Executive Summary

The Green Party of Canada’s (GPC) election platform budget includes a yearly $34 Billion revenue neutral Green Tax Shift and, over its three year period, includes $15.6 billion in new spending and $26.5 Billion in new taxes, primarily by deferring upcoming corporate tax cuts. In total, the Green Party Budget will cut down the deficit by $5.5 billion more than the status quo by the 2013-14.

Budget Overview

All totals in $Millions 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Status Quo
Budgetary Revenues 235,600 247,633 262,667 278,900
Program Expenditures 245,200 242,133 245,367 251,100
Public Debt Charges 29,400 33,300 36,300 37,500
Budgetary Balance (Deficit) (39,000) (27,800) (19,000) (9,700)
Green Party Initiatives
Personal & Corporate Tax Cuts Funded by Carbon Pricing - 0 0 0
Revenue Increases - 6,519 9,319 10,686
Spending Expenditure Increases - 3,869 5,276 6,517
Green Party lowers deficit by - 2,649 4,043 4,168
Budgetary Balance (including Green measures) (39,000) (25,151) (14,957) (5,532)
Federal Debt (including Green measures) 564,500 589,651 604,608 610,139
Percent of GDP (including green measures)
Budgetary Revenues 15.4% 14.9% 14.8% 14.9%
Program Expenditures 16.1% 14.5% 13.8% 13.3%
Public Debt Charges 1.9% 2.1% 2.1% 2.1%
Budgetary Balance -2.6% -1.6% -0.9% -0.3%
Federal Debt (Debt to GDP Ratio) 37.0% 36.4% 35.2% 33.9%

Budget Detail

Green Tax Shift

The Green Party is proposing to levy a carbon pricing of $50 per tonne on all CO2 emissions across Canada increasing to $60 by 2013-14. There are over 750 Million tonnes of carbon emitted annually so such a tax would raise approximately $34 Billion in Government revenue. This represents about 14% of the federal government’s approximately $245 Billion in annual revenue.

Our carbon pricing is “Revenue Neutral” which means that neither the Government nor taxpayers are, on average, financially better or worse off because of it. There will be no change in total taxes raised or total taxes paid. The following are the components of the Green Tax Shift.

Click each row to see details, or here to see them all.

