Idle No More's Assessment of 2015 Federal Election Party Platforms

Idle No More's intention in the release of this document is to make the information available to those who understand that voting is simply one tool in our toolbox, and a method of harm reduction to stand against the policies of a colonial government that directly affect our lives.

Idle No More will continue to support the work of communities across these lands facing colonial environmental violence.

In solidarity with Indigenous nations, communities, and grassroots resistance: first and foremost, our allegiance is to these lands, these waters, and the future of our planet.


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Pipelines, Tar Sands, Oil and Gas Mining

Conservative: Supports Enbridge Northern Gateway, supports TransCanada Energy East. (source 1, 2, 3)

"Expanding our pipeline network is critical for Canada to access global markets for its oil and gas. Canada’s biggest customer, the United States, has increased its own domestic production of crude oil, and the International Energy Agency projects it will be the world’s biggest oil producer by 2020. At the same time, Asian markets and other emerging economies are increasing their demand. Canadian crude has recently been selling at a significant discount due to insufficient access to global markets. Building the infrastructure to move our energy products to global markets will help us overcome these challenges."

Source: Enhancing Pipeline Safety

Green: opposes any and all pipeline developments

"The Green Party is the only party opposing any and all current pipeline plans. We will oppose any and all pipeline proposals committed to shipping raw bitumen out of Canada. We must move to a national energy policy with a strong climate plan."

Source: Pipeline Politics

Liberal: Supports the Keystone XL pipeline, but has also said the current federal pipeline review process is not strict enough. (source 1, 2, 3)

"Pipelines are an important part of the infrastructure necessary to move Canada’s energy resources to domestic and global market. When planned and executed with appropriate expert, environmental and community consultation, they are safer for the environment and communities than other delivery methods such as rail. Canada does not need to make a choice between protecting the environment and growing our economy. "

Source: Liberal Party statement to Vote Compass

NDP: opposes the Keystone XL pipeline. He has also said other pipeline projects such as Energy East should be approved only if they are “consistent” with Canada’s emissions-reduction targets. (source 1, 2, 3)

[NDP Leader Tom Mulcair:] “What we especially said in the case of Northern Gateway — and I got a chance to visit the Douglas Channel — was there was no safe way to bring those large super tankers into that narrow channel. That just doesn’t make any sense. What I have said in the case of Keystone XL — you just heard me repeat it — part of sustainable development is creating those value-added jobs in your own country. You don’t export them to another country. […] With regard to Energy East, it could be a win-win-win: better price for the producers, more royalties for the producing province. It could also help create those jobs in Canada. And of course it could help with Canada’s own energy security.

Source: Maclean’s National Leaders Debate 2015



Environmental Protection, carbon tax, greenhouse gas emissions:


Conservative: Harper praised Abbott for his work as chair of the G20, as well as for ending Australia's carbon tax. "You've used this international platform to encourage our counterparts in the major economies and beyond to boost economic growth, to lower taxes when possible and to eliminate harmful ones, most notably the job-killing carbon tax," Harper said.

Source: Tony Abbott, Stephen Harper take hard line against carbon tax


Prime Minister Stephen Harper made it clear today that Canada will not regulate emissions from the oil and gas industry ahead of the United States. Harper took the unusual step of answering a question in Parliament about the environment, something he usually leaves to ministers or parliamentary secretaries. [...] "Under the current circumstances of the oil and gas sector, it would be crazy, it would be crazy economic policy to do unilateral penalties on that sector. We're clearly not going to do it," Harper said in question period. "This government has been clear that we want to see oil and gas regulations on a continental basis, given the integrated nature of the industry," he said. "With the current conditions in the oil and gas sector, this government will not consider unilateral regulation of that sector."

Source: Stephen Harper says oil and gas regulations now would be 'crazy'


Green: [Green Party MPs will:] Apply escalating Carbon Fee and Dividend to all CO2, methane, N2O, fugitive, and other GHG emissions; [...] Apply a carbon fee to all producers of fossil fuels, redistributed as a dividend to every Canadian […]

Source: 2.1.11 Fossil fuels


"The Green Party believes Canada should commit to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% below 2005 levels by 2025. Our long-term target should be to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, with further cuts to greenhouse gas emissions of at least 80% to 90%, compared to 1990."

