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Five Years of Harper – Broken Promises

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2006 Conservative Platform:

1. Require ministers and senior government officials to record their contacts with lobbyists. Government Action: Broken

2. Prohibit nominated candidates or MPs seeking re-election from accepting large personal gifts. Government Action: Broken.

3. Ban the use of trust funds to finance candidates’ campaigns. Government Action: Broken. The Conservatives subjected trust funds to the limit of the registered trustee.

4. Ensure that all Officers of Parliament are confirmed through a secret ballot of all Members of Parliament. Government Action: Broken.

5. Establish a Public Appointments Commission to set merit-based requirements for appointments. Government Action: Broken. The Harper Conservatives haven’t appointed a single member, despite wasting over $1 million on the promised commission.

6. Prevent ministerial aides and other political appointees receiving favoured treatment when applying for public service positions Government Action: Broken.

7. Give the Public Service Integrity Commissioner the power to enforce compliance with the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act. Government Action: Broken. Conservative appointee Christiane Ouimet didn’t find a single case of wrongdoing amongst 228 complaints. The Auditor-General concluded that she did not discharge her duties as Integrity Commissioner.

8. Remove the government’s ability to exempt Crown corporations and other bodies from the Whistle Blower Act. Government Action: Broken. The Conservatives exempted the RCMP and other security agencies from the Act.

9. Require the prompt public disclosure of information revealed by whistleblowers. Government Action: Broken.

10. Ensure that whistleblowers have access to the courts and that they are provided with adequate legal counsel. Government Action: Broken. The Conservatives gave the Integrity Commissioner the option of granting legal assistance.

11. Establish monetary rewards for whistleblowers who expose wrongdoing or save taxpayers dollars. Government Action: Broken.

12. Require departments to provide the Parliamentary Budget Officer with the information it needs to provide accurate analyses to Parliament. Government Action: Broken.

13. Have the Auditor General audit all federal grant, contribution, and contracting policies, and a commitment to following all of her recommendations. Government Action: Broken.

14. Allow citizens, not just politicians, to make complaints to the Ethics Commissioner. Government Action: Broken.

15.Implement the Information Commissioner’s recommendations for reform of the Access to Information Act. Government Action: Broken.

16. Give the Information Commissioner the power to order the release of information. Government Action: Broken.

17. Expand Access to Information Legislation to any organization that spends taxpayers’ money. Government Action: Broken.

18. Subject the exclusion of Cabinet confidences to review by the Information Commissioner in relation to Access to Information requests. Government Action: Broken.

19. Oblige public officials to create the records necessary to document their actions and decisions. Government Action: Broken.

20. Provide a general public interest override for all exemptions, so that the public interest is put before the secrecy of the government. Government Action: Broken.

21. Ensure that all exemptions from the disclosure of government information are justified only on the basis of the harm or injury that would result from disclosure, not blanket exemption rules. Government Action: Broken.

22. Ensure that the disclosure requirements of the Access to Information Act cannot be circumvented by secrecy provisions in other federal acts, while respecting the confidentiality of national security and the privacy of personal information. Government Action: Broken. At least 50 provisions in other laws continue to override the Access to Information regime.

23. Give the Comptroller General the overall authority for the internal audit function in each government department. Government Action: Broken. Deputy Ministers remain responsible for their departmental internal audit functions.

24.When a Minister and deputy Minister disagree about administration of the department and the Minister chooses to override his deputy, the Minister must provide written direction to the deputy and alert the Auditor General. Government Action: Broken.

25. Eliminate the capital gains tax when the proceeds are reinvested within six months. Government Action: Broken.

26. Pay down the national debt by a minimum of $3 billion each year. Government Action: Broken in Budget 2008. Eliminate the capital gains tax when the proceeds are reinvested within six months. Government Action: Broken.

27. Limit the future growth of federal grant and contribution programs and federal departments to the rate of inflation plus population growth. Government Action: Broken.

28. Ensure that regional development agencies are non-politicized Government Action: Broken. The Board of ACOA is stacked with Conservative insiders and programs like RInC send far more money to Conservative ridings.

29. Replace CAIS with separate farm income stabilization and disaster relief programs that are simpler and more responsive. Government Action: Broken. The Conservatives simply changed the name of the program but farmers say it’s no easier to use.

30. Commit to adding an additional $500 million annually to farm support programs. Government Action: Broken. Although they committed the money early on, overall support for farm support programs has dropped.

31. Get the $5B in softwood lumber tariffs back. Government Action: Broken.

32. Guarantee repayment of illegally imposed softwood lumber tariffs through Export Development Canada. Government Action: Broken.

