The Green Party of Canada Platform review: A smart economy is a green economy.

This is a follow up to yesterday’s post which quoted Elizabeth May. For the next indefinite period of time I will be reviewing the Green Party of Canada’s Platform.  I want to examine their strategies and I encourage all who may be interested to do so along with me.  This is of special interest to the young people out there both of voting age right now and those who will be voting in the future.  The future is in your hands actually.  If things continue along the lines with the current Conservative government, that is in a majority position, all hope for the health and welfare of the planet will be dashed.  If the climate change crisis is not addressed, fossil fuel production and consumption is not arrested and the glut of corporate greed and pay-offs are not curtailed and eliminated Canada will face disaster along with the rest of the world.  In twenty years time, I will likely be dead, but, today’s young people will be living with the crisis unless more of you get on board with the necessity to change the status quo.  At the very least…break up the vote and create a minority government that will have to prove the sense and validity of its bills before they pass rather than a majority government which runs rampant over good sense, responsibility and the good of all to collect its dirty money.  Take the time to truly understand what can be possible for Canada by reading the excerpts from the Green Party of Canada’s Platform.  For the record this is their 2011 platform and I plan on skipping the Budget portion as it is not valid any more but the rest essentially is. Read it on their site or here on mine where you can comment and discuss it if you choose:

A smart economy skates to where the puck is going. It turns old-industry blue-collar jobs into new-industry green-collar jobs. It focuses on value-added production and generates green products that will be in demand in tomorrow’s markets.

A smart economy is efficient. It relies on non-polluting systems and energy sources. It ends waste. It reuses and recycles. Through closed-loop systems it is massively more efficient. That efficiency will bring greater competitiveness and prosperity to the entire Canadian economy.

A smart economy is not based on hype. It is real people building real things. A smart economy lives within its means. The first step is to get out of this recession without a crippling debt and deficit. The Green Party has a plan to get Canada out of deficit.

Smart Economies start with:
  • Green jobs. Create thousands of jobs through investment in renewable energy, expanding passenger rail and modernizing freight, retrofitting thousands of buildings to high standards for energy efficiency.

  • Smart economic stimulus. Expand access to employment insurance for those who paid into it, while protecting the pensions of retired Canadians. Reduce EI and CPP contributions for businesses.

  • Fair global trade. Reform, revise and rethink our trade agreements. Trade is a part of a sustainable future only when it is fair for all.

  • Healthy industry. A healthy agriculture sector, with support for those who wish to transition to organic farming. A healthy fishery, with an end to devastating draggers. A sustainable forest industry with more emphasis on value added, and less raw log or unprocessed pulp export. More jobs for more people making real things.

  • Cut wasteful subsidies. End the failed strategy of throwing good money after bad in corporate bail-outs for big business, and subsidies to nuclear and fossil fuels.

  • Get the prices right. Get the prices right for long-term sustainability. Avoid structural deficits. Implement a revenue-neutral carbon pricing architecture to modernize our economy. Build a “Made in Canada” Green economy.

A community is defined by more than geography.

A community is people living together, taking care of each other, having time for each other.

Communities that work take work. Transportation systems that get you from here to there, quickly, efficiently, and safely. Water works that ensure clean and healthy water. All the things that make us love where we live. Things we have and hold in common: playing grounds, bike paths, green spaces, community gardens, decent housing, strong schools, and a public health care system that addresses all aspects of our well-being.

Improve the quality of life by addressing the work-home balance. A more humane life with time for what really matters. Making a living should never impede having a life.

Strong communities means creating opportunities for young Canadians. Young people build community, both where they live and where they connect through the Internet in virtual communities. Energized youth are part of a real green future.

The growing number of older Canadians are active and engaged. They have made a major contribution to this country, and they want to keep contributing. They should be able to continue to have the lifestyle they want, living with dignity and independence.

Strong communities Start with:
  • Help for married couples and families.
    • Fix the tax system. Lower income taxes and introduce full income splitting to reduce the tax burden on married couples and families.
    • Share the load. More people working fewer hours. For those who want to, make it easier to telecommute or work from home. Share jobs. Flex hours. Flexible child care with access for all. Early childhood education. More workplace child care spaces. Support for those who stay home to raise their children and support for those who need to get back to work while their kids are still young.
  • Help for local governments. Sustainable long-term funding support for municipalities to repair decades-old crumbling infrastructure. Build for the future. Create more of the common amenities all communities need for recreation, transportation, water works and arts and culture.
  • Respect and support our elders. Ensure secure pensions and provide programmes that address health – both physical and mental – and ensure dignity by stopping elder abuse and respecting living wills.
Real citizen power in a true democracy:

Canadian democracy is in trouble.

Power is increasingly centralized. Individual MPs – your voices in Parliament – are becoming more and more irrelevant. Question Period is a daily showcase for behaviour we would not tolerate from our children. It’s time to restore true democracy and put the power where it belongs – in the hands of Canadians.

True democracy means making every vote count. More than votes, it means engaging and debating respectfully. It means working together to find a cooperative and positive way forward. As Canadians, we take pride in a global reputation for civility and cooperation. Our instincts run to generosity and compassion. Let’s embrace that.

While Canada reduces waste in its economy and industry, it should also stop wasting votes. Move to a fairer electoral system that reflects the true will of voters.

True democracy also means true global leadership. In the past, other nations in our global village looked to Canada for leadership – in peace keeping and peace making, in disarmament, and in environmental sustainability. It’s time for Canada to step up and once again play the leadership role it has forsaken in recent years.

true democracy
starts with
  • Reform our voting system. Hold a national discussion on the health of our democracy, address the growing and undemocratic power of the Prime Minister’s Office and explore the options for a more meaningful electoral system. Consider the risks of “first past the post” and vote on whether it should be replaced. Consider proportional representation.
  • Access to information. Seek true solutions to the increasing corporate control in Canadian journalism. Whatever is “dumbed down” must be “smartened up.”
  • Ensure that citizenship is equal. Social justice and equity are cornerstones of democracy. Canadian democracy is more secure when human rights are respected – starting with the First Nations and indigenous peoples of this continent, Turtle Island. Canada must move forward in implementing the spirit of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Global action on global problems. Strengthen and enforce decisions made in the 2010 climate negotiations (COP16) to bring in the urgent and aggressive measures required globally to avoid catastrophic climate impacts and adjust and adapt to impacts we can no longer avoid.
  • Contribute to a peaceful solution in Afghanistan. Refocus the Canadian mission in Afghanistan to poverty alleviation and development, strengthening governance and civil society institutions, and supporting the training and development of the Afghan military and police force, particularly in the area of upholding and protecting human rights.
  • Make poverty history. Meet Canada’s commitments and push other nations to meet theirs in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

In the following days my posts will get into the specifics of the Green Party platform.  I find it to be interesting a valuable reading which offers a refreshing outlook and hope for the future of Canada and the planet.


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