Chrystia Freeland

Questionnaire for 2015 Canada Federal Election
View candidate's detail profile

1. Stewardship of public office

1.1 In what ways should government be a force for good in society? How can it be improved in that role?

Our plan for a fair and open government is a sweeping agenda for change. It is an agenda that will allow us to modernize how the Canadian government works, so that
it better reflects the values and expectations of Canadians. At its heart is a simple idea: transparent government is good government. If we want Canadians to trust
their government, we need a government that trusts Canadians. Open government is effective government.

Liberals believe in the ability of government to be a force for good in society. That is why it is especially important to us that government work well, and be seen to work
well. Our plan will deliver better public services and more effective public servants for Canadians. It is the result of years of hard work and thousands of conversations
with experts, members of other governments who have led the way, and most importantly, everyday Canadians. People know that Ottawa is broken. We have a comprehensive plan to fix it. That’s real change.

Liberals will shed new light on the government and ensure that it is focused on the people it is meant to serve: Canadians.

1.2 What is an elected official’s duty to her/his constituents?

To be a leader in the community; to work with and support the residents in the riding on federal issues and be the voice of the community in Ottawa.

1.3 Should an elected official serve as a role model to her/his constituents?


2. Truth, transparency, and the democratic process.

2.1 What is the proper role of objective evidence (e.g., facts established by credentialed scientists) in establishing public policy?

Government should base its policies on facts, not make up facts based on policy. Without evidence, government makes arbitrary decisions that have the potential to
negatively affect the daily lives of Canadians. We need reliable economic indicators and data for sound economic policy, and to provide other governments, businesses, and civil society with the tools to enrich our national life. Unfortunately, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have allowed ideology to trump common sense, good policy, and evidence about what works. A Liberal government will ensure the federal government rebuilds its capacity to deliver on evidence-based decision-making.

2.2 What is the proper role of industry in public debate and the making of public policy?

Technology is evolving quickly and allows more rapid connections between citizens and their government.

These technologies are being used today by organizations to engage their clients and partners. The Canadian government must catch up.

We will mobilize the experience and knowledge of Canadians, including industry groups, and incorporate their input into our decisions and evaluations of existing
programs and policies.

2.3 What is the proper role of civil society / civic organizations in public debate and the making of public policy?

Technology is evolving quickly and allows more rapid connections between citizens and their government.

These technologies are being used today by organizations to engage their clients and partners. The Canadian government must catch up.
We will mobilize the experience and knowledge of Canadians, including civic organziations, and incorporate their input into our decisions and evaluations of existing programs and policies.

For Parliament to work best, its members must be free to do what they have been elected to do: represent their communities in Parliament and hold the government
to account.

A Liberal government will restore Parliament as a place where accountable people, with real mandates, do serious work on behalf of Canadians.

2.4 Would you support an MP’s ability to vote according to their conscience on significant issues? To vote outside the strict party line?

Liberal Caucus members in a government led by Justin Trudeau will be required to vote with the Cabinet on three different measures: those that implement the Liberal
electoral platform; traditional confidence matters such as the Speech from the Throne and significant budgetary measures; and those that address the shared
values embodied in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

2.5 How can the government ensure transparency in the flow of information?

Our objective is nothing less than making transparency a fundamental principle across the Government of Canada. To start, we will amend the Access to Information
Act so that all government data and information is made open by default in machine readable, digital formats. In the rare instances where information cannot be
disclosed, the individual making the request would receive a written explanation within 30 days. We will also eliminate all fees associated with the Access to
Information process, except for the initial $5 filing fee. We will expand the role of the Information Commissioner by providing them with the ability to issue binding orders
for disclosure. We will ensure a full legislative review of the Access to Information system every 5 years thereafter. We will also ensure that Access to Information
applies to the Prime Minister’s and Ministers’ Offices, as well as administrative institutions that support Parliament and the courts.

2.6 What is the government’s proper role in ensuring freedom of religion and association?

Canada needs leadership that recognizes we are strong not in spite of our differences, but precisely because of them, and that means bringing Canadians together, not dividing them against one another.

Canada’s success is rooted in its unique idea of liberty, which is, at its core, about inclusion. While Canadians identify with both the elements that unite and distinguish them from one another, such as language, culture, religion, gender, and sexual orientation; equally, they appreciate that these contribute to – and do not define – a person’s identity. Preserving Canada’s unique concept of liberty will not continue without effort, and that despite having built vital institutions around it, like the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, it will require real political leadership to sustain.

The idea of Canadian liberty, of inclusive diversity, has made an unimaginably more diverse society harmonious. Canada has proven that a nation can be built on shared values, and those of us lucky enough to benefit from Canadian liberty’s many blessings need to be strong and confident custodians of its character.

3. Aboriginal Affairs

3.1 The United Nations has criticized the Canadian government’s treatment of First Nations. How, in your view, should Canada respond?

As a matter of national priority, we will develop a Federal Reconciliation Framework, created in full partnership with Indigenous Peoples.

