The main political parties, Wiki summaries (in alphabetical order):
Conservative Party of Canada.-.-.-.-.Green Party of Canada.-.-.-.-.Liberal Party of Canada.-.-.-.-.New Democrat Party of Canada
For more detailed party platforms, visit the party websites :)
There's no such thing as a throwaway vote: every vote counts towards the party of your choice receiving funding for the next election!
Voting Strategically: VoteForEnvironment.ca has a riding by riding break down advising about which candidate has the best chance of beating the Conservative party member. As an aside, I do not promote doing this; it is an unfortunately popular strategy in Canada which is why I included it here.