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Election Campaign Pulse 2015

Toronto Region Board of Trade continues to put our Members’ issues front and centre. To understand how the four main federal parties will address your issues we asked them to speak to you directly about their plans to enhance our region’s business competitiveness and quality of life. The following themes are our Members’ issues which formed the context of our 2016 Pre-Budget submission.

  1. Global trade
  2. Infrastructure
  3. Jobs

Disclaimer: All information is accurate as of October 5, 2015. Pledges or promises made after the deadline may not be reflected in these responses.

Global Trade

Canada has always been a trading nation. Prime Minister Harper knows that trade fuels the Canadian economy and creates jobs. More than one in five Canadian jobs and 60% of Canada’s GDP are linked directly to exports.

That’s why Prime Minister Stephen Harper has worked tirelessly to open new markets for Canadian goods and services, and to equip Canadian businesses to compete internationally.

When our Government came to power, Canada had free-trade agreements with five countries. Now we have agreements with 44 countries. Under Prime Minister Harper’s leadership, Canada has concluded free-trade agreements with 39 countries:

  • We launched and concluded the Canada – European Union Free Trade Agreement;
  • We launched, concluded, and implemented the Canada – Korea Free Trade Agreement;
  • We launched, concluded, and signed the Canada – Ukraine Free Trade Agreement.
  • We launched, concluded, and implemented agreements with Honduras, Panama, Jordan, Colombia, and Peru.
  • We concluded and implemented an agreement with the European Free Trade Association, and modernized existing agreements with Israel and Chile. 
  • We are making more inroads into other major markets, and we progressing on bilateral negotiations with India and Japan, and we are a full member of the 12 country Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. 

Building a sustainable economy is serious business. We will address Canada's productivity crisis and encourage innovation. The Green Party's economic plan will boost Canada's global competitiveness, make significant, long-term investments in infrastructure, and create well-paying jobs. There is much to work to be done as the Toronto Region Board of Trade points out. Supporting innovative urban transit and living within our fiscal limits while working to reduce our GDP to debt ratio are core values of the Green Party of Canada. Greens are ready to help build a Canada that works. Together.

The City of Toronto and the surrounding region is one of the most important drivers of the Canadian economy. The Liberal Party of Canada has a plan to ensure that the Toronto region’s businesses and citizens continue to prosper and grow.

One of the biggest threats to Toronto’s economic growth and development is traffic gridlock. The C.D. Howe Institute estimates traffic congestion costs the region as much as $11 billion annually in lost economic activity. The Liberal Party understands that in order to grow the economy and middle class incomes, we will need to address this challenge together. The key to meeting this challenge is ensuring that our municipalities have the money they need to keep public transit in good repair, and to build new transit infrastructure to accommodate growing populations and the demands of the future. To address this, a Liberal government will quadruple federal investment in public transit over the next decade by investing almost 20 billion more dollars. This is in addition to all existing public transit commitments already made by the federal government. Our funding will be flexible to municipalities’ priorities and requirements in order to maximize the number of public transit projects that are built in Canada. A lack of federal support will no longer be a road block to action. A Liberal government will work with provincial and municipal leaders in the Greater Toronto Area to see that the priority needs of residents are met. This could mean increasing public transit options to have fewer cars on the road.

The success of our cities is vital to our national interest. There is no greater urban centre in this country than Toronto. We need a government in Ottawa that understands that.

Toronto is currently home to 90,000 businesses, does $70 billion in exports, and produces 20 per cent of Canada’s GDP. Most importantly, the foundation of this dynamic metropolis is made up of people who are hardworking, generous, and progressive.

An NDP government will ensure that Toronto reaches its full potential by investing in its people, its businesses, and the city at large.

Decades of downloading by Liberal and Conservative governments have left Toronto struggling to keep up with infrastructure needs—leaving residents with crumbling roads and bridges, aging water systems, and snarled traffic. Commute times in the GTA are longer than in Los Angeles, New York City, or London, and gridlock costs up to $11 billion in lost productivity each year in the GTHA.