33. Extend the two hundred mile limit to the edge of the Continental Shelf, the nose and tail of the Grand Banks, and the Flemish Cap in the North Atlantic. Government Action: Broken.

34. Create mandatory consecutive sentences (instead of concurrent sentences) for select multiple violent or sexual offences. Government Action: Broken.

35.Replace statutory release (the law entitling a prisoner to parole after serving two- thirds of his sentence) with earned parole Government Action: Broken.

36.Toughen parole provisions once you have been convicted of committing a crime while on parole, and eliminate parole for life after the third such conviction. Government Action: Broken.

37. A constitutional amendment to forbid prisoners in federal institutions from voting in elections. Government Action: Broken.

38. Ensure federal corrections officers have the tools and training they require to do their job as peace officers. Government Action: Broken.

39.Create a joint national task force on security. Government Action: Broken.

40. Strict monitoring, including tracking place of residence, of high-risk individuals prohibited from owning firearms. Government Action: Broken.

41. Tighter restrictions on individuals on bail or parole for firearms offences, including the use of electronic monitoring. Government Action: Broken.

42. Crack down on gun smuggling. Government Action: Broken.

43. Improve safe storage laws for firearms. Government Action: Broken.

44. Require firearms safety training for everyone wishing to acquire and use a firearm. Government Action: Broken.

45. Eliminating exceptions to firearms prohibition orders following criminal conviction. Government Action: Broken.

46. Adopt a zero tolerance policy for child pornography, eliminating the so-called “legitimate purpose” defence. Government Action: Broken. The Conservatives only modified the use of the "legitimate purpose" defence.

47.Prohibit conditional sentences for sex offences committed against children. Government Action: Broken.

48. Allow judges to impose residency restrictions on where offenders released on peace bonds can live. Government Action: Broken.

49. Work with provinces, municipalities, police, and community leaders to ensure at risk youth reject gang and gun violence. Government Action: Broken. The government’s 2009 Evaluation Report of the Youth Gang Prevention Fund found that "Canada’s youth gang problem has escalated and continues to escalate."

50. Support results-oriented, community-based initiatives for addictions treatment, training, and rehabilitation of those in trouble with the law. Government Action: Broken.

51. Direct $50 million in funding into community-based, educational, sporting, cultural, and vocational opportunities for young people at risk. Government Action: Broken.

52. Make anyone 14 years or older who is charged with serious violent or repeat offences is automatically subject to adult sentencing provisions. Government Action: Broken.

53. Amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act to include deterrence and denunciation as mandatory sentencing principles to be considered. Government Action: Broken.

54. Restore the Canada Ports Police Government Action: Broken.

55.Name a National Security Commissioner. Government Action: Broken. Even after the Air India Inquiry recommended it.

56.Create a Canadian Foreign Intelligence Agency. Government Action: Broken.

Amend the Youth Criminal Justice Act to include deterrence and denunciation as mandatory sentencing principles to be considered. Government Action: Broken.

54. Restore the Canada Ports Police Government Action: Broken.

55. Name a National Security Commissioner. Government Action: Broken. Even after the Air India Inquiry recommended it.

56. Create a Canadian Foreign Intelligence Agency. Government Action: Broken.

57. Make the Canadian Coast Guard as a stand-alone agency. Government Action: Broken. It remains a Special Operating Agency as the previous government had made it.

58. Create a National Security Review Committee. Government Action: Broken.

59. Reopen RCMP border detachments in Québec and the West. Government Action: Broken.

60. Permit sentencing courts to order deportation following conviction on select offences and prohibit persons already ordered deported from parole eligibility before deportation. Government Action: Broken.

61. Create evidence-based benchmarks for medically acceptable wait times, starting with cancer, heart, diagnostic imaging procedures, joint replacements, and sight restoration are established as soon as possible, as promised in the Health Accord. Government Action: Broken.

62. Ensure Canadians get regular reports on progress towards meeting these wait-time targets, as promised in the Health Accord. Government Action: Broken.

63. Increase the numbers of, and expand educational programs for doctors, nurses, and other health professionals. Government Action: Broken.

64. Allow patients who can’t be treated within an acceptable amount of time to be treated in other jurisdictions. Government Action: Broken.

65. Improve access to natural and complementary health products and supplements. Government Action: Broken. Bill C-36 reduces access.

66. Introduce a National Disability Act. Government Action: Broken.

67. Create 125,000 childcare spaces. Government Action: Broken.

68. Not tax income trusts Government Action: Broken.

69. Increase the Pension Income Amount to $2,500 in five years. Government Action: Broken.

70. Remove postsecondary education funding from the Canada Social Transfer and create an independent Canada Education and Training Transfer. Government Action: Broken.