Reconciliation starts with recognizing and respecting Aboriginal title and rights, including treaty rights. A Liberal government will do just that. Not only in accordance with
Constitutional obligations, but also with those enshrined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples -something the current government has steadfastly efused to do.

To this end, we will conduct a full review of the legislation unilaterally imposed on Indigenous Peoples by the Harper government, through the lens of section 35 of the
Constitution. Where measures are found to be in conflict with Aboriginal rights, where they are inconsistent with the principles of good governance, or where they simply make no public policy sense, we will rescind them.

This Reconciliation Framework will also include mechanisms to resolve grievances associated with existing historical treaties and modern land-claims agreements. The current
process simply does not work. We will work with First Nations to re-design how Canada negotiates and fully implements modern treaties.

In some cases, the work toward reconciliation is already underway, but efforts are hindered by narrow federal mandates and lack of action. We will work with First Nations to achieve fair and just resolutions. That includes addressing the issue of governance. The Reconciliation Framework will include mechanisms to advance and strengthen self-government.

3.2 What, if anything, should happen in response to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

We will support the work of reconciliation and continue the necessary process of truth telling and healing, we will work with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples to enact the
recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, starting with the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

3.3 Do you support an inquiry into the safety and security of aboriginal women? If not, why not? What, if any, alternatives would you suggest?

A Liberal government will immediately launch a national public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. The process by which it is established will be fully inclusive, designed to find justice for the victims and healing for their families.

An inquiry would seek to recommend concrete actions that governments, law enforcement, and others can take to solve these crimes and prevent future ones. Not by
ignoring uncomfortable truths, but by understanding and taking action to deal with the root causes of this national tragedy.

4. Public Health

4.1 In your view, what can or should be done to promote good health among Canadians?

Liberals believe that the quality of our health care system must be improved while maintaining its universality. We support federal collaboration with provincial and
territorial partners to tackle critical needs like community-based care, elder care, mental health and pharmacare. A Liberal government will call a federal-provincial
meeting to reach a long-term agreement on health care funding. We will also reengage in areas where there is direct federal responsibility, including health promotion, support to caregivers, and First Nations’ health.

4.2 How can reliable, efficient, and safe health care be promoted by the government of Canada for all Canadians? Cost containment, alternative medicines? For the unborn? For the elderly, the young, the poor? With respect to end of life care, physician-assisted suicide?

Health Care
Liberals believe that the quality of our health care system must be improved while maintaining its universality. Every Canadian must have access to timely, publically funded, quality, universal health care, regardless of background, physical needs, geographical location, or income. Addressing Canada’s health care needs requires leadership from the Federal government and Liberals will actively engage with Health Canada, the provinces and territories, experts, and Canadians to determine the best solutions to resolve issues that affect the health of Canadians.

Cost containment
- The cost of prescription drugs is becoming increasingly expensive and therefore inaccessible for Canadians. A Liberal government will work with the provinces to
lower drug costs.
- Liberals believe that investing in home and community-based services will be more cost effective and provide better outcomes for patients. This would also free up overcrowded hospitals so that they can better provide urgent, acute and emergency care. A Liberal government would work with provinces and territories to develop long-term care infrastructure and community-based services.

A Liberal government will make Employment Insurance Compassionate Care Benefits available to any Canadian providing care to a seriously ill family member. Liberals will also build more flexibility into the program by allowing the six-month benefit to be claimed in blocks of time over a year-long period. The benefit is an investment of $190 million per year and will require no increase to Employment Insurance premiums. A Liberal government will restore federal leadership on affordable housing by investing in a comprehensive National Housing Strategy.

Physician-assisted dying
- Physician-assisted dying is a complex and emotional issue that touches the lives of a great number of Canadians. Liberals respect the recent ruling by the Supreme Court
of Canada, which found that the prohibition infringed on the Charter right to life, liberty and security of person for adults who are mentally competent but suffering
“grievous and irremediable medical conditions”.

- A Liberal government will appoint a special committee to consider the ruling of the Supreme Court, consult with experts and Canadians, and make recommendations for
a legislative framework that respects the Constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the priorities of Canadians.

5. The dignity of work and economic justice

5.1 What can the Government of Canada do to encourage meaningful and dignified employment for all workers? What can or should the government of Canada do to provide and encourage meaningful and dignified employment for all workers, including immigrants, migrants, students, and those who are new to the work force?

Liberals understand that the key to fiscal responsibility is targeted investment, job creation, and economic growth. Justin Trudeau has already announced a three-point
plan to deliver real change for Canadians by creating jobs, growing the middle class, and helping those working hard to join it.

Our three-point plan will:
- Create jobs with the most significant infrastructure investment in Canadian history – $60 billion in new funding over the next ten years;
- Grow the middle class by raising taxes on the wealthiest one percent and cutting taxes for middle class Canadians; and
- Help those working to join the middle class by investing in essential social infrastructure, including affordable housing and child care, as well as providing more money to help families with the high cost of raising their kids.

The Liberal Party of Canada is committed to increasing the number of Canadians with university, college, and skilled trade credentials, while lowering the costs that middle
class families pay.