Source: Green Party’s Climate Change Plan


Liberal:"Canada will establish emissions-reduction targets, informed by the best economic and scientific analysis. All provinces and territories will have to do their share. But let’s be honest: targets aren’t enough – we need effective policies to be put in place so we can meet them. So we will set a national standard in partnership with provinces and territories, one that gives them the flexibility to design their own policies to achieve those targets, including their own carbon pricing policies. And we will provide targeted federal funding to help the provinces and territories achieve their goals, in the same way that federal funding through the Canada Health Transfer is designed to support provinces and territories in achieving the goals of the Canada Health Act."

Source: Justin Trudeau pitches a medicare approach to fight climate change in Canada


As Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau will attend the December 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, and will invite all Premiers to join him. Within 90 days of the conference, a First Ministers meeting will be held to work together on a framework to combat climate change. Central to this will be the creation of national emissions-reduction targets, informed by the best economic and scientific analysis. These targets must recognise the economic cost and catastrophic impact that a greater-than two-degree increase in average global temperatures would represent, as well as the necessity for Canada to do its part to prevent that from happening. We believe that Harper’s targets are inadequate and meaningless without a plan to achieve them.

Source: A New Plan for Canada's Environment and Economy: 1 - Taking Action on Climate Change


NDP:New Democrats believe in: Creating a revenue-generating carbon market to ensure industry reduces greenhouse gas emissions to targets set by government.

Source: NDP Policy

NDP Urban Affairs critic Matthew Kellway (Beaches – East York) is urging all MPs to support his bill, The Climate Change Accountability Act, which sets out real action to reduce emissions and combat climate change. “I’m proud to continue Jack Layton’s fight for a clean environment and serious action on climate change,” said Kellway. “Successive Conservative and Liberal inaction has hurt our environment and failed to take advantage of opportunities in the new energy economy.” Bill C-619 proposes national emissions reduction targets as part of the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change. It also includes accountability mechanisms to ensure these targets are met.

Source: House debates NDP bill to cut emissions and make polluters pay



Indigenous Sovereignty. Comprehensive/Specific land claims, Self Governance


Conservative: Prime Minister Stephen Harper signaled Tuesday his government would not be implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People despite a call for the move from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) report released earlier in the day. Harper also refused to back the conclusion of the commission which determined Indian residential schools were a main tool used by the Canadian government in its policy of cultural genocide against Indigenous peoples. (Source: 1, 2, 3)


"First Nation communities must have the flexibility to determine for themselves, whether and how free market principles (such as individual property ownership) should apply to reserve lands. Self-government should be accomplished in a manner which takes into account the cultural and linguistic diversity of Canada’s First Nations. Within the context of the Canadian Constitution, we should be prepared to make flexible accommodations for the protection of language and culture within self-government agreements." (Source 1)


Green:[Green Party Leader Elizabeth May:] The report outlines recommendations for actions that touch all jurisdictions, all policy areas and all Canadians. Although the last residential school closed in 1996, their devastating effects remain. Canada consistently ranks in the top ten of the UN Human Development Index, but First Nations rank 63 rd or lower. These recommendations give us the means to work with aboriginal communities to begin to overcome the historical and ongoing injustices of brutal colonialism and cultural genocide. We can, and must, all take action to redress the legacy of residential schools. (Source: 1, 2, 3)


[Green Party MPs will:] Honour Canada’s fiduciary responsibility, treaty rights, and other rights of Aboriginal peoples, including their inherent rights of self-government; (Source: 1)


Liberal:[Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau:] "Though the Commission’s work is coming to a close, this moment represents a beginning, not an end. As the TRC’s report and recommendations note, it is time to act, without delay, to advance the process of reconciliation, and rebuild Canada’s relationship with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples based on rights, respect, cooperation, and the standards of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Meaningful reconciliation will only come when we live up to our past promises and ensure the equality of opportunity required to create a fair and prosperous shared future. On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary Caucus, I affirm our unwavering support for the TRC’s recommendations, and call on the Government of Canada to take immediate action to implement them." (Source: 1, 2, 3)


"Reconciliation starts with recognizing and respecting Aboriginal title and rights, including Treaty rights […] To this end, we will conduct a full review of the legislation unilaterally imposed on Aboriginal Peoples by Stephen Harper’s government, through the lens of section 35 of the Constitution […] This Reconciliation Framework will also include mechanisms to resolve grievances associated with existing historical treaties and modern land-claims agreements. The current process simply does not work. We will work with First Nations to re-design how Canada negotiates and fully implements modern treaties." (Source: 1)


