Green Party receives B- best grade of bad overall grades in Report Card on Federal Parties’ Good Government Platforms, Bloc second with C-, Conservatives, Liberals and NDP all receive F

News Release

Green Party receives B- best grade of bad overall grades in Report Card on Federal Parties' Good Government Platforms, Bloc second with C-, Conservatives, Liberals and NDP all receive F

Despite high voter concern about democracy and trust, most parties fail to promise many needed changes to have effective democracy, government ethics and accountability

"When all is said and done, more is said than done"
Anonymous

Thursday, April 28, 2011

OTTAWA - Today, Democracy Watch released its Report Card on the 2011 Good Government Election Platforms of the five main federal political parties, the only election report card on these issues.

The Green Party received the best overall grade of B-, with the Bloc second with C-, and the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP all receiving F (See summary of grades in each of five categories further below).  A Dishonesty Downgrade of one full grade is also shown in the Report Card results -- usually only half of all promises are kept because of the lack of an honesty-in-politics law which is needed to effectively penalize promise-breakers and misleaders.

"All the federal parties except the Green Party have failed to respond to high voter concern about democracy and trust issues, but voters focused on these issues should still come to the polls and at least mark their ballot none of the above to show their concern.  One can only hope that the parties will actually address these concerns when Parliament opens again so that everyone in federal politics will finally be effectively required to act honestly, ethically, openly, representatively and to prevent waste," said Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch.

The Report Card grades the five main parties' platform pledges based upon 16 sets of key changes in five areas that Democracy Watch and its coalitions believe are the changes that will most effectively require everyone in the federal government to act honestly, ethically, openly, efficiently, representatively and, if they don't act in these democratic ways, easily and thoroughly held accountable.  In total, the 16 sets of changes add up to 100 key changes needed to the federal government's democracy, ethics and accountability system.

The measures are a compilation of the proposals of the five nation-wide coalitions Democracy Watch coordinates (Government Ethics Coalition, Money in Politics Coalition, Open Government Coalition, Corporate Responsibility Coalition, Canadian Community Reinvestment Coalition).  A combined total of more than 140 citizen groups with a total membership of more than 3 million Canadians belong to the coalitions, groups that work on anti-poverty, bank accountability, community economic development, consumer, corporate responsibility, environment, labour, social justice, women and youth issues.

Many national surveys over the past several years have shown that a large majority of Canadians support the democracy, ethics and government accountability reforms set out in the Report Card, as do many commentators on democratic reform.

The 16 sets of changes, divided into five areas, all reflect the following five key elements for ensuring that large, powerful government institutions act responsibly and follow rules: 1. strong laws with no loopholes; 2. requirement to disclose details of operations and violations; 3. fully independent, fully empowered watchdog agencies to enforce laws; 4. penalties that are high enough to encourage compliance; and 5. empowerment of citizens to hold governments and watchdog agencies accountable.

The parties were given a grade ranging from A (Platform makes clear promise to implement proposal) to I (Platform does not mention proposal), with grades B for a vague or partial promise to implement the proposal, C and D for clear to vague promises to explore the proposal, E for mentioning proposal and F for mentioning the theme of the proposal.  Grades were averaged for each of the five sections, and the averages of section grades were used to calculate the overall grade for each party.

The highlights of the Report Card are as follows:

  • The Green Party had the best overall grade of B- (mainly because they made many specific pledges), and the best grade in three of the five areas (the Efficient Government area, the Representative, Citizen-Driven Government area, and the General Government Accountability area);
  • The Bloc had the best grade in two of the five areas (the Honest, Ethical Government area, and the Open Government area);
  • The Liberals had the worst results, with an overall F grade, and the worst grades in all five areas, and the Conservatives were almost as bad;
  • The NDP had the most surprising result with an F grade, given that they have actually pushed for many democratic, ethics and government accountability reforms in the past (but they didn't include them in their election platform for some bizarre reason, especially given that a focus of their campaign is to "Fix Ottawa");
  • The strongest overall area grades for all the parties were in the Open Government area, with the Bloc the best with a A- grade (although, again, the NDP made no promises in this area);
  • The worst overall area grades for all the parties were in the Honest, Ethical Government area, in which none of the parties had better than a D- grade (which the Bloc received);
  • A main area in which all of the parties are weak is in empowering citizens and citizen groups to hold the federal government directly accountable, and;
  • All of the parties promise action to make Parliament work better.

"Given the lack of a federal honesty in politics law, and the lack of a clear pledge by any of the parties to pass such a law, voters should be wary of trusting any political promises," said Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch.  "However, if they want their concerns addressed, voters should always turn up and at least cast a blank, none-of-the-above ballot to send a message to the parties."

The 2011 Report Card is an updated version of the Report Card issued by Democracy Watch during the 2008, 2006, 2004 and 2000 federal elections, reflecting changes that have occurred in federal laws since 2008.  In the past election report cards, the NDP (2008 (archive website)), Conservatives (2006 (archive website)), NDP (2004 (archive website)) and Bloc Quebecois (2000 (archive website)) parties have received the best grades for their good government platforms.

Democracy Watch graded the parties' election platforms by reviewing the platforms.  Statements by party leaders or representatives were not taken into account as they are not fully accessible to all voters, nor are they binding in any way on the party (as admitted by many party leaders) and as a result are even less reliable than promises made in the parties' platforms.  (Please see Backgrounder set out below for details and relevant excerpts from the parties' platforms)

- 30 -

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Duff Conacher, Coordinator of Democracy Watch
Tel: (613) 241-5179
dwatch@web.net

Democracy Watch's Federal Election Campaign (archive website) webpage

Bloc Québécois platform webpage
Conservative Party of Canada platform webpage
Green Party of Canada platform webpage
Liberal Party of Canada platform webpage
NDP platform webpage


Report Card on the 2011 Good Government Platforms of the Federal Political Parties

Set out below are the summary grades for each of the parties in the 16 sub-categories of the five issue area categories of the Report Card.  See Backgrounder set out further below for details and excerpts from the parties' platforms.

GRADING SYSTEM
A - Platform makes clear promise to implement proposal
B - Platform makes vague or partial promise to implement proposal
C - Platform makes clear promise to explore proposal
D - Platform makes vague or partial promise to explore proposal
E - Platform mentions proposal
F - Platform mentions theme of proposal
I - Platform does not mention proposal


Bloc Québécois platform webpage
Conservative Party of Canada platform webpage
Green Party of Canada platform webpage
Liberal Party of Canada platform webpage
NDP platform webpage


OVERALL REPORT CARD GRADES
best to worst

Party

Grades

Dishonesty Downgrade*
(one full grade)

Green Party

B-

C-

Bloc Québécois

C-

D-

Conservative Party

F

I

Liberal Party

F

I

New Democrat  Party

F

I

* Dishonesty Downgrade applied because past performance of all parties shows that they usually break half their promises, and the lack of an honesty-in-politics law means they can't be held accountable.


I. Honest, Ethical Government Measures
1. Requiring honesty-in-politics
2. Strengthening ethics standards . . . and ethics enforcement
3. Making the political donations system democratic
4. Closing down the revolving doorII. Open Government Measures
5. Strengthening access-to-information system
6. Exposing behind-closed-door communications
7. Strengthening lobbying disclosure and ethics, and the enforcement system
II. Efficient Government Measures
8. Increasing powers of Auditor General and Parliamentary Budget Officer
9. Restricting government advertisingIV. Representative, Citizen-Driven Government Measures
10. Increasing meaningful public consultation
11. Restricting power of Cabinet to make appointments
12. Making the Senate democratic or abolish it
13. Ensuring free, fair and representative electionsV. General Government Accountability Measures
14. Facilitating citizen watchdog groups over government
15. Ensuring effective whistleblower protection
16. Ensuring loophole free laws and strong penalties for wrongdoers

I. Honest, Ethical Government Measures

SECTION I OVERALL GRADES
Bloc Québécois - D-
Conservative Party - F-
Green Party - I
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I


1. Requiring honesty-in-politics - Pass a law that requires all federal Cabinet ministers, MPs, Senators, political staff, Cabinet appointees and government employees (including at Crown corporations, agencies, boards, commissions, courts and tribunals) nomination race and election candidates to tell the truth, with an easily accessible complaint process to a fully independent watchdog agency that is fully empowered to investigate and penalize anyone who lies. (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - F
Conservative Party - I
Green Party - I
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I

2. Strengthening ethics standards for politicians, political staff, Cabinet appointees and government employees, and ethics enforcement - Close the loopholes in the existing ethics rules (including requiring resignation and a by-election if an MP switches parties between elections) and apply them to all government institutions (including all Crown corporations), and as proposed by the federal Department of Finance place anyone with decision-making power on the anti-corruption watch list of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (Fintrac) so deposits to their bank accounts can be tracked, and; strengthen the independence and effectiveness of all the newly created politician and government employee ethics watchdog positions (the Ethics Commissioner for Cabinet and MPs, the Senate Ethics Officer for senators, the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner for government employees, the Commissioner of Lobbyists for lobbyists) by giving opposition party leaders a veto over appointees, having Parliament (as opposed to Cabinet) approve their annual budgets (as is currently the process for the Ethics Commissioner), prohibiting the watchdogs from giving secret advice, requiring them to investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints), fully empowering and requiring them to penalize rule-breakers, changing all the codes they enforce into laws, and ensuring that all their decisions can be reviewed by the courts.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - F
Conservative Party - I
Green Party - B-
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I


