Cooperation Canada congratulates Liberals on election win

We look forward to continuing to work with the federal government in ensuring that we can effectively tackle major global challenges such as the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, insecurity, and protecting human rights and gender equality.

Cooperation Canada is a champion on issues related to the international development and humanitarian sector during election times. For our members and the sector, we raise awareness on development and humanitarian policies in Canada and highlight where the political parties stand on these issues. 

Canada’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) spending, which includes all of Canada’s international assistance, has been decreasing as a percentage of Gross National Income (GNI) for a decade. Working with members and the broader international cooperation community, Cooperation Canada identified how and why ODA contributes to a robust and impactful Canadian foreign policy agenda, spanning across social, economic and environmental areas of impact. The Together Project makes the case for these investments. Learn more here.

 

Weekly Election Calls led by the ODA Campaign Team

We invite you to join the ODA campaign team’s weekly election call, taking place on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. ET, to stay up to date on everything that’s happening this election season. Please reach out to Ciana van Dusen (Ciana@biggerthanourborders.ca), to be added to the weekly meeting and to receive daily election bulletins. 

 

 

Webinar Federal Elections: Get involved, defend your issues, know the rules 

If an election is called for this fall, will you be ready? Do you have plans to champion your issues? Are you well-versed in the current regulations on advocacy activities that apply around federal election periods? 

Everyone and every non-profit has the ability to speak up for its issues in an election. It’s your right and some would say your duty! In this webinar recorded on July 26, 2021, speakers Mark Blumberg (Non-Profit and Charity Law Lawyer, Partner at Blumberg Segal LLP) and Dr. John Cameron (Associate Professor at Dalhousie University) will provide an overview of the key regulations and considerations you need to keep in mind while advocating around federal elections. 

Webinar recording

Webinar slide deck

 

Factsheet  Elections, advertising and partisan activity… oh my!

Certain activities require organizations to register as a third party during an election campaign. This factsheet presents the activities that do and those that don’t require third party registration, plus some other guidelines to keep in mind. 

Factsheet

 

Letter to the Leaders’ Debate Commission

Cooperation Canada has sent the following letter to the Leaders’ Debate Commission asking for questions on Canada’s foreign policy and international development efforts to be included in the leaders’ debates.

Letter

 

More Resources

 

Survey to Political Parties

Cooperation Canada is surveying the different political parties in Canada to learn more on where they stand on global aid, international cooperation and foreign policy issues. We will post the answers as they come to us so visit this page regularly for more information.  

Questions

Foreign Policy Priorities  

1. What are your party’s top three foreign policy priorities?   

2. Has COVID-19 changed the way your party thinks about foreign policy?

 

Investing in Global Solutions  

3. Over the last year, Canada acknowledged its critical role in fighting COVID-19 globally and scaled up its investments in international assistance. But we know that this is not a short-term crisis, and the effects of the pandemic will continue to impact our global health and economies for years to come. If elected, how would your party ensure Canada’s international assistance reflects the scale and complexity of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic consequences, which are disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable groups?

4. Canada has committed to contributing to global efforts to achieve economic, socio-political, and environmental goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Due to COVID-19, we are further away from reaching those goals now than when the framework was first approved in 2015. What will your party do to help us get on track?

 

Feminist International Assistance Policy  

5. Canada’s policy on international cooperation – the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) – reflects the strategic and ambitious priorities articulated by Canadians and Canadian partners around the globe. If elected, would your party change Canada’s FIAP in any way?

6. Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), such as family planning, maternal healthcare and access to safe abortion, have been increasingly threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, rapidly evolving humanitarian crises, and the growing climate emergency. If elected, how will your party advance SRHR globally?

7. Women, girls, and gender-diverse groups have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. If elected, what will your party do to advance gender equality both in Canada and globally?

 

Humanitarian Assistance  

8. What is your plan to ensure Canada does its fair share in addressing the rising humanitarian needs that have been aggravated by COVID-19, affecting the most marginalized communities around the world?

 

Forced Displacement  

9. At least 82.4 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes and half of the world’s refugees are children. If elected, how would your party support refugees, internally displaced persons, and host communities in Canada and abroad?

 

Supporting Civil Society

10. COVID-19 has resulted in political repression and the shrinking of civil society space. How will your party support democracy, good governance and stronger civil society in Canada and abroad?

 

Charitable Policy  

11. The Senate of Canada recently approved Bill S-222, seeking to amend the 70-year-old Income Tax Act provisions currently hindering the effective and equitable partnerships of Canada’s charities working at home and abroad. This election means that the bill approval process will start again. How does your party plan on resolving this issue?  Would your party support this bill if re-introduced?  

 

Human Rights, Trade and Business

12. What is your party’s position on the relationship between international trade and human rights?   

13. What is your position on Canada’s role in regulating its extractive industry abroad and helping to end conflicts such as that in Yemen?

 

Climate Action  

14. If elected, would your party deliver on the commitments Canada has already made to climate action, including the recently announced $5.3 billion for climate finance over 5 years?

Responses from Parties

Bloc Québécois

Foreign Policy Priorities

1. What are your party’s top three foreign policy priorities?

We aim to promote multilateralism, including by strengthening the role of organizations such as the WHO and Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.

We also want Quebec to conduct all of its international relations in its jurisdiction areas.

 We also want Canada to actively promote human rights, especially by ceasing the export of all military equipment to regimes that violate human rights, such as Saudi Arabia, which a UN panel of experts has strongly criticized

2. Has COVID-19 changed the way your party thinks about foreign policy?

The pandemic highlighted the many gaps that exist on the international stage. We saw a rise in protectionism as countries struggled to obtain medical supplies or vaccines. We also need to strengthen the role of the WHO through increased funding – while calling for more transparency and analysis of the organization’s work. We also need to help the most vulnerable countries with PPE and vaccine doses. With the emergence of variants, everyone should acknowledge that this is a global problem, and we need to help each other to get out of it. 

 

Investing in Global Solutions

3. Over the last year, Canada acknowledged its critical role in fighting COVID-19 globally and scaled up its investments in international assistance. But we know that this is not a short-term crisis, and the effects of the pandemic will continue to impact our global health and economies for years to come. If elected, how would your party ensure Canada’s international assistance reflects the scale and complexity of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic consequences, which are disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable groups?

The Bloc Québécois urges Canada to increase its contribution to international development to 0.7% of GNP. We also want surplus vaccine doses to be allocated to the COVAX program, but a substantial portion should be directed in priority to governments or regions that do not have access to vaccines, such as Palestine, Taiwan, or Kurdistan.

4. Canada has committed to contributing to global efforts to achieve economic, socio-political, and environmental goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Due to COVID-19, we are further away from reaching those goals now than when the framework was first approved in 2015. What will your party do to help us get on track?

We want an increase in funding to international organizations such as the World Food Program and the WHO, in addition to Canada’s direct assistance to vulnerable countries such as Haiti. We also want to increase our contribution to international development to 0.7% of GNP. It is clear that the climate crisis is another issue that knows no borders, and therefore the Bloc Québécois wants to implement a series of measures to achieve carbon neutrality. We want to introduce green equalization to encourage a race to carbon neutrality in Canada, stop all subsidies to fossil fuels, and set phased-in targets with constraints to pressure the Canadian government to take the climate crisis seriously in its decisions.

 

Feminist International Assistance Policy

5. Canada’s policy on international cooperation — the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) — reflects the strategic and ambitious priorities articulated by Canadians and Canadian partners around the globe. If elected, would your party change Canada’s FIAP in any way?

We support the Feminist International Assistance Policy, one of the few positive things the federal government has done in international development. Women are at the heart of communities, and there is evidence that investments better serve communities when they are focused on women.

6. Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), such as family planning, maternal healthcare and access to safe abortion, have been increasingly threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, rapidly evolving humanitarian crises and the growing climate emergency. If elected, how will your party advance SRHR globally?

