Sep. 1, 2021

Things you won’t hear during the election campaign

Bumping up the personal tax exemptions – There is no easier or quicker way to leave more money in the pockets of low income earners and the working poor. We need to acknowledge that they are doing their best to earn their way. Bumping up the exemption for a single person from the current $13,808 to $18,500 would alleviate a lot of needles suffering.

Simplify the personal tax system – Our graded tax system is based on those with higher incomes paying more which is an issue to be considered separately, but the system has become a nightmare of special treatments of income other than wages and complex deductions for special expenses. We need a simple system where incomes of $200,000 an under are taxed at a flat rate of 12.5%.

Ensuring a politically neural judiciary – Our judiciary must be politically neutral. That cannot happen while Prime Ministers appoint judges. The appointment of judges must be moved to the Governor General’s realm.

Ensuring a politically neutral Privy Council and civil service – The Privy Council must be restored to the Governor General’s realm as required by the constitution.

Banning foreign-funded non-profit organizations – We are allowing non-profit organizations funded by foreigners to interfere in our election and governance processes. That is insane.

Strengthening ethics codes and conflict of interest laws  Members of Parliament found in violation of ethics or conflict of interest laws must be banned from holding any appointed office, but may continue to hold elected office. Unelected government or political staff found in violation must be dismissed with cause.

Putting brakes on foreign aid – Spending on foreign aid must have the express approval of parliament. It is not a matter for departmental or PMO discretion.

Continuation of membership in the United Nations – Continued membership in the United Nations and its agencies with a clear breakdown of costs must be approved by parliament every three years.

Standardized budgets and reports – We must develop a standardized budget framework broken down by agency and department that is reasonably easy to follow and allows year to year comparisons. Current budgets are a sales brochure for the incumbent government and that practice must end.

Parliamentary Committees – Parliamentary committees should be populated based on proportions of the popular vote rather than on elected seats. The real work of parliament is done at committee level. House debates are window dressing.

Rejuvenate the Oil and Gas Sector  We need the employment that rejuvenation of the sector and its supply lines will provide. We need the income from exports to finance improved health care. Resource development and environmental controls are in the provincial domain. The federal government has the authority to override provincial regulations that inhibit projects for the benefit of other provinces and/or Canada as a whole. Rescind federal environmental laws aimed at closing down primary resource development.

Stop all direct and indirect funding to corporations – The federal governments job is to create a corporation friendly business environment and avoid picking corporate winners. Choosing corporations or sectors to subsidize or support drives away competition resulting in higher prices. We do not need to add to inflationary pressures.

Restore merit-based civil service appointments and promotions – All appointments and promotions below deputy minister level must be based on merit excluding all discrimination prohibited under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

Repeal the Official Languages Act – The Official languages act was introduced in 1985 after the 1982 constitution substantially broadened French language protection. In the 36 years following, there were 15 amendment to the legislation. Civil service appointments belong under the realm of the Governor General’s Privy Council. Having a politically appointed language commissioner interfere with the operations and appointments of a politically neutral Privy Council is absurd. Language equality does not translate to political equality.

Stop use of the term “zero tolerance” – The concept of declaring someone guilty on accusation is unacceptable. Our justice system demands that an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Political opportunism cannot be allowed to override the legal rights of an accused embodied in our constitution.

Separate the positions of Solicitor General and Justice Minister – The Solicitor General is the highest government position in our judicial system. The position must be politically neutral and the Solicitor General free to prosecute government personnel if he deems that necessary. The Solicitor General cannot sit in the government cabinet and remain neutral.

Restructure the Senate – Constitutionally the senate is divided into four regions; the West, Ontario, Quebec and the East, each with 24 seats. The job of senators is to review legislation passed by the commons and ensure that it is not detrimental to the region they represent. It was not envisioned as a political entity. There is no legal impediment to restructuring the senate in accordance with the constitution.