3. Making the political donations system democratic - Prohibit secret, unlimited donations of money, property or services by anyone for any reason to nomination and party leadership candidates (only such donations are now only prohibited if given to election candidates); limit loans, including from financial institutions, to parties and all types of candidates to the same level as donations are limited; require disclosure of all donations (including the identity of the donor's employer (as in the U.S.) and/or major affiliations) and loans quarterly and before any election day; limit spending on campaigns for the leadership of political parties; maintain limits on third-party (non-political party) advertising during elections; lower the public funding of political parties from $2 per vote received to $1 per vote received for parties that elect more MPs than they deserve based on the percentage of voter support they receive (to ensure that in order to prosper these parties need to have active, ongoing support of a broad base of individuals) and; ensure riding associations receive a fair share of this per-vote funding (so that party headquarters don't have undue control over riding associations).  (Go to Money in Politics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - C-
Conservative Party - F
Green Party - I
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I

4. Closing down the revolving door - Prohibit lobbyists from working for government departments or serving in senior positions for political parties or candidates for public office (as in New Mexico and Maryland), and from having business connections with anyone who does, and close the loopholes so that the actual cooling-off period for former Cabinet ministers, ministerial staff and senior public officials is five years (and three years for MPs, senators, their staff, and government employees) during which they are prohibited from becoming a lobbyist or working with people, corporations or organizations with which they had direct dealings while in government.  Make the Ethics Commissioner, Commissioner of Lobbying and Senate Ethics Officer more independent and effective by by giving opposition party leaders a veto over their appointment, by having Parliament (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Commissioner of Lobbying's annual budget (as is currently the process for the Ethics Commissioner), by prohibiting the Commissioners from giving secret advice, by requiring the Commissioners to investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints), by fully empowering and requiring the Commissioners to penalize rule-breakers, by ensuring all decisions of the Commissioners can be reviewed by the courts, and by changing the codes they enforce (MPs Code, Lobbyists' Code and Senate Code of Conduct into laws.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - B-
Conservative Party - I
Green Party - C-
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I


II. Open Government Measures

SECTION II OVERALL GRADES
Bloc Québécois - A-
Conservative Party - D
Green Party - B+
Liberal Party - F+
New Democrat Party - I


5. Strengthening access-to-information system - Strengthen the federal access-to-information law and government information management system by applying the law to all government/publicly funded institutions, requiring all institutions and officials to create records of all decisions and actions and disclose them proactively and regularly, creating a public interest override of all access exemptions, giving opposition party leaders a veto over the appointment of the Information Commissioner, having Parliament (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Information Commissioner's annual budgets (as is currently the process for the federal Ethics Commissioner), and giving the federal Information Commissioner the power and mandate to order the release of documents (as in Ontario, Alberta and B.C.), to order changes to government institutions' information systems, and to penalize violators of access laws, regulations, policies and rules.  (Go to Open Government Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - A-
Conservative Party - B-
Green Party - B
Liberal Party - C
New Democrat Party - I


6. Exposing behind-closed-door communications - Require in a new law that Ministers and senior public officials to disclose their contacts with all lobbyists, whether paid or volunteer lobbyists.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - A
Conservative Party - F
Green Party - A-
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I


7. Strengthening lobbying disclosure and ethics, and the enforcement system - Strengthen the Lobbying Act and Lobbyists' Code of Conduct disclosure system by closing the loophole that currently allows corporations to hide the number of people involved in lobbying activities, and by requiring lobbyists to disclose their past work with any Canadian or foreign government, political party or candidate, to disclose all their government relations activities (whether paid or volunteer) involving gathering inside information or trying to influence policy-makers (as in the U.S.) and to disclose the amount they spend on lobbying campaigns (as in 33 U.S. states), and; strengthen the ethics and enforcement system by adding specific rules and closing loopholes in the Lobbyists' Code and making it part of the Act, by extending the limitation period for prosecutions of violations of the Act to 10 years, and; by giving opposition party leaders a veto over the appointment of the Commissioner of Lobbying, by having Parliament (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Commissioner's annual budget (as is currently the process for the Ethics Commissioner), by prohibiting the Commissioner from giving secret advice, by ensuring that the Commissioner must investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints), by fully empowering the Commissioner to penalize rule-breakers, and by ensuring all Commissioner decisions can be reviewed by the courts.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - A-
Conservative Party - I
Green Party - B+
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I


III. Efficient Government Measures

SECTION III OVERALL GRADES
Bloc Québécois - D-
Conservative Party - I
Green Party - A-
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I


8. Increasing powers of Auditor General and Parliamentary Budget Officer - Increase the independence of the Auditor General and Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) by requiring approval of appointment from opposition party leaders, and by making the PBO a full Officer of Parliament with a fixed term who can only be dismissed for cause; increase auditing resources of the Auditor General and PBO by having Parliament (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Auditor General's annual budget (as is currently the process for the federal Ethics Commissioner), and; empower the Auditor General to audit all government institutions, to make orders for changes to government institutions' spending systems, and empower the Auditor General and PBO to penalize violators of federal Treasury Board spending rules or Auditor General or PBO orders o requests for information.  (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - B
Conservative Party - I
Green Party - B+
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I

9. Restricting government advertising - Empower a government watchdog agency to preview and prohibit government advertising that promotes the ruling party, especially leading up to an election (similar to the restrictions in Manitoba and Saskatchewan).  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - I
Conservative Party - I
Green Party - A
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I


IV. Representative, Citizen-Driven Government Measures

SECTION IV OVERALL GRADES
Bloc Québécois - C-
Conservative Party - E
Green Party - B
Liberal Party - E
New Democrat Party - E+


10. Increasing meaningful public consultation - Pass a law requiring all government departments and institutions to use consultation processes that provide meaningful opportunities for citizen participation, especially concerning decisions that affect the lives of all Canadians.  (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - I
Conservative Party - E
Green Party - B
Liberal Party - E
New Democrat Party - F


11. Restricting power of Cabinet to make appointments - Require approval by opposition party leaders for the approximately 3,000 judicial, agency, board, commission and tribunal appointments currently made by the Prime Minister (including the board and President of the CBC), especially for appointees to senior and law enforcement positions, after a merit-based nomination and screening process conducted by finally setting up the Public Appointments Commission that was given a legal basis to exist under the so-called "Federal Accountability Act".   (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - B+
Conservative Party - I
Green Party - A-
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I


12. Making the House more democratic, and making the Senate democratic or abolish it - Change the Parliament of Canada Act to restrict the Prime Minister's power to shut down (prorogue) Parliament to only for a very short time, and only for an election (dissolution) or if the national situation has changed significantly or if the Prime Minister can show that the government has completed all their pledged actions from the last Speech from the Throne (or attempted to do so, as the opposition parties may stop or delay completion of some actions).  Give all party caucuses the power to choose which MPs and senators in their party sits on House and Senate committees, and allow any MP or senator to introduce a private member bill at any time, and define what a "vote of confidence" is in the Parliament of Canada Act in a restrictive way so most votes in the House of Commons are free votes.  Attempt to reach an agreement with provincial governments (as required by the Constitution) to either abolish the Senate or reform the Senate (with a safeguard that Senate powers will not be increased unless senators are elected and their overall accountability increased).  (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - B-
Conservative Party - C-
Green Party - C
Liberal Party - C-
New Democrat Party - B-


13. Ensuring free, fair and representative elections - Change the current voting law and system (the Canada Elections Act) to specifically restrict the Prime Ministers' power to call an unfair snap election, so that election dates are fixed as much as possible under the Canadian parliamentary system.  Change the Act also so that nomination and party leadership races are regulated by Elections Canada (including limiting spending on campaigns for party leadership), so that Elections Canada determines which parties can participate in election debates based upon merit criteria, so that party leaders cannot appoint candidates except when a riding does not have a riding association, so that voters are allowed to refuse their ballot (ie. vote for "none of the above", as in Ontario), and to provide a more equal number of voters in every riding, and a more accurate representation in Parliament of the actual voter support for each political party (with a safeguard to ensure that a party with low-level, narrow-base support does not have a disproportionately high level of power in Parliament).   (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - C
Conservative Party - F
Green Party - B-
Liberal Party - F
New Democrat Party - C-


V. General Government Accountability Measures

SECTION V OVERALL GRADES
Bloc Québécois - D
Conservative Party - F
Green Party - C
Liberal Party - F-
New Democrat Party - E


14. Facilitating citizen watchdog groups over government - Require federal government institutions to enclose one-page pamphlets periodically in their mailings to citizens inviting citizens to join citizen-funded and directed groups to represent citizen interests in policy-making and enforcement processes of key government departments (for example, on ethics, spending, and health care/welfare) as has been proposed in the U.S. and recommended for Canadian banks and other financial institutions in 1998 by a federal task force, a House of Commons Committee, and a Senate Committee.  (Go to Citizen Association Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - C-
Conservative Party - F
Green Party - F
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - E


