For the duration of the election, The Globe is answering your questions – from fact-checking leaders’ statements to digging deep into policies and promises. Have a question? Tweet it with #AskTheGlobe
During The Globe and Mail federal leaders’ debate, readers flooded us with questions about statements made by the candidates. Digital politics editor Chris Hannay answered some of the more popular requests.
1. Viet asked a question related to Stephen Harper’s jobs record:
Answer: The claim comes from a study done by Unifor this summer, which concluded that average annual growth in total employment was the lowest in the years during which Stephen Harper was prime minister. However, it depends on what measure you use: for instance, Canada’s current unemployment rate of 7 per cent is low compared to the figure during much of the 1980s and ‘90s, according to Statistics Canada.
You can also read this story by Gloria Galloway on the Conservative’s plan to create 1.3 million new jobs by 2020.
2. Elizabeth A. Roth wondered if an environmental claim about B.C. was true:
Answer: No less an international authority than the Economist has given a thumbs-up to British Columbia’s carbon tax, which began in 2008, for driving down emissions. The OECD and the World Bank have noted the same thing. Now, is it the only way to reduce emissions, or even the best way? That, of course, is up for debate. At the federal level, the Conservatives have favoured a regulatory approach, the NDP have said they prefer a cap-and-trade system and only the Liberals seem open to a form of carbon pricing.
3. James Medeiros was one of several readers who wondered if a claim about water exports was true:
Answer: Bulk water exports are currently banned federally and in most provinces. In 2004, as Quebec’s environment minister, Thomas Mulcair suggested the province could export and sell water, if the process was managed sustainably. In 2007, when Mr. Mulcair entered federal politics, he recanted those views.
4. Liane Balaban had a question about emissions under the Harper government:
Answer: We’ve answered this on a previous #AskTheGlobe, but the short answer is yes and yes. Emissions are down between 2005 and 2013, and the drop came in 2008 and 2009, when the economy was going through a recession.
5. With the migrant crisis becoming a hot topic during the campaign, Mazen Ob had a question on immigration:
Answer: Yes, Canada has brought in about 250,000 immigrants per year since 2005. You can view the federal government’s stats here, broken down by category and gender.
6. Tristan Nuyens also had a question about immigration:
Answer: Sort of. Three years ago, the Conservatives began to deny health care to failed refugee claimants. A Federal Court later ruled the policy was a form of “cruel and unusual treatment.”
7. A claim that the Conservatives have spent big on infrastructure puzzled Abidah Shamji:
Answer: It’s hard to say whether the Conservatives have spent the most money ever on infrastructure spending, but it’s certainly up there. According to a 2004 report from the Library of Parliament, federal infrastructure spending declined sharply from around the time Pierre Trudeau became prime minister in 1968, and into the 2000s. Infrastructure spending increased dramatically after the 2008-09 recession, with the Conservatives using the money as a form of stimulus for the economy.
8. Finally, Marjolaine Provost asked about minimum wage’s affect on the population:
Answer: Not quite 99 per cent, but the minimum wage of $15 an hour promised by the NDP would affect only the relatively small number of workers under federal jurisdiction. For the vast majority of workers across Canada, their minimum wage is set by provincial governments. The Alberta NDP is also pushing to hike their province’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2018.