NDP:"Canada must show leadership and we must ensure that formal apologies made in 2008 were not in vain. The government must act immediately in the areas of education, child protection and health services in order to put an end to the inequalities and sorry legacy of residential schools. We are determined to act upon the report of the Commission. We will consult with Indigenous people and establish which of the recommendations require the most pressing attention." (Source: 1, 2, 3,)


New Democrats believe in: […] Working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to implement self-government. (Source: 1, 2, 3)



Middle East


Conservative:"I believe that Canadians realize that we cannot stand on the sidelines while ISIL commits atrocities in the Middle East and promotes terrorism in Canada and against our allies. We are therefore seeking the support of Canadian parliamentarians for our decision to extend and expand Canada’s military mission, with our allies, to fight Islamic jihadism which threatens national and global security. We intend to continue to degrade and disrupt ISIL as well as provide humanitarian and stabilization support to help alleviate the suffering this terrorist group is inflicting."


Source: PM announces motion to extend and expand Canada’s military mission against ISIL

Green:"The Green Party opposes the current Canadian mission in Iraq and now Syria. Through its failure to understand the worldview of ISIS, the Conservative government has engaged Canada in military operations of uncertain scope and purpose which are not in Canada’s national interest and do little to strengthen global peace and security."

Source: Work for peace: Canada as a global leader


Liberal:"Canada has an interest in training and helping Iraqi forces to fight and defeat ISIL, but we should not fight this war for them. We should not drift deeper and deeper into a civil war that may well go on for a very long time. Our position is clear: Canada has a huge role to play in the fight against Isis by training Iraqi forces behind wire and alleviating the growing humanitarian crisis that threatens to swamp neighbouring countries."

Source: Justin Trudeau on extending the combat mission in Iraq and expanding into Syria


NDP:"Our choice is between this Prime Minister’s ever-expanding war. Or, New Democrats’ focus on a robust and effective humanitarian role. Canadians will have that choice. A new government. A new mandate. In October 2015, New Democrats will immediately end this war."

Source: For the record: Tom Mulcair on the fight against ISIS


Substance Use, Harm Reduction

Conservative: Do not support safe injection sites

Stymied by the Supreme Court in its efforts to shut down a supervised injection site for drug addicts in Vancouver, the Harper government is making it more difficult for the clinics to open elsewhere in the country. Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq tabled a bill in Parliament on Thursday that would require the federal government to consider a range of factors, including the views of police, provincial ministers and local government officials before granting the exemption to drug laws that allows the clinics to operate. “Our government believes that creating a location for sanctioned use of drugs obtained from illicit sources has the potential for great harm in the community,” Ms. Aglukkaq said in a statement. “Accordingly, we believe that the application process needs to be changed to create formal opportunities for local voices to be heard and their views considered before an exemption would be granted.”

Source: Harper government to throw up roadblocks for supervised injection sites


Green: Support safe injection sites

[Green Party MPs will:] Provide increased funding to safe injection sites, treatment facilities, and addict rehabilitation.

Source: 4.9 Ending the war on drugs


Liberal: Support safe injection sites

"The Liberal Party of Canada supports evidence-based policies that reduce harm and protect public safety. Supervised injection sites are shown to decrease the risk of death and disease for those living with addiction and mental illness, reduce crime, and protect public safety. In 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada ordered that the government allow InSite to operate, and directed that the government must respect the law and the Charter by balancing public health and public safety when reviewing future applications for future harm reduction facilities. Instead of respecting the Court’s decision, the government has now introduced legislation that attempts to block further supervised injection sites from being established in Canada."

Source: Justin Trudeau tells UBC students he wants supervised injection sites across Canada


NDP: Support safe injection sites

"Safe injection sites are one way we can help save lives, treat people who suffer from a disease, help people reorient their lives, improve the quality of life for community members and make our cities safer for everyone. We need less barriers to programs like the ones this bill would create. The government is getting in the way of caring for those people who need the most help."