15. Ensuring effective whistleblower protection - Require everyone to report any violation of any law, regulation, policy, code, guideline or rule, and require all watchdog agencies over government (for example: Auditor General, Information Commissioner, Privacy Commissioner, Public Service Commission, the four ethics watchdogs (especially the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner), Security and Intelligence Review Committee, the National Health Council) to investigate and rule publicly on allegations of violations, to penalize violators, to protect anyone (not just employees) who reports a violation (so-called "whistleblowers") from retaliation, to reward whistleblowers whose allegations are proven to be true, and to ensure a right to appeal to the courts. (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - F
Conservative Party - I
Green Party - B+
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I


16. Ensuring loophole free laws and strong penalties for wrongdoers - Close any technical and other loopholes that have been identified in laws, regulations, policies, codes, guidelines and rules (especially those regulating government institutions and large corporations) to help ensure strong enforcement, and increase financial penalties for violations to a level that significantly effects the annual revenues/budget of the institution or corporation.  (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - C
Conservative Party - F
Green Party - B-
Liberal Party - F
New Democrat Party - C-

Top
Top of Report Card



Background Details for the
Report Card on the 2011 Good Government
Election Platforms of the Federal Political Parties
(Set out below are quotations from the federal parties' platform documents (with page # included if applicable) upon which the Report Card grades were based for each of the 16 sub-categories graded in the five issue areas categories)

GRADING SYSTEM
A - Platform makes clear promise to implement proposal
B - Platform makes vague or partial promise to implement proposal
C - Platform makes clear promise to explore proposal
D - Platform makes vague or partial promise to explore proposal
E - Platform mentions proposal
F - Platform mentions theme of proposal
I - Platform does not mention proposal

Bloc Québécois platform webpage
Conservative Party of Canada platform webpage
Green Party of Canada platform webpage
Liberal Party of Canada platform webpage
NDP platform webpage


OVERALL REPORT CARD GRADES
best to worst

Party

Grades

Dishonesty Downgrade*
(one full grade)

Green Party

B-

C-

Bloc Québécois

C-

D-

Conservative Party

F

I

Liberal Party

F

I

New Democrat  Party

F

I

* Dishonesty Downgrade applied because past performance of all parties shows that they usually break half their promises, and the lack of an honesty-in-politics law means they can't be held accountable.


I. Honest, Ethical Government Measures
1. Requiring honesty-in-politics
2. Strengthening ethics standards . . . and ethics enforcement
3. Making the political donations system democratic
4. Closing down the revolving doorII. Open Government Measures
5. Strengthening access-to-information system
6. Exposing behind-closed-door communications
7. Strengthening lobbying disclosure and ethics, and the enforcement system
III. Efficient Government Measures
8. Increasing powers of Auditor General and Parliamentary Budget Officer
9. Restricting government advertisingIV. Representative, Citizen-Driven Government Measures
10. Increasing meaningful public consultation
11. Restricting power of Cabinet to make appointments
12. Making the Senate democratic or abolish it
13. Ensuring free, fair and representative electionsV. General Government Accountability Measures
14. Facilitating citizen watchdog groups over government
15. Ensuring effective whistleblower protection
16. Ensuring loophole free laws and strong penalties for wrongdoers

I. Honest, Ethical Government Measures

SECTION I OVERALL GRADES
Bloc Québécois - D-
Conservative Party - F-
Green Party - E
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I


1. Requiring honesty-in-politics - Pass a law that requires all federal Cabinet ministers, MPs, Senators, political staff, Cabinet appointees and government employees (including at Crown corporations, agencies, boards, commissions, courts and tribunals) nomination race and election candidates to tell the truth, with an easily accessible complaint process to a fully independent watchdog agency that is fully empowered to investigate and penalize anyone who lies. (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - F
- "The Bloc Québécois is committed to: being the watchdog of democracy, transparency and honesty in the management of public funds, namely by proposing improvements  to the Access to Information Act.  Let’s talk transparency . . ., and; fighting against ideological, partisan and antidemocratic leanings in Ottawa.  Let’s talk democracy." (p. 23)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

2. Strengthening ethics standards for politicians, political staff, Cabinet appointees and government employees, and ethics enforcement - Close the loopholes in the existing ethics rules (including closing the loophole that allows Cabinet ministers, MPs and senators, their staff and Cabinet appointees to be involved in decisions in which they have a financial interest, and including requiring resignation and a by-election if an MP switches parties between elections) and apply them to all government institutions (including all Crown corporations), and as proposed by the federal Department of Finance place anyone with decision-making power on the anti-corruption watch list of the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (Fintrac) so deposits to their bank accounts can be tracked, and; strengthen the independence and effectiveness of all the newly created politician and government employee ethics watchdog positions (the Ethics Commissioner for Cabinet and MPs, the Senate Ethics Officer for senators, the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner for government employees, the Commissioner of Lobbyists for lobbyists) by giving opposition party leaders a veto over appointees, having Parliament (as opposed to Cabinet) approve their annual budgets (as is currently the process for the Ethics Commissioner), prohibiting the watchdogs from giving secret advice, requiring them to investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints), fully empowering and requiring them to penalize rule-breakers, changing all the codes they enforce into laws, and ensuring that all their decisions can be reviewed by the courts.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - F
- "Le Bloc Québécois entend lutter ferme pour contrer tout affaiblissement des institutions démocratiques, tout abus de pouvoir de la part du gouvernement, toute atteinte à l’autonomie des institutions indépendantes, toute restriction indue dans l’accès à l’information et toute embûche dans la capacité des élus du peuple de bien représenter la population." (p.18)
- "1.4.5 Le Bloc Québécois fera montre de vigilance pour s’assurer que toutes les institutions indépendantes fédérales demeurent réellement à l’abri des pressions idéologiques ou partisanes du gouvernement." (p.35)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in party platform

Green Party - B-
From Vision Green section:
- "Require the independence of public sector employees who oversee industry, such as those responsible for such areas as fisheries, science and drug licensing, from those industries."
- "Replace the current Ethics Commissioner, who reports privately to the Prime Minister, with an independent Ethics Commission reporting to Parliament and appointed through a merit-based process with strong powers to investigate government officials and lobbyists."
- "Amend the Accountability Act to ensure that all those who monitor government are selected at arm's length from those they monitor . . ."
- "Strengthen the mandates of Independent Officers of Parliament, including the Auditor General and the Information Commissioner."
- "Institute mandatory training in ethics for MPs and their staffs, requiring all MPs and staff to take in-house training on the basics of good management and ethics in parliament."

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

3. Making the political donations system democratic - Prohibit secret, unlimited donations of money, property or services by anyone for any reason to nomination and party leadership candidates (only such donations are now only prohibited if given to election candidates); limit loans, including from financial institutions, to parties and all types of candidates to the same level as donations are limited; require disclosure of all donations (including the identity of the donor's employer (as in the U.S.) and/or major affiliations) and loans quarterly and before any election day; limit spending on campaigns for the leadership of political parties; maintain limits on third-party (non-political party) advertising during elections; lower the public funding of political parties from $2 per vote received to $1 per vote received for parties that elect more MPs than they deserve based on the percentage of voter support they receive (to ensure that in order to prosper these parties need to have active, ongoing support of a broad base of individuals) and; ensure riding associations receive a fair share of this per-vote funding (so that party headquarters don't have undue control over riding associations).  (Go to Money in Politics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - C-
- "1.4.3 Le Bloc Québécois mettra tout en oeuvre pour que le gouvernement assume l’entière responsabilité de ses actes devant les élus et élues du peuple. Il dénoncera tout affaiblissement des institutions démocratiques.
Le Bloc Québécois exigera également le maintien du financement des partis politiques et le respect de la Loi sur les élections à date fixe, dans un contexte de gouvernement majoritaire.  . . ." (p. 33)
- "8.4.1 Le Bloc Québécois vise la parité hommes-femmes. Comme parti, il fera un effort particulier en faveur du recrutement de candidates.  Il déposera à la Chambre des communes un projet de loi qui favorisera l’augmentation de la représentation des femmes par un incitatif financier aux partis politiques." (p. 83)

Conservative Party - F
From End the Subsidy of Political Parties section: "Stephen Harper-led majority Government will phase out the direct subsidy of political parties over the next three years."

