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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NDP Innovating and Prospering in a New Energy Economy

Innovating and Prospering in a New Energy Economy
The current economic crisis reveals just how vital social democratic policies are in today’s globalized economy.
After years of under-funding and de-regulation, governments across Canada and around the world are quickly embracing social democratic initiatives to off-set the harmful effects that the economic downturn is having on the middle class and the vulnerable.
New Democrats believe in the intelligent and prudent use of government, not just to respond to economic crises, but to play a leadership role in setting a path for future prosperity.
New Democrats believe that economic prosperity for all citizens can be achieved through proper regulation, strategic investments in both physical and social infrastructure and a long-term sustainable economic growth strategy.
New Democrats believe in a comprehensive effort to safeguard the jobs of today and create the jobs of tomorrow by using the fiscal, legal and trade opportunities at Canada’s disposal. Education, skills training and research are the cornerstones to prosperity and innovation in a new energy economy.
Expanding economic freedom and opportunity is achieved, not through large corporations concentrating power and capital, but through thriving small businesses, local community development, and cooperative enterprises, reinforcing strong sectors in our natural resource sectors as well as manufacturing.
Around the world, social democratic governments have successfully shown that the goals of equality and economic well-being are not in conflict rather they depend on each other. A New Democrat government will pursue these goals and build a green and prosperous Canada where no one is left behind.

1.1 Industrial Policy: Supporting Strategic Sectors

New Democrats believe in:
  1. Investing in job creation by developing a green economy with appropriate support for transition programs and for research and development
  2. Establishing sector-specific policies tailored to industry needs, with emphasis on ensuring the longterm viability of our manufacturing sector, including automobile, aerospace, and shipbuilding industries
  3. Establishing “Buy Canadian” procurement policies and fostering Canadian ownership and control of our major sectors
  4. Developing “Made in Canada” products through secondary processing of our natural resources, thereby creating skilled, value-added jobs
  5. Targeting tax credits towards research and development and skills training to increase productivity and innovation in Canadian industry
  6. Investing in fair transition programs in key sectors where layoffs occur
  7. Adopting social responsibility criteria for companies recognizing their responsibility to employees, the environment, community, consumers, and shareholders
  8. Creating industrial sector councils involving representatives of industry, workers, and governments; and
  9. Facilitating worker participation within companies to develop more democratic, transparent, and efficient workplaces.

1.2 Resource Industries and Natural Resources

New Democrats believe in:
  1. Supporting community development initiatives in the ownership, production, and control of primary industries
  2. Protecting small producers in our natural resource sectors by discouraging the trend toward vertical integration
  3. Developing sustainable forestry practices, in conjunction with provinces and territories; and
  4. Banning raw log exports to protect Canadian jobs.

1.3 Physical Infrastructure and Transportation

New Democrats believe in:
  1. Tackling the infrastructure deficit through a Canada-wide funding program that includes the enhancement of the Gas Tax Fund transfers to municipalities
  2. Improving rail travel for both passengers and goods, and developing proposals for high-speed systems
  3. Regulating airlines to ensure majority Canadian control of the industry
  4. Establishing reserve funds to improve ports and airport facilities; and
  5. Investing in public transport to improve our quality of life and help sustain the environment.

1.4 Small and Medium-sized Businesses

New Democrats believe in:
  1. Clarifying tax laws and succession rules to make it simpler for small and medium-sized businesses to fulfil tax obligations
  2. Enhancing technical and financial support through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC)
  3. Facilitating access to investment capital from financial institutions, union funds, and government agencies
  4. Protecting against unfair practices from financial institutions, large businesses, and foreign multinationals
  5. Providing incentives to promote value-added processing and innovation in emerging sectors; and
  6. Improving access and eligibility for small business owners and the self-employed to social supports, such as Employment Insurance, re-training and skills development.

1.5 Jobs and Monetary Policy

New Democrats believe in:
  1. Creating jobs by investing in the real economy and regulating speculators
  2. Monetary policy that preserves and creates jobs and which strikes a balance between price stability and full employment
  3. A Canadian currency and opposing moves toward a common North American currency
  4. A low interest rate policy that promotes investment, creates jobs and reduces debt; and
  5. Re-establishing the Economic Council of Canada to provide government with a source of neutral information and economic analysis.