71.Spend at least one percent of total federal health funding annually on physical activity, including amateur sport and programs for school age children. Government Action: Broken.

Increase the numbers of, and expand educational programs for doctors, nurses, and other health professionals. Government Action: Broken.

72. Allow all cities and communities, including cities with more than 500,000 people, to use gas tax transfer dollars to build and repair roads and bridges to improve road safety and fight traffic congestion. Government Action: Broken.

73. Develop a national Road Congestion Index to track progress in reducing road congestion. Government Action: Broken.

74. Develop tax incentives for developers to build affordable housing. Government Action: Broken.

75. Develop a strategy for greenhouse gas emissions in concert with the provinces. Government Action: Broken.

76. Create a Canadian Agency for Assessment and Recognition of Credentials, to provide pre-assessment of international credentials and experience. Government Action: Broken. The Conservatives created a Foreign Credentials Referral Office with a much narrower mandate.

77. Accept the targets agreed upon at the recent Meeting of First Ministers and National Aboriginal Leaders and work to achieving the Kelowna Accord’s targets. Government Action: Broken.

78. Let aboriginal parents choose the schooling they want for their children, with funding following the students. Government Action: Broken.

79. Replace the Indian Act (and related legislation) with a modern legislative framework which provides for the devolution of full legal and democratic responsibility to aboriginal Canadians. Government Action: Broken.

80. Implement the resolution of the House of Commons to acknowledge the historic inequality of treatment and compensation for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit war veterans, and provide compensation to them. Government Action: Broken.

81. Support the important contribution the Council of the Federation is making to Support the important contribution the Council of the Federation is making to strengthening intergovernmental and inter-provincial cooperation. Government Action: Broken. Stephen Harper has still not participated in a single Council of the Federation meeting.

82. Ensure that all new federal-provincial cost shared programs have an opt out with compensation option. Government Action: Broken.

83. Achieve permanent changes to the equalization formula. Government Action: Broken. The “permanent” changes lasted one year before they were changed again.

84. Support the Official Languages Act, ensuring that English and French have equality of status and equal rights and privileges as to their use in all institutions of the Parliament and Government of Canada. Government Action: Broken. A report from the Commissioner of Official Languages says the government is not providing the necessary leadership to protect language rights.

85. Propose an amendment to the Constitution to include the right to own property, as well as guarantee that no person shall be deprived of their just right without the due process of law and full, just, and timely compensation. Government Action: Broken.

86. Ensure that full, just, and timely compensation will be paid to all persons who are deprived of personal or private property as a result of any federal government initiative. Government Action: Broken.

87. Create a national process for choosing elected Senators from each province and territory. Government Action: Broken.

88. Make the Senate an effective, independent, and democratically elected body that equitably represents all regions. Government Action: Broken.

89. Establish fixed election dates every four years, except when a government loses the confidence of the House. Government Action: Broken. Stephen Harper broke his own fixed election law in 2008.

90. Make all votes in Parliament, except the budget and main estimates, “free votes” for ordinary Members of Parliament. Government Action: Broken.

91. Increase the power of Parliament and parliamentary committees to review the spending estimates of departments and hold ministers to account. Government Action: Broken.

92. Ensure that party nomination and leadership races are conducted in a fair, transparent, and democratic manner. Government Action: Broken. The Conservative Party continues to trample on local riding associations such as Calgary West and Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette.

93. Prevent party leaders from appointing candidates without the democratic consent of local electoral district associations. Government Action: Broken.

94. Advance Canada’s interests through foreign aid, while at the same time holding those agencies involved in this area accountable for its distribution and results. Government Action: Broken. Despite CIDA’s recommendation to continue funding numerous NGOs the Conservatives cut them without an explanation.

95. Increase spending on Overseas Development Assistance beyond the currently projected level and move towards the OECD average level. Government Action: Broken. Once the projected level was achieved they froze the international assistance envelope.

96. Make Parliament responsible for exercising oversight over the conduct of Canadian foreign policy. Government Action: Broken.

97. Complete the transformation of military operations and defence administration. Government Action: Broken.

98. Recruit 13,000 additional regular forces and 10,000 additional reserve forces personnel. Government Action: Broken.

99. Reduce defence rank structure overhead, review civilian and military HQ functions, and increase front-line personnel. Government Action: Broken. While regular force personnel have increased 9.7% civilian staff at National Defence have increased 31.9%

100. Treat Canada’s veterans with the respect and honour that they deserve. Government Action: Broken. From drastically paring down their promise of $3 billion to veterans exposed to Agent Orange to failing to fix the lump sum payment system for severally wounded modern day veterans, the Conservatives have let down veterans both young and old.

