Platform

We have updated our platform for the 2019 General Election

 

Download a copy here

 

ECONOMY

The Libertarian Party believes in a free market economy where entrepreneurs and employees can flourish, to create jobs and higher wages. Corporate welfare props up failing businesses that are well-connected to governing parties - a system that allows for businesses to thrive that do not meet the needs of the people, but rather meet the needs of the politicians. Human flourishing occurs when individuals are free to engage in trade, entrepreneurship, and labour in a non-coercive environment.

Unlike most political parties that subscribe to the Keynesian economic theory we subscribe to economists like Mises, Hayek and Rothbard. We view government intervention in the economy as the major contributor to the harmful business cycle of booms and busts. The governments role in the economy is not to engage in setting interest rates, inflating the money supply, bail out large corporations, or regulate in favour of lobbyists but rather to simply protect the rights of individuals to engage in peaceful economic activity.

Regulatory Burdens

Regulatory burdens have damaged the economy and made life unaffordable for ordinary Canadians. Our regulations are written by lobbyists, for their betterment and not the Canadian people. Our cell phone bills, grocery bills, rents and mortgage costs have gone up while the government continues to work for the elites in society. 

  • Repeal the power of the CRTC, allowing for more competition with telecommunications
  • Eliminate supply management, that costs taxpayer dollars, and drives up the cost of groceries
  • Repeal federal mortgage regulations

Cost of Living

Canadians are seeing their bills go up without a corresponding increase in salary. The purchasing power of our dollar is being diminished while others profit. Through the Bank of Canada, banking institutions are allowed to create a greater supply of money, devaluing our money - reducing our purchasing power, and then they lend it out collecting it back with interest. This practice hurts those in a fixed income, especially seniors and employees earning a minimum wage. 

Taxation

Taking justly earned money or property without consent through threat of force is theft. The Libertarian Party would seek to eliminate all forms of compulsory taxation including the income tax, corporate tax, carbon tax, capital gains tax etc. Revenue would be raised through a voluntary head tax and other voluntary means such as direct payment for government services and crowd funding.

The ability of individuals to keep all the money they justly acquire will supercharge the economy as billions of dollars kept in the pockets of Canadians can be deployed for saving, investment, production and consumption.

While transitioning to this voluntary tax structure we will maintain a 5% GST to pay for military, police and courts. Consumer taxes are pseudo-voluntary in that you can choose to make purchases and therefore choose to pay tax.

Debt and Unfunded Liabilities

Canadian taxpayers owe $4.1 trillion when you total all the debt and unfunded liabilities incurred in our name by federal, provincial and local governments. This amounts to $243,476 of obligation for each taxpayer that the government has incurred in your name without your consent. This represents an incredible single point of failure for Canadians who rely on the programs supported by these unfunded obligations. A recession, a weakening American dollar, economic stagnation, declining birth rates all represent tangible risks that threaten individuals who are dependent on these programs.

The Libertarian Party of Canada would pay off the $700 billion federal debt by selling Crown Corporations like the CBC.

Over half of the unfunded liability shortfall is due to CPP, OAS and Medicare. Canadians should not be forced to contribute or bailout these programs. It is our responsibility as individuals to plan for our retirement and healthcare expenses; this is not a proper role of government. We will transition away from these government programs in a structured way towards a competitive market in safety nets for Canadians. Decentralizing the risk of failure is the only sustainable path forward.

Budget

The Government of Canada is the largest employer in Canada with over 250,000 employees. Most of these individuals are doing things that a free market can provide services for more effectively and efficiently. The current budget is approximately $330 billion per year. If we limit government to its proper role of protecting the individual and pay for police, national defense, and federal courts we can cut the budget to approximately $30 billion per year (about the amount collected through GST).

Central Banking

Central banking is essentially legal counterfeiting that enriches a few at the expense of the many, increases wealth inequality, erodes buying power, constitutes a tax on the unborn, incentivizes consumption over production, leads to a harmful business cycle of booms and busts, creates market distortions and creates inefficient resource allocation. The Libertarian Party seeks to end the central banks monopoly on money supply and monetary policy and move back to a system of free banking.

CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM

Our constitution doesn’t adequately protect our inalienable rights. We currently have poor protection of freedom of expression. We have weak protection over our right to bear arms. We have limited property rights. Members of the confederation of Canada must respect these inalienable rights and currently they do not.

