury Board and other departments and agencies to develop an Open Data initiative that would consider big data and make more of the data paid for by Canadians available to the public.
  • Develop an Innovation Agenda that includes:
    • Expanding support for incubators, accelerators, the emerging national network for business innovation and cluster support, and the Industrial Research Assistance Program. These investments will target key growth sectors where Canada has the ability to attract investment or grow export-oriented companies. Ensure tax measures are efficient and encourage innovation, trade and the growth of Canadian businesses; and diversification may be appropriate.
    • Making strategic investments that build on competitive regional advantages. For those communities that have relied heavily on one sector in the past for economic opportunities, investments that support transition and diversification may be appropriate.
  • Making strategic investments in our clean technology sector.
  • Support the Ministers of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change, Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard in making investments that will make our resource sectors world leaders in the use and development of clean and sustainable technology and processes.
  • Promote economic development and create jobs for Indigenous Peoples.
Hon. MaryAnn MihychukEmployment, Workforce Development and Labour
  • Change Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) system by:
    • repealing the recent changes made to the EI system
    • reducing EI premiums;
    • undertaking a broad review of the EI system with the goal of modernizing the system of income support for unemployed workers
    • ensuring that immigrants, younger workers and parents re-entering the workforce receive the same treatment as others in the region
    • reducing the wait time for new recipients to one week (from the existing two week waiting period);
    • working with the Minister of Finance to ensure that EI contributions are only used to fund EI programs; and
    • working with the Minister of Public Services and Procurement to set transparent service standards for the delivery of EI benefits
  • Improve workers’ access to good quality job training by:
    • rationalizing and expanding the intergovernmental agreements that support skills training: the Labour Market Development Agreements, the Labour Market Agreements, and the Canada Job Grant. This work should support the efforts of provinces, territories and employers and avoid duplication;
    • working with the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to renew and improve the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy; and
    • developing a framework to fund training facilities delivered in partnership with labour unions.
Hon. Carolyn BennettIndigenous and Northern Affairs
  • Work with provinces and territories, and with First Nations, the Métis Nation, and Inuit, to implement recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Undertake, with advice from the Minister of Justice, in full partnership and consultation with First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation, a review of laws, policies, and operational practices to ensure that the Crown is fully executing its consultation and accommodation obligations, in accordance with its constitutional and international human rights obligations, including Aboriginal and Treaty rights.
  • Make significant new investments in First Nations education respecting the principle of First Nations control of First Nations education.
  • Collaborate with the Ministers of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change and Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard to ensure that environmental assessment legislation is amended to enhance the consultation, engagement and participatory capacity of Indigenous groups in reviewing and monitoring major resource development projects.
  • Work, in collaboration with the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and in consultation with First Nations, Inuit, and other stakeholders, to improve essential physical infrastructure for Indigenous communities including improving housing outcomes for Indigenous Peoples.
Hon. Chrystia FreelandInternational Trade
  • Develop strategies to implement the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and consult on Canada’s potential participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This will include working with relevant ministers and provinces and territories to support adjustment in sectors including agriculture, the auto sector, and compensation for incremental cost increases to public drug plans arising from CETA.
  • Implement and expand Canada’s Free Trade Agreements globally. This should include implementation of agreements with Israel, Chile and Ukraine.
  • Develop a new Canadian Trade and Export Strategy to support Canadian businesses exporting to international markets This strategy will include:
    • creating an Investment in Canada Office,
    • the development of trade agreement implementation plans to help Canadian businesses take advantage of the opportunities that flow from trade agreements.
    • the development of a targeted strategy to promote trade and investment with emerging markets, with particular attention to China and India.
    • improved supports to Canadian companies looking to export and Canadian communities looking to attract investments.
  • Support the Minister of Foreign Affairs to strengthen the country’s relationship with its North American partners, advance bilateral and trilateral initiatives to reduce impediments to trade between these countries and to strengthen North America’s global competitiveness. Also support the Ministers of Environment and Climate Change and Natural Resources in developing a North American clean energy and environment agreement.
Hon. Stéphane DionForeign Affairs
  • Improve relations with the United States, and strengthen trilateral North American cooperation with the United States and Mexico. This would include working with the relevant Ministers to:
    • work with the United States to make substantial progress on reducing impediments to trade and commerce between Canada and the United States, including by improving border infrastructure and security, streamlining cargo inspection, and facilitating the movement of people. This should include increased engagement with provinces on border and regulatory issues;
    • work with relevant ministers, including the Ministers of International Trade and Environment and Climate Change, to prepare for the North American Leaders Summit in Canada;
    • develop a North American clean energy and environment agreement; and
    • support the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in lifting the Mexican visa requirement.