Green Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

4. Closing down the revolving door - Prohibit lobbyists from working for government departments or serving in senior positions for political parties or candidates for public office (as in New Mexico and Maryland), and from having business connections with anyone who does, and close the loopholes so that the actual cooling-off period for former Cabinet ministers, ministerial staff and senior public officials is five years (and three years for MPs, senators, their staff, and government employees) during which they are prohibited from becoming a lobbyist or working with people, corporations or organizations with which they had direct dealings while in government.  Make the Ethics Commissioner, Commissioner of Lobbying and Senate Ethics Officer more independent and effective by by giving opposition party leaders a veto over their appointment, by having Parliament (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Commissioner of Lobbying's annual budget (as is currently the process for the Ethics Commissioner), by prohibiting the Commissioners from giving secret advice, by requiring the Commissioners to investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints), by fully empowering and requiring the Commissioners to penalize rule-breakers, by ensuring all decisions of the Commissioners can be reviewed by the courts, and by changing the codes they enforce (MPs Code, Lobbyists' Code and Senate Code of Conduct into laws. (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - B-
- "The Bloc Québécois is committed to: being the watchdog of democracy, transparency  and honesty in the management of public funds, namely by proposing improvements  to the Access to Information Act.  Let’s talk transparency . . ., and; fighting against ideological, partisan and antidemocratic leanings in Ottawa.  Let’s talk democracy." (p. 23)
- "Le Bloc Québécois entend lutter ferme pour contrer tout affaiblissement des institutions démocratiques, tout abus de pouvoir de la part du gouvernement, toute atteinte à l’autonomie des institutions indépendantes, toute restriction indue dans l’accès à l’information et toute embûche dans la capacité des élus du peuple de bien représenter la population." (p.18)
- "1.4.1 Le Bloc Québécois continuera d’être le parti de la vigilance et de l’éthique à Ottawa.  Le Bloc Québécois proposera une réforme de la Loi sur le lobbying notamment afin :
a) d’obliger les ministres, leur personnel et les fonctionnaires à enregistrer tout contact avec un lobbyiste ;
b) d’interdire aux participants et participantes à un programme d’échange de cadres supérieurs entre la fonction publique et le secteur des affaires (ex. : Programme des dirigeants émérites) de faire du lobby auprès du gouvernement au cours des cinq années suivant la fin de leur échange." (p. 32)
- "1.4.5 Le Bloc Québécois fera montre de vigilance pour s’assurer que toutes les institutions indépendantes fédérales demeurent réellement à l’abri des pressions idéologiques ou partisanes du gouvernement." (p.35)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - C-
- "Strengthen the rules of conduct for lobbying.  All lobbyists’ contacts with politicians and government bureaucrats both formal and informal must be reported and made public."
- "Strengthen the mandates of Independent Officers of Parliament, including the Auditor General and the Information Commissioner."
- "Replace the current Ethics Commissioner, who reports privately to the Prime Minister, with an independent Ethics Commission reporting to Parliament and appointed through a merit-based process with strong powers to investigate government officials and lobbyists."

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform


II. Open Government Measures

SECTION II OVERALL GRADES
Bloc Québécois - A-
Conservative Party - D
Green Party - B+
Liberal Party - F+
New Democrat Party - I


5. Strengthening access-to-information system - Strengthen the federal access-to-information law and government information management system by applying the law to all government/publicly funded institutions, requiring all institutions and officials to create records of all decisions and actions and disclose them proactively and regularly, creating a public interest override of all access exemptions, giving opposition party leaders a veto over the appointment of the Information Commissioner, having Parliament (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Information Commissioner's annual budgets (as is currently the process for the federal Ethics Commissioner), and giving the federal Information Commissioner the power and mandate to order the release of documents (as in Ontario, Alberta and B.C.), to order changes to government institutions' information systems, and to penalize violators of access laws, regulations, policies and rules.  (Go to Open Government Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - A-
- "The Bloc Québécois is committed to: being the watchdog of democracy, transparency and honesty in the management of public funds, namely by proposing improvements to the Access to Information Act.  Let’s talk transparency . . ., and; fighting against ideological, partisan and antidemocratic leanings in Ottawa. Let’s talk democracy." (p. 23)
- "Le Bloc Québécois entend lutter ferme pour contrer tout affaiblissement des institutions démocratiques, tout abus de pouvoir de la part du gouvernement, toute atteinte à l’autonomie des institutions indépendantes, toute restriction indue dans l’accès à l’information et toute embûche dans la capacité des élus du peuple de bien représenter la population." (p.18)
- "1.4.2 Le Bloc Québécois présentera au Parlement un projet de loi pour réformer complètement la Loi sur l’accès à l’information.  Ce projet de loi, rendu public en juin 2008, est inspiré du projet de loi préparé par l’ancien commissaire à l’information, John Reid, et favorise un meilleur accès à l’information." (p. 33)
- "1.4.5 Le Bloc Québécois fera montre de vigilance pour s’assurer que toutes les institutions indépendantes fédérales demeurent réellement à l’abri des pressions idéologiques ou partisanes du gouvernement." (p.35)

Conservative Party - B-
From Open Government Initiative section (p. 64):
- "Recently we announced the new Open Government Initiative, as part of our ongoing efforts to foster greater openness and accountability. The initiative is designed to achieve this in three broad themes:
* open data – centralized access to government data in a more useful format for citizens, the private sector and non-government organizations;
* open information – proactive release of government information, and administrative changes to improve the access to information system; and
* open dialogue – innovative online tools for two-way engagement between Canadians and their government.
We will take further action to implement the Open Government Initiative. We will establish an Open Government Working Group, to coordinate Open Government projects across government departments."
- From First Nations Financial Transparency section (pp.63-64): "[W]e will introduce, as government legislation, Conservative MP Kelly Block’s bill requiring the publication of the salaries and expenses of First Nations chiefs and councillors.  This new law will increase transparency and accountability in the use of public funds for First Nations communities, and increase openness and trust among band councils and members, and all Canadians."

Green Party - A-
From Vision Green section:
- "Amend the Accountability Act to ensure that all those who monitor government are selected at arm's length from those they monitor, to eliminate the blanket exemptions on public release of government documents and to guarantee transparency and openness for all government activities."
- "Update the Access to Information Act to permit greater transparency of government activities."
- "For all public data where there are no privacy, security or other legal concerns preventing the data from being shared, data will be reviewed by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada via Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act (PIPEDA) and made publicly available under the following conditions:
* With the highest level of granularity and detail possible which still maintains the privacy of individual citizens;
* In a timely fashion so that the value of the data is preserved;
* Accessible to the widest range of users for the widest range of purposes in a non-proprietary format;
* Machine processable and structured to allow automated processing, without having to mechanically harvest the data before using it;
* Non-discriminatory and available to everyone without having to register or self-identify as being interested in the data, and;
* With a license that does not encumber the user, and ideally without a license at all."
- "Require long-term public departmental service plans to report on government program purposes, costs, reforms and performance."
- "Strengthen the mandates of Independent Officers of Parliament, including the Auditor General and the Information Commissioner."

Liberal Party - C
- From Open Government section:
- "Liberals will adopt a new approach to information, issuing government-wide direction that the default position for all departments and agencies will be to release information to the public, both proactively and responsively, after privacy and other legal requirements are met.  This initiative will see as many government datasets as possible available to the public online, free of charge in an open and searchable format"
- "Furthermore, all Access to Information requests and responses will be posted online."

- "This new presumption of openness will also drive a new level of accountability for public finances.  We will establish a searchable, online database for grants, contributions and contracts."
- "All levels of government, civil society, researchers, business and the public must have access to independent and reliable statistics and demographic information to make informed decisions and develop sound public policy to benefit all Canadians. Therefore, a Liberal government will restore the mandatory long form census."
- "Canada’s federal government must embrace information technology and open data in order to improve services to Canadians and make government more transparent and accountable for public spending.  Putting Statistics Canada and other government data online wherever possible, after meeting all privacy and other legal requirements, will strengthen Canadian democracy, help create and disseminate knowledge and spur innovation." (p. 19)

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

6. Exposing behind-closed-door communications - Require in a new law that Ministers and senior public officials to disclose their contacts with all lobbyists, whether paid or volunteer lobbyists.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - A
- "The Bloc Québécois is committed to: being the watchdog of democracy, transparency and honesty in the management of public funds, namely by proposing improvements  to the Access to Information Act.  Let’s talk transparency . . ., and; fighting against ideological, partisan and antidemocratic leanings in Ottawa.  Let’s talk democracy." (p. 23)
- "Le Bloc Québécois entend lutter ferme pour contrer tout affaiblissement des institutions démocratiques, tout abus de pouvoir de la part du gouvernement, toute atteinte à l’autonomie des institutions indépendantes, toute restriction indue dans l’accès à l’information et toute embûche dans la capacité des élus du peuple de bien représenter la population." (p.18)
- "1.4.1 Le Bloc Québécois continuera d’être le parti de la vigilance et de l’éthique à Ottawa.  Le Bloc Québécois proposera une réforme de la Loi sur le lobbying notamment afin :
a) d’obliger les ministres, leur personnel et les fonctionnaires à enregistrer tout contact avec un lobbyiste ;
b) d’interdire aux participants et participantes à un programme d’échange de cadres supérieurs entre la fonction publique et le secteur des affaires (ex. : Programme des dirigeants émérites) de faire du lobby auprès du gouvernement au cours des cinq années suivant la fin de leur échange." (p. 32)
- "1.4.2  Le Bloc Québécois présentera au Parlement un projet de loi pour réformer complètement la Loi sur l’accès à l’information.  Ce projet de loi, rendu public en juin 2008, est inspiré du projet de loi préparé par l’ancien commissaire à l’information, John Reid, et favorise un meilleur accès à l’information." (p. 33)

Conservative Party - F
From Open Government Initiative section (p. 64):
- "Recently we announced the new Open Government Initiative, as part of our ongoing efforts to foster greater openness and accountability. The initiative is designed to achieve this in three broad themes:
* open data – centralized access to government data in a more useful format for citizens, the private sector and non-government organizations;
* open information – proactive release of government information, and administrative changes to improve the access to information system; and
* open dialogue – innovative online tools for two-way engagement between Canadians and their government.
We will take further action to implement the Open Government Initiative. We will establish an Open Government Working Group, to coordinate Open Government projects across government departments."

Green Party - A-
- "Strengthen the rules of conduct for lobbying.  All lobbyists’ contacts with politicians and government bureaucrats both formal and informal must be reported and made public."