Comedians are being fined by Human Rights Commissions and Bill C 16 arguably compels speech. Individuals are being prosecuted for using fire arms to protect their property. Property is being expropriated for government projects. Taxpayer wealth is being redistributed, through constitutionally mandated equalization payments, to provinces whose irresponsible policies result in economic shortcomings. Free trade is being attacked by interprovincial barriers and pipeline bans.

The Libertarian Party would work towards a constitutional reform that enumerates our inalienable right to free speech, property, bear arms, bodily autonomy, due process and free trade. We would eliminate the equalization mandate.

IMMIGRATION

Migrant crises exist in part because of military interventionism in the Middle East and Africa, the funding of militant extremist factions by western governments, and a UN led agenda to utilize western countries as welfare states for those displaced. These agendas have harmed the interests of Canadians. The Libertarian Party would cease all participation in these agendas and refuse to participate in interventionist activities that contribute to a migrant crisis.

The Libertarian Party would allow Canadian citizens to sponsor immigrants and refugees provided that they agree to underwrite the financial costs associated and agree to accept liability for any criminal activity that their invitee partakes in. This gets government out of immigration policy and gets away from arbitrary cap numbers and values testing and ties immigration to the level of personal responsibility Canadians are willing to take on.

When we successfully abolish the welfare state, borders can be opened up to allow a free flow of labour. Individuals who can integrate into Canadian culture and provide value to their countrymen will flourish and stay, those who are unable to provide value or integrate will either have to rely on private charity or repatriate themselves.

ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE

The Libertarian Party recognizes that the primary metric of success for environmental and climate policy is human flourishing. Climate related deaths have declined by 95% over the past 100 years. Over one billion individuals have been lifted out of extreme poverty over the last 3 decades. Free markets and access to cheap and reliable energy has made life for humans immeasurably better in part by protecting them from climate adversity. 

Markets and trade foster innovation and solutions that make cleaner energy more abundant and accessible. Most climate action policies undermine the very mechanism that creates climate and environmental solutions by interfering in the market and making it more expensive to be an entrepreneur.

We also recognize that human activity, emissions and pollution can harm other humans. Claims of harm should be tried in court, not the court of public opinion. It is the legal system not the political system that should be responsible for climate justice. It is estimated that 122 corporations are responsible for 80% of CO2 emissions. If a complainant feels that climate change has harmed them, they should be able to take these CO2 emitters to court and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they are responsible for the damages. A carbon tax redistributes wealth in exchange for political popularity to green energy boondoggles. A proper legal system awards damages to individuals that are actually harmed rather than to politicians who use the money to buy votes.

The Libertarian Party will eliminate the carbon tax, protect the free market, and streamline the approval process for nuclear energy. We will remove corporate subsidies and crony regulation that make it harder for entrepreneurs to compete in the energy sector. We will unleash entrepreneurship by creating an economic climate of innovation which will get us to the next energy paradigm. We will commit to reformation of the legal system that will make justice accessible for those that have been harmed by pollution.

We will work to improve property rights. For example, Fort Chipewyan residents live downstream from large oil sands projects and should have a property right in the water ways that their community has relied on for thousands of years. Property rights grant individuals immediate access to the legal system and justice. If they believe an oil sands project is polluting their waters, they could simply prove it in court and get an injunction and damages. Under the current regime the federal government owns the waterways and so they have to petition government, submit to the political cycle and endless public engagements and hope that the court of popular opinion grants them some modicum of justice.

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY

The Libertarian Party of Canada recognizes that a healthy and stable society requires a healthy and stable family. Fatherless children are at far greater risk of suicide, unwanted pregnancy, drug addiction, gang membership, behavioural disorders, criminality, and dropping out of school. The break down of the family is correlated with a growing state that incentivizes fatherlessness through the welfare state, legislation and family law system.

The welfare state incentivizes single motherhood by reducing the need for marriage and by punishing low income earners who do marry. The growth of the welfare state is highly correlated with both fatherless and parentless children.

A key element of contract law is that a person that breaks a contract compensate those they entered into the contract with. “No-fault” divorce legislation violates this key element by allowing one spouse to break the marriage contract unilaterally without incurring any personal responsibility for their decision. This legislation not only fails to compensate the spouse who is the victim of the contract breach, but additionally punishes them by subjugating them to state authority and harsh law enforcement measures should they fail to adequately compensate the contract breaker.

