Over 7 million Canadians have taken action with Change.org petitions! We analyzed the top petitions over the last two years to find six questions for party leaders on issues that represent the diverse causes that motivate the Change.org Canada community. You can see the questions and initial party responses posted on Friday, October 11th below. 

We will post any further responses or updates before election day. You can use the email tool at the bottom of the page to call for any further responses or make comments to the parties.

To pick the questions we looked at the 100+ Change.org petitions with over 50,000 signatures that have been started by Canadians in the last two years, and then grouped them into six popular categories.

Next we picked one petition from each category, looking for popular campaigns taking on issues that the Canadian federal government can solve. We’ve sent these questions to the four major parties for their answers. 

Six questions from popular, relevant and representative campaigns

1. Affordability: What is your plan to cut cell phone costs?

CPC

The first round of responses from the four major parties were posted on Friday, October 11th. We have not yet received a reply from the CPC. We will post any updates from them before election day.

GP

“Canadians pay more for less when it comes to mobile and internet services. This is due largely to the anti-competitive climate in Canadian telecommunications. Greens will take action to ensure a competitive climate by amending CRTC regulations to break up the telecom monopoly and give smaller companies a chance to compete fairly. We will help bridge the digital divide and ensure all Canadians have access to high-speed internet service that is affordable and fair.” – Official GPC response

LPC

“A re-elected Liberal government will help cut the cost of cell and wireless services by 25 per cent. As Canadians, we pay some of the highest prices in the world for cell phone services, while Canadian telecom companies are among the most profitable in the developed world. To help lower monthly cell phone bills and bring costs in line with what people pay in other countries, we will introduce competition with a clear objective to cut the cost of these services by 25 per cent in the next two years by using the government’s regulatory powers, saving an average middle class family of four nearly $1,000 per year.” – Official LPC response

NDP

“Unlike the other parties who refuse to stand up to the big phone companies we’ll make your bills more affordable. Because we’re on your side and in it for you. We’ll put in place a price cap on bills and ensure that providers offer unlimited and basic plans at an affordable rate. We’ll also eliminate data rate caps and introduce a Telecom Consumers’ Bill of Rights to end price gouging for good.” – Official NDP response

Related petition signed by 197,000+ people

2. Health Care: What is your plan to improve care for hospital patients with dementia?

CPC

The first round of responses from the four major parties were posted on Friday, October 11th. We have not yet received a reply from the CPC. We will post any updates from them before election day.

GP

“Greens are committed to fully funded National Dementia Strategy that will support research, improve quality of life for patients and caregivers, and educate the public to increase awareness and reduce stigma. Green members of Parliament are committed to working with health professionals and provincial/territorial governments to ensure a robust and properly funded National Dementia Strategy. This has been an official Green Party of Canada policy since 2010.” – Official GPC response

LPC

“It is heartbreaking when a loved one begins to struggle with dementia, and our government is committed to helping Canadians and their families through one of the most challenging times in their lives. There are few people in this country without a friend or family member touched by dementia. A Canadian is diagnosed with it every seven minutes, and Liberals are determined to make a meaningful difference in their lives. 

 

To advance our understanding of dementia, our Liberal government has invested nearly $200 million in research over the past five years and supported a national dementia research network. To ensure our work is informed by those who know it best, we’ve established a Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia. And to bring together Canada’s leading experts, we hosted Canada’s first ever National Dementia Conference. 

 

Through Budget 2018 we also invested $20 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, and $4 million per year ongoing, to support the Public Health Agency of Canada to support community based projects that address the challenges of dementia.

 

Most importantly, we launched Canada’s National Dementia Strategy (NDS.) It sets out three broad objectives: preventing dementia, advancing therapies & finding a cure and making a positive difference in the lives of Canadians with dementia and those who care for them. The NDS is supported by $50 million from Budget 2019, focusing on four areas: awareness, treatment guidelines, early diagnosis and surveillance. 

