Bloc Quebecois The Bloc Quebecois is the hope for Quebec, while the rest of Canada plot’s to take away our individuality, heritage and language from us, we the Bloc are sworn to protect these segments of Quebec. The purpose of the Bloc Quebecois is to ensure that Quebec is fairly represented in the House of Commons and that we, the people of Quebec, obtain all that we require to ensure that Quebec will be strong in the future when we separate from Canada. If we get a fair number of seats in the House of Commons, we would not use ourpower to block economic benefits for other parts of Canada. But we would act in the best self-interests of Quebec. The Bloc is a pro-sovereignty party, and the Bloc believes that only through Quebec sovereignty can Quebec achieve its legitimate ambitions and Canada can have a centralized government.
What the Bloc offers to the people of Quebec is that they are given the choice to vote for something they have wanted for a long time, a separatist party, or one of the traditional federalist parties. The sovereignty of Quebec may only be decided in a referendum but until that time, the Bloc will work within the rules of the game to look out for Quebec’s interests in the federal parliament. Our plan for deficit reduction will ensure more efficiency at all levels of government. The plan we have is in three basic steps to cut $10 billion from the federal deficit per year. 1 Our strategy is to cut and eliminate government spending and inefficiency by about an estimated $6 billion annually, without touching any of the social programs.
2, We would also chop the military budget by 25% to save approximately $3 billion. 3 We would also give the responsibility of job training programs to the province of Quebec to save nearly $1 billion. Another part of our scheme would be to have $5 billion per year transferred from existing programs to job creating ones. There would be no cuts in transfer payments or social programs. We would repatriate the $28 billion in taxes that Quebecers pay to Ottawa. When Quebec separates, we would be willing to take 18% of the deficit, we feel that this is a fair amount considering that we benefited from its use.
We are in favour of eliminating the tax shelters for the rich. We want to promote investment in our economy and would stimulate it by private investment, we would offer a 20% investment tax credit. We would proceed in the creation of an industrial launching plan as to help in the launching of industries. In the area of job creation, the Bloc will increase federal funding for job creation programs in each province. The Bloc would also seek the possibility of obtaining complete control of unemployment insurance for the province of Quebec.
There would be a $10 billion cut in the budget and $5 billion of this would be reinvested in job creation programs. A proposed public works program would be a Windsor-Quebec City high speed train. This project would create nearly 8000 jobs. For social programs, the Bloc is in opposition of Medicare user fees and endorses universality and we feel that the provinces, not Ottawa, should be in charge of social programs. Ottawa should hand over complete control of the education and manpower and training, but should still continue to fund these programs.
We would make no cuts in the social welfare assistance levels. On the topic of the North American Free Trade Agreement, we are in favour of free trade and the NAFTA agreement but we would want a series of transitional measures, which are permitted in the deal, to be implemented to ease in job shifts and help in the retraining of workers. For the Health care plan, the Bloc feels that it should be made the responsibility of the provincial governments. We are in support of universal Medicare and oppose all user fees for essential services. We also want revision of the Canada Health Act that punishes provinces for implementing user fees for non-essential services to be scrapped.
Upon the subject of political reform, all that we are concerned with is Quebec’s independence. Before that is implemented however, the Bloc would be in favour of abolishing the senate. We, the people of Quebec, are tired of negotiations because they have accomplished nothing. For the levels of immigration, we feel that they are satisfactory as they are. We would increase the spending for French-language training programs for immigrants.
Immigrants are essential for our economy as they bring new skills and present themselves as a new consumer and spender in our economy. CRITIQUES Progressive Conservatives The Progressive Conservatives have already shown themselves unfit to be in power after their last two terms in office. Campbell and her staff were even unable to control their campaign budget as they first spent $4 million, nearly double the amount they were allotted to (it was an estimated 1.8 million), and then they jumped the gun on when they were to begin advertisements. If they are unable to even follow simple rules how could they run this country? The free trade agreement was supposed to create jobs but instead it just made people lose their jobs. Within the first three years of the free trade agreement, Canada lost 400 000 manufacturing jobs alone. They took money from the unemployment insurance fund and put it into the retraining programs.
This only ended up in making it harder for the young and unskilled people in our society. In 1992, Canada had an unemployment rate of 11.2%, this was the highest of all the G-7 countries, this is the legacy with which the PC’s have left us with. They made it more expensive to be a student as they scrapped the no-interest policy meaning that students, most of them without a job, would have to pay the loan back in full and with full interest paid as well. The PC’s made it easier for the rich companies to get away with paying little taxes while the middle class and the small businesses were hammered and were made to pay more taxes. The federal debt rose by approximately $250 billion within the 8 or so years the PC’s have been in power. In 1991/1992, Canada paid out $242 million to “certain heavily indebted” countries in order to help the reduce and/or service their own debt.
CRITIQUES Reform Party of Canada The reform party has many new ideas that are very impossible to achieve. The reform party believes that they can cut down the deficit within 3 years. This will cause a great strain upon our economy as there will be no money for anything. Without any subsidiaries, there will be many lost jobs and many consumers will be too afraid to buy or spend upon anything. The reform plan to cut all social programs.
They will not fund any bilingual and multi-cultural programs, in essence they are destroying the very spirit of Canada. They also plan to cut back on old age pensions, pensions that the elderly rely upon for survival. This will also end up hurting the generation of baby boomers that will soon be approaching the retirement ages. Their policy of recall does not appear to be a very sound proposal. How can there be any type of stability in the government if their representatives are being replaced every four months? Their plans for the deficit are all based upon a very, very optimistic growth level in the economy and if this growth level is not achieved then their plan will fail.
Their deficit reduction plan will also kill the poor and kill the economy as there will be no money for social programs or anything else. They want two levels of Medicare, one for the rich and another for the poor. Which one you would go to would be determined by how much you can afford to pay. Their plan to stifle immigration is also hurtful for the economy as when immigrants come to Canada they are already educated saving us money there and they present themselves as a willing consumer to our economy ready to spend money. CRITIQUES Liberals The Liberals are another party with a track record of causing problems for the country of Canada. One of their main points is how they will do away with the GST but they will just be replacing it with another tax that will supposedly be more efficient than the present GST. Cretien has already said that he will allow for the level of inflation to rise and will not stop it.
Under previous Liberal leadership, the federal debt rose from $25 billion to $240 billion, all within 18 years. During 1977 to 1979, Jean Cretien was the federal finance minister and during this time the nation debt rose from $31.1 billion to $53.6 billion. The liberals claim that they wish to re negotiate the NAFTA deal because it is unsatisfactory but before they did nothing when they first could have voted it down in the House of Commons. Their plan to allow the deficit to rise is a very dangerous one because if they let the deficit get too high then it will be even harder to bring it down in the future. New Democrat Party The NDP has planned to spend too much upon reorganizing the infrastructure programs, approximately $15 billion.
The NDP plan is to tax the rich corporations heavily, this would only make it harder on the Canadian economy as many foreign investors and businesses would find it a lot less attractive to invest within Canada. With the possibility of having rich corporations leaving would be very hard on the economy even more jobs would be lost. The NDP maintains that social programs will not be cut but do not say where the money will come from to maintain them. They also have said that they like the present levels of immigration, approximately 250 000 people per year, but Audrey McLaughlin said that she was in favour of having 1% of the Canadian population be immigrants per year, this works out to about 260 000 people per year. Not much in the way of an increase.