In Canada mothers obtain primary custody of children 89% of the time. The Divorce Act of 1985 saw judicial reform that biased primary caregiver theory instead of presumption of shared parenting. theory. This ideological possession has courts asking the adversarial question, “who is the best parent?” instead of asking the question, “what is the best way for the child to maintain relationships with all the important people in their life?” Additionally, courts operate on the assumption that fathers in the custodial home are individuals who are motivated to provide for and love their children while fathers who are excluded from the custodial home are “deadbeats” who must be coerced into providing for the best interests of their children.

This ideological possession is elucidated in Grant Browns “Ideology and Dysfunction in Family Law” and leads to inequality before the law where mothers have rights in family law that men don’t have:

  • The right to conceive a child through force or fraud.

Men are obliged to pay child support regardless of whether a woman lied to them about being on birth control or pressured them into unwanted sex. Teenage boys who have been raped by older women are often obligated to pay child support when they reach the age of consent.

  • The right to damage a fetus by engaging in substance abuse.

Men are obligated to pay section 7 expenses that arise through maternal substance abuse.

  • The right to secretly entrap a man into fatherhood.

The prevalence of paternity fraud appears to be between 5-15%. Duping a man into believing he is the biological father of a child is not criminal and does not necessarily negate his responsibility to pay child support.

  • The right to abandon an infant at birth.

A mother has the right to abandon their child at birth with no questions or strings attached through secret adoption or dropping the child off at designated locations and in doing so she waives all financial obligations to the child. Biological fathers don’t have the right to waive financial obligations nor do they even have the right of first refusal to custody of the abandoned child.

  • The right to alienate the father from his child.

A woman can keep her pregnancy secret from the biological father and years later decide to sue him for retroactive and prospective child support.

  • The right to deny or disrupt access between father and child.

While non-custodial parents have the right to access the child, these rights are not enforced like child support. Police will not enforce normal access orders and mothers can ignore court-ordered access with impunity in most cases.

  • The right to make false allegations against the father.

Mothers who make false accusations of child abuse or domestic violence in order to gain a custody advantage can expect to face no repercussions.

 

The combination of no-fault divorce and ideological possession of family law promotes fatherlessness by relegating men to the status of “visitors” in their child’s lives at best, and “wallets” at worst.

The Libertarian Party of Canada will remove government from marriage and the family by privatizing marriage and divorce. No more state issued marriage permits, no more state managed family courts systems that apply erroneous assumptions, ideological bias and homogenous rules according to legislation. Consenting adults, including same sex couples, will be free to enter into marriage or relationship contracts and these contracts will be treated like any other private contract in that you will bear personal responsibility for unilaterally breaking the contract.

Contract disputes and breaches will be mediated through dispute resolution or courts applying common law principles, rather than legislative dictates. Courts will presume shared custody unless there are mitigating circumstances. Paternity fraud and false allegations of domestic violence will be considered criminal offences and punished accordingly. Marriage in this type of environment becomes more than an amazing party for family and friends that can be dissolved without any consequences, it becomes a serious commitment with obligations and incentives to work through problems.

The welfare state will be replaced by private charity. A society where individuals are responsible for the consequences of their actions is one where individuals tend to make more responsible choices. We strongly feel that libertarian society strengthens the family.

ABORTION

Libertarians are split on the issue of abortion. Some believe that because a woman owns her body she ought to have the final say about what is going on inside it. Some believe that the fetus is a person that deserves legal protection. Some believe that the fetus is a person but the use of force (government or legal) is not a practical way of protecting the fetus given that it is a person inside another person.

The Libertarian Party of Canada holds no official position on the matter and will allow its Members of Parliament to vote their conscience. There are, however a number of policies that we would enact that would dramatically reduce the number of abortions. Our marriage and family policy will strengthen families and dramatically reduce the environment (fatherlessness) that contributes to unwanted pregnancies. Private adoption would be allowed and expectant mothers could be paid by couples willing to adopt or by private charity to carry their baby to term.

FOREIGN POLICY

 

Pushing for Free Trade in the 21st Century

The Libertarian Party of Canada believes that eliminating protectionist policies, like tariffs and quotas, offers Canadian consumers more affordable and diverse goods and services. While the past few decades have seen the implementation of “free trade agreements” between Canada and many countries, which have been beneficial, the Libertarian Party believes that unilaterally ending all protectionist policies would benefit average Canadians significantly more. Not only would the pursuit of greater free trade be more economically sound, but it would also revitalize diplomatic ties that foster peace and the expansion of human rights.

