At heart, I am an optimist.
Though my job constantly requires me to look to the challenges and dangers on the horizon, I know that Canadians working together can solve any problem, overcome any hurdle. I think that is what makes us Canadian – a profound faith that together, through hard work, compassion and cooperation, we can build a better future.
This platform is about Canada. Our democracy, our economy, our communities – our future. This platform is about people, each and every one of us, and the role we play in our country and the essential services we all need to live safe, happy, fulfilled, and enriched lives.
I know many may think of the Green Party as a single issue party – yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Granted, you know me as someone who for the past forty years has stood firm to protect the air we all breathe, the water we drink, and the land that sustains us. But you also know me as a staunch defender of democracy, of economic policies that make sense, of fairness and openness, of justice and equity.
Have a look at what we are proposing to build a Canada that works together, but don’t stop there. Ask the tough questions of how we will work in the next parliament in collaboration with all parties to do what’s best for Canadians and our country. Then ask the other leaders those same tough questions. You deserve answers – promises are just not good enough.
Our platform is organized around four key issue areas: economy, communities, government, and climate. The policies within have been developed democratically, by people from all walks of Canadian life, from every province, territory, and traditional land.
Canadians inspire me. As Leader of the Green Party, I want to work for citizens to be heard. I want to work to help people who need help, and support small business and local communities as we grow stronger. Canadians in this election, more than ever, can vote from hope and from conviction, not from fear. In this platform you will find optimism, confidence, and sensible Canadian-made plans for a better future.
I hope they inspire you to join us, and to Vote Green on October 19.
Leader, Green Party of Canada
Building A Canada That Works.
OUR VISION FOR A STRONG, SECURE, AND SUSTAINABLE CANADA.
In a world filled with conflict and uncertainty, Canada stands as an island of peace, freedom, and stability.
Canadians are a people united by cooperation, hard work, and mutual respect. We know that it is our families, our communities, and our teamwork that make us strong. We view the diversity of our nation not as a liability, but rather as a shared strength and source of pride.
Together, we have built one of the wealthiest countries in the world, blessed with a skilled and resourceful population, abundant natural resources, and a highly productive economy. We have built a country with universal health care, public education, a social safety net that safeguards us in times of hardship, and a public pension plan that provides us security in retirement.
But, in recent years, the national values, natural environment, and individual qualities that allowed us to build the Canada we know and love have come under threat.
The Harper Conservatives have skewed and weakened the Canadian economy, focusing solely on higher polluting industries, instead of on creating good, stable, high-paying jobs. They have failed our communities by slashing funding to critical public services, instead subsidizing foreign multinational corporations and providing tax cuts to the wealthiest few. They have granted special privileges to foreign corporations and made us subservient to the interests of foreign investors. They have failed to unite us in the face of conflict and uncertainty, instead cynically opting to divide our nation for partisan gain. They have failed to act in the face of an ever-growing climate crisis, instead gambling our future on more pipelines, more fracking, and risky tankers on our coasts.
This platform lays out a plan to move Canada forward, to overcome the last ten years, and restore the shared values and principles that built the country we love.
Our economic plan invests in people and creates good jobs, focusing on skills, knowledge, and sustainable resource development. Our plan envisions strong communities as the foundation of a strong country, and will provide the investments in infrastructure, education, and health care necessary to make that vision a reality.
Our plan proposes democratic reforms that will make our politicians more accountable, our parliament more accessible, and our voting system more representative. Our plan takes bold climate action, by embracing the solutions that we already know work, encouraging research into those we have yet to discover, and increasing the taxes paid by corporate polluters.
We understand that in a federation like Canada, no one level of government and no one political party has all the answers. Canada stands apart from every other industrialized country in lacking any national goals or strategy to respond to pressing issues. We are the only country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with no national policy for energy, housing, education, transportation, health care, climate, or culture.
We need to reinvent the way we make decisions. Greens will press for the creation of a Council of Canadian Governments. Building on the First Ministers’ Conference (a body ignored by Stephen Harper), we will convene a council comprised of federal, provincial-territorial, municipal-local, as well as First Nations, Métis and Inuit leaders. Gathered around the same table, national goals will be developed, publicly and transparently. Each level of government will then implement that part of the plan within its jurisdiction. Policy alignment will ensure the wise use of public dollars. All levels of government, pulling in the same direction, will put Canada on the path to a prosperous, sustainable future built on fairness and justice.
Green Members of Parliament, united by this vision for Canada, will be your local champions in Ottawa – working on behalf of you, your family, and your community.
It’s time to build a Canada that works. Together.
Because tomorrow is serious business.
Canada is teetering on a recession for the second time since Stephen Harper became prime minister. His ill-advised political pledge to eliminate the deficit he created, just in time for this election, is now risking a deepening recession.
Despite Conservative mismanagement, our economic fundamentals remain sound. We have the technology, we have the people, and we have the resources. We are one of the wealthiest nations in the world in every sense of the word. Today, our economy produces 50 percent more wealth per capita than it did a generation ago.
