Green Economy, Green Jobs

In many sectors of our economy, the Liberal's pandering to big business and the lack of adequate antitrust laws over the past decade has led to the concentration of decision-making at the top of the ladder. This trend has served to stifle innovation, job creation, Canadian competitiveness and productivity while increasing the health and environmental risks associated with pollution and industrial waste. To get Canada back on track the Green Party advocates measures to shift our fiscal priorities towards sustainable choices, improve corporate accountability and encourage direct local action so that citizens may take a more active role in building a healthy economy. We can shift to a competitive green economy by employing ecological fiscal reforms (EFR) and freeing markets that are crushed under the weight of bloated multinational monopolies. By using our tax and subsidy system differently, we can guide our choices as a society and progress towards a green economy without heavy-handed government intervention. Trading carbon emissions, for example, encourages companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and increase efficiency through market-based solutions. In addition, we would move towards representing health, environmental and social costs in the prices of goods and services through revenue-neutral taxes on pollution and waste. Not only is this an incentive to advance sustainability, it is also fairer to citizens and businesses alike that make environmentally and socially conscious decisions. Finally, we can redefine economic well-being with more revealing economic indicators that take a broader approach to measuring our success as a country. For too long Canada's economic focus has been on indicators that tell only part of the story. For instance, Canada currently measures its economic success with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But if the GDP keeps rising in Canada, why don't Canadians have more confidence that their lives are improving? Why is the number of children and families who live in poverty increasing? It's because factors such as quality of life, volunteerism, job satisfaction and health are not registered by the GDP. We can more accurately measure Canada's success by incorporating the Canadian Index of Well-being. The CIW is a measure of our national well-being that includes economic production, financial transactions, quality of life, physical health, mental health, environmental conditions, education, housing, volunteerism, stability - all elements of healthy communities and a green economy. By fully appreciating where we are going as a country, we are better equipped to set a course for our fiscal and social policies.

Green Party MPs will work to:

  • Pass the Canada Well-Being Measurement Act and implement the Canadian Index of Well-being.
  • Begin a partial, gradual, revenue neutral tax shift from income, consumption and business taxes to resource use taxes, pollution taxes and land value levies reflecting corporate profits.
  • Review the Green tax shift every 3 years in order to monitor progress and readjust fiscal imbalances.
  • Create thousands of new "Green collar jobs" by encouraging the development of low-emission industries in areas most affected by the shift away from natural resource sectors.
  • Legislate stronger, more effective antitrust laws in concentrated industry sectors.
  • Reduce taxes for small and medium sized businesses in their first 5 years of existence.
  • Provide higher risk financial support networks that will encourage people to invest in innovative businesses.