2011 Conservative Party election platform

Moderator’s Note:  This material is provided by .  It is from a document entitled Here For Canada, which is available at this URL: http://www.conservative.ca/media/ConservativePlatform2011_ENs.pdf

(Beginning at page 16)

PROMOTE CANADA’S WORLD-CLASS AEROSPACE INDUSTRY
Canada’s export-oriented aerospace industry – the fifth largest in the world – employs more than 80,000 Canadians in well-paid, highly skilled jobs in almost every region of the country. It is also one of the top investors in industrial research and development – high-tech innovation that attracts talent to Canada and creates more good new jobs for Canadians.

To support this world-class Canadian industry, Stephen Harper’s Government has:
- established the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative, to leverage private-sector investment in research and development in this important and growing sector of our economy; and
- helped maintain and create jobs in the industry in every region of the country through our investments in re-equipping the Canadian Armed Forces.

But the vast majority of the Canadian aerospace industry’s clients are civilian, and more than 80 percent of its revenues come from exports. In fact, the industry is Canada’s leading exporter of advanced technology.

Through a consultative process involving the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada and their member firms, we will conduct a comprehensive review of policies and programs to develop a federal policy framework to maximize the competitiveness of Canada’s aerospace and space industry.  We will also ensure stable funding is provided for the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative.

SUPPORT CANADIAN AEROSPACE JOBS
Stephen Harper’s Government has provided strong support for jobs in Canada’s world-class aerospace industry. Among other things, we have committed to purchasing the Next-generation fighter jet, the F-35 – a necessary and responsible investment to re-equip Canada’s air force and to strengthen Canadian sovereignty.

The previous Liberal government invested in the development of the F-35, and we supported the decision, because it was and is the best option for Canada. But now Michael Ignatieff and his Coalition partners, the NDP and Bloc Québécois, have promised to scrap it – a reckless and irresponsible promise which would sacrifice $12 billion in possible economic benefits across the country, and kill thousands of Canadian jobs.  A re-elected Stephen Harper Government will follow through on the purchase of the F-35, to strengthen the Canadian Armed Forces and to support thousands of jobs for Canadian aerospace workers across the country.

(at page 17) NATIONAL SHIPBUILDING PROCUREMENT STARTEGY
Stephen Harper’s Government has taken strong action to provide the Canadian Armed Forces the equipment they need to protect and defend our country – and in so doing we are supporting and creating well-paid, highly skilled jobs across the country.

In 2010 we announced the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, to re-equip the navy and the Canadian Coast Guard.  The strategy will:
- bring predictability to federal ship procurement and eliminate cycles of boom and bust;
- help revitalize Canadian shipyards; and
- support the broader Canadian marine industry and its suppliers.

The Strategy was developed after consultations with industry stakeholders. It is designed to promote opportunities for shipyards and other businesses across the country, including small businesses, while reducing production costs and ensuring the best value for taxpayers.

Stephen Harper’s Government has already taken action to begin re-equipping the navy and coast guard. For example, we have:
- committed to invest in new Arctic patrol ships; and
- started planning for the launch of a new polar-class icebreaker, John G. Diefenbaker.

We will complete the implementation of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, to ensure our men and women in uniform have the tools they need to do their job, and to create good jobs in high-tech industries across Canada.

(at page 17) ESTABLISHING A NEW AIR EXPEDITIONARY WING AT CFB BAGOTVILLE
As part of our Government’s commitment to strengthen the military and create jobs in all regions of the country, we remain committed to establishing a new air expeditionary wing at CFB Bagotville. The new expeditionary wing will enhance the Canadian Armed Forces’ ability to respond quickly and decisively to domestic or international needs. And the growth in the number of military families will create jobs and growth in the Saguenay region.

We will:
- take action to establish a new air expeditionary wing before the end of 2011; and
- follow through on our commitment to station 550 personnel at Bagotville for this purpose by 2015.

To begin to implement these commitments, we will station 250 personnel at Bagotville by the end of 2011. Depending on any demands placed on the air force – such as the allied operations in Libya, the Middle East, or Central Asia – if necessary this deadline may be extended into 2012.

(at page 32) HERE TO STAND ON GUARD FOR CANADA
OUR GOAL
Canadians have seen that no one can predict when our brave men and women in uniform may be called upon – whether to support our allies and defend our country’s interests, to help keep the peace in troubled lands, or to rescue the victims of natural disasters at home and abroad. In the age of global security threats, Canadians see the need for extra vigilance – and they see that Canada is not immune from the threat of “home-grown” terrorists.