A Party in Opposition to Military Intervention

The role of the military is to protect Canadians from attack and invasion. In the past decade, we have seen the chaos and unimaginable hardship caused by military intervention in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. The Libertarian Party understands that regardless of the good intentions of these interventions, the unintended consequence of such has proven to be detrimental. The Libertarian Party would withdraw the presence of the Canadian military in all foreign interventions so that they can defend Canada’s national defense.

Weapons Sales

Knowingly selling weapons to criminals and criminal organizations that use those weapons for killing, assaulting and stealing will be illegal. As such a Libertarian government will ban the sale of weapons to governments like Saudi Arabia which is currently using those weapons to commit atrocities in Yemen.

Chicken Hawk Legislation

We will require any politician voting for war or military intervention will immediately be drafted into a front-line military unit, or if physically incapable, of having a substantial amount of their personal assets and equity seized to pay for the military effort.

Standing Up for National Defense and Arctic Sovereignty

By bringing back our armed forces, not only will our country have more sovereignty over our national defense from foreign threats, but we can also respond quicker to the demands of disaster relief and other national emergencies. The Libertarian Party of Canada stands strongly in support of efforts to defend and development Canada’s Arctic region. With the Arctic’s changing environmental circumstances and the expansion of access to natural resources, it is vital that Canada exercise a robust level of action in addressing the needs of the region. The Libertarian Party would push for a greater presence of military forces in the Arctic to bolster Canada’s arctic sovereignty. As a proactive measure, the Libertarian Party would also embrace stronger diplomatic cooperation with Arctic stakeholders, as a means of preventing international conflict.

Eliminating Foreign Aid

Over the past decade, the Government of Canada has given billions of Canadian tax dollars to corrupt governments around the world. The Libertarian Party feels that Canadian tax dollars should not be sent overseas to foreign governments, and would eliminate all forms of government to government foreign aid.

Rethinking NATO

While we recognize that it is important to have allies and come to their aid when they face invasion, we also recognize that NATO no longer serves this purpose and has largely become a tool for the global elite to obtain power and wealth. The Libertarian Party would seek a new relationship with our allies that would require them to no longer engage in military adventurism, intervention, nation building and imperialism and held them to strictly defense of their nation from invaders.

SOVEREIGNTY

The Libertarian Party recognizes that sovereignty ultimately lies in the individual. The role of the nation is to protect the sovereignty of the individual from both foreign and domestic impositions. While we firmly support globalization in terms of free trade and international division of labour, we do not favour having our sovereignty as individuals continually challenged by foreign interests, what some people call globalism.

NATO has become a useful tool in the service of the military industrial complex whose primary goal seems to be perpetual warfare by destabilization of militant territories, fomenting and funding of radical Islamists, and creating floods of migrants fleeing the resultant horrors. The UN then demands that Canada become a welfare state for the world. Canadians have their sovereignty undermined first to fund NATO and its mandate for unending warfare, and then funding the UN and its mandate for unending welfare. The TPP

The Libertarian Party of Canada will stand up for the sovereignty of Canadians by refusing to enforce the mandates of non-Canadians. This means that we will not support NATO or UN initiatives that undermine the sovereignty of Canadians. We will also refuse to support managed trade agreements like the TPP, which attempts to impose US IP law on Canadians, attempts to subject us to mandated invasions of privacy and attempts to subject us to the rule of international courts removing our national protection of rights.

PRIVACY & SURVEILLANCE

 

Keeping the Government Out of Our Bedrooms (and Every Other Room)

The Edward Snowden & Wikileaks revelations have had lasting repercussions in both the United States and in Canada. Without due process, governments have unreservedly begun spying on innocent citizens, justifying their actions in pursuit of nebulous terrorist threats. Due to these disclosures, the Libertarian Party would seek to curb and eliminate all government surveillance programs that operate without a Warrant. More specifically, the Libertarian Party of Canada would pass legislation that would forbid government, and all government agencies, from spying on personal information without a warrant issued in open court. This includes ending mass surveillance operations, including the collection of metadata. As a result, the Libertarian Party would rein in the actions of Canadian surveillance agencies, ending the practice of blanket surveillance and placing these organizations under strict independent civilian oversight mechanisms. An open and honest mechanism to thwart terrorism will be just as effective as surreptitious means.

