By Thomas Barrington Craggs
This article is about the promises of the Liberal Party of Canada and some of the missteps of the Conservative Party. The Liberals made a lot of promises during the recent election campaign, covering one hundred and six issues. I have looked through their entire platform and chosen some interesting subjects and provided commentary on three issues.
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
Our former Prime Minister Stephen Harper misled Canada to think that he had lowered greenhouse gas emissions. I hope the liberals are more serious than that. Let’s find out!
The Liberals promise to set national greenhouse gas emission targets but leave it to the provinces on how to meet them. The Liberals also want to put 2 billion dollars into a “Low Carbon Economy Trust.” The Trust will provide funding to projects that materially reduce carbon emissions under the new “Pan-Canadian framework” (Liberal Party of Canada).
The provinces could have a carbon price or a cap and trade system. A cap and trade system is when the provincial government sells a set number of permits to pollute (the cap). If you have extra carbon emissions permits left, you can sell them for money (trade). If it is a cap and trade system, I think they should use the money from the pollution permits to help make solar farms and windmills. (British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario lead the way for this.)
- Syrian Refugees
The Syrian refugee crisis is similar to the Vietnamese refugee crisis in the 1970s. In 1975-76, Canada admitted 5,608 Vietnamese refugees. Afterwards, Canada (the people) said collectively that they wanted more refugees because they felt horrible about the whole situation, so the government said with each refugee the public sponsored, the government would match it by sponsoring another refugee (“Boat-People”: A Refugee Crisis – Vietnamese-Canadian History). As a result, Canada took in 110,000 Vietnamese refugees. Coincidentally, the prime minister happened to be Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the father of the current prime minister.
Now the Syrian crisis has awoken. The Liberals promise to immediately admit 25,000 Syrian refugees and invest $250,000,000 in the processing and sponsorship of refugees (Liberal Party of Canada). The Conservatives proposed to admit 10,000 refugees over four years (Conservative Party of Canada). Harper says that the reason he doesn’t want to admit more refugees is because of the risk of them being terrorists and killing people in the streets, like in Paris.
I think the liberal proposal is a good idea compared to Harper’s proposal. I think it is better to have more refugees because it will save that many more lives. Having more refugees may even boost the economy because they will work and contribute like citizens. Although the refugees might have a different culture, which may make it hard for them to adapt to our culture, I think that we should continue to take in refugees until there aren’t anymore in Syria that do not wish to stay there.
In Belgium, which has the highest tax rate in the world, according to Forbes Magazine, a single person with an average salary and no children is taxed at 42.8%. (“The Countries with the Highest Income Tax Rates,” Forbes Magazine). On the other hand, if you live in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, or the British Virgin Islands, there is no income tax no matter how much you earn. In Canada, the income tax varies depending on your income level.
During the election campaign, the issue of, “How do we help the middle class?” was mentioned multiple times by the Liberals. They promise to lower the middle class tax bracket from 22% – 20.5%. They also promise to make another tax bracket, which would require that those making 200,000 and over must pay 33% tax.
I don’t really know what to think of this because I have never earned that much in a year. (Click on the subheading for more information on this subject.) But in my opinion, the higher income brackets (>140,000) should not be getting any money from the government. I also have heard about rich people going to no income tax zones and hoarding their money so they can use it at their discretion without having to pay taxes.
On a final note, I think there should be a national referendum on each major issue like Switzerland. I believe this because if you like the liberals plan for taxes but you think the conservatives have a better refugee plan, then you could say, “I like a party for one subject and a different party for another.”
This is a small quiz I put together and would like to share with you.
- Who is the Deputy leader of the green party of Canada?
- What party does Philippe Couillard belong to?
- Who is the premier of Alberta?
- How many seats are in the house of parliament?
- Which party won in 1997?
The answers will be in the next issue.