Federal Election Update
August 31, 2021
There are already several policy wins for the Chamber announced so far, such as support for the hardest hit sectors, investment incentives, broadband, value-based health care, and flexible reskilling/upskilling options. A number of the Chamber’s tax policy suggestions have also become part of party campaigns, including a GST holiday, freezing the alcohol tax, mobilizing private investment, and a review of the tax system to improve competitiveness.
Campaign Commitments so far...
Both the Liberal and Conservative campaigns began with a focus on hardest hit sectors.
The Liberal Party committed to:
• extending the wage and rent subsidy through the winter;
• extending the Recovery Hiring Program through March 2022;
• a new ticket-sales matching program for cultural venues; and
• a new replacement wage and rent subsidy program for the hardest hit sectors that includes support of up to 75%. This new program will be for businesses in the hardest hit sectors experiencing a 40% or more revenue loss, and will run through May 2022.
The Conservative Party committed to:
• a new hiring program to cover up to 50% of the salaries of new hires for six months following the end of the wage subsidy (current timing would put this new program to run through March 2022);
• a new CEBA-style loan program of up to $200,000 with up to 25% of the loan forgiven;
• eliminating the alcohol escalator tax;
• a new temporary 50% rebate program for dine-in food and drink purchases between Monday-Wednesday; and
• a new domestic tourism tax credit of up to $1000 (15%) per Canadian for travel in 2022.
The Liberals announced their intent to raise corporate income tax rates from 15% to 18% on earnings by banks and insurance over $1 billion, which would be accompanied by a Canada Recovery Dividend charged to those large financial institutions.
The New Democrats made announcements this week related to climate change, including eliminating subsidies to the oil and gas sector, and instead shifting funding towards renewables. There were also announcements related to lowering cell phone and internet bills.
The Conservatives made commitments this week related to workplace pension plans. This includes preventing executives from receiving bonuses while their company is being restructured unless the pension plan is fully funded, as well as imposing additional requirements for companies reporting to their employees about the funding status of pension plans. The Conservatives also made announcements for employers with “gig economy workers” paying the equivalent of EI and CPP premiums.
Speculation has already started on who is supporting who in the event of a minority Parliament, with questions this week to the New Democrats. We will keep a close eye on this for members the closer we get to September 20.
You can stay on top of all the policy announcements in the Canadian Chamber policy tracker, which summarizes party commitments made to-date.
The Leaders’ Debate Commission announced that five party leaders met the criteria and would take part in the Commission debates. The five participating leaders represent the Bloc Québécois, Conservative Party of Canada, Green Party of Canada, Liberal Party of Canada and New Democratic Party. Both the Maverick Party and People’s Party of Canada failed to meet the commissions’ criteria. The French-language debate is scheduled for Sept. 8, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. MST. The English debate is scheduled for Sept. 9 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m MST.
Find out more
Find out more through Elections Canada