GP Budget Detail (All totals in $Millions) 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14
Personal and Corporate Tax Cuts Funded by Pollution Charges
Adopt carbon pricing 33,832 34,446 34,557
Canada currently emits approximately 750 Million tonnes of GHGs a year. GPC carbon pricing would start at $50 / tonne of GHGs and increase to $60 / tonne by 2013-2014
Reduce EI and CPP contributions (23,135) (23,359) (23,156)
Both the employer and employee contributions to EI and CPP will be reduced by a third with the federal government making up the difference.
Implement income splitting for all adults (5,000) (5,310) (5,618)
Enable income splitting within families, and thus a joint calculation of income that will reduce taxes.
Carbon pricing rebate (5,075) (5,167) (5,184)
By using a formula similar to the GST rebate, low income Canadians and families will get an extra boost to help offset the costs of carbon pricing. Those that qualify for the GST rebate will see their benefit increase by an additional third because of the Carbon tax rebate.
Eliminate personal income tax below the low income cut-off of 20,000 (623) (611) (599)
Eliminate personal income taxes below the low-income cut-off (LICO) of $20,000. Those making under $20,000 will gain a special tax exemption that will gradually phase out on incomes between $18,000 and $22,000 so as not to create a tax wall at $20,000. The “Basic Personal Amount” is not altered so that it is only those making under the LICO that qualify.
Total 0 0 0
Revenue Increases
Toxic tax 193 164 131
A toxic tax will be introduced that has varying values depending on the toxicity of the substances being emitted. Many of these substances are integral parts of pre-existing industrial processes and their removal outright would be disruptive. The GPC’s toxic tax will provide strong incentives to move away from certain substances in an economically efficient way.
Cancel logging tax credit 5 5 5
Currently logging companies are provided with a special logging tax credit that lowers their taxes below those of other corporations. By cancelling the tax credit, logging companies will be treated equally to all other corporations in Canada.
Cancel Corporate mineral exploration tax credit 24 24 25
Currently, corporations engaged in mineral exploration can claim an additional 10% off those expenses. The cancellation of this credit would place mining companies on par with all other Canadian corporations in terms of expenses.
Close tax haven loopholes 1,216 1,216 1,216
Canada will tax corporations on their worldwide income just like the US, UK and Japan. Currently a subsidiary of a Canadian corporation can operate in the Bahamas for instance and only pay 2.5% corporate income tax with no additional payments due when that money arrives in Canada. By closing this loopholes, all Canadian companies would be treated the same and would have to pay the Canadian rate (with credit paid in other jurisdictions) even if they operate in tax havens.
Cancel scheduled corporate tax rate reductions 4,582 6,910 7,809
Stop corporate tax rate reduction and roll it back to 19%, the level it was in 2009. GPC will stop the corporate tax rate from going down to 15% in 2012.
Legalize and tax marijuana 0 1,000 1,500
Our Marijuana tax will ramp up to $1.5 Billion in its third year. The first year conservatively envisions little revenue as it will take time to implement such a large new taxation system. Final revenues assume that Marijuana usage rates and pricing remains comparable to figures before legalization.
Total 6,519 9,319 10,686
Spending Increases / Decreases
Eliminate subsidies on fossil fuels -1,462 -1,491 -1,521
Eliminate accelerated capital cost allowance credits. Specifically eliminate CDE, CEE, & COGPE, ED, RA, ITC.
Cancel federal support for AECL research -155 -155 -155
End subsidies to AECL to promote over-seas reactor sales. Stop financing sales with tax dollars.
Reduce military spending to 2005 spending ratio and reorient to peacekeeping -3,275 -3,083 -2,615
Reduce Military spending to 2005 levels in spending/GDP (before recent arms increase) and reorient towards peacekeeping UN missions and home border defence.
Stop federally funded GMO research -101 -101 -101
Cut all federal biotech funding to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Natural Resources Canada and 10% of funding (amount going to GMO biotech) from NSERC and NRC.
Establish a national affordable housing program * 400 834 1,267
Ramp up to building 20,000 new affordable housing units per year; and renew 8,000 units per year to ensure the existing stock. Provide rent supplements or shelter assistance for an additional 40,000 low-income households per year, for ten years.
Reinvest in national rail systems 600 700 720
Re-invest in our national rail systems, building more train cars in Canada, and create green transportation and energy infrastructure corridors in key regions. Improve rail infrastructure and intermodal connections, increasing joint federal-municipal light rail investments, as well as improving VIA rail service nationwide. Work with railway companies to improve rail infrastructure and to restore VIA rail service to all major regional cities.
Invest in resources to prosecute white collar crime 180 180 180
The GPC will ensure greater resources are available for federal prosecutors and specialized RCMP officers that might form investigatory and legal teams capable of conducting effective and timely prosecutions of white collar criminals.
Invest in national pharmacare 300 300 300
Begin to set up a Universal Pharmacare program, a bulk drug purchasing agency, and make new drug patent protection times shorter. Encourage a successful generic drug market.
Municipal youth employment program 1,000 1,000 1,000