Stephen Harper’s Government believes that the federal government’s most solemn responsibility is to defend and strengthen our national sovereignty.  Above all, the federal government has a duty to protect the lives of Canadians – to defend our country and secure our borders. Generations of Canadians have worked hard to build our country; and in times of peril up to the present day, our best and bravest have given their lives in service to it.

Stephen Harper’s Government is also committed to promoting Canada’s history and defending the principles which make our country united, strong and free.

OUR RECORD
Here are some of the actions Stephen Harper’s Government has taken so far to stand on guard for Canada. To strengthen our national sovereignty and secure our borders, we:
- are rebuilding the Canadian Armed Forces, giving our men and women in uniform the equipment they need and the respect they deserve;
- are supporting our military in their outstanding contribution to the allied effort in Afghanistan, and in the transition of their mission from combat to training this year, to help ensure that Afghanistan is no longer a safe haven for terrorists;
- introduced legislation to allow victims to sue listed supporters and perpetrators of terrorism, in Canadian courts;
- established new measured to combat terrorist financing and money laundering, and to prevent organizations linked to terrorism from operating as registered charities;
- developed the Federal Emergency Response Plan, and the National Strategy and Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure to manage risks and strengthen the resiliency of vital systems such as our food supply, electricity grids, and transportation, communications, and public safety systems;
- passed the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, to provide faster protection for those in need of Canada’s protection and faster removal of failed asylum claimants; and
- passed a law allowing Canada to freeze the Canadian assets of corrupt former leaders of foreign states, their family members, senior officials and associates.

(at page 34) STRENGTHEN THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES
The previous Liberal government refused to provide our men and women in uniform the tools they need to do their job, sending them into harm’s way without the necessary equipment. Since then, the Ignatieff-led Coalition has opposed every attempt to reverse the effects of what our military calls the “Decade of Darkness.”

In spite of this obstruction, Stephen Harper’s Government has taken major steps forward to ensure the Canadian Armed Forces have the equipment they need to defend our country. We have invested in modern tanks, helicopters, and transport planes for the army; and we have established a National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy, to re-equip the navy.

We have also committed to buying the next-generation fighter jet, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for our air force. The development of the F-35 is a cooperative program including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and Turkey.

The F-35 purchase is necessary to replace the current fleet of CF-18s before they are no longer useable, and to ensure Canada’s Fighter jets are compatible with those of our NATO allies, The investment will be made gradually over the next 15 years, most of it beginning only in 2015, once the budget is balanced.

The previous Liberal government invested in the development of the F-35, and we supported the decision, because it was and is the best option for Canada. But now Michael Ignatieff and his Coalition partners, the NDP and Bloc Québécois, have promised to scrap it – a reckless and irresponsible promise which would kill thousands of well-paid, highly-skilled Canadian jobs and deny the men and women of our air force the modern equipment they need to do their job.

A re-elected Stephen Harper Government will follow through on the purchase of the F-35, to ensure our air force personnel have the tools they need to defend our country in the years to come.

(at page 34) CRACK DOWN ON HUMAN SMUGGLING
Recent events have shown that Canada’s immigration system is a target of criminal abuse that costs Canadians dearly. It’s not fair that criminal human smugglers and bogus claimants abuse Canada’s generosity and jump the immigration queue ahead of those who follow the rules.

Stephen Harper’s Government has taken strong action to protect Canada’s immigration system by introducing the Preventing Human Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act. But Michael Ignatieff and his Coalition partners, the NDP and Bloc Québécois, strongly opposed these urgently needed reforms. They oppose detaining illegal immigrants. They even oppose tougher sentences for human smugglers.

A Stephen Harper-led majority Government will make it a priority to reintroduce and pass our legislation to crack down on human smuggling.

(at page 35) STRENGTHEN THE CANADIAN COAST GUARD
Stephen Harper’s Government has taken action on a number of fronts to strengthen our national sovereignty, including our sovereignty in the Arctic. We are re-equipping the Canadian Armed Forces, and steadily implementing our Northern Strategy. But improvements are needed to strengthen Canada’s ability to patrol our coasts and to enforce our laws on Canadian waters.

The Canadian Coast Guard serves many functions, including support for environmental protection and emergency response. At present, however, it lacks the mandate and the means to play a significant role in enforcing Canadian law and protecting our national security.

Stephen Harper’s Government has already taken action to re-equip the Coast Guard. We have invested in the procurement of 98 new vessels and barges and in major repairs to 40 existing vessels, as a key part of our National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.

To build on these actions and further strengthen our national Security, we will:
- give the Coast Guard a law-enforcement mandate, to enable them to enforce federal laws on our oceans and on the Great Lakes;
- establish armed boarding teams including Coast Guard and RCMP personnel; and
- outfit selected Coast Guard vessels with armed capability.

