Green Party: Toward a Sustainable Economy
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.