Promises, promises: Trade pair, daycare, clean air

By Staff | March 31, 2011 | Last updated on March 31, 2011
2 min read

After a poor showing on Wednesday, the Conservatives came out swinging again on Thursday, promising if they were elected, the party would complete free trade deals with India and the European Union.

The party pointed out that during its tenure at the helm, new free trade agreements have been signed with eight countries and that Canada is in talks with 50 more. Free trade deals with the EU and India would provide improved access to over 1.7 billion new customers for Canadian businesses.

The Liberals, however, chose to focus on the home front, promising to create a $500 million fund dedicated to creating more childcare spaces. That amount will rise to $1 billion by the fourth year of their term, if elected.

Provinces and territories will be able to apply to this fund for cost-sharing of early childhood learning and care plans that create and operate new, affordable, early childhood learning and care spaces across Canada.

Again, the Liberals asserted this could easily be paid for by killing the corporate tax cut to 16.5%, and holding the rate at 18%.

After a strong outing on Wednesday, the NDP are offering up a mixed bag that’s hard to play for investors. On the one hand, the party is promising to end subsidies to fossil fuel industries.

That would hit all Canadians in the pocketbook in a number of ways: higher fuel costs, lower profits on personal investments, and we all own oil stocks through the CPP.

On the other side of the coin, the NDP is promising to raise subsidies to clean energy sources. These are typically smaller, privately held firms. There could be a boost to private equity funds, but very little for the average investor—other than cleaner air.

Final analysis: Tough call. On the one hand, we have the promise of more affordable daycare. On the other, a potential boost to Canada’s trade surplus and possibly labour mobility. Sorry NDP, I like clean air, but we’re looking at pocketbook issues here.

This one is a tie. Half point to the Conservatives, half point to the Liberals.

Score to date
Conservatives 1.5
Liberals 1.5
NDP 1 staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.