Let’s break down each major federal party platform, including who is the representative for each local riding, and where you can vote.

Image by Liz Sullivan
Image by Liz Sullivan

The federal election on October 21 offers Canadians the opportunity to make their voices heard. The last four years of national and international politics have been unsettling to say the least, leaving many feeling uncertain about the future. The best way to ensure that the government in power is the one that best serves your interests and the best interests of the country as a whole is to get out and vote. It is essential, no matter where your ideology lies.

This article is meant to minimize the confusion that often comes with election season by cutting through the campaign noise and offering some quick need-to-know points about the voting process in general, as well as offering a brief outline of each of the four main parties’ platforms. All information is taken directly from the official party websites, as well as Elections Canada.

Where to vote: Each eligible voter has an assigned polling station based on their riding. This will be listed on the voter information card you receive in the mail before the election. You can also find your polling station online.

How to register to vote: The online registration process is really quite simple. Go to https://ereg.elections.ca/ to see if you are registered to vote with your current address, and if you aren’t, you can do so on the same site. Chances are, if you voted in the last election, you’ll still be registered. You can also register in person when you go to vote, or by going to any Elections Canada office before October 15 at 6p.m.

How to vote outside of your riding: Head on over to the News section to read Erin Delf’s article on voting outside of your riding, detailing the various ways you can ensure your voice is heard even if you are living outside of your home riding. It also goes into greater detail on advance voting on campus, and other important dates and times.

Assistance with voting and accessibility concerns: According to the Regional District of the Okanagan website, “if you are able to get to the voting place (for example, by car) but are unable to get inside the building, you may request that an election official bring you a ballot. This is called "curbside voting". If you are unable to mark your own ballot you may ask an election official, friend or relative to help you. If you require a translator to interpret for you, you may bring someone along. There will be additional authorization forms to sign for these procedures.”

Conservative Party

Leader: Andrew Scheer

Slogan: “It’s time for you to get ahead”

Platform: Implementing universal tax cuts; building pipelines; and removing taxes on home heating. They also outline their “Real Plan” for climate change, which focuses on “green technology, not taxes; a cleaner and greener natural environment; and taking our fight against climate change global”.

Link to full platform document: (There is no definitive election platform outlined on the Conservative party website. This is a policy document released in 2018).

https://cpcassets.conservative.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/03154936/00477c06063465c.pdf

Local representatives, by riding:

Tracy Gray, Kelowna — Lake Country

Dan Albas, Central Okanagan — Similkameen — Nicola

Mel Arnold, North Okanagan — Shuswap

Helena Konanz, South Okanagan — West Kootenay

Green Party

Leader: Elizabeth May

Slogan: “Not left. Not right. Forward together”

Platform: The Green Party platform incorporates the environment and equality into every aspect of their proposed policy. According to their site, they plan to address climate change through “science-based action” and “indigenous partnerships”. They emphasize Indigenous reconciliation, LGBTQI2+ rights, and healthcare policy that includes trans and two spirit individuals.

Link to full platform document: https://www.greenparty.ca/sites/default/files/platform_2019_en_web_-_update_sep17.pdf

Local representatives, by riding:

Travis Ashley, Kelowna — Lake Country

Robert Mellalieu, Central Okanagan — Similkameen — Nicola

Marc Reinarz, North Okanagan — Shuswap

Tara Howse, South Okanagan — West Kootenay

Liberal Party

Leader: Justin Trudeau

Slogan: “Choose Forward”, “Real Change”

Platform: The party’s top platform priorities are listed on their website as “more money for middle class families”, “real action to address the climate crisis”, and “stronger gun control”. In addition, they promise a strong middle class, continued efforts towards Indigenous reconciliation, and environmental policy that strengthens the economy. They also emphasize a stronger and more secure country which includes being open to immigrants.

Link to full platform document: https://2019.liberal.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/292/2019/09/Forward-A-real-plan-for-the-middle-class.pdf

Local representatives, by riding:

Stephen Fuhr, Kelowna — Lake Country

Mary Ann Murphy, Central Okanagan — Similkameen — Nicola

Cindy Derkaz, North Okanagan — Shuswap

Connie Denesiuk, South Okanagan — West Kootenay

New Democratic Party

Leader: Jagmeet Singh

Slogan: “In it for you”

Platform: The NDP describes their platform as “Our new deal for people”. This includes fighting the climate crisis while creating clean energy jobs, expanding medicare and pharmacare, and implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in order to work towards reconciliation. They also aim to strengthen the economy through lowering housing prices, lowering internet and phone bills, lowering the cost of child care, and increasing tax on the ultra-rich.

Link to full platform document: https://action.ndp.ca/page/-/2019/Q2/2019-06-19_Commitments-Doc_EN.pdf

Local representatives, by riding:

Justin Kulik, Kelowna — Lake Country

Joan Phillip, Central Okanagan — Similkameen — Nicola

Harwinder Sandhu, North Okanagan — Shuswap

Richard Cannings, South Okanagan — West Kootenay

For further information, the following resources go into greater comparative detail on each party:

https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/elections/federal/2019/party-platforms/

https://www.macleans.ca/politics/2019-federal-election-platform-guide-where-the-parties-stand-on-everything/