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Conservatives release full platform promising billions of dollars in new pandemic aid and Open Banking

CBC | Aug 16, 2021

Canadian federal election Sep 2021 - Conservatives release full platform promising billions of dollars in new pandemic aid and Open Banking

The party would create new legislation to "open banking so Canadians can connect with fintech companies that can provide a better offer for banking services."

The Conservative Party of Canada today released its full 160-page election platform — an ambitious agenda that promises billions of dollars in new spending to prop up an economy ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike past Conservative platforms, this one embraces a robust role for government in the economy through large cash injections to help businesses weather the pandemic crisis over the next two years.

See:  Reflections on Canada’s open banking report

The multi-billion dollar plan has not yet been costed; the party says the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has not finished studying the numbers.

O'Toole said a Conservative government would balance the budget in ten years' time. The federal deficit for this fiscal year alone is expected to be $381.6 billion.

"You'll probably notice ideas that you haven't heard from Conservatives like me before. It's time for Conservatives to take inequality seriously, because that's becoming more of a problem in our country," Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says in the opening paragraphs of the document.

Beyond job-creation measures and child care, the detailed platform includes a number of populist-minded measures — a tougher regulatory stance on cell phone companies, a crackdown on grocery price fixing and new legislation to "open banking so Canadians can connect with fintech companies that can provide a better offer for banking services."

A Conservative-led government would also order the Competition Bureau to investigate bank fees. O'Toole said he would allow foreign telecommunications companies to offer cell phone service to Canadians to drive down prices, "provided that the same treatment is reciprocated for Canadian companies in that company's country."

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