Liberal Party - F
- From Open Government section:
- "Liberals will adopt a new approach to information, issuing government-wide direction that the default position for all departments and agencies will be to release information to the public, both proactively and responsively, after privacy and other legal requirements are met.  This initiative will see as many government datasets as possible available to the public online, free of charge in an open and searchable format"
- "Furthermore, all Access to Information requests and responses will be posted online."

- "This new presumption of openness will also drive a new level of accountability for public finances.  We will establish a searchable, online database for grants, contributions and contracts."

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

7. Strengthening lobbying disclosure and ethics, and the enforcement system - Strengthen the Lobbying Act and Lobbyists' Code of Conduct disclosure system by closing the loophole that currently allows corporations to hide the number of people involved in lobbying activities, and by requiring lobbyists to disclose their past work with any Canadian or foreign government, political party or candidate, to disclose all their government relations activities (whether paid or volunteer) involving gathering inside information or trying to influence policy-makers (as in the U.S.) and to disclose the amount they spend on lobbying campaigns (as in 33 U.S. states), and; strengthen the ethics and enforcement system by adding specific rules and closing loopholes in the Lobbyists' Code and making it part of the Act, by extending the limitation period for prosecutions of violations of the Act to 10 years, and; by giving opposition party leaders a veto over the appointment of the Commissioner of Lobbying, by having Parliament (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Commissioner's annual budget (as is currently the process for the Ethics Commissioner), by prohibiting the Commissioner from giving secret advice, by requiring the Commissioner to investigate and rule publicly on all complaints (including anonymous complaints), by fully empowering and requiring the Commissioner to penalize rule-breakers, by ensuring all Commissioner decisions can be reviewed by the courts.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - A-
- "1.4.1 Le Bloc Québécois continuera d’être le parti de la vigilance et de l’éthique à Ottawa.  Le Bloc Québécois proposera une réforme de la Loi sur le lobbying notamment afin :
a) d’obliger les ministres, leur personnel et les fonctionnaires à enregistrer tout contact avec un lobbyiste ;
b) d’interdire aux participants et participantes à un programme d’échange de cadres supérieurs entre la fonction publique et le secteur des affaires (ex. : Programme des dirigeants émérites) de faire du lobby auprès du gouvernement au cours des cinq années suivant la fin de leur échange." (p. 32)
- "1.4.5 Le Bloc Québécois fera montre de vigilance pour s’assurer que toutes les institutions indépendantes fédérales demeurent réellement à l’abri des pressions idéologiques ou partisanes du gouvernement." (p.35)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - B+
- "Strengthen the rules of conduct for lobbying.  All lobbyists’ contacts with politicians and government bureaucrats both formal and informal must be reported and made public."
- "Replace the current Ethics Commissioner, who reports privately to the Prime Minister, with an independent Ethics Commission who would report to Parliament appointed through a merit-based process with strong powers to investigate government officials and lobbyists."
- "Amend the Accountability Act to ensure that all those who monitor government are selected at arms length from those they monitor . . ."
- "Strengthen the mandates of Independent Officers of Parliament, including the Auditor General and the Information Commissioner."
- "Replace the current Ethics Commissioner, who reports privately to the Prime Minister, with an independent Ethics Commission who would report to Parliament appointed through a merit-based process with strong powers to investigate government officials and lobbyists."
- "Institute mandatory training in ethics for MPs and their staffs, requiring all MPs and staff to take in-house training on the basics of good management and ethics in parliament."

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform


III. Efficient Government Measures

SECTION III OVERALL GRADES
Bloc Québécois - D-
Conservative Party - I
Green Party - A-
Liberal Party - I
New Democrat Party - I


8. Increasing powers of Auditor General and Parliamentary Budget Officer - Increase the independence of the Auditor General and Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) by requiring approval of appointment from opposition party leaders, and by making the PBO a full Officer of Parliament with a fixed term who can only be dismissed for cause; increase auditing resources of the Auditor General and PBO by having Parliament (as opposed to Cabinet) approve the Auditor General's annual budget (as is currently the process for the federal Ethics Commissioner), and; empower the Auditor General to audit all government institutions, to make orders for changes to government institutions' spending systems, and empower the Auditor General and PBO to penalize violators of federal Treasury Board spending rules or Auditor General or PBO orders o requests for information.  (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - B
- "The Bloc Québécois is committed to: being the watchdog of democracy, transparency and honesty in the management of public funds, namely by proposing improvements to the Access to Information Act.  Let’s talk transparency . . ., and; fighting against ideological, partisan and antidemocratic leanings in Ottawa.  Let’s talk democracy." (p. 23)
- "Le Bloc Québécois entend lutter ferme pour contrer tout affaiblissement des institutions démocratiques, tout abus de pouvoir de la part du gouvernement, toute atteinte à l’autonomie des institutions indépendantes, toute restriction indue dans l’accès à l’information et toute embûche dans la capacité des élus du peuple de bien représenter la population." (p.18)
- "1.4.5 Le Bloc Québécois fera montre de vigilance pour s’assurer que toutes les institutions indépendantes fédérales demeurent réellement à l’abri des pressions idéologiques ou partisanes du gouvernement." (p.35)
- "1.4.7 Le Bloc Québécois s’assurera que le directeur parlementaire du budget ait l’indépendance et les ressources lui permettant d’offrir des services adéquats aux parlementaires.  1.4.8 Le Bloc Québécois fera pression sur le gouvernement afin que celui-ci fournisse les documents demandés par le directeur parlementaire du budget pour réaliser ses études." (p. 38)
- "11.7.1 L e Bloc Québécois demande : a) que le financement des organismes communautaires soit fait de manière transparente, sur une base pluriannuelle. Citons par exemple les ententes relatives aux Corporations de développement économique communautaire (CDEC), le programme Initiative en matière de logement abordable, les conventions d’exploitation des logements sociaux, etc. ; . . ." (p. 107)
- "13.3.1 Le Bloc Québécois privilégiera les réductions dans les dépenses d’Ottawa, notamment en diminuant la sous-traitance." (p. 117)
- "21.2.1 Le Bloc Québécois exigera que le gouvernement fédéral dépose pour étude au Comité permanent de la défense et des anciens combattants toute proposition d’achat d’équipement militaire de plus de 100 millions de dollars avant de procéder.
21.2.2 D ’ici là, le Bloc Québécois exige un moratoire sur les achats militaires qui excèdent les dépenses courantes." (p. 178)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - B+
From Vision Green section, part 6.2:
- "Require long-term public departmental service plans to report on government program purposes, costs, reforms and performance."
- "Provide Parliamentarians with independent regulatory audits through the Auditor General’s office on the effectiveness of government regulations in meeting their stated public purposes."
- "Amend the Accountability Act to ensure that all those who monitor government are selected at arms length from those they monitor . . ."
- "Strengthen the mandates of Independent Officers of Parliament, including the Auditor General and the Information Commissioner."
- "Make service improvements a higher priority for all agencies and departments, with systematic citizen feedback and a schedule for periodic program review."

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

9. Restricting government advertising - Empower a government watchdog agency to preview and prohibit government advertising that promotes the ruling party, especially leading up to an election (similar to the restrictions in Manitoba and Saskatchewan).  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal related in platform

Green Party - A
From Vision Green section, part 6.2:
- "Institute a code of conduct and an independent complaints process to ensure that tax dollars are not used for pre-election partisan purposes."

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

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Top of Report Card

Top of Report Card Background Details

Democracy Watch homepage


IV. Representative, Citizen-Driven Government Measures

SECTION IV OVERALL GRADES
Bloc Québécois - C-
Conservative Party - E
Green Party - B
Liberal Party - E
New Democrat Party - E+


10. Increasing meaningful public consultation - Pass a law requiring all government departments and institutions to use consultation processes that provide meaningful opportunities for citizen participation, especially concerning decisions that affect the lives of all Canadians.  (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - F
- "9.1.1 Le Bloc Québécois s’engage à poursuivre ses efforts pour renforcer les liens entre les peuples autochtones et le peuple québécois en favorisant l’établissement d’un réel partenariat. 9.1.2 Le Bloc Québécois s’engage également à poursuivre ses efforts en vue d’assurer une participation des peuples autochtones à l’élaboration, à la préparation et à la mise en oeuvre de toute initiative gouvernementale ou politique ayant des répercussions sur leur vie ou ayant pour objectif de promouvoir leurs droits et de défendre leurs intérêts.  9.1.8 Le Bloc reviendra aussi à la charge pour s’assurer que des consultations adéquates aient lieu avant d’apporter des modifications aux lois actuelles qui touchent les Premières Nations." (p. 85)
- "9.2.1 C ’est pourquoi le Bloc Québécois exige que le Canada :
a) endosse la Déclaration des Nations U nies sur les droits des peuples autochtones et recommande aux pays circumpolaires non signataires (les États-Unis et la Russie) de faire de même ;
b) développe ses propres outils de consultation auprès de la population de l’Arctique et incite les pays membres du Conseil de l’Arctique à faire de même. En ce sens, le Canada et les pays circumpolaires peuvent s’inspirer de ce qui a été réalisé au Québec lors de la signature de la Paix des Braves ;
c) inclue le Nunavik dans la Stratégie pour le Nord canadien." (p. 87)
- 18.5.2 Le Bloc Québécois s’engage à travailler étroitement avec le monde agricole en vue de développer d’autres mesures susceptibles de compléter les cinq mesures qu’il a déjà mises de l’avant." (p. 157)