Fund local Community & Environment Service Corps Youth teams that will provide federal minimum wage employment nation-wide for 40,000 youth (18 -25) for a one year period. This is a three year program for a total employment of 120,000 youth.
Municipal youth employment program tuition credit 160 160
Tuition credit of $4,000 upon successful completion of Youth Employment Program.
Increase post seconday education bursaries 400 400 400
Provide additional funding for needs-based scholarships and bursaries so that anyone who qualifies for entrance can enrol without financial encumbrances.
First Nations education, safe drinking water and improved housing * 800 800 800
Basic infrastructure on Canada’s First Nations communities is in dire need of renewal. Drinking water and adequate housing are chronic challenges leading to poor health and continued under-development. GPC would direct $800 million a year to this long neglected issue.
Increase EcoEnergy home energy retrofit grants by 50% 400 600 600
The successful EcoEnergy program supporting retrofits for houses and buildings expired January 1st, 2011. GPC would revive the program in 2011-12 and then expand it by 50% in 2012-13.
Energy retrofit for low income housing * 150 150 150
Establish a nation-wide program to retrofit all low-income rental housing by 2025, as Germany has done.
Energy retrofit for municipal, university, schools and hospitals 200 200 200
Retrofit MUSH buildings to a high level of efficiency by 2025, using a variety of green tools.
National solar roof program 180 180 180
Based on California program with similar population over 10 years.
Create six municipal superfunds:
 - Community brownfield remediation 300 300 300
To provide assistance in cleaning up toxic and brown field sites.
 - Water and waste treatment facilities 600 600 600
To upgrade water treatment, sewage treatment and recycling facilities to make them efficient, safe and sustainable.
 - Sports, cultural and recreational facilities 300 300 300
To support the development of green recreational and cultural facilities and refurbish existing facilities.
 - Mass transit promotion 700 700 700
To improve and expand urban mass transit infrastructure and inter-modal connections, as well as car-sharing initiatives.
 - Cycling and pedestrian promotion 200 200 200
To support pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and smart-growth developments that transform urban areas and towns into walk-able communities linked by transit to reduce the need for owning and using cars.
 - Community housing * 300 300 300
To support a national housing program to build energy efficient co-ops and affordable housing units where there is a shortage of such housing options.
Invest in early childhood education 500 700 1,000
Several provinces have gone it alone in designing innovative programs that work for their populations. Quebec has $7-a-day daycare. Ontario is moving towards full day kindergarten for 4 and 5 year olds. The GPC would ramp up to $1 billion a year to support existing and new programs that would be cost shared with the provinces.
Electrical grid upgrades 1,000 1,000 1,000
Improve electrical grids with smart upgrades to equally allow for distribution and collection of energy. These upgrades would also support the capability to store energy with pumped storage or compressed air as well as improving grid fail-safety. The program is a long-term investment lasting 10 years.
Provide stable base-funding for the CBC 100 150 200
Provide stable base-funding for the CBC so it can continue to provide quality Canadian content television and radio programming in both official languages to all Canadians.
Restore scientific capacity to the federal government 15 15 15
Include $15 million annually to the federal budget to add knowledgeable scientific staff to Environment Canada, Health Canada and Fisheries and Oceans ($5 million each) thereby increasing their competency.
Transition to organic farming 75 175 175
Support a rapid transition to organic agriculture rather than subsidizing costly agro-chemicals, industrial food production and genetically modified crops.
Retraining of forestry workers and reforestation 95 95 95
Provide funds to retrain forestry workers who may lose jobs to industry restructuring. Put more emphasis on reforestation.
Invest in wild fisheries and rivers 24 24 24
Give funding priority to small-scale projects to restore and enhance wild fish stocks, especially with aboriginal peoples and traditional fishing communities using traditional technologies.
National campaign to discourage marijuana use (similar to anti-tobacco) 43 43 43
In tandem with legalizing marijuana the GPC would launch a national campaign to discourage its use by educating Canadians about how marijuana affects their health. Anti-tobacco campaigns have been very effective at reducing tobacco use. This program envisages similar tactics to reduce marijuana use.
Total 3,869 5,276 6,517
Green Party lowers deficit by 2,649 4,043 4,168
* Note: these four items are part of the Green Party national affordable housing strategy

Deficit Reduction

The GPC believes we must address the ballooning budget deficits forecast over the coming years. We believe that during the years preceding the financial crisis the Government laid the groundwork for structural deficits by cutting taxes faster than spending. The Government’s own Parliamentary Budget Officer has confirmed that there are structural deficits in current budget projections.

The most significant tax increase to help address the imbalance isn’t really a tax increase at all. Instead the GPC’s proposal is to rollback corporate tax cuts to their 2009 level of 19%. By stopping additional corporate tax cuts, the GPC budget will reduce current deficit projections by $2.6 Billion, $4.0 Billion and $4.2 Billion in successive years.