Top 10 Federal Priorities

Canada’s Top 10 Federal Priorities for 2019

Many of you have told me about the everyday challenges you face and how you are worried about your future. The federal government has an important role in addressing many of those challenges and shaping a better future. Our federal government must be bold as it builds our nation for tomorrow while balancing the current needs of its citizens such as effectively providing federal services and governing the country. Your economic security depends upon a government that sets the right priorities and strong federal leadership that delivers on them. As 2018 came to a close, we made a list of Canada’s Top 10 Priorities for 2019.

I asked constituents to fill out a survey to rank Canada’s Top 10 Federal Priorities and let us know where they think the government should focus its attention and spend its time and money in 2019. See how the residents of Aurora–Oak Ridges–Richmond Hill ranked the priorities with details on each priority below. Provide me with your feedback at leona.alleslev@parl.gc.ca!

 Canada’s Top 10 Federal Priorities

The Priorities

#1 – Balance the Budget and Manage Government Finances –The deficit will reach $31 Billion by 2020 and Canada’s market debt is over $1 Trillion. More spending today means severe cuts to federal programs, increased taxes, job cuts and federal pension risk tomorrow

#2 – Make Canada Competitive –Foreign capital investment is rapidly leaving Canada and multi-national corporations like GM and Bombardier are closing assembly lines and laying off workers. Canada must reverse this trend and focus on creating the conditions that attract and retain these industries such as reforming tax structures, regulatory frameworks, and trade agreements.

#3 – Achieve Energy Security –Canada has enough energy and natural resources to be self-sufficient and therefore, we do not need to be dependent upon foreign regimes. Instead, our current situation has Canadians selling our oil at a punishing discount while we pay a premium to import foreign oil from countries that have questionable human rights policies and significantly lower environmental regulations than ours. Canada needs to achieve energy security not only by building a pipeline but having a comprehensive national resource plan that ensures that we are not at the mercy of foreign nations to meet our energy and natural resource needs.

#4 – Federal Leaders with Ethics and Integrity –Canadians value democracy, integrity and the rule of law; they expect their federal leaders to hold themselves to a high ethical standard. However, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and a number of Federal Ministers have undermined public confidence in them and the federal government as an institution with violations ranging from receiving inappropriate gifts to not disclosing conflict of interest information, to awarding contracts to family members. Canada must have elected officials that reflect our values of honour and integrity.

#5 – Invest and Maintain Federal Infrastructure – Federal infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports, and seaports ensure people and goods get to market and builds Canada for the future. Without this spending, Canada loses trade revenue and foreign companies choose not to grow in Canada. In addition, existing federal infrastructure such as dams and bridges are in desperate need of maintenance and refurbishment. Budget 2018 revealed that the federal government didn’t spend the money they promised on planned infrastructure and they have delayed $3.6 Billion in infrastructure to future years.

#6 – Deliver Modern, Fair and Efficient Federal Government Services – Canadians find it difficult to deal with federal government departments like Revenue Canada, Immigration, and Service Canada, and often highlight that the services are not relevant, responsive or consistent. Canadians often feel that government rules are not fairly enforced and that as consumers they are not being adequately protected from predatory practices. Further, Canadians worry about the future of employment due to the increasingly precarious nature of work, pensions and unevenly applied labour rules.

# 7 – Commit to Canada’s Defence & Security – The issues to the state of our Armed forces is extensive, examples of which are: spending on new equipment for Canada’s Armed Forces is $2.5B less than planned; the procurement of new fighter aircraft has been delayed in favour of purchasing used Australian F-18s that are older than ours and will be expensive or next to impossible to maintain; the arrival of new ships has been further delayed beyond 2024; cyber security and defence of our government, companies and individuals is weak as we have seen by recent news of the Chinese corporate thefts and other nation state nefarious cyber activities; and Canada is not honouring its commitment to our citizens and our NATO allies to keep Canada safe and be a reliable ally.  Additionally, the US has imposed punishing tariffs on steel and aluminum citing that we are a threat to their national security.

#8 – Informed Foreign Policy – Canadians are distressed as they witness a pattern of undiplomatic behavior as shown by our Prime Minister’s India Trip and Foreign Affairs Minister’s flippant diplomacy by tweet. Foreign Policy is complex and as a mid-size power, Canada must understand not only what our values are, but also what is at stake in our economic, trade and foreign relationships. Canada must have a comprehensive and informed foreign policy that balances our values with sovereignty, economic security andinternational alliances.

#9 Preserve the Environment – Implementing a punishing carbon tax that has shown not to be successful in reducing green house gases in other regions will not help the environment  – but it will hurt our economy.  Taxing the use of fossil fuels without providing viable alternatives is punitive – pure and simple. Canada needs an environmental plan that is more than just a tax or a form of income redistribution. We need a plan that also addresses waste, water pollutants, plastics, etc. and ensures that Canadian products are fairly treated when compared with those coming from countries with lower environmental regulations.

#10 – Nation Build – An Arctic Strategy & Digital Infrastructure – After 150 years since confederation Canada now needs to have a big bold vision for where the country will go for the next 150 years. In 1867, Canada built a railway, uniting the country from east to west and providing the foundation for the economic prosperity that followed. Today we need to build a 21st century “railway”: a secure and sovereign digital highway, while also developing our Arctic in the same way we built the west. Canada must have the courage to continue to build our grand nation for the economic prosperity and security of the next 150 years.

If you did not get a chance to complete the survey, click here to take the survey.