Who’s Bullying Whom?

Anti-cyber bullying legislation, although well intended to curb online abuses, subjects Canadians to privacy abuses at the hands of government and corporations with Bills C-13 and S-4. The Libertarian Party would immediately repeal the lower Warrant thresholds for obtaining personal information, which will effectively restore privacy rights by upholding the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The Libertarian Party will also remove the immunity provisions for telecommunications providers who hand over personal data to government agencies without a warrant. If a telecommunications company is to disclose personal data to third parties, including government, it should only be done with the presence of a warrant or the expressed consent of the customer.

Restoring the Rights Lost in Bill C-51

Bill C-51 is an egregious violation of Canadian privacy rights, which are protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The information sharing provisions overturn the public sector privacy protections set out in the Privacy Act. Organizations like CSIS should not be given the power of law enforcement agencies, and their findings should not be applicable to the prosecution of Canadian citizens. This bill should never have been brought forward in a democratic nation, and all aspects of it will be fully repealed under a Libertarian government.

Focusing the Canadian Security Establishment on Foreign Threats

The Canadian Security Establishment (CSE), lesser known than CSIS, provides Canadians with security in regards to foreign threats, but in no way should it subject Canadian citizens to charter rights violations. To ensure that Canadians are not having their privacy infringed upon, the Libertarian Party would establish an independent oversight board to ensure privacy is protected. The Libertarian Party would also create legislation prohibiting the mandate of CSE from warrantlessly spying on Canadian citizens. Lastly, the Libertarian Party would end all forms of collaboration with foreign surveillance agencies, especially the NSA, that could infringe upon the privacy rights of innocent Canadians. Simply, the CSE should work to protect, and not punish, citizens of Canadians.

INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS

 

Respecting Canada’s Constitutional and Treaty Relationships with Indigenous Canadians

First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples have a right to meaningful autonomy and jurisdiction over their territories as a third independent level of government. This jurisdiction includes but is not limited to: natural resources, mining rights, local economic affairs, healthcare, education, agriculture, environmental regulation and community membership. These rights and jurisdiction have a clear historical and legal basis in the Canadian constitution and treaties, verified by the Supreme Court. As such, it is the duty of the Federal Government to respect these rights, and comply fully with existing treaties in order to establish a genuine partnership with indigenous people based on trust. Canada’s history of abuse, neglect and attempted assimilation must be faced, and modern paternalistic policies limiting reserve functions and local control of local affairs must end. The first step to accomplish this is to regard the Duty to Consult and Accommodate as a local indigenous held right to veto decisions imposed on their territories. First Nations governments should be respected as having similar jurisdiction and powers to provincial governments. Another important step is to respect indigenous government issued citizenship's and passports, allowing these to phase out or replace Indian status if this becomes desirable to people that hold Indian status. Increasing opportunities for Indian bands to opt out of any or all provisions of the Indian Act they choose, by expanding the scope of The First Nations Land Management Regime, will also greatly empower reserves across the country.

Committed to Empowering Indigenous Canadians and Their Local Governments

It is vital that indigenous people have a voice during all attempts to reform ‘Indian’ legislation, and other aspects of Canada’s relationship with its indigenous people. In order to facilitate this, country-wide consultations with indigenous people to determine more methods of empowering them must be initiated. Following this, the Canadian Governments should enter into new culturally inclusive treaty negotiations with all willing indigenous nations, in order to better define and respect their sovereignty in the modern day. Included in these new treaties should be provisions explicitly recognizing the indigenous group has the right to provide welfare, youth services, as well as traditional alternatives to these institutions to their members instead of simply utilizing federal services. Furthermore, provisions should recognize the indigenous government’s ability to develop local independent restorative justice and healing practices. The financial independence of indigenous governments and projects will be ensured through local control over the economy and revenue gathering. This will allow local people to decide how their resources are used, and empower the local governments to levy taxes, demand profit sharing, or stop development on their land.