 

While the health care system remains within the purview of the provinces and territories, our Liberal government is committed to supporting them through these important steps, which will improve care for patients with dementia. In particular, two elements of the National Dementia Strategy will advance this important goal. It starts with awareness – many folks in a hospital simply don’t know enough about dementia. It’s distinct from other ailments, and must be addressed by the health care system with unique sensitivity and care. Equally important are treatment guidelines. Too often, our health care system follows standards and procedures that are inappropriate for dementia patients, which can have serious, negative effects on a patient. Treatment guidelines will help better understand the unique needs of dementia patients, and adjust their practices accordingly.” – Official LPC response

NDP

“As more Canadians enter their senior years, we need to make better choices to be ready to meet their needs. With the right leadership, we can ensure our institutions and public services are strong and that every senior has the health care and social supports they need. An NDP government will introduce a National Seniors Strategy – including a funded dementia strategy – and work with the provinces, territories and Indigenous governments to make seniors a priority.” – Official NDP response

Related petition signed by 140,000+ people

3. Public Safety: Will you make seatbelts mandatory on school buses?

CPC

The first round of responses from the four major parties were posted on Friday, October 11th. We have not yet received a reply from the CPC. We will post any updates from them before election day.

GP

“No. While conventional wisdom makes mandatory seat belts on school buses seem like a good idea, school buses are designed to be very safe without seat belts and the evidence shows that there are a number of ways in which seat belts can in fact increase the risk of injury or death on school buses. For more information see the below information from the Canada Safety Council and Transport Canada.” – Official GPC response

 

 

LPC

“The safety of bus passengers–and particularly our children–is a top priority of our Liberal government. That’s why we brought together Federal and Provincial leaders on a task force to examine this very question. We also took action through Transport Canada to make seatbelts mandatory on all medium and large highway buses built on Sept. 1, 2020, or later. 

 

Under Canadian law, Provinces, Territories and local school boards choose the means and type of transportation for school children that best suits their needs. Provincial transportation ministers are currently reviewing making seatbelts mandatory on existing school buses across the country, and have created a task force to study the issue. We look forward to their results and are committed to continuing to support the Provinces and Territories through trials across the country.” – Official LPC response

NDP

“Collectively, we must ensure the utmost security for our kids. We need to enact measures that ensure unsafe busses are kept off the road. Our children deserve it. It was unconscionable for the Liberals and Conservatives to have withheld studies on bus safety. Parents, communities and safety advocates all rely on these studies in order to make vital decisions regarding our children’s safety.” – Official NDP response 

Related petition signed by 117,000+ people

4. Human Rights: What is your plan to ensure safe drinking water for Indigenous communities?

CPC

The first round of responses from the four major parties were posted on Friday, October 11th. We have not yet received a reply from the CPC. We will post any updates from them before election day.

GP

“Greens will end drinking water advisories by working with Indigenous leaders and investing in and upgrading critical infrastructure.  Solutions will not be the same across Canada. There are over 600 Indigenous communities and they are not homogenous. One top-down approach will not work. We will provide more assistance in clearing the bureaucratic barriers to initial funding, commit to providing ongoing operation and maintenance funding, and prioritize Indigenous led initiatives like the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority.” – Official GPC repsonse

LPC

“All Canadians should have access to safe, clean, and reliable drinking water. Since 2016, we have invested $2.7 billion to support ongoing efforts to eliminate and prevent long-term drinking water advisories, and strengthen First Nations water and wastewater systems across the country.

In 2015, we committed to eliminating all long-term drinking water advisories on First Nations reserves by 2021. Since 2016, we have eliminated 87 long-term drinking water advisories, and are on track to end the remaining 56 long-term advisories on target, while also preventing further short-term advisories from becoming long-term.

But we know there is more work to do. We will continue to work with First Nations partners to ensure every community has access to clean drinking water in their communities.” – Official LPC response

NDP

“New Democrats are committed to building a future where every Indigenous person has access to safe housing and drinking water, excellent education, and quality health care everyone deserves. This means making the investments required to ensure clean water and lift all drinking water advisories for good by 2021 and supporting Indigenous-Led water management training programs and water system operations as an immediate priority.” – Official NDP response

Related petition signed by 137,000+ people

5. Environment: Will you ban the trade of Elephant Ivory in Canada?

CPC

The first round of responses from the four major parties were posted on Friday, October 11th. We have not yet received a reply from the CPC. We will post any updates from them before election day.

GP

“Yes. While it is already illegal to sell elephant ivory from elephants killed before 1990, ivory is extremely difficult to date. Illegally harvested supplies enter the Canadian market with little or no difficulty. We must ban the import of all elephant ivory in order to protect these species.” – Official GPC response

LPC

“We are deeply concerned about the negative impact of poaching and illegal trade both on elephant and rhinoceros populations, as well as on human communities. We fully support the eradication of the market for illegal wildlife products, and condemn poaching and trafficking. 

