Click on one of the candidates’ pictures to get started!
Liberal Party of Canada: Marc Miller
New Democratic Party: Allison Turner
Conservative Party of Canada: Richard Sagala
Bloc Québécois: Simon Marchand
Green Party of Canada: Daniel Green
Communist Party of Canada: Miguel Figueroa
How will the Bloc help graduates find entry level jobs?
We want to lower the taxes for small businesses; lowering the taxes will make sure that they can afford hiring additional people on their teams. Small businesses, they represent 80 per cent of the jobs here [....] For big corporations, with over 200 employees, we want to raise taxes, but there’s also a tax credit that we’re bringing in for research and job creation [....] We want to encourage the big corporations to move forward and to generate more activity in Montreal: that means green technologies, That means transportation, aeronautics, you name it [....] In the end, you need more job opportunities.
How will the Bloc help students facing debt upon graduation?
As I said, the one plan is free tuition, so there’s no more student debt problem to have there. I think that you also have to take some part of responsibility as a student, and that might mean a summer job, that might mean just doing your part. We do have subsidies in our budget to make it easier for companies to hire students during summer, to make sure that they can pay for an internship.
How will you address the quality of education in Quebec?
We are not spending our money right. We are spending our money on F-35 planes, which are going to cost $900 million or more per plane, when one plane is the cost of free tuition [....] It’s not going to create any jobs in Quebec, because those planes are going to be built in the United States and the boats are being constructed in Vancouver and Halifax, [and] we’re paying for 25 per cent of the bill [....] We’re basically just wasting money when we could invest in our universities [....] It’s easy to see how we’re underfunded [...] because the Conservatives did go with successive cuts in the budgets for research [....] You cut student services [...] and the students are the first ones to pay for that. We want to take the money back and invest it where it counts.
What are your main environmental concerns?
We suffer from [low] oil prices. When the oil price goes up, the jobs in the manufacturing industry are cut almost immediately. We’ve lost 34,000 jobs in Quebec due to the barrel price from Alberta, and now the Conservatives, NDP, and the Liberals, they want to go forward with the energies pipeline, which we oppose firmly [....] Quebec says no [to the pipeline], and it’s going to go through anyway. Why? Why should we be the ones taking risks with our rivers considering there’s no tangible return for us? [...] It’s the first time in history that Quebec has the possibility [...] to stop the significant increase in oil production.
What is your stance on the platform of Quebec independence?
There’s that myth that the Bloc is only there to demonstrate that Canada cannot work [....] We’re not here to disrupt the Federal government’s work, we’ve never done so [....] When Harper decided not to sign Kyoto, Quebec was ready to do it, and we wanted to do it, but we were not allowed. [We’re] basically saying we should have the right and the legitimacy to negotiate our own economical or environmental treaties with the other nations of the world.
How will the Green Party help students facing debt upon graduation?
Education is not a privilege but a right. We cannot continue having the youngest adults in our society being saddled with incredible debt at 25 to 30 years old. I cannot imagine me at 25 starting my life with $50 or $60,000 of debt.
We are proposing a cap on existing student debt [of] up to $10,000 dollars maximum. That existing debt will [also] be payed back interest free. We all know that people [who] live in provinces also pay general taxes, so part of our provincial taxes goes to federal government. What we’re proposing is just to give back federal income tax with a program aimed at making tuition free. This of course will free, hopefully, provincial money to also invest in post-secondary education.
How will the Green Party help graduates find entry level jobs?
Of course the biggest challenge for a young graduate is getting an entry-level job, or at least getting the entry level experience, and this is why the Green Party of Canada is going to propose the creation of what’s called a Youth Core, which is essentially a program offering young graduates [an] entry-level job in the domain of environmental resource and environmental management. If you look in Quebec, information technologies provide […] an economy that’s $10 billion, versus the mining and forestry sector which is around three billion dollars. By investing in the green sector and providing paid internships—we are of the belief that students shouldn’t work for nothing—our objective is to create 160,000 positions over four years for young graduates [through the] Youth Core.
How does the Green Party plan to balance the federal budget?
We will raise corporate taxes from 15 per cent to—depending on the sector—17 to 19 per cent, of the big corporations. This [revenue] will be reinvested in the Youth Core approach that will create thousands of jobs. There may be some displacement from the oil and gas sector because we will remove the $1 billion plus subsidy we give to resources in the extraction sector. We’re also proposing a carbon fee of $30 per ton of carbon produced. That will produce a $22 billion income revenue.
What is your stance on Bills C-51 and C-24?
They should be repealed. A clause-by-clause analysis that the Green Party has done shows clearly, ironically, that C-51 might make Canada less safe because it gives extraordinary powers to CSIS. C-24 creates two classes of citizens. If Canada wants to be an open country to immigration, having C-24 hanging over people is just not a way to attract qualified immigrants that want to work in Canada.
What challenges do you foresee?
Clearly, there [are] challenges. We have less money, less volunteers, less signs, less organization than the big parties. But there is, on the other side, some good news because we are not going to be forming the government, we know this, and this permits us to propose innovative ideas. Ideally, the Green Party of Canada wants the other parties to steal our program and to steal our good ideas. If it’s a minority government, a Liberal minority or an NDP minority, we might be working with that party in collaboration and hopefully some of these ideas will be stolen and will be implemented, and that’s how we hope the Green Party can make change happen.