1.6 Finance and Budgetary policies

New Democrats believe in:
  1. Balancing budgets and confining short-term deficits to severe economic downturns and national security emergencies
  2. Building a sustainable economy by reducing the debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio
  3. Establishing fiscal reserves during times of surplus to help create investment opportunities; and
  4. The autonomy of the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

1.7 Progressive and Fair Taxation

New Democrats believe in:
  1. A progressive tax system
  2. Taxing capital gains at the same rate as salaries or wages
  3. Ensuring that large profitable corporations pay a fair share of taxes; and
  4. Targeting tax reductions to help the middle class, working families, and the poor.

1.8 Financial Sector and Investments

New Democrats believe in:
  1. Ensuring Canadian financial institutions are sufficiently capitalized and regulated to deal with crises and cyclical fluctuations
  2. Limiting further bank mergers or mergers in other financial service industries
  3. Improving protection and support for credit unions, cooperatives and mutual companies
  4. Working with the provinces to harmonize securities regulations
  5. Ensuring that the banks provide reasonable access to credit at fair interest rates
  6. Protecting shareholders’ rights; and
  7. Implementing new measures to protect workers’ pensions.

1.9 Agriculture and Fisheries

New Democrats believe in:
  1. A comprehensive policy on food security and sovereignty
  2. Increasing support for the agricultural sector to produce quality products, ensuring long-term income for farmers, protecting small producers, promoting diversification, and ensuring fair prices for Canadian products internationally
  3. Encouraging ecologically-sustainable practices by supporting organic practices and crop diversity, reducing the use of pesticides and herbicides, banning terminator seeds, improving the collection and disposal of waste materials, and conserving wooded buffer zones
  4. Restoring the Canadian Wheat Board as the single desk marketer for wheat and barley
  5. Improving grain transportation through the Canadian Wheat Board with the involvement of prairie farmers
  6. Supporting supply management for commodity sectors
  7. Reforming fishery regulation to protect small fish harvesters through co-management and community consultation to preserve stocks and ensure fairness in the allocation of licenses
  8. Tough laws against foreign over-fishing and the strengthening of the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization
  9. Increasing research and development in aquaculture and fish farming to develop more sustainable practices
  10. Developing a West Coast Wild Salmon renewal program; and
  11. Supporting cooperatives as a model for producing, processing and marketing of agricultural and fishery products.

1.10 The Public Sector

New Democrats believe in:
  1. Promoting innovation and improving services and management within crown corporations and government agencies
  2. Protecting crown corporations against privatization
  3. Improving the public sector’s role as a wealth creator and a major provider of jobs; and
  4. Halting public private partnerships (PPP) which are wasteful and inefficient models for delivering public services.
  5. Opposing all forms of privatization and in supporting the delivery of all public services by public sector workers.

1.11 Community Economic Development and Cooperatives

New Democrats believe in:
  1. Supporting cooperatives and social economy initiatives, including through working with regional development agencies to build new tools and models; and
  2. Establishing a ministry of Cooperative and Community Economic Development.

1.12 Our Rights as Workers

New Democrats believe in:
  1. Protecting workers’ rights to join a union and bargain collectively, work safely and be free from harassment at work, receive fair wages and benefits, be treated with dignity at work, and have fair and equal opportunities for training and promotion
  2. Guaranteeing equal pay for work of equal value
  3. Enforcing a fair minimum wage for all employees under federal jurisdiction and banning scab labour in all disputes under federal jurisdiction
  4. Bankruptcy Act provisions that ensure workers’ wages, severance and pension funds take priority over all other creditors
  5. Employment Insurance provisions that provide workers with necessary benefits and training; and
  6. The development and availability of work-sharing and flexible work options in both the public and private sectors, for those employees who wish to do so.

1.13 Our Rights as Consumers

New Democrats believe in:
  1. Unifying agencies dealing with consumer rights within a federal ministry responsible for Consumer Affairs
  2. Strengthening the Competition Bureau to protect consumers in federally-regulated industries like banking, energy, airlines, telecommunications, and pharmaceuticals
  3. Restricting abusive lending practices, aggressive credit-marketing and unfair interest rates
  4. Preventing abusive rates for cable services, cell phones, and banking
  5. Protecting the travelling public by enacting an Airline Passenger Bill of Rights
  6. Expanding the authority of Health Canada to ensure the safety of imported consumer products, including through enhanced inspections; and
  7. Improving product labelling concerning origin, production methods and genetic modifications.


Abbotsford NDP Candidate David Murray with Ed Broadbent at Halifax convention
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twitter: davidmurray4ndp

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