Monday, September 22, 2008

A Richer, Fairer, Greener Canada


Updates to follow once I get some free time, but for now:

Read the Platform

Globe Recap


A Richer Canada

The Liberal platform stays true to the Liberal legacy of strong economic and fiscal management, including commitments to:

Balance the budget: We will restore the $3-billion contingency fund abandoned by the Conservatives to give Canada’s government more room to maneuver in tough economic times.

Tackle the infrastructure deficit: We will work with provinces, territories and municipalities to implement long-term funding for infrastructure that underpins our economic competitiveness and quality of life. We will help to improve our transit, our water treatment, our roads and bridges and our sports and recreational facilities so we can raise our families in healthy, vibrant cities and communities.

Bolster the manufacturing sector: We will create a $1-billion Advanced Manufacturing Prosperity (AMP) Fund to help Canada’s manufacturing sector retain and create jobs as it transitions to a greener future.

Provide access to post-secondary education: We will help make post-secondary education accessible to every Canadian by boosting and simplifying existing support for students, and increase investments to support research to help more Canadians succeed in the 21st-century knowledge economy.

Promote Canadian arts and culture: We will restore the ideological cuts made by the Conservatives, defend artists from censorship, double the budget of the Canada Council for the Arts and provide needed assistance to both artists and institutions in an industry that fosters vibrant, livable cities and communities, supports innovation, helps us understand our past and imagine our future, and stimulates our economy.


A Fairer Canada

The Liberal platform also commits to building a fairer, more inclusive society by:

Implementing the 30-50 Plan to reduce poverty: We will launch a full-scale attack on poverty in Canada, with the goal of reducing the number of people living below the poverty line by at least 30 per cent, and the number of children living in poverty by at least 50 per cent.

Creating child care spaces: We will work with the provinces and territories to create new early education and child care spaces that are centered on the quality, universally-inclusive, accessible and developmental (QUAD) principles, giving families a real choice.

Investing in health care: We will work to clear the bottlenecks that are currently slowing Canada’s access to health professionals, so that more Canadians will get the care they need, with shorter wait times. We will also introduce a national plan for catastrophic drug coverage that would ensure Canadians living with serious illnesses can focus on their health instead of worrying about their finances.

Investing in new Canadians: We will reverse the irresponsible immigration measures introduced by the Conservatives last spring and invest a total of $800 million in new federal funding to deal with the immigration backlog, welcome more new Canadians, and ensure that they succeed.

Bringing back the Kelowna Accord: We will bring back the Kelowna Accord and work in consultation with Aboriginal Peoples and provinces and territories to improve Aboriginal health, education and housing outcomes.


A Greener Canada

Building on the Green Shift plan, the Liberal platform contains measures that will:

Help Canadians go green: We will provide up to $10,000 in direct financial support, and introduce an interest-free Green Mortgage program for up to an additional $10,000 for homeowners making eco-friendly improvements to their homes.

Protect our health: We will introduce tough new measures to ensure Canadians have cleaner air, fresh water, non-toxic consumer products and safe food.

Preserve our natural heritage: We will create new National Parks and Marine Protected Areas to help preserve Canada’s cherished wilderness areas and biodiversity.


Canada and the World

Restore our independent voice of leadership: We will lead, not hinder, multilateral efforts to fight the climate change crisis and we will return to Canada’s traditional position of opposing the death penalty on the global stage.

Recommitting to development: We will increase Canada’s international assistance contributions and restore Canada’s special relationship with Africa which has been abandoned by the Conservatives.

Clarity and transparency on Afghanistan: We will unequivocally commit to ending the current military mission in Afghanistan in 2011 and will deliver the same message to our NATO allies who have been too often left to guess what the true position of the Conservative government is. We will carry out the remainder of the mission guided by the principles of accountability and transparency because Canadians deserve to know the whole truth about this mission.
(Citizen photo hat tip - CCT)

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43 Comments:

  • blah blah dude

    show me the money because this makes no freakin' sense to me. I am running all over the lib blogosphere hoping that some liblogger will either be able to explain the numbers better than your sad sad Leader but no one at the table says anything that makes sense.

    Liberals calling for myriad of ways to limit government revenue (big corp tax cuts, bring back the income trust tax cut, revenue neutral carbon tax) and lots of spending promises but the costing doesn't even match up to the promises made last week.