We want to halt all funding to organizations – religious or whatever – that are opposed to the use of contraception or abortion. It is a pillar of the Bloc Québécois’ political commitment.

7. Women, girls, and gender-diverse groups have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. If elected, what will your party do to advance gender equality both in Canada and globally?

We strongly support the inalienable right of women to have control over their own bodies.   

  • Parity: The Bloc Québécois encourages women’s participation in politics by introducing greater subsidies to political parties that elect a number of women matching the parity zone.  
  • Employment Insurance: The Bloc Québécois proposes an ambitious reform of employment insurance to end the loss of employment insurance for young mothers when they lose their jobs at the end of their parental leave by extending the qualifying period for these women to 104 weeks. The Bloc Québécois will introduce a single criterion with a hybrid standard for regular benefits of 420 hours or 12 weeks of 14 hours, whichever is more beneficial to workers, in order to allow women and young people to have access to the plan.  
  • Violence: The Bloc Québécois will take action against domestic violence by including violence against a spouse as an aggravating factor in the Criminal Code. The Bloc Québécois will request that the federal government contribute financially to the Quebec government’s efforts in the area of violence prevention, especially regarding the study of the implementation of a specialized court for sexual crimes and domestic violence.  
  • Politics: We encourage women’s participation in politics by introducing greater subsidies to political parties that elect a number of women matching the parity zone. We also aim to promote women’s entrepreneurship.  
  • Women’s entrepreneurship: The Bloc Québécois will require that Ottawa contribute to Quebec initiatives concerning coaching, training and networking for women entrepreneurs. The Bloc Québécois will improve the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, especially by simplifying tax measures for part-time entrepreneurs (such as the tax report, for example). The Bloc Québécois recommends including a specific criterion for women-owned businesses in the government’s procurement policy and in public and private tendering processes. 

 

Humanitarian Assistance

8. What is your plan to ensure Canada does its fair share in addressing the rising humanitarian needs that have been aggravated by COVID-19, affecting the most marginalized communities around the world?

We want Canada to offer its vaccine doses to regions and countries that do not have access to doses due to external parties, such as Palestine, Kurdistan, Tigray, Taiwan and many other regions of the world. There is also a need for greater participation in international organizations such as the World Food Program and the WHO to help the world’s most vulnerable regions. For example, 14 million Afghans are currently facing starvation, but it is difficult to get essential food supplies to them due to political instability. We would also like to see Canada get more involved in multilateral UN missions to ensure stability in affected areas. We must also help the many displaced people around the world, who are often the most vulnerable and live in precarious situations. The issue of climate refugees will become a sad reality very soon as a result of climate change. We must support initiatives aiming at reducing the impacts, including building dams or trying to fight desertification and drought – in addition to reducing our GHG emissions.

 

Forced Displacement

9. At least 82.4 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes and half of the world’s refugees are children. If elected, how would your party support refugees, internally displaced persons, and host communities in Canada and abroad?

Canada welcomes many refugees and is a leader in this field. But we must also prevent the displacement of people. This means ending violence in conflict zones, fighting climate change, and helping other countries contain the damaging effects of climate change.

 

Supporting Civil Society

10. COVID-19 has resulted in political repression and the shrinking of civil society space. How will your party support democracy, good governance and stronger civil society in Canada and abroad?

In Canada, legislation on lobbying, ethics, access to information or whistleblower protection lacks teeth, is sometimes applied in a more or less arbitrary manner, and the sanctions imposed almost non-existant. This is why the Bloc Québécois is proposing five measures to clean up the political environment and the use of the State apparatus: 

1. The Bloc Québécois proposes to bolster the powers of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner and allow him to :  

    – Make offenders pay back the amount of the wrongdoing when it is quantifiable. For example, when former Finance Minister Bill Morneau had to repay the $41,000 gift from We Charity.   

    – Impose fines of up to $10,000;   

    – Have the ability to suspend an elected official’s parliamentary privileges;   

    – Enforce stricter rules regarding the activities of immediate family members of an elected official or federal agent. 

2. Political party financing. 

3. End partisan appointments: This can also be seen as another benefit of public funding of political parties since it is a matter of monetizing a position in exchange for donations and/or services. A judicial selection process should be implemented based on the recommendations of independent committees that provide the government with a list of approved candidates. 

4. Wage subsidy reimbursement. Except for the Bloc Québécois, all federal parties used the wage subsidy program set up by the Trudeau government to support businesses and non-profit organizations affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

5. A law on the integrity of the State. The Bloc Québécois will introduce the State Integrity Act.  

  • The law will be inspired by the best practices from around the world and will respect the 20 criteria proposed by the International Bar Association  
  • The State Integrity Commissioner will report to Parliament rather than to the government and will vigorously protect the anonymity of whistleblowers to incite them to speak out without fear.  
  • It will not only investigate cases of retaliation against public servants but will also look into the misconducts themselves, and it will be able to investigate any wrongdoing. Currently, the most important government decisions are protected by cabinet secrecy, and the most expensive purchases cannot be investigated on national security pretexts.  
  • Its findings will be public. 

 

Charitable Policy

11. The Senate of Canada recently approved Bill S-222, seeking to amend the 70-year-old Income Tax Act provisions currently hindering the effective and equitable partnerships of Canada’s charities working at home and abroad. This election means that the bill approval process will start again. How does your party plan on resolving this issue? Would your party support this bill if re-introduced?

We want to review the Income Tax Act on a continuous basis, especially for charitable organizations. Many groups have reached out to us to point out iniquities. We are willing to review the entire operation of the law concerning charitable organizations. 

 

Human Rights, Trade and Business

12. What is your party’s position on the relationship between international trade and human rights?

We strongly condemn Ottawa’s ability to ignore the worst human rights violations when it comes to trade. Saudi Arabia is a prominent case in point, as a UN panel investigating crimes in Yemen found that Canada – which continues to supply arms to Saudi Arabia – is directly responsible for perpetuating the conflict. The Bloc Québécois believes that we must stop doing business with regimes that violate human rights, and we have consistently pushed the government to adopt economic sanctions against such powers.

13. What is your position on Canada’s role in regulating its extractive industry abroad and helping to end conflicts such as that in Yemen?

The situation of Canadian mining companies is shameful. The Bloc Québécois is pushing to strengthen the role of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise to ensure that it has the tools it needs to hold mining companies who commit human rights violations accountable. We also want Canada to stop all arms exports to Saudi Arabia – which the UN has accused of numerous abuses in Yemen.

 

Climate Action

14. If elected, would your party deliver on the commitments Canada has already made to climate action, including the recently announced $5.3 billion for climate finance over 5 years?

The Bloc Québécois recommends a substantial increase in official development assistance and calls for a realistic plan to reach the target adopted at the UN General Assembly on the recommendation of Lester B. Pearson, i.e. 0.7% of gross national income. This is the first step for increasing climate financing.

As for the private sector component of the green finance initiative, we must agree that it has not worked very well so far. It involves encouraging Toronto’s financial sector to move away from oil-based investments and towards green development initiatives, both here and abroad. These institutions need a clear message from the government.

Last year, the Bank for International Settlements concluded that its over-investment in zombie oil companies significantly weakened Canada’s financial system. The financial sector needs to realize that being locked into the 20th century for too long may threaten its future stability. This is an excellent opportunity to trigger a green shift on Bay Street.

During the campaign, we will introduce an initiative to mobilize the pool of capital available at financial institutions to fund green development projects or initiatives that improve resilience to climate disruption. Our plan will oblige financial institutions to disclose their climate risk exposure in their annual reports as well as their investments in fossil fuel projects. In addition, we will build on the report of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance to require a gradual reduction in the share of oil assets on financial institutions’ balances and an increase in sustainable assets. 