Source: Speech on Safe Injection Sites, Bill C-2

Immigration, Refugees, Border



Conservative:Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says his government would consider banning public servants from wearing the niqab, but rejects the suggestion that recent assaults against Muslim women should stifle debate about the issue. [...] Barton asked Harper whether public servants should be allowed to wear the niqab. "That's a matter we're going to examine," Harper said. "Quebec, as you know, has legislation on this. We're looking at that legislation." Harper, whose government is taking the niqab issue to the Supreme Court, said his party is united with public opinion on this issue. "It's not by any means the biggest issue for the campaign. The biggest issue is the economy, but I think our position here is widely understood and supported."

Source: Niqab ban for public servants would be considered: Stephen Harper


Green:[The Green Party recognizes:] the rights of ethnic minorities to develop their culture, religion and language without discrimination, and to full legal, social and cultural participation in the democratic process.

Source: Respect for Diversity

Liberal:But this week, say sources close to Mr. Trudeau, the Liberal leader has grown so concerned about a pattern he sees in how the governing Tories are abandoning basic liberties that he decided it was time to call a spade a spade. He has increasingly become concerned by what he thinks is a deliberate decision by Mr. Harper to sow prejudice against Canada’s one million Muslims. And so, in a carefully written speech, Mr. Trudeau laid out why he thinks the liberties of Muslims — and of all Canadians — are at risk because of Mr. Harper’s approach.

Source: Justin Trudeau rolls dice in accusing Stephen Harper of deliberately fostering prejudice against Muslims


NDP:New Democrats believe in: Promoting the reunification of families as the main priority of the Canadian immigration policy while respecting the diversity of family models according to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms [and] an annual immigration level of 1% of the population to meet workforce needs and family reunification requests.

Source: NDP Policy


New Democrats are toning down the party’s defence of the niqab after facing criticism in Quebec on the divisive topic. NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair has repeatedly condemned the Conservative government’s efforts to ban the wearing of the face-covering veils at citizenship ceremonies. But headlines in French-language media that say NDP is “in favour of the niqab” were not well received by all New Democrats, and provided fodder for the party’s opponents in the province. [...] One of the NDP’s best known Quebec MPs, Alexandre Boulerice, gave media interviews this week to explain his “uneasiness” with the niqab. “It seems to be a symbol of oppression, which is not something that pleases me,” Mr. Boulerice told The Globe and Mail on Friday. “I think the niqab is at the junction of the limits of what is accepted by the Charter [of Rights and Freedoms] and what Canadian society is ready to accept.” He also questioned the ability of fully veiled bureaucrats to provide services to the public, stating Canada might need a country-wide consultation on religious symbols similar to one in Quebec in 2007-2008. However, he added that the Charter needs to be respected, and accused the Conservative government of “going overboard” on the issue.

Source: NDP tones down their defence of face-covering niqab in Quebec





Conservative:“Canada is unequivocally behind Israel. We support its right to defend itself, by itself, against these terror attacks, and urge Hamas to immediately cease their indiscriminate attacks on innocent Israeli civilians. “Canada reiterates its call for the Palestinian government to disarm Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups operating in Gaza, including the Iranian proxy, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

Source: Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada in response to the situation in Israel


Green: [Green Party MPs will:] Endorse the recognition of a Palestinian right to statehood within the internationally recognized borders as described in United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, and support a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict that adheres to pre-1967 borders and incorporates an international plan for stimulating economic prosperity in both nations;

Source: 5.11 The Israel – Palestine Conflict


Liberal:“Israel should be commended for having accepted the ceasefire proposal, and demonstrating its commitment to peace. The Liberal Party of Canada, and many in the international community including the United States, the U.N. Security Council, and the Palestinian Authority, had urged a ceasefire that could have ended the tragic civilian loss of life in Gaza and the suffering of Israelis under terrorist attack. “Israel has the right to defend itself and its people. Hamas is a terrorist organization and must cease its rocket attacks immediately.”

Source: Statement by Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau on the situation in Israel and Gaza


NDP:"The government must reaffirm Canada’s long-standing support for a negotiated, two-state solution respectful of international law, where Israelis and Palestinians can live in peace in viable, independent states with negotiated and agreed-upon borders."

Source: Statement by NDP leader Tom Mulcair on situation in the Middle East



Source Documents


Council of Canadians Voters Guide


Council of Canadians Youth Voters Guide


AFN Voters Guide


National Post Party Platform Guide


Huffington Post - Party Platforms on Mining


Globe and Mail - Party Platforms


EcoJustice - Assessment of Parties on Climate Change