Conservative Party - E
From Open Government Initiative section (p. 64):
- "Recently we announced the new Open Government Initiative, as part of our ongoing efforts to foster greater openness and accountability.  The initiative is designed to achieve this in three broad themes:
* open data – centralized access to government data in a more useful format for citizens, the private sector and non-government organizations;
* open information – proactive release of government information, and administrative changes to improve the access to information system; and
* open dialogue – innovative online tools for two-way engagement between Canadians and their government.
We will take further action to implement the Open Government Initiative. We will establish an Open Government Working Group, to coordinate Open Government projects across government departments." (p. 64)
- "Going forward, we will work with provinces, territories, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and other stakeholders to develop a longterm plan for public infrastructure that extends beyond the expiry of  the Building Canada Plan." (p. 19)
- "We will establish a Hunting Advisory Panel, reporting to the Minister of the Environment, comprised of representatives of provincial and territorial hunters and anglers associations, to ensure government decisions are based on solid science and balanced advice." (p. 56-57)

Green Party - B
From Vision Green section, part 6.2:
- "Make service improvements a higher priority for all agencies and departments, with systematic citizen feedback and a schedule for periodic program review."
- From Vision Green section, part 6.1:
- "Restore Parliamentary Committees as a vehicle for non-partisan, constructive improvement of legislation and require that the improved version of such legislation be the version put to parliament for vote."
- From Vision Green section, part 4.9.5:
- "Review all existing federal policies on self-government, in consultation with Aboriginal representatives, to ensure they are achieving the goals of Aboriginal peoples"
- "Ensure, through consultation with indigenous organizations representing the concerns of Aboriginal women, that the rights of Inuit, Métis and First Nations women are protected."
- "Establish a Public Inquiry into Democracy, with powers of a Royal Commission, to engage Canadians from coast to coast and address anti-democratic trends within Canada:
* 1. The growing and unhealthy power of the Prime Minister’s Office;
* 2. The lack of scope for independent action of individual MPs;
* 3. The use of prorogation to avoid political embarrassment, in violation of Parliamentary practice and tradition;
* 4. The abuse by the Senate of its role of “sober, second thought” in voting down bills approved by the House, as in the case in November of 2010 in their defeat without debate of Bill C-311 (the Climate Change Accountability Act);
* 5. The inequity of the current voting system with a view to replacing it with a system based on proportional representation
* 6. The recommendations of the Public Inquiry will be presented as options to Canadian voters."

Liberal Party - E
From The Parliament Canadians Deserve section:
- "Even further innovation is possible, deploying internet technology to involve Canadians directly.  Under a Liberal government, all Canadians will be able to participate in People’s Question Period, where the Prime Minister and Ministers will respond directly to unscripted, user-generated questions online.  Ministers’ participation in the weekly online question and answer session will be rotated and as Prime Minister, Michael Ignatieff would participate at least monthly in the online People’s Question Period to answer citizens’ questions unfiltered by political parties or the media."
- From A New Approach in a Networked World section: "A Liberal government will work with provinces, post-secondary institutions and associations, and the private sector to support efforts by major Canadian institutions to establish presence in major emerging markets, and student exchanges that provide Canadians greater access to opportunities for foreign study"

New Democrat Party - F
- "We will build a new partnership on a nation-to-nation basis with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people across the country to restore a central element of social justice in Canada and reconcile the hopes of Aboriginal people with those of all Canadians" (part 5.1)

11. Restricting power of Cabinet to make appointments - Require approval by opposition party leaders for the approximately 3,000 judicial, agency, board, commission and tribunal appointments currently made by the Prime Minister (including the board and President of the CBC), especially for appointees to senior and law enforcement positions, after a merit-based nomination and screening process conducted by finally setting up the Public Appointments Commission that was given a legal basis to exist under the so-called "Federal Accountability Act".   (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - C+
- "1.4.5 Le Bloc Québécois fera montre de vigilance pour s’assurer que toutes les institutions indépendantes fédérales demeurent réellement à l’abri des pressions idéologiques ou partisanes du gouvernement." (p.35)
- "1.4.9 Le Bloc Québécois utilisera tous les moyens parlementaires à sa disposition pour faire en sorte que la nomination des juges par le gouvernement fédéral soit exclusivement basée sur le mérite, et ce, dans le but de renforcer la confiance du public quant à l’impartialité des juges." (p. 38)
- "7.4.1 Le Bloc Québécois prônera la dépolitisation du mode de nomination des commissaires à l’immigration pour que ce soit fait par un comité indépendant se fondant principalement sur la compétence en immigration et sur la capacité d’exercer en français." (p. 78)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - A-
From Vision Green section, part 6.2:
- "Reform the appointments system to discourage patronage by establishing an independent agency for ensuring that appointments to government tribunals, boards and senior positions are done through a qualification-based process and are not politically motivated patronage appointments."
- From Vision Green section, part 4.9.1: "Ensure that the criteria for new appointments to public boards and agencies include equal opportunity for women."
- From Vision Green section, part 4.1.6: "Restore and improve arm’s length principles in the governance of arts and cultural institutions and agencies under federal jurisdiction.  In keeping with such a position, we believe that the heads of Canada’s cultural organizations such as the CRTC, Canada Council, CBC and Telefilm Canada should not be appointed by the political party in power but by an arm’s length committee made up of competent people representative of the various diverse stakeholders in Canadian society."
- From Vision Green section, part 6.1:
- "Establish a Public Inquiry into Democracy, with powers of a Royal Commission, to engage Canadians from coast to coast and address anti-democratic trends within Canada:
* 1. The growing and unhealthy power of the Prime Minister’s Office; . . .
* 6. The recommendations of the Public Inquiry will be presented as options to Canadian voters."

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

12. Making the House more democratic, and making the Senate democratic or abolish it - Change the Parliament of Canada Act to restrict the Prime Minister's power to shut down (prorogue) Parliament to only for a very short time, and only for an election (dissolution) or if the national situation has changed significantly or if the Prime Minister can show that the government has completed all their pledged actions from the last Speech from the Throne (or attempted to do so, as the opposition parties may stop or delay completion of some actions).  Give all party caucuses the power to choose which MPs and senators in their party sits on House and Senate committees, and allow any MP or senator to introduce a private member bill at any time, and define what a "vote of confidence" is in the Parliament of Canada Act in a restrictive way so most votes in the House of Commons are free votes.  Attempt to reach an agreement with provincial governments (as required by the Constitution) to either abolish the Senate or reform the Senate (with a safeguard that Senate powers will not be increased unless senators are elected and their overall accountability increased).  (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - B-
- "The Bloc Québécois is committed to: being the watchdog of democracy, transparency and honesty in the management of public funds, namely by proposing improvements to the Access to Information Act.  Let’s talk transparency . . ., and; fighting against ideological, partisan and antidemocratic leanings in Ottawa.  Let’s talk democracy." (p. 23)
- ". Quebeckers want nothing to do with partisan battles where people oppose good measures put forward by other parties or support bad measures in order to put their partisan interests first. Quebeckers want honest people to represent them." (p. 23)
- "Le Bloc Québécois entend lutter ferme pour contrer tout affaiblissement des institutions démocratiques, tout abus de pouvoir de la part du gouvernement, toute atteinte à l’autonomie des institutions indépendantes, toute restriction indue dans l’accès à l’information et toute embûche dans la capacité des élus du peuple de bien représenter la population." (p.18)
- "1.4.3 Le Bloc Québécois mettra tout en oeuvre pour que le gouvernement assume l’entière responsabilité de ses actes devant les élus et élues du peuple.  Il dénoncera tout affaiblissement des institutions démocratiques.
. . . Enfin, il exigera du gouvernement de cesser d’utiliser la prorogation de la Chambre à des fins partisanes." (p. 33)
- "1.4.6 Le Bloc Québécois estime toujours que le Sénat ainsi que les symboles de la monarchie, tels que le serment à la reine et les postes de lieutenant-gouverneur des provinces et de gouverneur général du Canada, sont archaïques et qu’ils devraient être abolis." (p. 37)
- "1.4.11 Dans l’éventualité d’un Parlement sans majorité parlementaire, le Bloc Québécois se réserve la possibilité de soutenir une coalition de partis politiques, et ce, dans la mesure où le respect des valeurs québécoises est garanti." (p. 39)

Conservative Party - C-
- From Senate Reform section (p. 62):
- "re-introduce and pass legislation setting term limits for senators;
- continue to encourage the provinces to work with us to establish a democratic process for selecting senators;
- appoint those who are selected through democratic processes; and
- in provinces that do not take us up on our offer, we will fill Senate vacancies with individuals who support our Senate reform goals, including our goal of an elected Senate."

Green Party - C
From Vision Green section, part 6.1:
- "Restore Parliamentary Committees as a vehicle for non-partisan, constructive improvement of legislation and require that the improved version of such legislation be the version put to parliament for vote."
- "Establish a Public Inquiry into Democracy, with powers of a Royal Commission, to engage Canadians from coast to coast and address anti-democratic trends within Canada:
* 1. The growing and unhealthy power of the Prime Minister’s Office;
* 2. The lack of scope for independent action of individual MPs;
* 3. The use of prorogation to avoid political embarrassment, in violation of Parliamentary practice and tradition;
* 4. The abuse by the Senate of its role of “sober, second thought” in voting down bills approved by the House, as in the case in November of 2010 in their defeat without debate of Bill C-311 (the Climate Change Accountability Act);  . . .
* 6. The recommendations of the Public Inquiry will be presented as options to Canadian voters."