Conservative Party of Canada

Awaiting response

Green Party of Canada

Foreign Policy Priorities

  1. What are your party’s top three foreign policy priorities?
  • Respect for International Law: Pursue a foreign policy centred on the promotion of human security, and respect for the rule of law in dealing with state and non-state actors.
  • Pursuit of an International Fair Trade Policy: The Green Party of Canada will pursue an international fair trade policy centred on the promotion of environmental, social and governance principles, a more egalitarian regime for the exchange of intellectual property and clean technologies, and a narrowing of the equality gap between high- and low-income countries.
  • Importance of Sustainable Development Goals: The Green Party of Canada will pursue an international development policy centred on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, while emphasizing support for the development of carbon-free economies, and emergency and disaster relief.

 

2. Has COVID-19 changed the way your party thinks about foreign policy?

Countries are constantly evaluating who they will look to for allyship and support in pursuit of their diplomatic, developmental, and economic interests. This has been accelerated by COVID-19, during which the world witnessed a failure of international concern to help the most vulnerable countries in a timely and comprehensive manner. We need to re-earn the trust of the international community through our actions, and by engaging in more egalitarian forms of collaboration with a more diverse set of international partners.  In an increasingly multi-polar world, Canada needs a new approach to foreign affairs and defence. We must stand for the promotion of human security and global goods, giving precedence to political support first, and military support as a final resort. Canada must live up to its commitments, and demonstrate renewed leadership and reliability on issues like the climate, so that we can act and react with credibility in the pursuit of a more just, democratic, peaceful and resilient world.

 

Investing in Global Solutions

3. Over the last year, Canada acknowledged its critical role in fighting COVID-19 globally and scaled up its investments in international assistance. But we know that this is not a short-term crisis, and the effects of the pandemic will continue to impact our global health and economies for years to come. If elected, how would your party ensure Canada’s international assistance reflects the scale and complexity of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic consequences, which are disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable groups?

Please see our response to Question 4 below.

4. Canada has committed to contributing to global efforts to achieve economic, socio-political, and environmental goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Due to COVID-19, we are further away from reaching those goals now than when the framework was first approved in 2015. What will your party do to help us get on track?

A Green government will:

  • Articulate a plan to meet Canada’s commitment to achieve the target of 0.7% of GDP to ODA by 2030.
  • Tackle COVID-19 everywhere by investing in stronger global health systems that will prevent future outbreaks.
  • Ensure a COVID-19 recovery plan that addresses the growing gap in the care economy, particularly magnified through the pandemic, and that provides more resources to women and girls around the world so they are able to access education, health care, proper nutrition and maintain autonomy over their sexual and reproductive rights.
  • Mobilize Canada’s fair share of international climate finance — contribute $1 billion per year for the next 5 years, ramping up to $4 billion per year by 2030.
  • Enhance Canada’s development aid efforts and economic investment in the specific key areas that:
  1. Foster alternative fuels and energy sources that dramatically reduce the need to import oil and natural gas and further allow the growth of recipient nation independent and/or majority ownership of these sectors and/or businesses as they develop;
  2. Focus on agriculture sectors that provide for adaptation and food sovereignty through both subsistence farming and domestic commercial farming methods that are in keeping with green environmentally sound and gender equality principles;
  3. Increase bilateral trade, where possible, to facilitate the export of value added products from small island economies;
  4. Support and strengthen cooperation with regional organizations to further the goal of regional independence and sovereignty.
  • Mandate and equip Canadian missions abroad to expand partnerships among civil society organizations centred on the promotion of human rights, resilience, scientific cooperation and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Fulfill Canada’s obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity by providing new and substantial funding for nature conservation in developing countries and by implementing policies aimed at protecting biodiversity throughout the world.

 

Feminist International Assistance Policy

5. Canada’s policy on international cooperation — the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) — reflects the strategic and ambitious priorities articulated by Canadians and Canadian partners around the globe. If elected, would your party change Canada’s FIAP in any way?

The FIAP is a solid vision for Canada’s international assistance, but has fallen short on implementation. A true feminist international asssiatance policy will put more resources directly in the hands of women-led and women-focussed civil society organizations in developing countries, deliver more of our international assistance in the form of grants, and adapt reporting frameworks and indicators to better reflect concepts of empowerment and behavioural change.

6. Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), such as family planning, maternal healthcare and access to safe abortion, have been increasingly threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, rapidly evolving humanitarian crises, and the growing climate emergency. If elected, how will your party advance SRHR globally?

The Green Party of Canada believes that Canada should work with other nations through the UN, take a leadership role, and contribute at least 20% of ODA to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal (MDG) target of universal access to reproductive health. This includes supporting girls’ and boys’ education, women’s empowerment and decision-making, and using legal and regulatory reforms to support women’s bodily autonomy and agency.

7. Women, girls, and gender-diverse groups have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. If elected, what will your party do to advance gender equality both in Canada and globally?

  • Ensure a COVID-19 recovery plan that addresses the growing gap in the care economy, particularly magnified through the pandemic, and that provides more resources to women and girls around the world so they are able to access education, health care, proper nutrition and maintain autonomy over their sexual and reproductive rights.
  • Support the 23 recommendations outlined in the LGBT Purge Fund’s report entitled Emerging from the Purge which highlights the reality that LGBTQI2+ people continue to experience significant discrimination in federal workplaces.
  • Listen to feedback about the appropriate nature of new 2021 federal census questions attempting to capture data on trans and non-binary Canadians.
  • Establish a funding program within Health Canada to support community-based organizations offering targeted LGBTQI2+ youth’s mental health and well-being programs, including suicide prevention, peer support, coming out, and counselling.
  • Fund community-driven education and awareness programs that lead to a greater understanding of intersex realities and the diversity of sexualities and gender identities, and referral programs to direct for trans, non-binary and Two Spirit people to appropriate services.
  • End the discriminatory, unscientific and homophobic blood ban.
  • Ban and condemn the practice of medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex children.
  • Ban and condemn the practice of conversion therapy, in all its forms.
  • Ensure access to comprehensive sexual health care and gender affirming health care, including hormone treatments and blockers, and gender confirmation surgeries.
  • Ensure that trans, non-binary, and Two Spirit people, without undertaking surgeries, are able to alter their sex designation on all federally-issued official documents, consistent with their gender identity.
  • Ensure that the national census is designed to reflect the diversity of sex and gender identity and ask appropriate questions to ensure adequate, safe and effective data collection.
  • Require accessible facilities in all federal buildings, including gender-neutral washrooms, changing facilities, etc. while also re-affirming trans, non-binary and Two Spirit people’s right to use whichever facilities with which they identify.
  • Ensure Canada advocates internationally for an end to state-sanctioned discrimination and violence against LGBTQI2+people.
  • Support all recommendations in the Emerging from the Purge Report, calling on improved workplace inclusion policies and practices.
  • Fund community-driven education and awareness programs that lead to a greater understanding of intersex realities and the diversity of sexualities and gender identities, and referral programs to direct for trans, non-binary and Two Spirit people to appropriate services.
  • Urgently implement the recommendations of the 2015 External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces (the Deschamps report).

 

Humanitarian Assistance

8. What is your plan to ensure Canada does its fair share in addressing the rising humanitarian needs that have been aggravated by COVID-19, affecting the most marginalized communities around the world?

  • The Green Party of Canada supports the creation of a dedicated humanitarian funding pool in Budget 2018. However, it is critical that this pool continues to grow in response to increasing humanitarian demands, while also ensuring Canada is providing adequate support in areas such as climate adaptation, conflict prevention, and localization of development assistance,  which will help alleviate the impact and cost of humanitarian disasters.

 

Forced Displacement

9. At least 82.4 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes and half of the world’s refugees are children. If elected, how would your party support refugees, internally displaced persons, and host communities in Canada and abroad?

