The Green Party under Dimitri’s leadership will create and implement five democratic national plans to:
1. Address the climate emergency and eliminate Canada’s resource dependency.
This plan will implement a transition from a resource-depleting, low-wage, underemployment economy to a green, resource-decoupled, smart, high-wage and full employment economy based on localized processing, manufacturing and services. Canada should be a world hub for the new technology concerned – alternative fuels, reusable materials, high-speed rail, and a creative information and cultural economy. Specific measures include:
- reaching zero net emissions, preferably by 2030 and by 2040 at the latest;
- implementing a circular economy through measures across economic sectors;
- immediate taxes on polluters sufficient to fund:
- a reclamation jobs boom;
- a massive reforestation plan;
- a five-year jobs guarantee for workers in the fossil-fuel industry;
- mass public transportation either free or very low cost, within and between cities
- extension of public transport and high-speed internet into rural communities and low-income communities to foster a new kind of regeneration based on human wellbeing, not resource consumption; and
- cooperation with other countries to enable the achievement of similar goals worldwide.
2. Reorient our economic management towards full employment and our financial system away from financialization and towards productive investment.
This plan will implement a just, green and egalitarian economy under social control rather than under the control of the profit motive. It will equalize opportunities to contribute and to benefit. It will eliminate relations of domination and subordination among nations to open the way for genuinely cooperative relations among them, acknowledging the sovereign right of each nation to organize its economy for the welfare of its own citizens. It will reorient our financial system away from speculative, inequality-generating finance and towards sustainable productive and inequality-addressing investment. It will also reform our international trade. Specific measures include:
- reinstating full employment as the goal of fiscal and monetary policy and expanding employment with reduction and redistribution of work, green and reclamation jobs, and expansion of employment in health care, education and skills training and other key sectors;
- implementing capital controls to prevent capital flight to tax havens and reorient the economy away from financialization and towards green productive investment in Canada;
- undertaking a national programme for green and social housing, prioritizing Indigenous housing; and
- rebuilding our public services at all levels of government and collaborating with provincial and local governments to achieve high standards of provision.
Financial Sector and Banking
- establishing three publicly owned not-for-profit banks:
- a Postal Savings Bank, operated through an expanded network of Canada Post outlets, will offer retail banking services to the public, especially to those underserved by commercial banks and will invest in the expansion of social housing;
- a Green Investment Bank will encourage green production and innovation; and
- a Social Investment Bank will finance local and locally controlled initiatives to address local social needs;
- enhancing banking regulation to reorient Canada’s banks from speculative and international activities and towards productive investment in Canada;
- limiting credit card interest rates to a maximum of 5 percentage points above the Bank of Canada prime rate; and
- limiting ATM fees to $0.25 per transaction and prohibiting financial institutions from charging their own customers ATM fees.
- renegotiating Canada’s trade and investment agreements to remove the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions that give foreign corporations extraordinary powers to challenge the laws and policies of democratically elected governments;
- including binding human rights, labour, health, safety and environmental standards in our trade agreements;
- renegotiating the USMCA to eliminate all of the concessions made by the Canada to the Trump Administration such as longer protection for patents and intellectual property, higher content specifications for rules of origin in autos and auto parts, and increases in tariff exemptions for US dairy products; and
- protecting the different resource governance rules of Canada against US encroachment.
3. Build a universal and free health care and education system covering all aspects of socially engaged and creative life from happy childhood to dignified old age.
This plan will repair decades of damage to our health care system and extend it in vital ways to make health care genuinely universal and free at the point of use. It must prioritize prevention and social medicine, whose importance the pandemic has tragically underscored. An effective, universal and comprehensive health care system is a critical part of any economy, reducing costs of the care itself as well as of lost production and productivity. An accessible and flourishing education system promotes skills, innovation and human self-development for all.
Specific measures include:
- establishing a Pharmacare programme;
- integrating elder care, mental health, dental and vision care into the public health system;
- extending high levels of health care to Indigenous and remote communities; and
- eliminating the scandal of low wages and poor working conditions among health care and elder care workers.
- integrating childcare into the education system;
- reinstating public education funding in cooperation with provinces to eliminate extra fees and expenses and ensure a high standard of education across school systems;
- reinstating funding for post-secondary education, including, universities, colleges and vocational and skills training institutions; and
- providing free post-secondary education for all who qualify.
4. Eliminate Unemployment, Gross Inequality, Poverty and Homelessness.
These goals will be achieved in good part through the overall economic management proposed above but will also require specific measures. An overhaul of the tax system is essential here and will also contribute to our ecological goals. Extreme wealth not only exacerbates all problems of inequality and poverty but reducing it is one of the most effective ways to reduce climate change emissions. As a result of ‘carbon inequality,’ the spending of the top 10% accounts for a far greater proportion of emissions.
Here are some specifics.
