Five things to know about the People's Party of Canada's platform

Maxime Bernier, leader of the People's Party of Canada, is campaigning on a platform that is mostly the same as the one his party put forward in 2019, with some updates to reflect the COVID-19 pandemic and the current legislative and fiscal context.

Here are five things to know about the People's Party of Canada platform:

Deficit and the economy

The PPC would eliminate the deficit by the end of a first mandate, which they promise to achieve partly by phasing out all pandemic spending programs, cutting corporate welfare to the tune of $5-10 billion, cutting $5 billion in foreign development aid, defunding the CBC to save $1 billion, cutting equalization payments and funding for programs that fall within the responsibilities of provinces or cities.

After the deficit is eliminated they would cut personal income taxes, corporate taxes and the personal capital gains tax.

Multiculturalism and immigration

They would eliminate all multiculturalism funding and instead promote the integration of immigrants into Canadian society. They also want to "substantially" lower the total number of immigrants and refugees Canada accepts each year and accept a larger proportion of economic immigrants.

The PPC would limit the number of immigrants accepted under the family reunification program, including ending it for parents and grandparents, limit the number of temporary foreign workers and increase resources for law enforcement agencies to do background checks on immigrants.

They would also have would-be immigrants answer questions about "Canadian values and societal norms" in a face-to-face interview.

Environment

The party claims there are "uncertainties over the scientific basis of global warming" and there is no reason for government interventions. (There is a scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human activities, described in reports from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.)

The PPC would withdraw from the Paris agreement and abandon "unrealistic" greenhouse gas emissions-reduction targets.

It would scrap the federal carbon price and let provinces decide if they want carbon-pricing mechanisms. T

hey would also end subsidies for green technology.

Free expression

The PPC wants to repeal any legislation or regulation curtailing free expression on the internet, repeal legislation adding gender identity to prohibited grounds of discrimination, and repeal a non-binding motion condemning Islamophobia.

They propose restricting the definition of hate speech in the Criminal Code to explicitly advocating the use of force against identifiable groups or people based on protected criteria.

As well, they would withhold funding from any post-secondary institution that violates the freedom of expression of its students or faculty.

COVID-19

The party says it would approach COVID-19 policy rationally and scientifically, protecting the most vulnerable while rejecting "coercion and discrimination."

They would fire Dr. Theresa Tam, the chief public health officer of Canada, and replace her with someone who works with provinces to implement a "rational approach" instead of following the recommendations of the World Health Organization.

They would repeal vaccine mandates and vaccine passports, as well as support legal challenges of those measures by provincial governments in court.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 4, 2021.