Recognizing that fleeing home and community is always the option of last resort for displaced people, the Green Party of Canada would prioritize interventions to make life more bearable in source-countries, while also promoting social cohesion and support to host communities – the vast majority of which are in developing countries. Additionally, a Green government will:

  • Lead national and international discussions to define ‘environmental refugee’ and its inclusion as a refugee category in Canada, and accept an appropriate share of the world’s environmental refugees into Canada.
  • Introduce exceptions for permanent residency and citizenship application costs based on household income (for many refugees, the $1,000 application fee for citizenship is unaffordable).
  • In recognition of the role temporary foreign and frontline workers played in our healthcare and economy during the COVID-19 pandemic, introduce lower barrier, more accessible pathways to permanent residency for these workers.
  • Improve conditions for refugees and asylum seekers by addressing the years-long processing time, unaffordable application fees and eliminating status-based service requirements.
  • Develop safe strategies for temporary foreign workers and whistle blowers to report abusive employers without losing their status.
  • Increase support for parent and grandparent sponsorship by IRCC by increasing the number of accepted applications and decreasing processing times.
  • Review adoption bans from Muslim majority countries so that adoptive parents can remain together through their immigration process, as well as allowing adoption from these countries by Canadian citizens.
  • Lower barriers for convention refugees to reunite with their children and bring them to Canada by making the process more accessible.
  • Remove visa requirements for most parents visiting their children – including international students, temporary workers, Canadian citizens and convention refugees.

 

Supporting Civil Society

10. COVID-19 has resulted in political repression and the shrinking of civil society space. How will your party support democracy, good governance and stronger civil society in Canada and abroad?

We have made considerable progress in the past as a country, but much remains to be done. The current trend to destroy civil society and spread distrust between one another will make it more and more difficult to live up to our traditional values of peace, the rule of law and the common good, and to be a positive force in the community of nations. The Green Party of Canada recognizes that adaptation and resilience occur at the local level. It is also at this level that vibrant civil societies can help empower people, raise their voices and help optimize governance, democracy and accountability.

A Green government will:

  • Actively support the efforts of civil society groups working for peace, human rights, and justice in Canada and abroad;
  • Actively engaging countries abroad in creating partnerships in development aid and economic investment that promote our mutual ideals of Fair Trade and promotion of strong civil society, human rights, and respect for Indigenous peoples and the environment;
  • Encourage the creation of cooperative programs that offer civil society members such as lawyers, legislators, judges, civil engineers, environmentalists, and other professionals to directly engage with their professional counterparts in Canada;
  • Mandate and equip Canadian missions abroad to expand partnerships among civil society organizations centred on the promotion of human rights, resilience, scientific cooperation and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Charitable Policy

11. The Senate of Canada recently approved Bill S-222, seeking to amend the 70-year-old Income Tax Act provisions currently hindering the effective and equitable partnerships of Canada’s charities working at home and abroad. This election means that the bill approval process will start again. How does your party plan on resolving this issue?  Would your party support this bill if re-introduced?

Yes, Greens will support the re-introduction of Senator Omidvar’s Bill S-222 in the next Parliament. This Bill, known as the Effective and Accountable Charities Act, encapsulates long-overdue reforms to the “direction and control” model that CRA applies to civil society organizations under the Income Tax Act. Given changes to the way that civil society organizations work, and the growing role we need them to be playing in COVID recovery, climate action and more, it is time that they be given greater freedom to establish more equal partnerships with non-charities and smaller local organizations, while still ensuring accountability and transparency.

 

Human Rights, Trade and Business

12. What is your party’s position on the relationship between international trade and human rights?

The Green Party of Canada will pursue an international fair trade policy centred on the promotion of environmental, social and governance principles, a more egalitarian regime for the exchange of intellectual property and clean technologies, and a narrowing of the equality gap between high- and low-income countries.

A Green government will:

  • Shift the direction of international trade away from “free trade” to “fair trade” in order to prioritize the protection of human rights, labour standards, cultural diversity, and ecosystems around the world.
  • Support global calls for the reform of the World Trade Organization to ensure more equitable international mechanisms that can effectively tackle the ongoing pandemic and climate crisis.
  • Develop and implement carbon border adjustments to ensure Canadian businesses do not face unfair competition from polluting jurisdictions.
  • Lead international discussions to reform TRIPS (The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) to ensure that intellectual property rights are not barriers to the achievement and furtherance of international human rights and clean development.
  • Remove the current model of Investor State Dispute Settlement mechanisms (ISDS) in all existing trade agreements and prohibit its use in any new agreements.

 

13. What is your position on Canada’s role in regulating its extractive industry abroad and helping to end conflicts such as that in Yemen?

Canada needs to demonstrate renewed leadership and reliability in the way we govern and support corporate practices and Canadian-based enterprises, so that we can act and react with credibility in the pursuit of a more just, democratic, peaceful and resilient world.

A Green government will:

  • Strengthen the mandate and tools available to the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE) to independently investigate Canadian companies operating abroad and report publicly on its findings.
  • Cease all federal support to Canadian exporters of arms and fossil fuels, with the exception of potential necessary sales of peacekeeping equipment in cooperation with the United Nations.

 

Climate Action

14. If elected, would your party deliver on the commitments Canada has already made to climate action, including the recently announced $5.3 billion for climate finance over 5 years?

The Green Party of Canada welcomes the recent announcement that Canada would be doubling its international climate finance package; however, we also recognize that the package falls short of Canada’s fair share, and that further improvements to the way this finance is delivered (e.g. grants vs. loans, MDBs vs local civil society organizations, gender coding, etc) can still be optimized.

A Green government will:

  • Mobilize Canada’s fair share of international climate finance and lead negotiations towards the achievement of a post-2025 international climate finance target.
  • Enhance Canada’s development aid efforts and economic investment in the specific key areas that: 1. Foster alternative fuels and energy sources that dramatically reduce the need to import oil and natural gas and further allow the growth of recipient nation independent and/or majority ownership of these sectors and/or businesses as they develop; 2. Focus on agriculture sectors that provide for adaptation and food sovereignty through both subsistence farming and domestic commercial farming methods that are in keeping with green environmentally sound and gender equality principles; 3. Increase bilateral trade, where possible, to facilitate the export of value added products from small island economies; 4. Support and strengthen cooperation with regional organizations to further the goal of regional independence and sovereignty.
Liberal Party of Canada

FOREIGN POLICY PRIORITIES

  1. What are your party’s top three foreign policy priorities?

Global challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis underscore how the health, security, and prosperity of Canadians are profoundly impacted by the world around us. As a member of the G7 and G20, Canada has an important role to play in helping to shape global outcomes that are ambitious, progressive, and inclusive. A re-elected Liberal government will continue to advance a principled, feminist approach to foreign policy focusing on three key themes outlined below.

Promoting democracy and human rights

We will stand with citizens and activists around the world risking their safety to demand democratic rights and freedoms, and continue to promote democracy and human rights alongside civil society and international partners. This includes expanding fast and flexible support for fragile and emerging democracies; increasing Canada’s diplomatic presence in regions of strategic importance; continuing to lead on the women, peace and security agenda protecting human rights defenders; and establishing a Canadian Centre for Peace, Order and Good Government to leverage Canadian expertise and assistance in this area.

Our feminist foreign policy is grounded in international human rights norms and standards and recognizes the varied experiences of different groups of people who experience discrimination based on the intersection of their identities. A re-elected Liberal government will also quadruple annual investments in the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives to support the work of feminists, LGBTQ2 activists, and human rights defenders, and we will increase support for women leaders and feminist groups in particular through new funding to grassroots women’s rights organizations.

In addition, we will seek to lead the world in providing safe resettlement to those fleeing political or security crises, including facilitating the safe passage and resettlement of Afghan citizens, particularly women’s rights activists, journalists and other at-risk groups, increasing the number of eligible refugees from 20,000 to 40,000. And we will continue to engage with our international partners to raise additional humanitarian funds and build consensus on how to support and establish an enduring democracy, including in Afghanistan and Lebanon.

Finally, a re-elected Liberal government will continue to defend the right to free expression and oppose the mistreatment or detention of journalists, building on the Media Freedom Coalition that we established with the UK, as well as working to expand the global coalition established by Canada to end the practice of arbitrary detention. We will help establish an International Anti-Corruption Court, to prevent corrupt officials and authoritarian governments from raiding the resources of their citizens and impeding development.