Liberal Party - B-
From The Parliament Canadians Deserve section:
- "Liberals will advance reforms to improve the hyper-partisan atmosphere in Parliament. Canadians want to see parties compete by attacking issues, not just each other. Returning substance and civility to Parliament will require the collaboration of all parties, but leadership counts."

- "Under a Liberal government, new restrictions will be placed on Prime Ministerial power, particularly by placing procedural limitations on the prime minister’s power to prorogue."
- "Liberals believe that all parties must act to increase the civility and substance of Question Period. Many observers believe a model closer to that of the British Parliament would be better, with more time for both questions and answers, scheduled themes and rosters of required ministers, and a weekly Prime Minister’s question period (though the Prime Minister should still be expected to attend all days possible). A Liberal government will advance such reform in Parliament.  . . .
- "Standing Committees have suffered from excessive partisanship and manipulation. Liberals propose that standing committees be tasked more widely to dig deeply into major issues before policy decisions are taken or legislation is introduced.  In addition, “Committee of the Whole” should be used more frequently to subject Ministers individually to wide-ranging questioning for an extended period in the House of Commons. Furthermore, recent events have demonstrated the need yet again for a new Standing Committee on National Security.   Our major NATO allies have had such committees in place for decades and its existence would have prevented the controversy over Afghan detainee documents from reaching a time-consuming deadlock."
- "In addition to these specific changes, restoring civility and substance to Parliament will require leadership.  Under a Liberal government, the Prime Minister will convene regular face-to-face meetings of all party leaders to take stock of the tone of Parliamentary debate, productivity in the conduct of the people’s business, and the mandates for in-depth work by standing committees."

New Democrat Party - B-
- "We will introduce a Parliament Act that will prevent the Prime Minister from requesting prorogation of Parliament when a confidence vote is before the House of Commons, and will require a Parliamentary vote before the Prime Minister can seek a lengthy prorogation at other times." (Fix Ottawa section, part 7.2)
- "We will propose the abolition of the Senate. All Canadian provincial legislatures have done this many years ago, abolishing their un-elected second chambers to the benefit of democracy." (Fix Ottawa section, part 7.3)
- "In the meantime, to limit Senate abuses, we will bar failed candidates and party insiders from being appointed to the Senate, and ban senators from fundraising for political parties." (Fix Ottawa section, part 7.3)
- "If the mandate we receive justifies it, we will work with other federalist parties, through informal or appropriate stable arrangements." (Fix Ottawa section, part 7.1)

13. Ensuring free, fair and representative elections - Change the current voting law and system (the Canada Elections Act) to specifically restrict the Prime Ministers' power to call an unfair snap election, so that election dates are fixed as much as possible under the Canadian parliamentary system.  Change the Act also so that nomination and party leadership races are regulated by Elections Canada (including limiting spending on campaigns for party leadership), so that Elections Canada determines which parties can participate in election debates based upon merit criteria, so that party leaders cannot appoint candidates except when a riding does not have a riding association, so that voters are allowed to refuse their ballot (ie. vote for "none of the above", as in Ontario), and to provide a more equal number of voters in every riding, and a more accurate representation in Parliament of the actual voter support for each political party (with a safeguard to ensure that a party with low-level, narrow-base support does not have a disproportionately high level of power in Parliament).  (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - C
- "1.4.3 Le Bloc Québécois mettra tout en oeuvre pour que le gouvernement assume l’entière responsabilité de ses actes devant les élus et élues du peuple.  Il dénoncera tout affaiblissement des institutions démocratiques.
Le Bloc Québécois exigera également le maintien du financement des partis politiques et le respect de la Loi sur les élections à date fixe, dans un contexte de gouvernement majoritaire.  . . ." (p. 33)
- "1.4.4 Le Bloc Québécois est d’avis que la participation active des Québécoises et Québécois à la vie politique témoigne de la vitalité de notre démocratie et c’est pourquoi il est impératif d’atténuer les obstacles qu’une personne souhaitant faire le saut en politique risque de rencontrer.  Actuellement, la loi électorale du Canada permet aux candidates et candidats de bénéficier d’un congé sans traitement pour la période électorale, mais ne garantit pas le lien d’emploi dans le cadre d’une campagne à l’investiture d’un parti politique, ce qui peut amener des candidatures intéressantes à se retirer prématurément.
Le Bloc Québécois déposera un projet de loi afin de permettre aux candidates et candidats à une campagne à l’investiture d’un parti politique fédéral de prendre un congé sans traitement et sans perdre les avantages rattachés à leur emploi." (p. 34)
- "8.4.1 Le Bloc Québécois vise la parité hommes-femmes. Comme parti, il fera un effort particulier en faveur du recrutement de candidates.  Il déposera à la Chambre des communes un projet de loi qui favorisera l’augmentation de la représentation des femmes par un incitatif financier aux partis politiques." (p. 83)

Conservative Party - F
From Fair Representation in the House of Commons section: "Because of significant population changes since the last update, the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario are now significantly underrepresented.  We will reintroduce legislation to restore fair representation in the House of Commons.  At the same time, we will protect the seat count of slower-growing provinces. We will ensure that Quebec’s seat count will not drop below its current 75 seats, and that the population of Quebec remains proportionately represented." (p.63)

Green Party - B-
From the Vision Green section, part 6.1:
- "Adhere to fixed election dates permitting political stability and fair elections."
- "Reduce the mandatory $1,000 candidate deposit to encourage more Canadians to participate in the democratic system."
- "Establish a Public Inquiry into Democracy, with powers of a Royal Commission, to engage Canadians from coast to coast and address anti-democratic trends within Canada: . . .
* 2. The lack of scope for independent action of individual MPs; . . .
* 5. The inequity of the current voting system with a view to replacing it with a system based on proportional representation, and;
* 6. The recommendations of the Public Inquiry will be presented as options to Canadian voters."
Liberal Party - F
From Modernizing the Voting System section: "The internet is revolutionizing many facets of life for most Canadians. It is time to harness its power to bring electoral participation closer to citizens. A Liberal government will direct Elections Canada to develop an online voting option, starting with a pilot project for individuals serving overseas in the Canadian Armed Forces and the federal public service, and post-secondary students living outside their home ridings. The pilot will support a broader discussion with Canadians about an online voting option for every voter."

New Democrat Party - C-
- "We will propose electoral reform to ensure Parliament reflects the political preferences of Canadians.  To this end we will propose a new, more democratic voting system that preserves the connection between MPs and their constituents, while ensuring parties are represented in Parliament in better proportion to how Canadians voted.  Your vote will always count." (Fix Ottawa section, part 7.3)


V. General Government Accountability Measures

SECTION V OVERALL GRADES
Bloc Québécois - D
Conservative Party - F-
Green Party - C
Liberal Party - F-
New Democrat Party - E


14. Facilitating citizen watchdog groups over government - Require federal government institutions to enclose one-page pamphlets periodically in their mailings to citizens inviting citizens to join citizen-funded and directed groups to represent citizen interests in policy-making and enforcement processes of key government departments (for example, on ethics, spending, and health care) as has been proposed in the U.S. and recommended for Canadian banks and other financial institutions in 1998 by a federal task force, a House of Commons Committee, and a Senate Committee.  (Go to Citizen Association Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - C-
- "Le Bloc Québécois exhorte le gouvernement fédéral de prendre les quelques mesures qu’il s’est trop longtemps refusé à mettre en oeuvre : . . . e) la réinstauration du programme de contestation judiciaire ; (f) la fin des compressions dans le financement des groupes de femmes et des groupes d’alphabétisation . . ." (pp. 54-55)
- "22.3.1 Le Bloc Québécois exhorte le gouvernement fédéral à accorder aux ONG un financement prévisible et à long terme. De plus, le gouvernement doit assurer l’indépendance de ces ONG : il ne revient pas à la société civile de défendre la politique du gouvernement." (p. 185)

Conservative Party - F
- "We will take action to provide more effective support for community partnerships and volunteerism.  We will:
* establish Social Impact Bonds, to raise money for promising new community initiatives;
* simplify funding agreements, and reduce red tape for applicants;
* test new ways to engage the private sector and maximize the effectiveness of government support; and
* provide funding to Volunteer Canada to develop a volunteer-matching service"

Green Party - F
From Vision Green section, part 4.9.1:
- "Reestablish funding for Status of Women Canada and other organizations that fund non-profit women’s groups and advocate for women’s rights."
- From Vision Green section, part 6.5:
- "Promote revising and updating the laws relating to charitable NGOs so that NGOs can participate in advocacy and be able to retain their charitable status and their ability to accept tax deductible donations."