101. Explore the possibility of appointing special envoys between Canada and the United States to chart a course for the future of NAFTA Government Action: Broken.

102. Reassert Canada’s traditional leadership in negotiating the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

Government Action: Broken. Canada was barely visible at the Fifth Summit of the Americas in 2009.

2008 Conservative Platform:

103. Reducing Taxes on Diesel Fuels. Government Action: Broken.

104. Restricting Unfair Text Messaging Charges. Government Action: Broken.

105. Ensure that any regulation of natural health products balances the protection of Canadians’ health and safety with the freedom to choose alternative products. Government Action: Broken.

106. Allow families where one spouse is not working full-time in order to care for one or more family members with disabilities – whether children or adults – to split their income between spouses for tax purposes. Government Action: Broken.

107. Fully index the $100 per month Universal Child Care Benefit to inflation. This will ensure that the value of the benefit does not erode over time. Government Action: Broken.

108. Ensure that Aboriginals have the opportunity to fully participate in Canada’s economy and society. Government Action: Broken.

109. Work with the private sector and small business organizations to identify inefficiencies and make permanent a formal process of measuring, reporting and reducing the burden on businesses.

Government Action: Broken. The Red Tape Reduction Commission announced in January 2011 has yet to produce meaningful results.

110. The government has already established two new funds – the $900-million Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative and the $250-million Automotive Innovation Fund. These funds emphasize leading-edge technology and innovation to ensure that Canada remains a world leader in these industries. Unlike previous governments, a Harper Government will ensure that taxpayers’ investments are repaid. Government Action: Broken.

111. Committed to implementing the reforms contained in the 2008 Budget to reduce the immigration processing backlog and to expedite applications from people with the skills and professions most in demand in Canada. Government Action: Broken. The immigration processing backlog has increased by 145,000 under the Conservatives.

112. Modernize the administration of our fisheries to ensure greater focus on conservation and using administrative sanctions, rather than court proceedings, to deal with violations. Government Action: Broken. The new Fisheries Act died when Stephen Harper called an early election in 2008 – the bill has not been re-introduced.

113. Work with Western Canadian grain farmers to ensure that the results of the barley plebiscite are respected and that they are given the freedom to choose whether to sell grain on the open market or through the Canadian Wheat Board. Government Action: Broken.

114. Reaffirming the Ban on the Bulk Transfer of Water. Government Action: Broken.

115. Make biofuels and renewable energy a key part of our environmental and energy strategy. Government Action: Broken. Canada lags other countries, like the Unites-States, in renewable energy investments.

116. Assert Canada’s rights over our Arctic waters, including the Northwest Passage Government Action: Broken. The Conservatives released yet another “Arctic strategy” in 2010 while failing to fulfill their past promises for the North. They continue to insult the people of the North with more empty promises and rhetoric.

117. Reforming or Abolishing the Senate. Government Action: Broken. Stephen Harper broke his pledge to only appoint elected Senators, instead he appointed 38 Senators -all Conservatives -just since the last election.

118. Continue to reform appointments to federal agencies, boards, commissions and Crown corporations. Government Action: Broken. After riding into town on the white horse of accountability, Stephen Harper continued appointing Conservative insiders to the Senate, courts, and government boards and agencies – bringing the total to nearly 400 partisan appointees since the 2008 election.

119. Ensure that appointees to federal agencies, boards, commissions and Crown corporations reflect the diversity of Canada in language, gender, region, age and ethnicity. Government Action: Broken. Figures show that when the Conservatives took over in 2006, the percentage of women appointed to Governor-in-Council positions began to drop. While the figure was about 37 percent from 2002 to December 2005, it dropped to 32.5 percent from February 2006 to May 2010.

120. Appoint members to the Public Appointments Commission. Government Action: Broken. The Harper Conservatives haven’t appointed a single member, despite wasting over $1 million on the promised commission.

121. Ending Insider Loans to Political Candidates. Government Action: Broken. The on servitudes tabled Bill C-19 in March 2010 but never moved forward.

122. Respecting the Provinces and Territories, Establishing a Charter of Open Federalism. Government Action: Broken. The Conservatives have quietly dropped any talk of a Charter of Open Federalism.

123. Limiting the Federal Spending Power. Government Action: Broken.

124. Create a new, refundable tax credit on up to $500 of eligible fees for children under 16 who participate in eligible arts or cultural activities, such as music lessons, drama or art classes. Government Action: Broken.