Help for the world’s most vulnerable people

Both at home and abroad, we are committed to policies that promote equality, diversity, and inclusion. We will continue to be guided by a feminist approach that protects and advances the rights and well-being of women, girls, LGBTQ2 communities and marginalized groups, and combats systemic racism and discrimination in all of its forms.

We will stay the course on Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, and work to support developing countries to meet the challenges presented by COVID-19 by increasing Canada’s international development assistance every year towards 2030, to realize the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. We will also donate at least 200 million vaccine doses to vulnerable populations through COVAX by the end of 2022 and provide additional funding to support enhanced testing and production capacity in developing countries.

Moving forward, a re-elected Liberal government will continue to build on Canada’s historic support for education to ensure that the world’s most marginalized children have access to inclusive, equitable and quality education, including providing new funding for refugee and girl’s education. We will also double funding to grassroots women’s rights organizations, continue to make significant investments in comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services as well as the global care economy, and provide greater assistance to people living with disabilities in developing countries.

We will expand Canada’s long and short-range strategic airlift capability in order to increase Canada’s contribution to NATO, coalition and allied military operations abroad, and improve support for domestic and international emergency and disaster response. We will Expand cooperation and assistance to partners, allies and international organizations, such as the United Nations, NATO, and regional organizations, in humanitarian assistance and disaster recovery, including health and climate emergencies, and conflict response. We will continue to make significant investments in biodiversity and climate finance and will work with international partners to establish a NATO Centre of Excellence on Climate and Security in Canada, to ensure that Canada and its allies are equipped to respond to threats posed by climate change.

Trade and Innovation that works for everyone

Our foreign policy is guided by our abiding commitment to create economic growth that works for everyone and supports the creation of jobs, opportunities, and prosperity for all Canadians. By negotiating trade agreements and attracting investments that drive inclusive growth, we will continue to ensure that the interests and values of Canadians are at the heart of our foreign policy. Under our leadership, Canada became the only G7 country to have free trade agreements with all other G7 countries.

Trade has an important part to play in our plan for a robust economic recovery in Canada and globally. A re-elected Liberal government will establish a new federal hub to help Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs take full advantage of the opportunities created by CUSMA, CETA, CPTPP, and other trade agreements. We will launch a new comprehensive Asia-Pacific strategy to deepen diplomatic, economic, and defense partnerships in the region; develop a strategy for economic cooperation across Africa; and reinforce economic cooperation in our own hemisphere, including by continuing trade negotiations with the Pacific Alliance and pursuing bilateral trade agreements with key partners.

Consistent with our principled approach, we will introduce legislation to eradicate forced labour from Canadian supply chains and ensure Canadian businesses that operate abroad are not contributing to human rights abuses, and enhance Canada’s Responsible Business Conduct strategy to ensure Canadian corporations are upholding the highest environmental and social standards of corporate governance. To safeguard Canada’s national security and protect against economic coercion, we will review and modernize the Investment Canada Act and provide additional resources to support national security agencies in tracking, assessing, and mitigating economic security threats from foreign investment.

We will continue to work with G7, NATO, and like-minded partners to develop and expand collective responses to arbitrary detention, economic coercion, cyber threats, foreign interference in democratic processes, and egregious violations of human rights, including through the use of sanctions, support for international institutions, and coordinated action to reinforce the rules of international trade. We will expand collaboration and information sharing with Canadian partners and across all levels of government with respect to addressing security risks in foreign research and investment partnerships. We will also introduce legislation to safeguard Canada’s critical infrastructure, including our 5G networks, to preserve the integrity and security of our telecommunications systems.

Finally, we will establish a digital policy task force to integrate efforts across government and provide additional resources, positioning Canada as a leader in the digital economy and shape global governance of emerging technologies. This will build on our work to implement Canada’s first Digital Charter and reform our laws to protect the personal information of individuals.

 

2. Has COVID-19 changed the way your party thinks about foreign policy?

Global challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis underscore how the health, security, and prosperity of Canadians are profoundly impacted by the world around us. The pandemic also underscored how reliant society is on women, both on the front line and at home, while simultaneously exposing the structural inequalities faced by women in all spheres. Rising authoritarianism and the re-emergence of great power competition is undermining international peace and security, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.

In this context, we believe that it is critical that Canada maintain a principled, feminist approach to foreign policy, and continue to advance democracy and human rights, particularly in fragile and emerging democracies impacted by the pandemic, support the world’s poorest and most vulnerable by increasing our international assistance and refining and strengthening our feminist approach, and preserve open, rules-based trade. Now, more than ever, Canadians understand that building a safer and more stable world requires investments in our strength at home and active engagement with our partners abroad.

We also believe it is critical to ensure equitable access to vaccines and other critical supplies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on the $2.5 billion we mobilized in the first 18 months of the pandemic, we will continue to make investments into multilateral mechanisms like COVAX, including donating at least 200M vaccine doses by the end of 2022, and will continue to provide bilateral assistance to help countries support vulnerable populations and recover from this global crisis. We will continue to advocate for broader access to financing for development, including through the initiative we have co-led with Jamaica and the United Nations.

 

Investing in Global Solutions

3. Over the last year, Canada acknowledged its critical role in fighting COVID-19 globally and scaled up its investments in international assistance. But we know that this is not a short-term crisis, and the effects of the pandemic will continue to impact our global health and economies for years to come. If elected, how would your party ensure Canada’s international assistance reflects the scale and complexity of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic consequences, which are disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable groups?

Under our leadership, Canada has been at the forefront of international efforts to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. We mobilized more than $2.5 billion in international assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

● $1.3 billion for the Access to COVID‑19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, the primary international partnership ensures equitable access to COVID‑19 tests, treatments and vaccines;
● over $740 million in funding for humanitarian and development assistance to respond to the urgent needs stemming from the COVID‑19 pandemic; and,
● $541 million to adapt existing funding arrangements with partners to ensure their activities are able to address urgent needs in developing countries resulting from the pandemic.

We have also donated more than 40 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the COVAX facility, making Canada one of the leading countries in vaccine donation per capita.

A re-elected Liberal government will continue to reinforce the global health response to COVID-19, supporting efforts to ensure that more people around the world have access to critical health interventions to fight the pandemic, including vaccines, therapeutics and strengthened health systems. We will donate at least 200 million vaccine doses to vulnerable populations around the world through the COVAX Facility by the end of 2022, as well as provide funding to support enhanced testing and production capacity in developing countries.

Moving forward, we will also work to increase investments in international assistance to support developing countries to recover from COVID-19 and become more resilient to future shocks. We will work to support a fair and just recovery for developing countries through investments in education, particularly for girls, as well as in the care economy, ensuring that women can contribute to and benefit fully from economic recovery efforts. We will also support a green recovery from COVID-19 through our $5.3B investment in climate finance, which will enable developing countries to invest in initiatives that cut pollution and build climate resilience as they seek to regrow their economies.

 

4. Canada has committed to contributing to global efforts to achieve economic, socio-political, and environmental goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Due to COVID-19, we are further away from reaching those goals now than when the framework was first approved in 2015. What will your party do to help us get on track?

In February 2021, our government launched Moving Forward Together – Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy, an important milestone in continuing to implement the 2030 Agenda and make progress towards the SDGs in Canada and abroad. The strategy promotes a whole-of-society approach to achieving the SDGs, and builds on the 30 actions and five core principles outlined in Towards Canada’s 2030 Agenda National Strategy. A re-elected Liberal government will continue to support this whole-of-society approach, including by providing access to resources through the SDG Funding Program to increase public awareness of the SDGs, support new partnerships to advance action, and identify and implement innovative initiatives to drive progress on the SDGs.

Internationally, we will increase Canada’s international development assistance every year towards 2030 to realize the Sustainable Development Goals, and continue to make significant investments across all action areas of the Feminist International Assistance Policy. Recognizing that Official Development
Assistance alone is insufficient to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we will also work to unlock new and additional sources of funding. We will continue to engage new and existing partners in civil society and the private sector on innovative financing, including through the continued implementation of initiatives such as the International Assistance Innovation Program, FinDev Canada, the Sovereign Loans Program and the Equality Fund, ensuring that these remain fully aligned with Canada’s feminist approach to development.