We will continue our support to countries to establish measures to address illegal trade in elephants and rhinoceroses, and by closing markets where they are contributing to poaching or illegal trade. Our Liberal government will also continue to participate in international processes to address illegal activities, and to support trade that is legal and sustainable, such as through the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the UN General Assembly, and other fora such as the G7 and the London series of conferences on the Illegal Wildlife Trade. We are proud of the role we played in leading discussions on the CITES National Ivory Action Plans process and leading INTERPOL’s Wildlife Crimes Working Group to counter illegal wildlife trade.

Our Liberal government has been enforcing a near-total ban on elephant trade, and is fully committed to the 1973 convention on this issue. Canada prohibits trade in elephant ivory unless (1) it was acquired before CITES was established in 1973 or (2) comes from legal and sustainable harvested sources. Canada has a vigorous permitting and enforcement system that ensures that the proceeds of wildlife crime are not being imported to or exported from Canada. Our government has restored over $1 billion in funding to security agencies like the Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP that can aid in this effort. 

Additionally, we were part of the largest ever global enforcement crackdown on wildlife crime, including smuggling, poaching and trafficking. Canada participated in this operation, and globally it involved the seizure of 440 ivory pieces and five rhino horns. 

The reasons we have not banned all elephant ivory trade are that it would unnecessarily prohibit the trade of antique items (e.g. antique piano keys, bagpipes, chess sets), and it would divert resources away from the enforcement activities that are effective in reducing elephant poaching, without evidence that it would be effective at reducing elephant and rhinoceros poaching.” – Official LPC response

NDP

“New Democrats have always been strong protectors of our land, our air, and our water and we’re committed to protecting all species at risk. At home, that means using all the tools in our species at risk laws to ensure the implementation of recovery strategies to preserve biodiversity for generations to come. Abroad, that means ensuring our trade deals are fully evaluated on their social, environmental and gendered impact.” – Official NDP response 

 

Related petition signed by 496,000+ people

6. Animal Rights: What is your plan to reduce cruelty to animals?

CPC

The first round of responses from the four major parties were posted on Friday, October 11th. We have not yet received a reply from the CPC. We will post any updates from them before election day.

GP

“Greens support animal welfare legislation to prevent inhumane of animals that: bans almost all forms of animal testing; sets minimum standards of treatment for farm animals, on farm and in transport; bans such practices as declawing of cats and cropping of dogs; bans the import of dog and cat fur; and, updates Canada’s criminal code in order to move crimes against animals from the property section and recognize them as sentient beings.” – Official GPC response

LPC

“Our Liberal government is proud to have delivered on our commitment to protect animals from abuse. We tabled and passed legislation (Bill C-84) which strengthens protections for animals to prevent animal cruelty. It makes engaging in any sexual activity with an animal, or compelling someone else to engage in such activities, especially a child, a serious criminal offence. This law also expands Criminal Code offences to include additional conduct associated with animal fighting. These amendments reflect significant consultation with child and animal protection groups as well as agricultural groups, and are an important step in protecting animals and the most vulnerable.

We will continue to engage on finding ways to strengthen our animal cruelty laws further. For example, our Government supports the elimination of animal testing for cosmetics and remains committed to the responsible and ethical use of animals in research and development. Any decision to undertake a more comprehensive reform of animal cruelty laws must take into consideration the concerns of all stakeholders, including rural Canadians, Indigenous communities and those who have concerns about the effect of any proposed legislative changes on legitimate animal uses, such as farming, hunting and fishing. We have committed to keeping this dialogue open and engaging on these important issues.” – Official LPC response

NDP

“The Liberals promised they’d strengthen animal protection laws but refused to bring in the basic care standards, housing rules, or stronger domestic animal protections that advocates and the NDP have been calling for for years. Unlike Liberals who only offer empty talk and half measures, we’ll push for common sense measures including our new criminal charges for failing to provide adequate care and allowing courts to impose a lifelong ban on animal ownership for repeat offenders.” – Official NDP response

Stopping animal cruelty is one of the most popular categories on Change.org in Canada, but most petitions are too specific for a federal election question. Here are some examples: related petition with 204,000+ signatures and this related petition with 86,000+ signatures

Send a message

You can fill out the form below to email party leaders about these questions. We posted the responses received from the Greens, Liberals and NDP on  October 11th, and will post any responses from the Conservatives or updates from the Greens, Liberals or NDP. Thank you to everyone who has emailed about these Change.org petitions – whichever issue you care about the most, when anyone who cares about any of these issues takes a moment to send a message it strengthens all voices.

Start a petition of your own

Is there something you want to change? Start a petition on Change.org. It’s free, and people like you are winning victories every day.