Returning Significant Land to Indigenous Governments

The federal government has done everything in its power to stonewall the Land Claim process, creating a massive bureaucracy that has resulted in a large percentage of claims taking longer than a decade to settle. This process has resulted in massive debts for many Indigenous claimants, which would likely be impossible to repay without first obtaining their land claim. The status quo of long-term costly lawsuits benefits no one involved. Unused Crown Lands should be returned to claimant groups without delay or resistance. Indigenous people living on and using crown land have more of a claim to it than the Queen of England by royal decree. Furthermore, the federal government should return culturally and religiously important sites on Crown Land used by multiple indigenous groups to their collective care whenever possible. Canadian governments should also agree to include land accumulated by reserves adjacent to their existing property, into the reserve with full treaty coverage.

Changing the Attitude of the Federal Government Towards Indigenous People and Governments

The attitude of the federal government has been disrespectful, discriminatory and most importantly paternalistic for centuries. It must become the mission of the Federal government to reverse this trend, and reform all systemic discrimination. Furthermore, the lack of action regarding missing and murdered aboriginal women and men must be rectified. With police resources being freed up from ending the war on drugs, resources can be effectively used to solve murder and ongoing cold cases. Finally, the federal government must stop utilizing First Nation children as political and financial pawns, and fully implement Jordan’s Principle so that no more children are neglected by the healthcare system in such an unfair and discriminatory way.

HEALTHCARE

 

Loosening the Federal Government’s Grasp on Provincial Healthcare

Within the Canadian Constitution, it is stated that healthcare is within the jurisdiction of the provinces, but over the past decades, this has not been adhered to. In order to empower provinces to meet their unique interests in addressing healthcare issues, the Libertarian Party of Canada would repeal the Canada Health Act. The Canada Health Act impedes the relationship between the public and provincial governments, namely because it constrains provincial governments to uphold certain requirements in order to receive federal health transfers. A Libertarian government would repeal the Canada Health Act so that provincial governments could analyze and implement healthcare reforms that will best suit their interests, rather than following the mandates of federal bureaucrats and legislators.

Unleashing Healthcare Innovation for the 21st Century

The Libertarian Party believes that the 21st century will provide remarkable transformations in the healthcare sector, as well as the introduction of innovative life-saving technologies and treatments. Our party believes that the government should cut red tape and unnecessary regulations that hamper the arrival of these developments. Health technologies and treatments should be embraced and not treated with fear and resentment, like the current government treats it now. This would mean giving researchers more liberty to experiment with new health technology and treatments, resulting in greater access to effective and timely health services. This also means empowering patient-doctor relations to explore a greater diversity of treatments to meet unique needs, something that the current healthcare system neglects.

Reducing the Burden of the Public Healthcare Sector

While the Libertarian Party would return provincial power to the healthcare sector, repealing the Canada Health Act would allow for legal access to private care. By legalizing choice in the healthcare market, there will be greater access to healthcare services for all Canadians, therefore reducing long wait times for referrals and operations. Furthermore, the legalization of private alternatives alleviates some of the fiscal burden placed on government, which is something that currently accounts for a significant amount of both federal and provincial spending.

Liberalization of the Pharmaceutical Sector

The Libertarian Party believes that individuals who require certain forms of medications should not have to wait as long as they do. The Libertarian Party of Canada would allow provincial governments to determine whether or not individuals need a prescription for certain forms of medications, such as oral contraceptives or certain pain-reducing agents. The goal would be to give provincial governments the ability to streamline the entire process, so pharmacists can make medical decisions regarding low-risk medications, while providing substantial information to the user, resulting in quicker and wider access to what they need.

RESTORING TRUE JUSTICE

 

Ending the War on Drugs

While the Libertarian Party understands both the social and health-related concerns of substance abuse, our party has also stood firmly in opposition to the war of drugs. For starters, it is extremely costly to the Canadian taxpayer, considering the amount of resources put into enforcing these laws and punishing individuals who break them. Secondly, it is ineffective and often leads to even more dangerous unintended consequences, such as violent crime, high substance abuse rates, and more potent narcotics. Lastly, by liberalizing drug laws, governments and civil society can truly address both the social and health issues related to substance abuse, such as rehabilitation and harm reduction efforts. The Libertarian Party would decriminalize all substances, as was done in Portugal, while also opening a legal marketplace for cannabis and other low-risk substances.

Liberalization of Sex Work

For the same reasons as ending the war on drugs, the Libertarian Party would also seek to legalize sex work. By creating a legal marketplace, both sex workers and their clientele will be safer when it comes to abuse and the potential health concerns. While there will always be apprehensions with the sex work industry, a legal environment will alleviate much of these issues due to its departure from the black market.