125. Enhance the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit by making it refundable. Government Action: Broken.

126. Committed to a Canada First Defence Strategy that will provide predictable growth for Canada’s defence budget, increase the size of our forces to 70,000 regular and 30,000 reserves. Government Action: Broken.

127. Ensure that we acquire the ships, aircraft, vehicles and other equipment our Forces need in a manner that ensures our troops have the best possible equipment and that taxpayers’ dollars are prudently spent. Government Action: Broken. After promising an open and transparent competition to replace Canada’s CF-18s, the Conservatives flip-flopped and announced that

Canada would purchase 65 F-35s without holding a competition – costing taxpayers at least $30 billion.

128. Leverage these dramatic increases in defence procurement to ensure that new high technology jobs are created in Canada through a combination of buying Canadian-made defence equipment and securing high-value industrial benefits when equipment is purchased abroad. Government Action: Broken.

129. A re-elected Conservative Government led by Stephen Harper will continue to improve the lives of Canada’s veterans. Government Action: Broken. From drastically paring down their promise of $3 billion to veterans exposed to Agent Orange to failing to fix the lump sum payment system for severally wounded modern day veterans, the Conservatives have let down veterans both young and old.

130. Increase funeral and burial assistance rates for veterans to bring the rates for veterans in line with those of active duty Canadian Forces and RCMP officers. Government Action: Broken.

131. Make the promotion of Canada’s democratic values on the world stage a major focus of our foreign policy. We will establish a new, non-partisan democracy promotion agency that will help emerging democracies build democratic institutions and support peaceful democratic change in repressive countries. Government Action: Broken. The Conservatives failed to create the new agency.

132. Implement our Turning the Corner action plan to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in absolute terms by 20 per cent over 2006 levels by 2020. Government Action: Broken. From Copenhagen to Cancun, the Conservatives consistently block progress on climate change.

133. Work with the provinces and territories and our NAFTA trading partners in the United States and Mexico, at both the national and state levels, to develop and implement a North America-wide cap and trade system for greenhouse gases and air pollution, with implementation to occur between 2012 and 2015. Government Action: Broken. The Environment Commissioner issued a damning

report on the Conservatives’ total abdication of responsibility when it comes to adapting to the harmful effects of climate change.

134. Proceed with an impartial third party investigation of the recent listeriosis outbreak. Government Action: Broken. Despite assurances from the PMO that Sheila Weatherill’s listeriosis report would be released unedited and without interference, key alterations were made to her findings, including the elimination of her finding that the crisis was “preventable.”

135. Continue to take creative measures to tackle major lung, heart and neurological diseases.Government Action: Broken.

136. Work toward bringing an end to discriminatory life insurance practices. Government Action: Broken.

137. Take additional steps to ensure that Canada’s communities and hospitals have more doctors and nurses where they are most needed. Government Action: Broken.

138. Extend the benefit of the existing Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and the new Children’s Art Tax Credit to lower income families that pay little or no income tax by making both credits fully refundable. Government Action: Broken.

139. Replace the automatic release of prisoners after serving two-thirds of their sentence with earned parole for behaviour and rehabilitation in prison. Government Action: Broken. The legislation was killed by prorogation and still hasn’t been implemented.

140. Amend the Criminal Code to make sure that serious crimes, including serious property offences, are not eligible for house arrest. Government Action: Broken. The legislation was killed by prorogation and still hasn’t been implemented.

141. Allow Canadians who have been affected by terrorism to sue the sponsors of terrorist organizations, including recovering funds from states that are designated as sponsors of terrorism. Government Action: Broken. The legislation was killed by prorogation and still hasn’t been implemented.

142. Continue efforts to change Canada’s drug laws to ensure that serious drug crimes, such as trafficking and running large cannabis grow operations or crystal methamphetamine labs, face mandatory prison sentences. Government Action: Broken.

143. Amend the Criminal Code to make the pregnancy of a woman an aggravating factor in sentencing if a woman is assaulted or killed. Government Action: Broken.

144. A Conservative Government will not initiate or support any legislation to regulate abortion. Government Action: Broken. The Conservative government further isolated Canada from the rest of the developed world and breaking with 25 years of Canadian tradition through its refusal to include the full range of family planning options in its maternal and infant health initiative.

145. Abolish conditional sentences and introduce mandatory prison sentences for impaired driving causing bodily harm or death. Government Action: Broken. Legislation to this effect was introduced in 2007 and passed the House committee but never advanced by the government.

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This entry was posted on April 21, 2011 by in Market Conditions, Political Comment and tagged , .

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