 

Feminist International Assistance Policy

5. Canada’s policy on international cooperation – the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) – reflects the strategic and ambitious priorities articulated by Canadians and Canadian partners around the globe. If elected, would your party change Canada’s FIAP in any way?

We are proud to have established Canada’s first Feminist International Assistance Policy. The Policy has revolutionized Canada’s approach to international assistance and set new global standards in transformative aid. Through the Policy, we have made historic investments to improve the lives of women, girls, and vulnerable populations—from raising $4.3 billion towards girls’ education during our G7 Presidency, to committing $14 billion over ten years towards the health of women and girls, including comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services.

We remain deeply committed to the Feminist International Assistance Policy. It responds to the recommendations made by a wide range of stakeholders and reflects Canadian values. It defines an approach based on human rights, and one that takes into account all forms of discrimination. The Policy is evidence-based and leverages Canada’s expertise and comparative advantage. In short, we continue to believe that the Policy remains a reflection of who we are as Canadians.

Moving forward, a re-elected Liberal government will refine and strengthen the Feminist International Assistance Policy. The Policy will continue to guide our work to reduce global poverty and inequality, provide humanitarian assistance, help the world’s poor adapt to climate change, and support displaced persons, particularly with access to education. In line with principles of good donor-ship, we will continually review progress implementing the Policy in close consultation with stakeholders, in particular our developing country and civil society partners, and refine our approach as necessary to ensure that Canada’s international assistance achieves the greatest impact and remains nimble, responsive and accountable.

 

6. Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), such as family planning, maternal healthcare and access to safe abortion, have been increasingly threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, rapidly evolving humanitarian crises, and the growing climate emergency. If elected, how will your party advance SRHR globally?

Our government has made investing to improve the health, rights and well-being of women and children a central part of Canada’s international assistance. Through the Feminist International Assistance Policy:

● more than 9.9 million women were reached by Canada-funded projects that help prevent, respond to and end sexual and gender-based violence, including child, early and forced marriage and/or female genital mutilation;
● more than 8.5 million women and girls received micronutrient supplementation, including iron and folic acid; and
● more than 2.3 million women received access to sexual and reproductive health services, including modern methods of contraception.

Moving forward, a re-elected Liberal government will ensure that access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls remains a central focus, and a key part of Canada’s support to COVID-19 recovery in developing countries. Starting in 2023, Canada will be providing $700 million per year in funding for sexual and reproductive health and rights to help ensure that women and girls around the world have access to the quality health services they need, including safe and legal abortion, and comprehensive sexual education.

 

7. Women, girls, and gender-diverse groups have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. If elected, what will your party do to advance gender equality both in Canada and globally?

We will continue to implement the Feminist International Assistance Policy, maintaining the gender equality focus of all of Canada’s international assistance and making significant investments in comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, girl’s education, as well as the global care economy.

Noting the demands COVID-19 has placed on front-line health workers and the disproportionate impact this has on women, in June 2021, the Prime Minister announced $100 million in funding for programming that recognizes, reduces and addresses the unequal distribution of paid and unpaid care work, and that supports and protects the rights of paid and unpaid care workers. This funding for low- and middle-income countries will help increase women’s ability to participate in the economy, in education, and in public life. In parallel, we will play an active role in the Global Alliance for Care, which aims to coordinate efforts to address the burden of care that hinders economic opportunities for women and to accelerate an economic recovery with equality in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A re-elected Liberal government will also double our funding to grassroots women’s rights organizations. This will support women leaders and feminist groups who are leading efforts to promote peace and protect the rights of women and vulnerable groups, including new funding. We will also support the co-creation of the Global Alliance for Sustainable Feminist Movements, helping to create a new, dedicated space to address challenges that women and girls face towards achieving equality, including through funding and by enabling better planning among donors and feminist movements.

 

Humanitarian Assistance

8. What is your plan to ensure Canada does its fair share in addressing the rising humanitarian needs that have been aggravated by COVID-19, affecting the most marginalized communities around the world?

When COVID-19 hit, we took a leading role in the international response to the pandemic, including mobilizing over $2.5 billion in international assistance and facilitating the donation of 40 million doses to vulnerable populations through COVAX. A re-elected Liberal government will donate at least 200 million vaccine doses to vulnerable populations around the world through COVAX by the end of 2022 and provide additional funding to support enhanced testing and production capacity in developing countries.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also increased food insecurity around the world by disrupting food production, supply and distribution. Acute hunger is increasing not only in scale but in severity. Given the immediate action required, in August 2021 our government announced $155 million for emergency
humanitarian and development assistance to help avert famine in crisis-affected countries by addressing deteriorating food security and nutrition needs. A re-elected Liberal government will continue to increase our development and humanitarian assistance funding every year towards 2030 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Through the Feminist International Assistance Policy, we have made historic investments to improve the lives of women, girls, and vulnerable populations—from raising $4.3 billion towards girls’ education during our G7 Presidency, to committing $14 billion over ten years towards the health of women and girls, including comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services. Given the gendered nature of this pandemic and the increasing humanitarian needs facing the world’s most marginalized, we know that our feminist approach continues to be the right one. A re-elected Liberal government will double our funding to grassroots women’s rights organizations, who are the first responders in any humanitarian situation, and continue to make significant investments in comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services as well as the global care economy. We will continue to build on Canada’s historic support for education, so the world’s most marginalized children have access to the inclusive, equitable and quality education they need and deserve, including new funding for girls’ and refugees’ education. Recognizing the increasing marginalization caused by COVID-19, we will also provide greater assistance to people living with disabilities in developing countries.

 

Forced Displacement

9. At least 82.4 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes and half of the world’s refugees are children. If elected, how would your party support refugees, internally displaced persons, and host communities in Canada and abroad?

We are committed to building on Canada’s global leadership on refugee and humanitarian issues, and strongly support comprehensive and collective responses to refugee situations aligned with the principles of the Global Compact on Refugees. We have pursued this approach through the Middle East Strategy, which has seen Canada invest over $4 billion to respond to the crises in Iraq and Syria, and address their impact on Lebanon, Jordan and the region, as well as through holistic responses to the Venezuela and Rohingya forced-displacement crises. Moving forward, we will also ensure that Canada continues to play an active role in these crises, and as a cooperating state in the Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (MIRPS) Support Platform, launched at the Global Refugee Forum in 2019. We will seek to lead the world in providing safe resettlement to those fleeing political or security crises, including facilitating the safe passage and resettlement of Afghan citizens, particularly women’s rights activists, journalists and other at-risk groups, increasing the number of eligible refugees from 20,000 to 40,000. We will also expand the new immigration stream for human rights defenders and work with civil society groups to ensure safe passage and resettlement of people under threat, including from places like Afghanistan and Hong Kong.

A re-elected Liberal government will also continue to support efforts to improve access to quality education for refugees and other forcibly displaced persons through advocacy and collective action and through our programming. We will further Canada’s engagement on refugee education through the ‘Together for Learning’ campaign, a three-year initiative leading up to the second Global Refugee Forum in 2023 that builds on Canada’s leadership through the Charlevoix Education Initiative. The campaign will deepen the impact of our education programming for refugees, other forcibly displaced and host community children and youth, and includes the creation of a Refugee Education Council in consultation with Canadian civil society and engagement with the Canadian public, including refugee and diaspora populations within Canada, to amplify their voices. This work will include new funding for girls’ and refugees’ education.

 

Supporting Civil Society

10. COVID-19 has resulted in political repression and the shrinking of civil society space. How will your party support democracy, good governance and stronger civil society in Canada and abroad?