    Crazy. Crazy. Crazy. From what Layton has been saying I predict that pundits (other than the Liberal newsletter the Toronto Star) will say that the NDP numbers add up whereas the Liberals of the much vaunted surpluses and fiscal management has shot themselves in the head.

    By Blogger jenn, at 11:45 AM  

  • I fail to see how this platform will win a single vote from a person not already planning to vote Liberal.

    Dion has done a masterful job with firming up his base with this stuff.

    Of course, maybe that's the strategy now ... Save the furniture.

    By Blogger sir john a., at 11:53 AM  

  • I am trying really hard to see what's in this for me, as middle class voter struggling to pay my taxes.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:02 PM  

  • Doesn't sound the same when stephane says it?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:08 PM  

  • John McCallum told Liberal MPs today that he would like to see Defence spending cut. http://stevejanke.com/archives/273961.php

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:14 PM  

  • blah, blan Jenn...Layton hasn't even put out his economical breakdown yet - how can you judge.

    Also, Layton has LIED. He's using Gary Doer as an example of how well and NDP government would run Canada EXCEPT Gary Doer" give LOW corporate tax breaks. Doer is not as left as Layton.

    I understood very well what Dion was saying.

    But, more importantly, I started all this with the attitude in my mind not the believe any of the leaders and do some research.

    EU's cap and trade is not working out so well.

    Denmark - has low corporate taxes and used the carbon tax system very successfully.

    The socialist countries that Jackie boy likes to worship all have low corporate tax rates.

    Economists and experts say the Liberal plan WILL NOT hurt the economy.

    ...so, folks, yadder away with your partisanship rather than check things out and you may miss and opportunity for Canada.

    On another note - I was watching on CTV and the microphone had Dion totally muffled - so I switched to other channels carry out his press conference - he was clear as a bell

    Yet, when Harper and Layton were on - mics were clear.

    Sorry, I find this curious.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:18 PM  

  • anon@12:02 - How about an income tax cut. Most of the carbon emission fees will go on to large users of carbon emissions, meaning that you will likely see more money after your tax rebate than you spend on the additional products (the wonders of economies of scale)

    You'll also be able to buy cold cuts at the grocery store without worrying about whether you'll.. oh.. you know.. die from them. I dunno about you, but that last one is pretty important to me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:25 PM  

  • anon 12:02 - in terms of food safety. Your guy called for an inquiry (like we need more of them) and Layton called for tougher regulations and more meat inspectors. If Dion and crew get in I STILL won't be eating cold cuts, thanks very much.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:38 PM  

  • ...and here comes the flood of anonymous posting.

    (At least us pseudonyms have posting histories. Lengthy ones, sometimes.)

    Best bit: Anon troll #49124 up there, hauling out Janke extrapolating "military budget's been rising under the Tories" to "SWEET HOLY CRAP THEY'RE GONNA CARVE UP THE MILITARY". Er, no, it was an offhanded comment, and the platform was quite specific on keeping military spending steady.

    But anyway, buddy, take a tip: if you want people to read your link, you should make a link.

    And make the point of building a reasonably believable pseudonym a little while before trying to flood the zone.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 2:14 PM  

  • The usual election list of cliches. Liberals should pray they don't become the target of NDP attack ads over the Liberal record on child poverty and the environment.

    By Blogger nuna d. above, at 2:18 PM  

  • anon 1:38 PM

    Why would you not eat cold cuts?

    http://www.liberal.ca/pdf/platform/2008lp_greener_e.pdf

    "Canadians have been alarmed by the recent tragic events caused by unsafe food
    making it to our store shelves. The flurry of recalls followed a government decision
    to have food inspectors spend less time on the plant floor. Furthermore, the Conservatives
    developed plans to further reduce the role of inspectors. The Liberal
    Party believes that it is important to learn the lessons of the Walkerton tragedy and
    put a real focus on ensuring that the food that we all eat is as safe as it can be.

    TO ENSURE THAT LUNCH MEATS and other foods are safe for all of us, a Liberal government
    will invest an additional $50 million to build a more robust food safetynet.
    We want to get inspectors back on floors of the plant, focusing on keeping
    the food we eat safe rather than paperwork. Through the recruitment of more
    inspectors, ensuring inspectors have access to the best technology and expanding
    inspection efforts of both home grown and imported foods, Canadians will
    be able to have greater faith in the food we all eat. More inspection means more
    safety for all Canadians."

    By Anonymous MississaugaPeter, at 2:20 PM  

  • "The Liberals will help pay for their plan by cutting about $12-billion over four years from the federal government's $200-billion annual budget and shifting the funds to new priorities."

    So what are they going to cut? Cutting 12 billion is easier said than done, because most of the budget is made up of sacred cows of one sort or another.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 2:23 PM  

  • hosertohoosier,

    That's only $3B per year from a $200B+ annual budget.

    That's only 1.5%.

    Thats very doable without sending us back into monthly deficits (Harper's Mulroney moment, April 2008, $900M monthly deficit, almost $1B monthly monthly deficit, first monthly deficit in over a decade).

    And where is Harper's costing analysis to pay for $15B in pre-election announcements? Cutting a mean-spirited $48M from Arts doesn't cover it.

    It's ironic that the Centre-Left - Clinton, Chretien, Blair - are more fiscally responsible than the Right - Bush, Harper, Thatcher.

    By Anonymous MississaugaPeter, at 2:58 PM  

  • The Libs are using the same numbers as the Tories to make their projections. Hard for Conservative trolls to complain about the costing of it given that.

    By Anonymous CW, at 3:08 PM  

  • No, CW, it's not hard. It's just ridiculous and hypocritical.

    Which is pretty much par for the course for both the Republicans and the slightly-colder-Republicans the Liberals are facing right now. So they'll probably be fine.

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 3:15 PM  

  • I will not be voting for Dion this time. Sorry Liberals. If this is the best the Liberals can muster, after harping so long and hard on the Green Shift and totally abandoning it in this go'round, I have no confidence that these promises could withstand an economic down turn.

    Dion had every opportunity to oppose the gov't on these things and either chose in the end to vote with the gov't or sit on their hands.

    One chance to many for me.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:14 PM  

  • Let's see. The other day Dion announced another $70 billion in (infrastructure) spending, on top of all his other non-Green and Green spending announcements, despite "the only tax increase (and revenue-neutral at that, eh?)" being the Green Shaft at $15 billion in its fourth year. Note: assuming it was $15B in each of the 4 years, it would still add up to only $60B, which is a lot shorter than just the $70B infrastructure announcement the other day.

    Can anyone tell me how this adds up? It doesn't, which is why I suspect (as a lot of other thread posters do) that Dion and his Liberals will lie, promise anything, etc., just to get back into power. being poor, banrupt morally, and out of power isn't fun for the Natural Ruling Party.

    No thanks. I vainly waited for both Chretien and Martin to spend a cent of the $500 million Waterfront Infrastructure Fund they promised FOUR times to Torontonians during 90's and 00's elections. Fool me once, maybe twice but don't try for a fifth time, Liberals.

    Liberals ... Go back and retrench, renew yourself with coherent policies and platforms that make sense for real Canadians, not just to seek a quick return to power at any cost to the Canadian taxpayer.

    By Blogger burpnrun, at 4:31 PM  

  • Judging from the photo, I guess when you're looking for a richer, greener Canada, that means a rich person who's willing to use lots of water to pour onto the Liberal plants.

    By Blogger nbt, at 5:40 PM  

  • "the slightly-colder-Republicans the Liberals are facing right now."

    The Tories being compared to the Republicans? Wow! That was totally unexpected. I'm glad to see Liberal partisans are keeping it fresh with their critiques.

    By Blogger Mike-rra, at 5:54 PM  

  • The 70 billion is over 10 years.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 6:32 PM  

  • Can someone perhaps explain just how much GHG emissions are required (and thus, tax revenues) in each of the next five years in order to balance Dion's books?

    By Blogger paul.obeda@, at 7:38 PM  

  • More-er: Now the Liberals are saying "if revenues aren't as much as we expect due to worsening economic conditions, the "plan" will be implemented more slowly". Moreover, IIR, Goodale said the other day that the "plan" would be subject to an audit of government finances after assuming power, a la Dalton McGuinty.

    So my question would be this: which Liberal initiatives would be deferred, i.e., rank the priority of initiatives, Mr. Dion. Is Kelowna the lowest or highest priority, or where does it fit?

    Everytime I see hedging and gaping escape routes, particularly with Liberal (hello, Dalton) promises, I assign zero credence to the statement, plan or platform in toto. So this Shaft isn't worth the paper that it's written on. Either they will do it, or they won't, pure and simple.

    And, as "paul.obeda" thoughtfully points out just above, "the revenues assume what level (tonnage) of GHG's?" Allied with this is the question, "what GHG reductions will be achieved in each of the first 4 years?"

    By Blogger burpnrun, at 9:52 PM  

  • Even Morer-er: Everyone knows that the end payor in Carbon Tax initiatives is the consumer/taxpayer, not corporations who will pass the cost on to customers. Especially utilities like Ontario Power Generation (the first or second largest GHG emitter in the country).

    So taxpayers are paying for this Green Shaft boondoggle, not some imaginary boogeyman. It's a massive tax increase/grab, pure and simple.

    By Blogger burpnrun, at 10:11 PM  

  • Ah. So now we know that even the accounting is wrong. From the CPC website:

    "In fact, if Mr. Dion fully implemented all the promises that he has made, it would create an annual average deficit of $12.85 billion, saddling Canadians with over $51 billion in new debt over the next four years."

    No wonder Dion/McCallum have their built-in escape routes.

    By Blogger burpnrun, at 10:17 PM  

  • As to questions on where they would find cuts of about 1% of the budget each year, I'd start with some of Harper's more irritating excesses:

    -ten percenters
    -polling on death penalty (Cons doubled the polling costs),
    -sending our all the different religious cards
    - save money on extra case case load of privacy commission by cutting out cards above
    - don't sue government agencies like EC (save legal fees)
    - cut back government advertising which is partisan

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:19 PM  

  • " mississaugapeter said...
    hosertohoosier,

    That's only $3B per year from a $200B+ annual budget.

    That's only 1.5%.

    Thats very doable without sending us back into monthly deficits (Harper's Mulroney moment, April 2008, $900M monthly deficit, almost $1B monthly monthly deficit, first monthly deficit in over a decade)...."

    Sorry to burst your bubble Peter, but at best, it was the first monthly deficit since...March 2005 - http://www.fin.gc.ca/FISCMON/2005-03e.html.

    And of course there was March 2004 - http://www.fin.gc.ca/FISCMON/2004-03e.html.

    And then March 2003 - http://www.fin.gc.ca/FISCMON/2003-03e.html

    Monthly deficits mean nothing...It is a yearly budget, and much like in business, there are large monthly outlays, and small monthly outlays. The annual financials are what you plan on and with, not monthly ones.

    Sorry to burst your bubble!

    By Blogger Rick, at 10:44 PM  

  • burpnrun,

    Please read the Liberal Platform and offer some original insights rather than just regurgitating Conservative misstatements.


    Rick,

    Yes, you are right.

    Every March, at the end of the fiscal year, for three years (2003, 2004, 2005), Liberal governments made enoromous, one-time transfer payments to the provinces (and allocated money towards the repayment of the national debt), which caused a monthly deficit.

    Unfortunately, the April 2008 $1B debt was not at the end of the fiscal year.

    Unfortunately, the April 2008 $1B debt was not because of an enormous, one-time, transfer payment to the provinces.

    Unfortunately, the April 2008 $1B debt was not because money was allocatted to repayment of the debt.

    Unfortunately, the April 2008 $1B debt was because of poor planning by a Finance Minister who had a track record of creating multi-billion dollar deficits in Ontario when he was Finance Minister there.

    In spite of these facts, I will offer to amend my previous comment to read "first monthly deficit in 4 years".

    By Anonymous MississaugaPeter, at 11:17 PM  

  • The $70 billion for infrastucture included the programs already put in place by Harper for the next 2-3 years,
    same for most of the spending Dion announced today.
    There is only $16 billion in total that is new money,
    the rest is Harper policy/budget that Dion is happy to accept as his.

    By Blogger wilson, at 12:23 AM  

  • Mike: A conservative insider, when describing the Li'l Shop of Tories, called them "Republican-trained hyper-partisans."

    Add pasty and portly (which I can, I've seen pictures of Sparrow) and you've pretty much got a College Republican in spades.

    Then again, I could be wrong, and the Tory MPs could be completely different. Unfortunately, Harper keeps them under such tight controls nobody really has any idea who they are, do they? The whole "hidden agenda" thing would probably have a lot less salience if Harper didn't carefully muzzle his whole party.

    (Well, except for Baird. Speaking of pasty.)

    By the way, by the looks of trollnrun there the War Room took my advice about pseudonyms. Good going!

    By Blogger Demosthenes, at 12:51 AM  

  • Well, it's nice to know that the Liberals have decided to throw BC under the bus by not even bothering to mention how the Green Shift is going to be incorporated with their provincial carbon tax. Trust me probably isn't going to cut it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:50 AM  

  • Forgive my ignorance but isn't that Celine Dion and not Stephane? Oh right you Liberals are trying to hide your lame duck leader from the Canadian public.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:10 AM  

  • Ahh! Sounds like the LPC has recognized the inevitable. CTV says that they are sending charming Martha Hall Findley into battleground ridings asking for NDP/Green votes.

    They have to be careful not to trigger a backlash.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:48 AM  

  • The problem with the Liberals unveiling campaign promises is that they've cried wolf one too many times. Let's face it, it's not realistic and most people fully expect the Liberals to NOT follow through - they don't have a good history of keeping promises. So yeah, blah blah blah - Rebuild, re-brand, whatever, I hope the Dippers end up as the main opposition and the Libs go the way of the PC's.

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 5:23 AM  

  • fair sailling; Kind of like those wait times and income trust promises Harper made last time, eh?

    I tend to think Canadians are skeptical of all parties and the promises they make.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:13 AM  

  • An absolutely fair comment. BUT, in terms of who they trust LEAST then the Liberal brand has taken the biggest hit over the last few years. Is anyone happy with the choices out there? Probably not. If the Liberals once represented the cutting edge of progressive politics they now represent desperation politics. The public can sense that desperation, that desire to cling to the seat of power like a drunk to a toilet bowl. The Liberal brand is soiled. Time to flush... bring on the Dippers in opposition.

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 11:33 AM  

  • fair sailing,

    Desperation politics?

    http://www.carleton.ca/jmc/cnews...032007/ n5.shtml

    More like progressive politics.

    Elections Canada will reveal how desparate and progressive the Liberals really are very soon!

    By Anonymous MississaugaPeter, at 2:57 PM  

  • Thought this was good CG:

    "Canadians see the Conservatives as the party most likely to make good on their campaign promises.

    An exclusive Nanos Research-Sun Media poll shows 30.4% of people surveyed think the Tories will honour their commitments -- more than double the 14.5% who think the Liberals will deliver and 14.1% who put their trust in the NDP."

    Just a poll.... or is it?

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 5:20 AM  

  • And a little further down we have:

    "...only 38.4% of committed Liberal voters expect Grit promises to be honoured."

    That really says it all I think.

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 5:30 AM  

  • http://www.ottawasun.com/canadavotes/news/2008/09/24/6858281-sun.html

    By Blogger fair sailing, at 5:31 AM  

  • Seil Heil

    Tories defend whisking Cadman away from media
    CAMPBELL CLARK

    September 24, 2008

    SURREY, B.C. -- The Conservatives whisked Surrey North candidate Dona Cadman out the door last night before reporters following Stephen Harper's campaign could speak to her.

    Ms. Cadman is at the centre of the so-called Cadman affair: she has said the party offered her dying husband, the late independent MP Chuck Cadman, a $1-million insurance policy for his vote in a crucial 2005 confidence vote.

    The Conservatives have denied her allegation, saying the financial offer was one of campaign support.

    But when reporters asked to speak to her after Mr. Harper gave a speech to a Surrey rally, she was instead taken out of the building.

    Reporters tried to reach her as she and other candidates were rushed off the stage by Mr. Harper's aides after the rally behind the Conservative Leader, but RCMP officers kept the media away as they left through the room's back door.

    A spokesman for Mr. Harper, Kory Teneycke, said it was not the local candidates' priority to speak to national media, but rather to get elected. When it was pointed out that local reporters were present, he said he didn't say it was their priority to speak to local media, either.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 3:39 PM  

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