The Liberals made a landslide victory in 2015 election and will form the next majority government. Bob Mok’s column series look into Trudeau’s campaign promises that may affect Canadians in many different ways.
The newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be sworn in along with his cabinet on November 4, 2015. On that day, the clock will start ticking on his many campaign promises. The voters along with his opponents will track his effort to meet those promises; many of them need to be accomplished within specified timeframes.
Over the next few weeks, I will try to identify these items and provide some discussions on them. Here is a look at most of these promises and some of the associated difficulties (if any):
1) Tax Changes (within 100 days):
1) Tax Changes (within 100 days):
More taxes for the highest income earners and less for “middle-income” Canadians. Reverse of the Conservative Party’s policy for “Tax free saving account” yearly limits from $10,000 back to $5500 but with inflation adjustments and eliminating the incoming splitting for families with young children. The senior’s income splitting is not affected.
These are easily manageable and should not be an issue for their administration for the next calendar year.
2) Holding Inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women:
Initiate public inquiry into the more than 1000 missing and murdered aboriginal women over the last 3 decades. Along with this pledge, the Federal Government is to build a “renewed relationship” with Canada’s Indigenous people.
Setting up the inquiry will not be an issue. Dealing with its findings can be difficult as it may involve resources and efforts beyond the government’s capabilities in the short term.
3) Child benefits reform:
Justin promised a “new” Canada Child Benefit to replace all of the existing child benefits and it is tied to the recipients’ income. It was proposed that families with young children and with a household income under $200,000 will get more money in future (tax-free) while those with income level above will not receive any money at all.
This item is costly and will require legislative changes but with a majority in Parliament, it will get approved.
4) C-51 is an Act of the Parliament of Canada that broadened the authority of Canadian government agencies to share information about individuals easily. It also expanded the mandate of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). The Liberals promised to amend the bill to increase oversight if elected as "serious human rights abuses can occur in the name of maintaining national security”.
We know that they will set a series of “sunset Clauses” – conditions to end some of the powers given to federal government departments to share personal information. Without any further details given by the Liberals at this time, we will not know the extent of the changes until it comes before Parliament for amendment. The New Democratic Party (NDP), Bloc Quebecois, and the Green Party wanted Bill C51 to be “scrapped” all together. There will be a fight for these parties and a delay of passing this Bill using filibuster techniques to achieve some political gains but the Liberal majority will look after this matter.
Next time, we will continue with the other Election Promises made by the Trudeau (Liberal) government.
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