With foreign threats and interference on the rise and the impact of authoritarian trends more widespread, we believe now more than ever, it is time to place the promotion of democracy, human rights, and rule of law at the center of our foreign policy. We stand with citizens and activists around the world who are risking their safety to demand democratic rights and freedoms and will continue to promote democracy and human rights alongside civil society and international partners.

A re-elected Liberal government will:

● Make Canada’s commitment to democracy and human rights a core strategic priority, including expanding fast and flexible support for fragile and emerging democracies, increasing Canada’s diplomatic presence in regions of strategic importance, and working more closely with democratic partners to promote open, transparent, and inclusive governance around the world.
● Establish Canada as a safe haven for those facing persecution by leading the world in providing safe resettlement to those fleeing political or security crises, especially human rights defenders, journalists, feminists, LGBTQ2 activists, members of religious or ethnic minorities at risk, and other persecuted groups who remain under threat. We will expand the new immigration stream for human rights defenders and work with civil society groups to ensure safe passage and resettlement of people under threat, including from Afghanistan.
● Expand the broad coalition of more than 65 states that have supported Canada’s initiative to condemn and eradicate the practice of arbitrary detention and advance an action plan to coordinate collective international responses to specific incidents of arbitrary detention.
● Enable staff at Canada’s embassies around the world to support the work of feminists, LGBTQ2 activists, and human rights defenders by quadrupling our annual investment in the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.
● Defend the right to free expression and oppose the mistreatment or arbitrary detention of journalists, building on the Media Freedom Coalition that we established with the UK.
● Support women leaders and feminist groups who are leading efforts to promote peace and protect the rights of women and vulnerable groups, including new funding through the Women’s Voice and Leadership program.

Finally, we will establish a Canadian Centre for Peace, Order and Good Government to support these initiatives, and expand the availability of Canadian expertise and assistance to those seeking to build peace, advance justice, promote human rights, inclusion, and democracy, and deliver good governance.

 

Charitable Policy

11. The Senate of Canada recently approved Bill S-222, seeking to amend the 70-year-old Income Tax Act provisions currently hindering the effective and equitable partnerships of Canada’s charities working at home and abroad. This election means that the bill approval process will start again. How does your party plan on resolving this issue? Would your party support this bill if re-introduced?

Under our leadership, Canada has taken important steps to improve the way we manage and deliver international development assistance and engage civil society partners to ensure greater effectiveness, transparency, and accountability. In 2019, for example, we reversed measures imposed by the Harper
government targeting civil society organizations under the Income Tax Act that engaged in important advocacy work.

We understand that direction and control provisions emanating from the Income Tax Act remain a significant concern for civil society partners. While the Canada Revenue Agency has updated its guidance on and made certain changes to related regulations, we recognize that these provisions present an operational challenge for civil society partners, and are in tension with contemporary international development values and partnership and aid effectiveness principles. We remain committed to these principles, which include transparency, accountability and financial stewardship, and continue to support an approach to international assistance under the Feminist International Assistance Policy that is based on local ownership and participative and inclusive decision-making.

A re-elected Liberal government will continue to engage in broad consultation and dialogue with stakeholders on Bill S-222 to identify a path forward that enables civil society partners to establish equitable partnerships while still ensuring accountability and transparency, and preserving the integrity of Canada’s charitable tax regulations.

 

Human Rights, Trade and Business

12. What is your party’s position on the relationship between international trade and human rights?

We believe that Canada’s prosperity depends on preserving open, rules-based trade, and will continue to advance a principled approach in this area, including by introducing legislation to eradicate forced labour from Canadian supply chains and ensure Canadian businesses that operate abroad are not contributing to human rights abuses. We will continue to reinforce work to advance gender equality in trade. This has been a key priority priorities pursued by our government in trade negotiations, notably through language regarding the elimination of employment discrimination in labour cooperation agreements and labour chapters in free trade agreements (FTAs). We will also enhance and expand Canada’s Responsible Business Conduct strategy and ensure Canadian companies and crown corporations are upholding the highest environmental and social standards of corporate governance.

13. What is your position on Canada’s role in regulating its extractive industry abroad and helping to end conflicts such as that in Yemen?

In 2018, our government established the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise (CORE). Building on Canada’s existing expertise and leadership on Responsible Business Conduct (RBC), the creation of the CORE demonstrates our continued commitment to RBC, human rights, and inclusive trade that ensures all segments of society can benefit from the opportunities that flow from trade and investment. In March 2021, the CORE launched its complaints process, enabling the receipt of complaints respecting human rights abuses arising from the operations abroad of Canadian companies in the garment, mining, and oil and gas sectors.

Moving forward, a re-elected Liberal government will continue to support CORE’s work to strengthen Canada’s approach to address alleged human rights abuses arising from a Canadian company’s operations abroad in the mining, oil and gas, and garment sectors.

This will form part of a broader effort by our government to enhance Canada’s Responsible Business Conduct strategy, as noted above, and ensure Canadian companies and crown corporations are upholding the highest environmental and social standards of corporate governance, and ensure Canadian businesses that operate abroad are not contributing to human rights abuses.

Under our leadership, Canada has provided significant humanitarian assistance and continues to invest in peace and stability in Yemen. Since 2018, Canada has provided over $22 million in peace and security assistance in Yemen to support the UN-led peace process. Prime Minister Trudeau has also directly called for an end to the conflict in Yemen, including direct interventions at the G20 in 2018. We will continue to promote the peaceful resolution of conflicts around the world and support efforts towards greater peace, stability, and democracy, including in the Middle East.

 

CLIMATE ACTION

14. If elected, would your party deliver on the commitments Canada has already made to climate action,including the recently announced $5.3 billion for climate finance over 5 years?

We recognize that the climate crisis poses an existential threat, and that protecting the planet and responding to climate change must be at the centre of everything we do. From conserving our land and oceans, safeguarding biodiversity, investing in clean growth, and promoting sustainable development, we
will continue to work with international partners to take bold action to respond to the climate emergency.

Under our leadership, Canada has fully delivered on its 2015 commitment to provide $2.65 billion over five years to support developing countries fight climate change. The programs and projects supported under this previous commitment will reduce or prevent over 222 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of removing about 47 million cars from the roads for one year – enable at least 5.9 million people adapt to the effects of climate change, and mobilize important climate finance contributions from the private sector.

In June 2021, the Prime Minister announced a doubling of this previous commitment to $5.3B over five year, including increased support for adaptation, as well as nature and nature-based solutions that are in line with the G7 Nature Compact. This increased commitment by our government recognizes that urgent action is required to address the interconnected crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, which disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable. A re-elected Liberal government will deliver on this commitment and ensure that our developing country partners have the resources to cut pollution and build climate resilience.

This work will support our domestic action on climate change, including a new climate target to reduce emissions by 40-45% by 2030, compared to 2005 levels with a longer-term target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. We have put forward ambitious targets and complemented this with a comprehensive plan to achieve these targets supported by leading climate scientists and economists.

New Democratic Party

Awaiting response

Animal Protection Party of Canada
Canada's Fourth Front

Awaiting response

Canadian Nationalist Party

Awaiting response

Christian Heritage Party of Canada

Awaiting response

Communist Party of Canada

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Foreign Policy Priorities

1. What are your party’s top three foreign policy priorities?

Three of our foreign policy priorities are: 1) Implement a new, independent foreign policy for Canada, that is based on peace, disarmament, cooperation, non-interference and the recognition of sovereignty and self-determination; 2) Canada’s immediate withdrawal from NATO and all other military alliances, 3) withdrawing from and opposing US-led efforts to incite a new “Cold War” against China and Russia, as well as provocations and aggressions against countries like Cuba, Venezuela, Syria and Iran.

2. Has COVID-19 changed the way your party thinks about foreign policy?

The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated pre-existing global inequities. It has also allowed governments like Canada’s to escalate their anti-China rhetoric and policies, the effect of which is to endanger trade and jobs, increase anti-Asian racism and hate here in Canada and globally, and generate a more aggressive and dangerous environment in international relations. This reality has led us to give a higher priority to implementing a new foreign policy based on peace and cooperation, and to helping to build up the grassroots movements required to achieve this.