Police Reform

The Libertarian Party believes the RCMP and other policing forces should be held more accountable for abuses of power. To do so, the Libertarian Party would push for more training of police officers to respond to conflict via non-lethal methods. Furthermore, we would also mandate that individuals in law enforcement wear a body camera. The primary goal of police reform would be to improve the relationship between the law enforcement and the public.

FIREARMS

 

In Defense of the Responsible Firearms Owners

The Libertarian Party of Canada will remove the legal hurdles for peaceful gun owners to use firearms for the purpose of recreation, hunting, and self-defense. Registration will be simplified, a legally acquired firearm will not “expire”, and negative stigma will be reduced. Municipal and provincial jurisdictions may craft more specific firearm legislation tailored to reflect their local needs. Over $100 million in annual savings will result from the termination of the Chief Firearms Officer’s national operations.

Unnecessary Bureaucracy: Simplifying Firearms Acquisition

The process to obtain a firearms license, under the stewardship of the Chief Firearms Officer, is costly, redundant, and unjustly assumes illegal intentions of citizens. The Libertarian Party of Canada proposes a simplified system of certification that will ensure that firearms are acquired appropriately, without compromising the safety of our communities. As such, the Libertarian Party of Canada would eliminate the licensing system and replace it with a certification system, known as the Firearms Acquisition Certificate (FAC). With the implementation of a FAC system, the Chief Firearms Office Program would be eliminated as an unnecessary bureaucracy.

The FAC would be obtained at your local police station, and would be issued after a standard background check, for a nominal fee. This background check is currently administered through the CFO, a completely unnecessary step, as the RCMP fulfill the background check obligations. Once the background check is complete, and the FAC is issued, the individual can now legally acquire a firearm through a registered broker. The FAC will simplify the process and save taxpayers between $100 to $120 million per year in direct administrative costs to the CFO, without compromising the importance of background checks, reliability screening, and security to Canadians.

The Paperwork Crime of Firearms Possession

Sections 91 and 92 of the Criminal Code dictate that, without a license, firearms possession is by default illegal, and carries a mandatory prison sentence of three years. For those who own firearms with an invalid license, the crime is one of paperwork, not an illegal act of violence or intent to harm. Gun owners should not face criminal charges for possessing firearms that they have legally purchased. The Libertarian Party of Canada will rescind sections 91 and 92 from the Criminal Code, which will end the unfair persecution of firearms owners who have legally purchased firearms. The FAC, as it is required for any legal acquisition, will suffice.

A Firearm is not a Weapon

In the criminal code, all firearms, regardless of their purpose or use, are classified as a “weapon”, meaning that their exclusive, intended use is to harm others. An overwhelming majority of firearms owners do not intend their devices to be weapons. In fact, nearly all firearms owners in Canada use their guns for the purpose of recreation and hunting. Firearms would be legally seen as tools in the hands of qualified individuals with proper Certification.

Reversing the Trend to Reverse Onus & Unwarranted Searches

One of the cornerstones of the Canadian justice system is the concept of being innocent until proven guilty. As a result of the Firearms Act, firearms owners are subject to Reverse Onus, which assumes the presumption of guilt, not innocence. The Libertarian Party of Canada would immediately remove all Reverse Onus provisions in the Firearms Act to ensure that the presumption of innocence is properly established.

The Firearms Act creates a highly punitive framework, and it makes the job difficult for police to understand appropriate charges and due process. Reverse onus assumes the presumption of guilt, not innocence, and it is used abusively against firearms owners. For this reason, the courts are clogged with unnecessary prosecution from the Crown, including many cases that cannot possibly stand because of illegal police conduct. No action by police should be without a warrant obtained in open court, and under no condition should an Officer of the Peace undergo a warrant-less search. To simplify regulations and protect the rights of gun owners, we will repeal sections 117.02, 102.(01), 105, and 113, all of which enable the abuse through unwarranted search and seizure provisions and reverse onus.

Re-evaluating Canadian Self Defense Legislation

Currently, Canadian’s are significantly limited in regards to their ability to legally defend themselves. Whether in your own home, or in public, the Libertarian Party of Canada would restore your right to defend yourself and your property. If elected, the Libertarian Party of Canada would pass defense of habitation legislation, and extend those protections and immunities to public settings where possible.