Kitchener-Waterloo

Canada Election 2015: comparing family-focused party policies

Every family is different, so Canadian political parties are serving up a variety of campaign pledges to win over voters for election day on October 19. Here's a family-focused comparison of platform highlights.

Every family is different, so Canadian political parties are serving up a variety of campaign pledges to win over target voters for election day on October 19. 

Here's a family-focused comparison of key points and highlights from the main national party political platforms, created by CBC Radio Kitchener-Waterloo's parenting columnist Tenille Bonoguore.

If we've missed something, let us know by writing to: yournewskw @ cbc.ca


Family benefit payments

  • Conservative: Maintain the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), which provides families $1600 a year per child, but is taxed.
  • NDP: Maintain the current UCCB and related benefits.
  • Liberal: Eliminate UCCB and related benefits. Replace with "Canada Child Care Benefit Plan", which gives more money but on a sliding scale. Low earners will get over $5000 a year, tax-free. That drops as you earn more, and stops for families earning over $200,000.
  • Green: No specific promises/policies.

Babies and child care

  • Conservative: Increase the Adoption Expense Tax Credit to new maximum of $20,000.
  • NDP: Create and maintain one million $15/day child care spots.
  • Liberal: Make parental leave more flexible, allowing for smaller blocks of time taken over 18 months, or for an extended, 18-month leave at a lower benefit rate.
  • Green: No specific promises/policies.

Income splitting 

  • Conservative: Maintain limited income splitting for families with kids under 18. Can split up to $50,000.
  • NDP: Cancel family income splitting.
  • Liberal: Cancel family income splitting.
  • Green: No specific promises/policies.

Tuition 

  • Conservative: Double the RESP grant for low- and middle-income families.
  • NDP: Will phase out interest on student loans, while creating new grants for students.
  • Liberal: Increase Canada Student Grants by 50 percent, to $3,000 a year for low-income students. No payments required until graduate is earning at least $25,000 a year.
  • Green: Eliminate tuition fees for low-income students, and eventually eliminate all fees for post-secondary and skills training. Forgive all student loans over $10,000.

Health

  • Conservative: No specific promises/policies.
  • NDP: Establish a $100-million mental health fund for children and youth.
  • Liberal: Restrict marketing of unhealthy food and drinks to children.
  • Green: No specific promises/policies.

Other

  • Conservative: Introduce a permanent Home Renovation Tax Credit, to a maximum of $6,600. 
  • NDP: Spend $28-million to support sports participation for low-income and disadvantaged youth.
  • Liberal: Introduce $1.5 billion youth job strategy.
  • Green: Eliminate personal taxes for those earning under $20,000 a year, and introduce guaranteed livable income.

Sources: 

  • http://www.conservative.ca/
  • http://www.ndp.ca/
  • http://www.liberal.ca/
  • http://www.greenparty.ca/en
  • http://hkstrategies.ca/english/federal-election-2015-party-promises-canadian-families/
  • http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-election-2015-comparing-the-major-parties-on-child-care-promises-1.3201117

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