Nevertheless, Canadians are feeling more squeezed economically than ever before. Despite a shift to two-income households, the current generation of young families faces increasing costs for housing, education, and childcare, and unprecedented household debt. For the first time in our history, older Canadians are saying that their children will not enjoy the same standard of living as they did at the same age.
Meanwhile, our political leaders repeat the mantra that government cupboards are bare. Deep cuts in the tax rate for large corporations have led to a hoarding of cash in big business bank accounts. The Former Governor of the Bank of Canada called it “dead money” – and there’s a lot of it. Over $600 billion, equivalent to 32 percent of our GDP, is held in corporate bank accounts – not being re-invested, not working at all. Dead money. Old-line parties have ignored places to fund needed programs and instead claim there is no new money for health care services, education, pensions, infrastructure, public safety, or scientific research.
There is a serious disconnect between the unprecedented wealth produced by the Canadian economy and the increasing economic insecurity of Canadians. We must take decisive action to build a sustainable economy that benefits all Canadians over the long-term.
We need to immediately build those sectors that benefit from the lower Canadian dollar – manufacturing, tourism, value-added forest products and cultural industries. We need to resurrect federal engagement in tourism promotion and support. We need to embrace the 21st century economic revolution of clean technology.
These steps will assist in confronting the biggest threat to our economic future – the decline in the Harper years of Canadian productivity. For the first time since records have been kept, Canada is falling far behind the U.S. in productivity. More R & D and innovation will come from manufacturing and clean technology. We are a nation of innovators. While Harper’s policies reversed our economic progress, hitching us to our 19th century role as hewers of wood and drawers of water, Canadians are ready for a sustainable, clean 21st century economy.
Because tomorrow is serious business, our top economic priorities are:
Because Canada depends on it.
At its heart, Canada is a community of communities, working together with a shared sense of purpose. Our nation needs a government that will invest in the fundamental building blocks on which our neighbourhoods rely – from healthcare to transit, child care to public parks, bridges to local agriculture. All with the aim of increasing the affordability and livability of the towns and cities we call home.
The current situation is not working for many Canadians. The dream of homeownership and affordable rental housing is slipping away. Canadians are being asked to pay out-of-pocket for everything from prescription medicine to dental care, while child care is becoming increasingly unaffordable. Today, even two-income households are having trouble making ends meet month in, month out.
To add insult to injury, consecutive federal governments have allowed critical infrastructure to go without needed maintenance. Lack of investment in the infrastructure that makes our cities productive and our towns livable is risky behaviour. Crumbling bridges, aging and insufficient transit, nonexistent rail infrastructure – these problems are no longer rarities, they have become the norm. We want to invest in our communities, just as previous generations invested in the systems we have allowed to fall into disrepair. A modern 21st century economy is undermined by deteriorating infrastructure.
Because Canada depends on it, our top priorities for building strong Canadian communities are:
Because it’s time to restore democracy.
Good government is founded on prudent planning and rational, evidence-based decision-making in the public interest. Good government provides long-term stability, security from threats both domestic and abroad, and a vision that stretches well beyond four-year election cycles.
To deliver on these basic principles, government needs to engage with, and be responsive to, the concerns of Canadian citizens. The critical first step in this process is to ensure we have a government that represents the will of the people – that means an end to first-past-the-post voting, an end to false majorities, and the creation of a voting system that ensures all Canadians have a voice in our government.
The Green Party is the only party committed to ending whipped votes. MPs from the other parties in Parliament routinely face whipped votes – they must vote the party line or face punishments, such as not being allowed to speak in the House or even being thrown out of the party. No Green MP will ever face a whipped vote. They will be free to put their conscience and their constituents first.
That is the commitment Green candidates make, to be your voice in Ottawa, your local champions.
Because it’s time to restore democracy, our top priorities are:
Bold Climate Action
Because we live here.
Climate change is both the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity that Canada has ever faced. While the consequences of failing to address climate change would be catastrophic, our transition to a green, sustainable economy will create good local jobs, shorter commutes, more livable cities, and cleaner air and water.
Our plan is to move to the virtual elimination of fossil fuel use in Canada by mid-century. Our short-term target is 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, while we are calling for 80 percent reductions below 1990 levels by 2050. These are ambitious targets, yet the scale and urgency of this challenge demands nothing less. As Canadians, we will rise to this challenge and, in doing so, create a strong, stable, and prosperous economy today and for our children and grandchildren tomorrow.
For Canadians to benefit from this transition, we need to elect Green Members of Parliament. Only Green MPs will stand up to defend our coastlines from increased tanker traffic, our rivers and parks from reckless pipeline projects, and our economy from further pursuit of high-risk extractive schemes that threaten Canada’s long-term prosperity. Only Green MPs will position our economy to reap the full benefits of the inevitable global shift to a fossil-fuel free economy.
It is time for Canada to take bold climate action.
Because we live here, our top environmental priorities are: