The Green Party of Canada has long been forgotten sibling of the election and yet everyone seems to love them. Their platform is well thought out and contains serious plans that will tackle the issues that Canada is currently facing. The biggest challenge that they will face is how voting splitting will affect the election results, causing people to vote for who they want to defeat the Conservatives instead of voting for who they truly want to win the election. I have reviewed the Greens platform for environment, energy, transit, food/agriculture, education and economy. You can find my review of the other platforms here - Liberal, Conservative, NDP.
As always the most important thing you can do is educate yourself on the platforms and get out there and vote. If you have eligible children, speak to them about the issues Canada is facing and encourage them to participate in the Turkey Vote Challenge .
As expected, there are strong commitments to the protection of our environment in the Green Party platform. Not only do they want to mitigate the damage that the Conservative government has done but they want to make Canada a leader in climate change commitments and clean energy. The Greens have set a goal for climate change with the overall plan to be to virtually eliminate fossil fuel usage in Canada by mid century. They goal is to reduce climate change emissions by 40% of the 2005 levels by 2025 and an 80% reduction of the 1990 level by 2050.
- Eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies (saving $1 billion/year) to the fossil fuel industry.
- Create Green Technology Commercialization Grants at the cost of $1 billion/year to accelerate emerging technologies and give Canadian entrepreneurs a head start. It will help these technologies get to market, grow our sustainable economy and create local jobs.
- Work with the provinces to develop a national price on carbon as part of the Carbon Fee and Dividend Plan. Funds generated from this plan would go to Canadians over the age of 18 as a annual carbon dividend.
- Provide $75 million/year to rebuild public scientific research with Environment Canada, Health Canada, Parks Canada and Fisheries and Oceans.
- Implement new legislation to ensure that any new laws are based on transparent and ethical information.
- Work with First Nations and the provinces on the responsible development of Canadian natural resources.
- Stand against all new raw bitumen export schemes to protect the coastal waters and the communities that surround them.
- Demonstrate climate leadership at the UN Climate Summit
- Hire trades to improve efficiency of public buildings by sealing all leaks. This will reduce carbon emissions by 30%.
The current Canadian energy economy is highly focused (and reliant) on the Tar Sands and XL Pipeline. Plans to move Canada to clean technology and away from fossil fuels will impact this economy and jobs associated with it. The Greens energy plan will create clean-tech jobs for those currently working in and relying on the fossil fuel industry. Additionally they will create more jobs by refining in Canada instead of shipping our resources off to be refined in other countries.
- Invest in infrastructure that promotes renewable energy transmission between provinces and reduces the waste in our current energy system.
- Work with the provinces to phase out coal fired generation plants within Canada.
- Expand the home renovation tax credit to create incentives for people and businesses to make their homes/businesses more energy efficient or to install renewable energy.
The Greens will develop a National Transportation Strategy to increase the access to transit and improve the frequency of service.
- Invest in local public transit
- Expand VIA rail by investing $600 million by 2017 to a total of $764 million by 2020 in order to make rail travel more appealing for business travelers and tourism.
OMG a party is talking about food!!!
- Fund farmers markets, CSA's, small farms, wineries and microbreweries.
- Shift government supported research away from biotech and energy intensive farming and towards organic and sustainable food production.
- Adopt stricter regulations to prohibit caner-causing chemicals in our food and consumer products.
The Greens plan to eliminate tuition fees for college and university students by 2020 as well implementing a debt forgiveness plan for existing students with debt about $10,000.
- Eliminate charging interest on new student loans.
- Increase funding for bursaries.
- Create a national Community and Environment Service Corps which will provide $1 bullion/year to municipalities to hire Canadian youth.
- Create a Canadian Sustainable Generations Fund which will invest in skills training, education, energy efficiency, renewables and emerging technologies. The fund will be capitalized by increasing tax rates on large corporations to the 2009 level of 19% and eliminating tax haves and tax credits.
- Roll out a Sustainable Jobs Plan by investing in municipal infrastructure ($6.4 billion/year) the Greens will create well-paying, local and sustainable jobs.
- End gender based discrimination in the workplace and eliminate the generate wage gap.
- Provide tax breaks to employers who implement onsite child care programs that support women re-entering the workforce after having children. This will also encourage extension of breast feeding opportunities, use of public transit to get to work and access to children throughout the day.
What do you think of the Green Party platform? Would you consider voting for them?
Related Posts - Check them out
2014 - Ontario Green Platform
Greenpeace Activism - Can it be considered piracy?
Environmental Impact of the Election