Liberal platform policies

The federal Liberal Party is one of the two major contenders in next week’s election. If it wins the right to form a government, the party proposes to increase spending on social programs while working towards reducing the national deficit by raising corporate taxes.

In their campaign platform the Liberals suggest that Canada needs to be spending more tax dollars on social measures that would help to create an environment of equal opportunity for all. Specifically the Party promises to invest in child care, post-secondary education, health care, the Canada Pension Plan and providing support to families that need to look after sick family members.

Child care would be provided through a new federally administered fund that provinces could apply to for cost-sharing purposes on initiatives that create more spaces for childcare. Liberals say spending in this way would help to alleviate the costs and waitlists that parents face when seeking childcare. The Early Childhood Learning and Care Fund would receive $500 million in its first year and would become a line item in the budget at $1 billion annually by year four.

The Liberal platform also promises to provide financial assistance to individuals pursuing higher learning opportunities. The establishment of a Canadian Learning Passport would pay out $1,000 annually for four years to college and university students. Students coming from low-income families would receive an annual installment of $1,500. Existing post secondary assistance would change with the elimination of the Textbook and Education tax credit. The passport would be funded with $1 billion annually.

In health care a Liberal government would steer funding towards preventative measures such as promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles. Brain health is identified in the party platform as an increasing societal concern with dementia affecting many Canadians. A brain strategy that emphasizes, research, public education and benefits advocacy for individuals suffering from such diseases is proposed to address the issue. On the topic of prescription drugs, the Liberals would have the federal government play a greater role in equalizing drug costs across the country.

A change to the Canadian Pension Plan would enable employees and their employers to voluntarily establish and contribute to a personal retirement fund backed by the CPP.

The Liberal platform contains two measures intended to support families that provide care to their sick members. An employment insurance benefit would be established for employed individuals that would enable them to take up to six months away from work in order to care for gravely ill family members. For those ineligible for the EI benefit, a monthly Family Care Tax Benefit would be available worth up to $1,350 per year. These two initiatives combined would be funded at $1 billion annually.

Liberals say all of the programs in their platform can be achieved without raising personal income tax, small business tax or the federal portion of the HST. Instead corporate tax rates will increase, increasing government revenue by $5 billion within two years. The Liberal deficit reduction plan commits to achieving a deficit level of one per cent of GDP within two years, after which time rolling targets would be set until a balanced budget is achieved.

Just Posted

Rockets shut out by Giants

It was Kelowna’s second game in as many days against a top team in the West

Kelowna athletes kick off Canada Winter Games

Saturday is day one of the Games in Red Deer

UBC Okanagan Heat men get first win of season, women fall to Wolfpack

Both the men’s and women’s volleyball squads will finish their season Saturday night against TRU.

Women charged in Central Okanagan Hospice Association theft scheduled to plead guilty

Susan Steen has been charged with theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000 relating to missing money.

Expand your knowledge of history during Heritage Week in Kelowna

This year’s theme is “The Tie that Binds.”

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Drive BC warning slippery conditions for Okanagan main highways

The region is forecasted to see flurries and snow for the first half of the weekend

Most Read