 

Investing in Global Solutions

3. Over the last year, Canada acknowledged its critical role in fighting COVID-19 globally and scaled up its investments in international assistance. But we know that this is not a short-term crisis, and the effects of the pandemic will continue to impact our global health and economies for years to come. If elected, how would your party ensure Canada’s international assistance reflects the scale and complexity of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic consequences, which are disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable groups?

Canada has abundant resources to genuinely contribute to international assistance. Unfortunately, a huge amount of those resources is tied up with military spending. By reducing military spending by 75 percent, as part of a broader foreign policy shift towards peace and cooperation, Canada would be able to participate more fully and effectively in UN-based efforts at combatting global inequity. However, this also requires a shift in Canada’s economic policy, away from profit-seeking enterprises which promote and maintain inequity – in particular, mining and other extractive industries.

4. Canada has committed to contributing to global efforts to achieve economic, socio-political, and environmental goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Due to COVID-19, we are further away from reaching those goals now than when the framework was first approved in 2015. What will your party do to help us get on track?

This requires a comprehensive approach, but as a starting point we would insist that all Canadian economic activity be strictly monitored and regulated so that it is subject to the goals of sustainable development. This means, for example, that all businesses operating in Canada – whether headquartered here or elsewhere – must be subject to strict legislation on labour, environmental, social and human rights standards. Such legislation must apply equally – and just as strictly – to Canadian business operations in other countries, to Canadian military operations in Canada and in other countries, and to foreign military operating in Canada (through joint exercises, shared bases, etc.)

 

Feminist International Assistance Policy

5. Canada’s policy on international cooperation — the Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) — reflects the strategic and ambitious priorities articulated by Canadians and Canadian partners around the globe. If elected, would your party change Canada’s FIAP in any way?

FIAP includes many strong general objectives which need to be integrated into foreign policy and relations. It could be strengthened by committing more deeply and specifically to engaging local analysis and design (as opposed to “exporting” a version of feminism). Furthermore, the FIAP objectives need to be consistently approached in a more comprehensive framework which includes other realities like colonialism, imperialism and racism, both in their immediate forms and as decades-long legacies. Specifically, FIAP needs to be strengthened by examining how its are often immediately undermined and overwhelmed by overarching foreign policy priorities such as the drive for corporate profit.

6. Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), such as family planning, maternal healthcare and access to safe abortion, have been increasingly threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, rapidly evolving humanitarian crises and the growing climate emergency. If elected, how will your party advance SRHR globally?

Sexual and reproductive health – including access to safe abortion – are fundamental to achieving gender equality. They are part of healthcare and should be guaranteed. Building a commitment to SRHR into foreign policy priorities, including funding, will help to confront this inequity. Additionally, the government needs to monitor the impact that Canadian economic activity has on SRHR here and globally and take decisive action to ensure that SRHR is advanced through such activity.

7. Women, girls, and gender-diverse groups have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. If elected, what will your party do to advance gender equality both in Canada and globally?

As an immediate step, we would implement a jobs and income strategy that strives for full employment, a country-wide system of universal free childcare, strict employment equity laws and enforced pay equity. The gender pay gap in Canada amounts to approximately $150 billion in lost wages for women and gender-diverse people each year – closing this gap will be a huge step for advancing gender equality. The government needs to ensure that Canadian business operations in other countries are compliant with equity-seeking legislation laws here.

 

Humanitarian Assistance

8. What is your plan to ensure Canada does its fair share in addressing the rising humanitarian needs that have been aggravated by COVID-19, affecting the most marginalized communities around the world?

The COVID-19 pandemic does not exist in a vacuum – many of the humanitarian crises which have been illuminated by the pandemic have, in fact, been caused or exacerbated by Canada’s existing foreign policy of interference and aggression. An example would be Canada’s continued sale of military equipment to Saudi Arabia, despite overwhelming evidence that this equipment is being used in the war against the people of Yemen. Changing those policies of militarism, interference and aggression is a critical first step. In addition, Canada must fully commit to international programs that address the immediate needs to affected communities around the world. This includes taking action to ensure that vaccines are produced and made accessible, in sufficient quantities and free of cost, to all countries in the world.

 

Forced Displacement

9. At least 82.4 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes and half of the world’s refugees are children. If elected, how would your party support refugees, internally displaced persons, and host communities in Canada and abroad?

Addressing the refugee crisis involves addressing the policies that cause people to flee their homes. A foreign policy of peace, disarmament and non-interference is urgent, as is a commitment to global economic policies based on climate justice, sustainability and equality. In addition to this approach, refugees must be supported through humanitarian assistance; safe refuge in Canada or elsewhere with Canadian government support; full access to healthcare and education, as well as all labour, social and other rights; the right of full and safe return; protection from xenophobia and other forms of discrimination; and supports for unification of families.

 

Supporting Civil Society

10. COVID-19 has resulted in political repression and the shrinking of civil society space. How will your party support democracy, good governance and stronger civil society in Canada and abroad?

The Communist Party is very concerned about the increasing repression of civil, democratic and labour rights. This repression has been since before the pandemic but has accelerated in the context of the health crisis. Within Canada, we call for the repeal of “security law” legislation; for the abolition of the RCMP, CSIS and CSE; for the defunding and demilitarization of other police units; for strong civilian oversight of police; for protection of the right to dissent, assemble and organize. Internationally, within the context of cooperation and non-interference, these commitments need to be reflected in Canada’s foreign policy, including business activity and trade.

 

Charitable Policy

11. The Senate of Canada recently approved Bill S-222, seeking to amend the 70-year-old Income Tax Act provisions currently hindering the effective and equitable partnerships of Canada’s charities working at home and abroad. This election means that the bill approval process will start again. How does your party plan on resolving this issue? Would your party support this bill if re-introduced?

We do not currently have a policy on this specific legislation.

 

Human Rights, Trade and Business

12. What is your party’s position on the relationship between international trade and human rights?

Canada’s international trade is based on facilitating profit for corporations – whether through exporting capital, establishing production facilities in other countries, extracting resources or capturing global markets. In all of these cases, there are countless examples of how the drive for profit comes into direct conflict with human rights. As long as foreign policy is guided by profit, human rights will be a secondary concern.

13. What is your position on Canada’s role in regulating its extractive industry abroad and helping to end conflicts such as that in Yemen?

The Canadian government absolutely needs to regulate the international operations of Canadian businesses in the extractive industry. At a bare minimum, those businesses must be held fully accountable to the same labour, environmental and social laws that apply to businesses operating within Canada. End-user agreements need to be strengthened, applied to all countries including the US, and enforced. Canada’s role in escalating and maintaining the war on the people of Yemen is shameful and must end immediately.

 

Climate Action

14. If elected, would your party deliver on the commitments Canada has already made to climate action, including the recently announced $5.3 billion for climate finance over 5 years?

We are committed to more than what the government has announced. Canada must take action to decarbonize the economy (including international operations of Canadian businesses), reducing emissions by half by 2030 and completely eliminating them by 2050. We do not support carbon trading schemes, which allow companies to export their carbon-emitting operations to other countries while reducing their “footprint” in Canada. Countries like Canada have built incredible wealth over years of economic expansion which has driven the global climate crisis. It is incumbent upon these rich countries to pay for climate justice and just transitions around the world – $5.3 billion over five years is minimal and needs to be drastically increased. Furthermore, international climate finance must not be allowed to increase the debt of other countries – it should be through grants without tied aid.

Free Party Canada

Awaiting response

Libertarian Party of Canada

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Marijuana Party

The Marijuana Party operates in decentralized ways.

 

Beyond all agreeing that cannabis should not be criminal in any way, our candidates are free to articulate their own opinions.

 

Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada

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National Citizens Alliance of Canada

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Parti pour l'Indépendance du Québec

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Parti Rhinocéros Party

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People’s Party of Canada

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Veterans Coalition Party of Canada

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