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - E
- "We will recognize and respect the vital role, expertise, and necessary independence of civil society organizations, both at home and abroad, including their right to advocate.  We will establish a fair, depoliticized, and transparent process for funding civil society organizations." (Fix Ottawa section, part 7.4)

15. Ensuring effective whistleblower protection - Require everyone to report any violation of any law, regulation, policy, code, guideline or rule, and require all watchdog agencies over government (for example: Auditor General, Information Commissioner, Privacy Commissioner, Public Service Commission, the four ethics watchdogs (especially the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner), Security and Intelligence Review Committee, the National Health Council) to investigate and rule publicly on allegations of violations, to penalize violators, to protect anyone (not just employees) who reports a violation (so-called "whistleblowers") from retaliation, to reward whistleblowers whose allegations are proven to be true, and to ensure a right to appeal to the courts.  (Go to Government Ethics Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - F
- "Le Bloc Québécois entend lutter ferme pour contrer tout affaiblissement des institutions démocratiques, tout abus de pouvoir de la part du gouvernement, toute atteinte à l’autonomie des institutions indépendantes, toute restriction indue dans l’accès à l’information et toute embûche dans la capacité des élus du peuple de bien représenter la population." (p.18)
- "1.4.5 Le Bloc Québécois fera montre de vigilance pour s’assurer que toutes les institutions indépendantes fédérales demeurent réellement à l’abri des pressions idéologiques ou partisanes du gouvernement." (p.35)

Conservative Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

Green Party - B+
From Vision Green section, part 6.2:
- "Enact effective whistle-blower protection for public and private sector employees."
172."
- "Amend the Accountability Act to ensure that all those who monitor government are selected at arm's length from those they monitor, to eliminate the blanket exemptions on public release of government documents and to guarantee transparency and openness for all government activities."
- "Strengthen the mandates of Independent Officers of Parliament, including the Auditor General and the Information Commissioner."
- "Institute mandatory training in ethics for MPs and their staffs, requiring all MPs and staff to take in-house training on the basics of good management and ethics in parliament."

Liberal Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

New Democrat Party - I
- Nothing related to proposal in platform

16. Ensuring loophole free laws and strong penalties for wrongdoers - Close any other general technical and other types of loopholes that have been identified in laws, regulations, policies, codes, guidelines and rules that apply to government institutions to help ensure strong enforcement, and increase financial penalties for violations to a level that significantly effects the annual revenues/budget of the people involved and the institution. (Go to Voter Rights Campaign for details about Democracy Watch's proposals)

Bloc Québécois - C
- "Le Bloc Québécois entend lutter ferme pour contrer tout affaiblissement des institutions démocratiques, tout abus de pouvoir de la part du gouvernement, toute atteinte à l’autonomie des institutions indépendantes, toute restriction indue dans l’accès à l’information et toute embûche dans la capacité des élus du peuple de bien représenter la population." (p.18)
- "1.4.5 Le Bloc Québécois fera montre de vigilance pour s’assurer que toutes les institutions indépendantes fédérales demeurent réellement à l’abri des pressions idéologiques ou partisanes du gouvernement." (p.35)
- "Le Bloc Québécois exhorte le gouvernement fédéral de prendre les quelques mesures qu’il s’est trop longtemps refusé à mettre en oeuvre : . . . e) la réinstauration du programme de contestation judiciaire ; (f) la fin des compressions dans le financement des groupes de femmes et des groupes d’alphabétisation . . ." (pp. 54-55)
- "6.4.3 Le Bloc Québécois ne demande pas que les certificats de sécurité soient abolis, mais il propose les modifications suivantes à la Loi sur l’immigration et la protection des réfugiés afin de mieux les encadrer et de révoquer les articles de la loi qui ont été
jugés anticonstitutionnels :
a) l’établissement du critère du « hors de tout doute raisonnable » pour valider le certificat plutôt que le simple critère « raisonnable » ;
b) l’inclusion d’une clause interdisant de manière explicite l’expulsion d’un individu vers un pays où il risque la torture ;
c) l’octroi d’un réel droit d’appel. À l’heure actuelle, le droit d’appel est si limité qu’il n’en est pratiquement pas un." (p. 75)
- "7.4.2 Ainsi, le Bloc Québécois :
a) s’assurera, d’une part, que cette réforme soit implantée rondement afin qu’elle n’affecte pas négativement les réfugiés concernés et, d’autre part, qu’elle soit corrigée de l’ensemble des problèmes qu’elle contient toujours ;
b) veillera à ce que le gouvernement fédéral respecte sa parole en instaurant une véritable Section d’appel des réfugiés (SAR) équitable pour tous les demandeurs d’asile, sans exception ;
c) s’assurera que le gouvernement fédéral revienne sur sa décision d’imposer des visas aux Mexicains et aux Tchèques, ainsi que pour tout autre pays qui serait dans la même situation." (p. 79)
- "21.4.1 Le Bloc Québécois exhorte le gouvernement à présenter une loi qui expliciterait le mandat de l’ombudsman de la Défense, qui encadrerait ses fonctions et qui préciserait que ce dernier doit relever du Parlement et non du gouvernement." (p. 179)

Conservative Party - F
- "Now we’ll take the next steps. We will legislate a One-for-One Rule – every time the government proposes a new regulation, it must eliminate an existing one; and we will give the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism responsibility to ensure departments
follow the new rule.  The rule will be designed to maintain the highest standards in all areas, including health and safety, while promoting a culture shift in government, in favour of the needs of Canadian small businesses." (p. 13)

Green Party - B-
From Vision Green section, part 4.11.6: - "Increase access to justice for all Canadians notwithstanding their financial situation, by working with the provincial governments to establish a comprehensive National Legal Aid plan that will provide stable, long-term funding"
- From Vision Green section, part 4.1.3: "Split VRAB [Veterans Review and Appeals Board] into two distinct panels and populate it with qualified experts"
- From Vision Green section, part 6.10:
- "Pass legislation that establishes an independent body to investigate complaints regarding the conduct of RCMP officers with full judicial inquiry powers and the requirement to report its finding publicly."
- Create a Board of Management to monitor and advise with respect to the RCMP's organizational, administrative, and financial accountability. This Board would oversee the RCMP's operations in strategic planning and implementation, budget planning and financial management, human resources management, risk management, communications, and organizational performance management.
-  "Provide guidance to the RCMP in cultivating a promotion system that is based upon performance, skill, and ability. The morale and discipline of the force depend upon clear and transparent guidelines for the personal advancement of officers."
- "Ensure the RCMP has the freedom and independence to conduct investigations into government officials, bureaucrats, and corporate executives without interference from politicians."
- From Vision Green section, part 4.9.2: "Enforce the Employment Equity Act to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal opportunity to long-term employment and advancement. Disabled people are generally the last to find employment and the first to be laid off."
- From Vision Green section, part 4.9.5:
- "Honour Canada's fiduciary responsibility and the Aboriginal rights, treaty rights and other rights of Aboriginal peoples, including their inherent rights of self-government."
- "In partnership with Aboriginal Peoples, work towards the creation of an Aboriginal Lands and Treaties Tribunal Act to establish an independent body to decide on specific claims, ensure that treaty negotiations are conducted and financed fairly, and ensure that treaty negotiations and claims resolutions do not result in the extinguishment of Aboriginal and treaty rights."
- "Immediately implement the lands claims agreements already negotiated and languishing for lack of funding, particularly for First Nations in the territories." . . .
- "Ensure that Canada upholds the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples." - "Support the restoration of the $5.1 billion commitment of the landmark Kelowna Accord reached between federal and provincial, territorial and First Nations governments in Canada in 2005, with the proviso that the ensuing programs do not lead to greater infringement on Aboriginal and treaty rights."
- "Ensure that governments and corporations respect the Sparrow decision (recognizing the Aboriginal right to fish) and the Haida decision (the right of Aboriginal peoples to be not just consulted but their concerns accommodated regarding decisions that may impact their resources and their future)."
- "Set up task forces to address the treatment of Aboriginals in the Canadian justice system and to investigate and address the disappearance of Aboriginal women."
- From Vision Green, part 4.9.3: "Open an investigation into allegations by the United Nations Human Rights Committee of Canadian officials cooperating with foreign agencies known to use torture"
- From Vision Green section, part 3.12: "The Greens will continue to support 'quality of life' evaluation methods such as the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) as a means to improve quality of life and protect biodiversity."

Liberal Party - F
- From A New Approach in a Networked World section:
- "Liberal government will take steps to support Canadian international investment by promoting the highest standards of Canadian Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”).

- "In 2007, a CSR Advisory Group representing the mining industry, labour, civil society and academics reached a consensus. Unfortunately, the Harper government has done nothing on these recommendations."
- "A Liberal government will act on the Advisory Group’s recommendations, including adopting Canadian CSR standards, and setting up an independent ombudsman office to advise Canadian companies, consider complaints made against them, and investigate those complaints where it is deemed warranted."

New Democrat Party - C-
- "We will restore the Court Challenges Program" (part 5.10)
- "We will restore funding to women’s programs and organizations cut by Stephen Harper, including the Court Challenges Program" (part 5.12)
- "Develop credible, accountable procedures and appeal processes for visitors seeking visas to enter Canada for important family events." (part 5.9)
- "We will work with affected multicultural communities to appropriately redress historical issues arising from governmental actions, including options such as recognition of wrongdoing, official apologies, and compensation" (part 5.13)
- "We will ensure that gender identity and gender expression are included as prohibited grounds of discrimination in the Canadian Human Rights Act, amend the hate crimes and sentencing provisions of the Criminal Code to ensure we are providing explicit protection for transgender and transsexual Canadians from discrimination in all areas of federal jurisdiction" (part 5.13)
- "Overhauling the Veterans Review and Appeal Board; appointing its members from military, RCMP and medical personnel, and ensuring that veterans’ appeals are fairly reviewed by their peers" (part 6.5)


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