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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Climate Change-Troops Home from Afghanistan-Human Rights-Honour our Veterans

NDP Platform: Leadership on the world stage6.1 Leading the World in Response to Climate Change

  • We will play a lead role in achieving a new international agreement to avert catastrophic global warming and ensure that Canada meets its climate change obligations.

6.2 Ensuring our Troops are Brought Home from Afghanistan

  • We will end Canada’s combat involvement in Afghanistan, and we will bring our troops home. In its place, we will commit to an on-going civilian development program focused on women, youth and children; regional diplomacy; the rule of law and human rights; institution building and humanitarian assistance.

6.3 Increasing the Promotion of Health, Development and Human Rights

  • We will get Canada on track to fulfilling our longstanding commitment to increase our Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) budget to 0.7 per cent of GDP with an immediate increase of $500 million and further increases each year;
  • We will remove bureaucratic red tape and enable Canadian pharmaceutical companies to export generic versions of life-saving medicine for people suffering from HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and other diseases in the developing world;
  • We will implement the recommendations of the 2007 National Roundtables on Corporate Social Responsibility to ensure that Canadian companies abide by international human rights law and environmental standards when operating overseas, and develop and enforce sanctions if they do not;
  • We will enact legislation to ensure consistent and non-discriminatory provision of consular services to all Canadians in distress and create an independent ombudsperson’s office responsible for monitoring the government’s performance and preventing political interference in consular cases;
  • And we will work with partners for peace and justice in Israel and Palestine, within a framework of respect for United Nations resolutions and international law. This includes recognition of the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace in viable, independent states with negotiated and agreed-upon borders.

6.4 Charting a New Course for Canada’s Defence

  • We will give the men and women of the Canadian Forces, who put their lives on the line every day, the best equipment to do the job with, proper support and benefits;
  • We will focus Canada’s military on three main priorities: defending Canada; providing support for peacemaking, peace-building and peacekeeping around the world; and assisting people facing natural catastrophes, including floods, earthquakes, forest fires and other emergencies, both at home and abroad;
  • We will ensure the Canadian Forces are properly staffed, equipped and trained to effectively address the full range of possible military operations arising from these three priorities;
  • We will maintain the current planned levels of Defence spending commitments, and we will equip the Canadian military to resume leadership in United Nations peacekeeping operations, with major new missions reviewed and approved by the House of Commons;
  • We will improve search and rescue capability to international standards within the current budgetary framework;
  • We will draft a Defence White Paper, redefining our military’s role, its priorities and needs, to be completed within 12 months. During that time, all major defence projects will be reviewed;
  • We will implement a fair and open process where competitors can offer industrial deals and benefits. Such an open process ensures Canadians get the best price, the military gets what it needs and Canadian industries get the best spin-offs;
  • We will review the proposed F-35 purchase as part of the Defence White Paper;
  • Within the existing budget, we will establish an annual fund for government shipbuilding. This would provide stability to the industry and include construction of new ships for the Navy and the Coast Guard.

6.5 Fulfilling Commitments to Honour our Veterans

  • We will respect Canada’s obligations to our military veterans by:
    • Ending the unfair reduction of pensions for retired and disabled Canadian Forces and RCMP veterans;
    • Stopping the unjust cuts to the Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP) for medically released members of the Canadian Forces and former RCMP members. Ending these claw-backs will improve the lives of over 100,000 veterans in Canada;
    • Overhauling the Veterans Review and Appeal Board; appointing its members from military, RCMP and medical personnel, and ensuring that veterans’ appeals are fairly reviewed by their peers;
    • Introducing a “Helmets-to-Hardhats” program to help veterans transition to construction and shipbuilding trades;
    • Responding to veterans’ organizations, spouses and widows, and others and initiating a public inquiry into toxic chemical defoliation at CFB Gagetown.

    • Abbotsford NDP Candidate David Murray with Ed Broadbent at Halifax convention 2009
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