Snapshot of new, noteworthy items in Liberal platform

·3 min read

OTTAWA — The Liberal Party of Canada released its fully-costed platform Wednesday, with a list of promises that straddles three pages — 103 that cost money, and nine that raise new revenues.

Here's a snapshot of some of the new spending promises in the platform with their cost.

Residential schools and colonialism

- Increase spending on a distinctions-based mental health and wellness strategy, guided by communities, survivors and their families: $100 million this year, and $325 million annually after that.

- Any support necessary for further searches of unmarked burial sites.

- Create a permanent home for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation: $60 million next year and $5 million a year after that.

Student Loans

- Permanently eliminate interest on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans after the two-year moratorium on interest expires in 2023: $538 million in 2023-24, $551 million in 2024-25, and $565 million in 2025-26.

- Allow new parents to pause repayment of student loans until their youngest child is five years old: $300 million by year four.

Expanding employment insurance for self-employed

- A new EI benefit for self-employed people would begin in 2023, replacing the existing system with one where self-employed workers only pay the employee portion of the EI contribution requirement, but would then see a claw back of what they earn when they return to work: $263 in the first year, rising to $375 million by the fourth year.

Nutrition for kids

- Create a national school food policy and nutritious meal program for schools: $200 million a year starting in 2023.

- Introduce new restrictions and new labelling requirements for marketing food to kids.

Opioids

- A comprehensive strategy to end the opioid crisis, including public education to reduce stigma of addictions, help the provinces and territories provide evidence-based treatment, create standards for substance abuse treatment, and reform the Criminal Code to eliminate mandatory minimums for low-risk and first-time offenders: $255 million this year and next, $5 million a year after that.

Canada Financial Crimes Agency

- Establish Canada's first nation-wide agency to investigate financial crimes including fraud, insider trading, organized crime, and money laundering. The agency will bring under one roof existing RCMP resources for these investigations, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre, and the Canada Revenue Agency: $200 million over four years starting in 2022-23.

New and expanded tax credits

- For teachers who buy supplies for their classrooms, the refundable tax credit will go from 15 per cent to 25 per cent and add technology to eligible costs: $7 million a year.

- Extending for another two years, and increasing from $400 to $500, the Home Expense deduction for people who work at home and buy things to support that like new office equipment: $265 million in 2021-22 and $133 million in 2022-23.

- A Career Extension Tax Credit of up to $1,650 a year: $161 million this year, growing to $644 million the first full year, and $653 million by year five.

Reforming the RCMP

- Improve management and oversight of the RCMP, including clear timelines for the force having to comply with recommendations from the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission.

- Bar the RCMP from using the "neck restraint" choke hold, and from using tear gas or rubber bullets as crowd control measures, conduct a full external review of existing de-escalation training, and better connect the RCMP to community social support workers.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

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