Ensuring adequate incomes
- expanding employment through a combination of public and private initiative to produce for unmet need and through redistribution of work and its rewards;
- creating a Minimum Guaranteed Income through the tax system to top up incomes falling below a decent livable income to ensure that no Canadian lives in poverty. The MGI will be indexed to inflation and to the cost of living in the community in which the recipient resides;
- enacting Federal legislation granting every Canadian a fundamental right to decent housing financed through the Postal Savings Bank investment and, should it prove insufficient, funded through the Federal government;
- providing decent pensions through a Canada-wide pension system that covers all Canadians of retirement age; and
- establishing a Canada-wide minimum wage and a family-supporting Living Wage that ensures employers carry their fair share of the burden.
- raising the top marginal tax rate to 75% on income in excess of $500,000 a year;
- levying a 100% tax on individual net worth in excess of $500 million and placing a cap on the wealth an individual can own. This will be applied to the worldwide assets and liabilities of all Canadian citizens, regardless of their country of residence. In order to avoid the tax, a taxpayer would have to abandon Canadian residence and renounce Canadian citizenship;
- dropping all preferential tax treatment for capital gains;
- implementing a land value tax in collaboration with provincial governments to tax away the portion of increased in realized real estate value that exceeds a fair return on the investment in buildings and other improvements that typically is unearned and stems from wider social improvements affecting the location;
- raising the corporate tax rate from 15% to 25%, except for small businesses;
- imposing a 45% inheritance tax on estates in excess of $5 million;
- eliminating tax dodging through tax havens by taxing funds hidden there and requiring companies to prove that their foreign affiliates are actual functioning businesses for tax purposes and not tax dodges;
- empowering the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to collect and seize tax revenues on wealth and incomes hiding in offshore tax havens, and to focus their audits on people who hide vast wealth rather than on randomly chosen ordinary Canadians;
- imposing a corporate tax on transnational e-commerce companies doing business in Canada by requiring the foreign vendor to register, and remit taxes, where the product or service is consumed (rather than allegedly produced);
- reversing the 50% expense deduction on corporate meals and entertainment expenses such as season tickets and private boxes at sporting events;
- preventing the transfer of family trust funds to lower tax jurisdictions. Canadian owned trust funds should remain in Canada and taxed in Canada; and
- removing international investment vehicles from the RRSP tax shelter. The intention of this shelter is to increase savings to be invested in Canada.
5. Invest in a major expansion of education, research, and the creative economy, including in maximum development and use of communication technology.
These goals will be achieved by recognizing the value of the uniquely diverse habitats and peoples in Canada and the cultural, artistic and creative talents they foster, removing inequalities of access to communications, education, art and self-expression so every Canadian can take equal and autonomous part in the creative transformation of Canada and the world. We can learn from models such as Venezuela’s Sistema programme. Achieving these goals will involve reforming Intellectual Property (IP).
Originally designed to provide an income for the creator and inventor, it has turned, with US-imposed regime established in 1996, into a financialized and monopolized protection for corporations, preventing instead of promoting dissemination of knowledge and culture, denying both the economy and the public the fruits of creation.
Specific measures include:
Canada: a world hub for transformative technologies
- establishing a network of Green Creativity Institutes connecting Canadian and international talent to develop ideas for social, technological and ecological transformation;
- creating a unified Ministry for Science, Information and Creativity to develop infrastructures for all three; and
- funding, through the Green Investment Bank and the Social Investment Bank, relevant collaborations between small business and cooperative innovators, educational institutions and community organizations.
Communication, Communication, Communication
- bringing high-speed internet to the remotest homes in Canada, creating a connected community able to develop the creative talent of its peoples;
- taking the communications network into social (Federal, Provincial and local government) ownership to put it within reach of the ordinary consumer; and
- financing and supporting a strong software industry, protected against takeover by multinationals but open to collaboration with the best of the Canada’s and the world’s developers.
Art for all
- ending cultural inequality to give all Canadians the right to develop their talents to the full beginning with equal and free access to education in the arts;
- funding collaborations between arts organizations and schools to give children access to high-quality practitioners, arts organizations much-needed community outreach and artists a secure source of income;
- facilitating the development of the growing range of creative digital industries, such as video games, robotics, web design, and the full use of digital technology for traditional creative industries, as with remote streaming for theatre, opera and orchestral performances, or virtual museums and galleries; and
- developing Canada’s fashion brands, paying special attention to Indigenous creations.
- building on the excellent work of the Canada Arts Council in supporting existing organizations and encouraging innovation and experimentation.
Overhaul the Intellectual Property system
- reforming the IP system to provide income to the creators;
- developing redistributive vehicles to channel livable income to artists;
- halting the use of blocking patents and copyrights;
- shortening the maximum duration of IP to ensure knowledge is rapidly applied and the public acquires free and open access to discoveries and creations; and
- developing a system of technology sharing by incentivizing developers and inventors to put their creations rapidly at the disposal of society.
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