  • Reenergize Canadian diplomacy and leadership on key international issues and in multilateral institutions. This would include:
    • in collaboration with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, making Canada a leader of international efforts to combat climate change.
Hon. Amarjeet SohiInfrastructure and Communities
  • Develop a 10-year plan to deliver significant new funding to provinces, territories and municipalities. This plan should be designed to ensure both immediate increased investments in infrastructure and long-term, predictable funding. It should support provincial, territorial and municipal priorities, improve access to, and governance of, existing infrastructure programs, increase data collection capacity and promote better asset management of infrastructure in Canada. The plan should focus on:
    • public transit;
    • social infrastructure, including affordable housing, seniors’ facilities, early learning and child care, and cultural and recreational infrastructure;
    • green infrastructure, including investments in local water and wastewater facilities, clean energy, climate resilient infrastructure like flood mitigation systems, and infrastructure to protect against changing weather; and
    • making changes to the Building Canada Fund so that it is more transparent and approval processes are accelerated , which would include removing the P3 screen for projects. It should also be more focused on strategic and trade enabling infrastructure priorities, including roads, bridges, transportation corridors, ports, and border gateways.
  • This process should result in bilateral agreements with provinces and territories on infrastructure investments.
  • Provide low-cost financing (including loan guarantees) for new municipal infrastructure projects in our priority investment areas.
Hon. Jody Wilson-RaybouldJustice
  • Lead a process, supported by the Minister of Health, to work with provinces and territories to respond to the Supreme Court of Canada decision regarding physician-assisted death.
  • Develop, in collaboration with the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and supported by the Minister of Status of Women, an approach to, and a mandate for, an inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada, including the identification of a lead Minister.
  • Review Canada’s litigation strategy. This should include early decisions to end appeals or positions that are not consistent with Canada’s commitments, the Charter or its values.
Hon. Marc GarneauTransport
  • Work with the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, who will have the lead, in consultation with provincial and territorial governments as well as municipalities, to develop and implement an Infrastructure Strategy designed to improve public transit infrastructure and green infrastructure. The Strategy should also improve access to, and governance of, existing infrastructure programs, increase data collection capacity, promote better asset management of infrastructure in Canada and provide better supports for local communities.
  • Work with the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, who will have the lead, on the delivery of a newly-focused Building Canada Fund which will increase spending on Canada’s roads, bridges, transportation corridors, ports, and border gateways
  • Propose measures to reinforce railway safety.
Hon. Scott BrisonTreasury Board
  • Establish new performance standards, in collaboration with the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (who is responsible for Service Canada) the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, the Minister of Democratic Institutions, and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and set up a mechanism to conduct rigorous assessments of the performance of key government services and report findings publicly. As well, develop a new service strategy that aims to create a single online window for all government services with new performance standards.
  • Strengthen oversight on government advertising and modernize the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada to reflect the modern digital environment.
  • Take a leadership role to review policies to improve the use of evidence and data in program innovation and evaluation, more open data, and a more modern approach to comptrollership.
  • Strengthen the oversight of taxpayer dollars and the clarity and consistency of financial reporting. Ensure consistency and maximum alignment between the Estimates and the Public Accounts and exercise due diligence regarding costing analysis prepared by departments for all proposed legislation and programs.
  • Work with the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons to improve reporting to Parliament.
  • Accelerate and expand open data initiatives and make government data available digitally.
Hon. Diane LebouthillierNational Revenue
  • Ensure that CRA will:
    • proactively contact Canadians who are entitled to, but are not receiving, tax benefits;
    • offer to complete returns for some clients, particularly lower-income Canadians and those on fixed incomes, whose financial situation is unchanged year-to-year;
    • support more Canadians who wish to file taxes using no paper forms; and
    • deliver correspondence and other communications that are straightforward and easy to read.
  • Invest additional resources to help the CRA crack down on tax evaders and work with international partners to adopt strategies to combat tax avoidance.
Hon. Ralph GoodalePublic Safety
  • Work to repeal elements of Bill C-51 and introduce new legislation that strengthens accountability with respect to national security and seeks to balance collective security with rights and freedoms.