(at page 35) DEPORT FOREIGN CRIMINALS
It often takes years to deport even dangerous foreign criminals from Canada. In some cases, foreign criminals and terrorists here have evaded removal from Canada for over a decade as they exploit endless appeals and loopholes.

Canadians expect that foreign criminals will get due process before being removed, but not an endless abuse of our generosity. We will streamline the process for deporting foreign criminals. We will:
- expedite the deportation of foreign criminals, putting the top priority on executing existing and new deportation orders against individuals with criminal records, or connections to terrorist organizations or organized crime;
- streamline the multiple levels of appeal available to individuals ordered deported for serious criminality or connections to terrorist organizations or organized crime;
- amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to permit sentencing courts to order deportation immediately on reaching parole eligibility or on completion of sentence, and make acceptance of deportation a condition of parole eligibility; and
- amend the International Transfer of Offenders Act to remove the requirement for a foreign offender’s consent for prisoner transfer, so that in some cases they can complete their sentence abroad.

(at page 36) EXTEND THE SECURITY INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM
Canada is a diverse and tolerant country.  But sadly, some communities are vulnerable to hate-motivated crime, targeted simply because of their race, religion, or culture. Such violent and hateful acts damage property and pose a risk to public safety, and they place entire communities in a state of fear and anxiety.

In 2007 Stephen Harper’s Government established a pilot project, the Security Infrastructure Program, to assist such communities in acquiring surveillance cameras, alarm systems, fencing and other equipment to protect their places of worship, schools and community centres.  We will extend this program to prevent hate-motivated crime and help restore a sense of security among affected communities.

(at page 36) REINTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO COMBAT TERRORISM
In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Parliament passed legislation to give law enforcement the tools they need to combat terrorism. The law expired after five years. Stephen Harper’s Government has tried to reinstate its key provisions:
- “investigative hearings” – allowing a judge to order a person to answer questions or produce documents, when there are grounds to believe a terrorism offence has been or will be committed; and
- “recognizance with conditions” – whereby a person agrees to abide by conditions imposed by a judge, to prevent terrorist activity.

Unfortunately, the Ignatieff-led Coalition with the NDP and Bloc Québécois has blocked these necessary measures. But Canadians know that the threat of global terrorism remains, and in the years since 9/11 we have seen that Canada is also vulnerable to the threat of “home-grown” terrorist plots.

We will reintroduce our legislation to give law enforcement the tools they need to investigate and prevent acts of terrorism, to protect Canadians and defend our country against such atrocities.

(at page 36) NATIONAL COUNTER-TERRORISM STRATEGY
The federal government’s most solemn responsibility is to protect the security of Canadians and defend our country against attack. Canadians know we are not immune to the threat of terrorism, and they want and deserve to be confident that their government has a comprehensive plan to counter that threat.

Among other things, Stephen Harper’s Government has:
- helped ensure that vital intelligence is shared and analysed comprehensively by Canada’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies;
- provided increased funding to strengthen air cargo security and to improve operations of the Canadian Air Transportation Security Authority; and
- developed the Federal Emergency Response Plan, and the National Strategy and Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure.

To build on these actions we will develop a new National Counter-Terrorism Strategy outlining relevant laws and procedures and highlighting the means to protect our country from terrorism through effective coordination among Canada’s security agencies, all levels of government, law enforcement, community stakeholders and our international partners.

(at page 37) ARCTIC SOVEREIGNTY: COMPLETING THE DEMPSTER HIGHWAY
Canada’s North is at the heart of our Canadian identity – from ancient Aboriginal cultures to famous explorers to iconic Canadian artwork and literature. Our presence in Canada’s North is also an increasingly important factor in defending our national sovereignty.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made Canada’s North a cornerstone of our Government’s agenda. Through our Government’s four-point Northern Strategy, we are:
- strengthening Canada’s Arctic sovereignty;
- protecting the Northern environment;
- promoting economic and social development; and
- giving Northerners more control over their own affairs.

To implement our Northern Strategy, among many other things, Stephen Harper’s Government has:
- expanded Nahanni National Park Reserve to six times its original size;
- taken action to establish Tarium Niryutait Marine Protected Area and Lancaster Sound National Marine Conservation Area;
- passed legislation protecting our Arctic waters;
- established a new economic development agency, CanNor, dedicated to the region;
- invested in affordable housing;
- invested in skills training, and supported business development by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses;
- started work on a new High Arctic Research Station;
- expanded the size and capabilities of the Canadian Rangers;
- supported the next phase of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, a system of three advanced remote sensing satellites; and
- committed to invest in new Arctic patrol ships and started planning for the launch of a new polar-class icebreaker, John G. Diefenbaker.

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