Federal Election weekly recap

Photo Credit: Daily Hive

Photo Credit: Daily Hive

The Liberal’s unveil their new climate plan amid the international climate strike, the Green’s promise to decriminalize all personal drug possession and some of the People’s Party’s founding members were far-right radicals. Find out more with the Federal Election Weekly Recap.

The Liberal Party’s new Climate Action Plan

The Liberal’s unveiled their new Climate Action Plan this past week, ahead of the international Climate Strike and a visit from Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg.

The plan includes a 50 per cent corporate tax cut for companies that develop or manufacture products with zero emissions, as well as a 50 per cent small business tax cut for smaller clean technology businesses. They plan to release internal costing details of this plan soon, though it will not be carried out by the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

This is a major part of their plan to make Canada reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, a part of the climate pledge that Canada and various other countries made at the United Nations this past week. They would set legally-binding five-year benchmarks to ensure that the government remains on the right track to reach net-zero emissions in the next 30 years.

The net-zero plan means that carbon pollution would still be allowed, but it would need to be offset through carbon capturing measures, like planting trees, which party leader Justin Trudeau pledged to plant two billion of in 10 years in a meeting with Greta Thunberg ahead of the Montreal Climate Strike.

Conservative Leader comes to Niagara

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer made his way to Niagara this past week, stopping in both Cat’s Caboose in St. Catharines and Cracker Jack’s in Thorold to speak with supporters.

He took the opportunity to speak about his party’s plan to cut a quarter of all federal regulations if they form government following the 2019 election.

Scheer said that on the campaign trail what he has heard most from small business owners is that the amount of federal regulation and ‘red tape’ is insurmountable.

Following in the footsteps of the Trump Administration, Scheer announced that his government would enact a “two for one” regulation rule, where two old regulations must be scrapped for every new regulation introduced.

This regulation formula was made popular by President Donald Trump upon his election in 2016 and has since become a conservative staple. He has also said he would also assign a cabinet minister to a new portfolio that would be solely responsible for cutting federal regulations.

Scheer also took the opportunity to take a jab at Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who once said that small businesses were used primarily to help business owners avoid paying taxes.

Green Party to decriminalize drug possession

This past week the Green Party called for the decriminalization of personal drug possession, in order to help tackle the opioid crisis.

The announcement was made by party leader Elizabeth May, who said that decriminalization would be coupled with the declaration of the opioid crisis as a national health emergency, increased funding for mental health and addiction services, increased availability of Naloxone kits, as well as national drug testing.

They have also promised to lower the cost of marijuana in Canada so that legal dispensaries are able to more adequately compete with the black market.

“The opioid crisis is a national tragedy that is devastating communities and families across Canada,” May said in the statement. “We have to abandon old notions of the ‘war on drugs’ and join the battle that really matters — the fight to save Canadian lives.”

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, since 2016 more than 10,000 people have died in Canada due to opioid-related overdoses.

The NDP have echoed May’s sentiments, while stopping short of promising full decriminalization. The Liberals and Conservatives have come out against it.

Their approach would mirror what was done by Portugal 18 years ago. Since they decriminalized personal possession, overdoses have significantly dropped in the country.

Their approach, which still recognizes illicit drug use and drug dealing and trafficking as illegal, has been deemed a success by public health experts.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh sorry for not visiting New Brunswick sooner Leader of the NDP Jagmeet Singh made his first visit to the province of New Brunswick since being named leader of the party and he was quick to apologize for not having come sooner.

“I’m really sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t get here earlier. I’m happy to be here,” said Singh in response to criticism from reporters.

Many in the provinces, including current and former members of the party, have publicly criticized the leader for having not visited in the two years since he was named party leader.

Former NDP MP for Acadie-Bathurst, Yvon Godin, said he wasn’t proud of Singh’s absence from the province, but was happy to introduce him when he did finally make his way to the province this past week.

Singh’s visit to the province comes partly in response to recent scandal, as several prominent members of the provincial NDP defected to the Greens a few weeks ago.

Leader of the Green Party Elizabeth May criticized the NDP for having not visited sooner, while also touting her frequent visits, as well the Green’s recent increase in support in the province, nearly double that of the NDP.

Founding member of the People’s Party from St. Catharines a far-right radical.

At least three of the 250 original members of the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) have been confirmed as having been part of various radical groups in the past, according to the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, including a man currently living in St. Catharines.

To register as an official party, the PPC had to submit the names of at least 250 members. Each member had to then sign an Elections Canada “confirmation” form verifying they had signed a membership declaration.

Shaun Walker is listed as one of the original signatories. Walker, who currently lives in St. Catharines, once led the National Alliance and was convicted in America for his involvement in a conspiracy to intimidate minorities.

The other two members, Janice Bultje and Justin L. Smith, were formerly active in Pegida Canada, Fighting Hate in Canada and the Soldiers of Odin, respectively. These groups have been described as anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, physically dangerous and racist by the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Canada Border Services Agency and the Canadian Military.

The party released an official statement on the matter. While they acknowledged Walker’s criminal past and stated that they have ‘cut ties’ with him, they denied that Bultje and Smith were guilty of any wrongdoing.

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