  • Lead a review of existing measures to protect Canadians and Canada’s critical infrastructure from cyber-threats.
  • Work with provinces and territories, Indigenous Peoples, and municipalities to develop a comprehensive action plan that allows Canada to better predict, prepare for, and respond to weather-related emergencies and natural disasters.
Hon. Harjit SajjanDefence
  • Work with the Minister of Foreign Affairs to end Canada’s combat mission in Iraq and Syria, refocusing Canada’s efforts in the region on the training of local forces and humanitarian support.
  • Ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces have the equipment they need.
  • Work with the Minister of Foreign Affairs to renew Canada’s commitment to United Nations peace operations.
  • Maintain Canada’s commitments to the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
  • Conduct an open and transparent review process to create a new defence strategy for Canada, replacing the Canada First Defence Strategy.
  • Renew Canada’s focus on surveillance and control of Canadian territory and approaches, particularly the country’s Arctic regions, and increase the size of the Canadian Rangers.
Hon. Jane PhilpottHealth
  • Engage provinces and territories in the development of a new multi-year Health Accord. This accord should include a long term funding agreement.
  • Promote public health by: increasing vaccination rates; introducing new restrictions on the commercial marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children, similar to those now in place in Quebec; bringing in tougher regulations to eliminate trans fats and to reduce salt in processed foods, similar to those in the United States; and improving food labels to give more information on added sugars and artificial dyes in processed foods.
Hon. Dominic LeBlancLeader of the Government in the House of Commons
  • Work with Parliamentarians to reform Question Period.
  • Promoting free votes and limiting the circumstances in which Liberal Members of Parliament will be required to vote with the government.
  • Strengthen Parliamentary committees so that they can better scrutinize legislation.
  • Require all Parliamentarians to disclose their expenses in a common and detailed manner each quarter and make meetings at the Board of Internal Economy open by default.
Hon. Judy FootePublic Services and Procurement
  • Undertake a review of Canada Post to make sure it provides the service that Canadians expect at a reasonable price.
  • Modernize procurement practices so that they are simpler, less administratively burdensome, deploy modern comptrollership, and include practices that support our economic policy goals, including green and social procurement.
  • Work with the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities to conduct an inventory of all available federal lands and buildings that could be repurposed for affordable housing in communities.
Hon. John McCallumImmigration, Refugees and Citizenship
  • Lead government-wide efforts to resettle 25,000 refugees from Syria in the coming months.
  • As part of the Annual Immigration Levels Plan for 2016, bring forward a proposal to double the number of entry applications for parents and grandparents of immigrants to 10,000 a year.
  • Give additional points under the Entry Express system to provide more opportunities for applicants who have Canadian siblings.
  • Increase the maximum age for dependents to 22, from 19, to allow more Canadians to bring their children to Canada.
  • Bring forward a proposal regarding permanent residency for new spouses entering Canada.
  • Develop a plan to reduce application processing times for sponsorship, citizenship and other visas.
  • Modify the temporary foreign workers program to eliminate the $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment fee to hire caregivers and work with provinces and territories to develop a system of regulated companies to hire caregivers on behalf of families.
  • Lead efforts to facilitate the temporary entry of low risk travelers, including business visitors, and lift the visa requirement for Mexico.
Hon. Jean-Yves DuclosFamilies, Children and Social Development
  • Work with the Minister of Finance to design and implement the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) and replace the Universal Child Care Benefit.
  • Work with the Minister of Finance to improve the income security of lower income seniors living alone by increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) by ten percent, indexing Old Age Security (OAS) and GIS payments to a new Senior’s Price Index, cancelling the increase in age of eligibility for OAS (65 to 67), and working with provinces and territories to ensure adequate and coordinated support programs to address seniors’ poverty.
  • Lead the development of a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy that would set targets to reduce poverty and measure and publicly report on our progress.
  • Work with the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour to fulfill our commitment to provide more generous and flexible leave for caregivers and more flexible parental leave.
Hon. Mélanie Joly Heritage
  • Review current plans for Canada 150 and champion government-wide efforts to promote this celebration.
  • Restore and increase funding for CBC/Radio-Canada, following consultation with the broadcaster and the Canadian cultural community.
  • Work with the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities to make significant new investments in cultural infrastructure as part of Canada’s investment in social infrastructure.
  • Develop a new multi-year Official Languages plan to support English and French linguistic minorities.
  • Establish a free, online service for learning and retaining English and French as second languages.
  • Work with the Minister of Justice to update and reinstate a Court Challenges Program.
Hon. Maryam MonsefDemocratic Institutions
  • Bring forward a proposal to create a new process to advise the Prime Minister on Senate appointments.
  • Bring forward a proposal to establish a special parliamentary committee to consult on electoral reform, including preferential ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting and online voting.
  • Introduce amendments to the Canada Elections Act to make the Commissioner of Canada Elections more independent from Government.
Hon. Hunter TootooFisheries and Oceans, and Canadian Coastguard
  • Work with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to increase the proportion of Canada’s marine and coastal areas that are protected – to five percent by 2017, and ten percent by 2020 – supported by new investments in community consultation and science.
  • Restore annual federal funding for freshwater research, and make new investments in Canada’s Experimental Lakes Area.
  • Restore funding to support federal ocean science and monitoring programs, to protect the health of fish stocks, to monitor contaminants and pollution in the oceans, and to support responsible and sustainable aquaculture industries on Canada’s coasts.
  • Use scientific evidence and the precautionary principle, and take into account climate change, when making decisions affecting fish stocks and ecosystem management.
  • Work with the provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples, and other stakeholders to better co-manage Canada’s three oceans.
Hon. Kent HehrVeterans Affairs, and Associate Minister of National Defence
  • Work with the Minister of National Defence to reduce complexity, overhaul service delivery, and strengthen partnerships between Veterans Affairs and National Defence.
  • Re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for injured veterans, and increase the value of the disability award, while ensuring that every injured veteran has access to financial advice and support so that they can determine the form of compensation that works best for them and their families.
  • Expand access to the Permanent Impairment Allowance to better support veterans who have had their career options limited by a service-related illness or injury.
  • Provide injured veterans with 90 percent of their pre-release salary, and index this benefit.
Hon. Patricia HajduStatus of Women
  • Work with experts and advocates to develop and implement a comprehensive federal gender violence strategy and action plan, aligned with existing provincial strategies.
  • Work with the Privy Council Office to ensure that a gender-based analysis is applied to proposals before they arrive at Cabinet for decision-making.
  • Support the Privy Council Office as it develops monitoring and reporting processes to ensure that the government’s senior appointments are merit-based and demonstrate gender parity.
Hon. Bardish ChaggerSmall Business and Tourism
  • Support the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development in launching an Innovation Agenda to expand support for incubators and accelerators, as well as the emerging national network for business innovation and cluster support. In addition, work with him as he clarifies innovation and business development programs, including the Industrial Research Assistance Program, and new programs, to ensure Canada is a world leader in clean and sustainable technologies and to ensure that Canada’s programs are supportive of small businesses that are seeking to become more productive, more innovative and more export-oriented.
Hon. Carla QualtroughSport, and Persons with Disabilities
  • Lead an engagement process with provinces, territories, municipalities, and stakeholders that will lead to the passage of a Canadians with Disabilities Act.
  • Lead preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics and future international sporting events.
  • Create greater links between Canada’s elite athletes and young Canadians to promote health and achievement among youth.
Hon. Marie-Claude BibeauInternational Development and La francophonie
  • Refocus Canada’s development assistance on helping the poorest and most vulnerable, and supporting fragile states. This would include:
    • consulting with Canadian stakeholders and international aid organizations to create a new policy and funding framework to guide Canada’s aid decisions, empower people, and support broad-based, sustainable growth in the developing world;
    • supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a global set of development goals adopted by the United Nations in September 2015;
    • making Canada a leader in development innovation and effectiveness, including by strengthening aid transparency and supporting better data collection and analysis, and by examining current and new aid delivery mechanisms and partnerships; and
    • in collaboration with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Finance, providing assistance to countries that are vulnerable to the destabilizing effects of climate change, including through climate finance.
Hon. Kirsty Duncan Science
  • Create a Chief Science Officer mandated to ensure that government science is fully available to the public, that scientists are able to speak freely about their work, and that scientific analyses are considered when the government makes decisions.
  • Support the government in the review and reform of Canada’s environmental assessment processes to ensure that environmental assessment decisions are based on science, facts, and evidence.
  • Support the government as they re-insert scientific considerations into the centre of our decision-making and investment choices.
  • Lead the establishment of new Canada Research Chairs in sustainable technologies, working with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
  • Examine options to strengthen the recognition of, and support for, fundamental research to support new discoveries.


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