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Leader: Jim Harris

Web Site:

Platform: Some Day is Now (html version, pdf version)

Candidates: By Province

Party Description: The Green Party intends to run a full slate (308) of candidates in election 2004. It has been polling at 5% in pre-election polls, though it should be noted that such polls use multiple choice questions: because the Green Party is the only party listed in the questionnaire that does not have members in the House of Commons (nobody is asked whether they would vote for the Canadian Action Party, Freedom Party, etc.) it tends to pick up votes that would otherwise go to parties not mentioned on the questionnaire. The result has been, election after election, that the Greens poll at about 5% before elections, but actually receive much less than 5% of the vote on polling day.

The Green Party's raison d'être is using government force to make people more environment-friendly. On any careful read of the Greens' platform and ideological statements, the Greens are proposing a deeply ideological, anti-industrial revolutionary program. However, the Greens have managed to package a radical agenda with hip slogans and graphics, and up-with-people language, that tends to breed trust, particularly among younger voters. Arguably to make its platform sound more palatable and mainstream to middle-aged and older voters, leader Jim Harris has described the Greens as "fiscally conservative, socially progressive, and committed to economic sustainability" (CBC, May 20, 2004). To decide for yourself upon the revolutionary vs. conservative nature of the Green party - and to decide whether the fiscal sizzle is truly coming from the conservative steak - it helps to look at how the Greens say they would collect revenues, spend revenues, and grow (our word) government.

Revenue Collection: A Green Party government would...

  • increase fuel taxes by ten cents (to be phased in over three years).
  • phase in a $10 per ton coal consumption tax.
  • raise taxes on pollution, waste and inefficiency (it's not clear what would constitute pollution, waste or inefficiency);
  • impose punitive tariffs on imports from nations who fail to act on ecological reforms, or the protection of human rights.
  • impose a three-tiered annual capital tax of $1,750 or $2,250 or $2,750 per each million dollars in paid-up capital (the general capital tax is currently being phased out).
  • tax marijuana production (after legalizing it).
  • fund a national banking watchdog by a special surtax of one dollar per bank account per year.
  • fund a new National Drug Formulary with a 1% surtax on over the counter medicines, vitamins and prescription pharmaceuticals.
  • reduce the marginal tax rate on the lowest federal tax bracket to give Canadians a tax cut of $3.5 billion.
  • Continue to collect and keep EI premiums that are not spent on EI benefits, and spend the surplusses on adult education and apprenticeship programs.

Spending: A Green Party government would...

  • give municipalities a fixed share of federal tax revenues (currently not permitted by the constitution of Canada);
  • fund local and municipal procurement of electricity meters;
  • fund energy efficiency retrofits in commercial and residential buildings (with a five-year tax break);
  • pay some of homeowners' home heating and electricity bills (using tax incentives);
  • create national small business efficiency loans, designed to assist small and medium sized businesses in reducing their energy usage and operating costs;
  • assist companies with the financing they need for efficiency investments and environmental remediation technologies;
  • fund (with tax breaks) companies that are certified for ISO 9000 and ISO 14000;
  • fund (with tax breaks) companies that meet the highest standards of gender equity and pay equity;
  • provide funding for the necessary equipment and services to ensure that the “duty to accommodate” principle is met to the fullest extent in federally managed buildings;
  • fund municipal light rail and subway investments by inking a ten-year funding contract with our cities;
  • cancel "unjust" debts owed to Canada by other countries;
  • fund programs to aid the victims of violence against women;
  • fund organizations that ensure the safety of sex trade workers (i.e., fund prostitute protection);
  • fund (with tax incentives) businesses to hire locally and fund commuters to relocate;
  • pay businesses (with tax incentives) to implement flexible schedules and on-site childcare;
  • fund public education programs that inform consumers about waste, recycling and conservation;
  • fund excellence and research development programs based on public priorities — as decided by citizens, academic panels and government sponsored round tables;
  • pay for educational multimedia resources for parents and children;
  • fund a National Mentorship Program that will enable our nation’s retired people to share their life experience with younger generations;
  • increase funding for programs such as early childhood education, to reduce the obstacles that disadvantage young people from low and middle income families;
  • fund universities and colleges;
  • provide needs-based grants enough to reduce student debt by 40%;
  • pay for additional student loan relief for low-income childcare professionals;
  • fund the promotion of academic research on future energy and energy efficiency;
  • fund the hosting of bi-annual international energy conferences;
  • fund the formation of an international advocacy organization (Greenpeace?) that will foster sustainable energy policies worldwide;
  • pay "volunteers" to work for charities (with tax receipts) based on the provincial minimum wage;
  • spend $500 million over five years to aggressively address the physical inactivity and obesity epidemic in Canada;
  • fund traditional and alternative healing practices that complement pharmaceutical and surgical treatments;
  • fund health care costs related to tobacco illnesses; and
  • fund education programs to prevent tobacco addiction.
  • fund addiction prevention and treatment;
  • fund the revision of Canada’s Health and Safety regulations regarding exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, electromagnetic radiation and persistent organic pollutants;

Growing Government: A Green Party government would...

  • create and fund a “regulatory oversight” body that will help workers challenge “overgrown” regulatory barriers that make it more difficult to change professions;
  • create and fund offices for bioregional stewards, under the mandate of Environment Canada;
  • create and fund a National Commission on Genetic Technologies to guide licensing requirements and safety practices;
  • create and fund a national hotline for reporting illegal work conditions, sweatshops, workplace harassment and discrimination;
  • create and fund a National Mentorship Program that will enable our nation’s retired people to share their life experience with younger generations;
  • create and fund a Canadian National Health Council, as recommended by the Romanow Commission;
  • create and fund three medical task forces to address major health problems on a holistic and societal level, as well as make policy recommendations outside of the health sector;
  • create and fund a national pharmaceutical research body to work with the provinces and insurers;
  • create and fund a National Drug Formulary — a continually updated, publicly available guide to the effective therapeutic use of pharmaceuticals, vitamin and herbal treatments.

in addition to these explicitly named governmental bodies, additional governmental bodies would presumably be needed to accomplish the following tasks:

  • monitor the diversity of species, the levels of pollution and the health of the ecosystem;
  • monitor private and public colleges, universities and educational programs, through the student loans program, and require that they provide potential students with accurate and up-to-date information on the success of their graduates;
  • advise municipal governments on ecological issues;
  • assist provincial governments in designing, implementing and monitoring energy efficiency programs, through the Office of Energy Efficiency;
  • create a long term pollution management and reduction plan for all the chemicals in the National Pollutant Release Inventory;
  • implement educational programs to ensure that all Canadians understand the rights of persons with disabilities and the benefits gained by society;
  • encourage apprenticeships and skill enhancement by creating industry-wide cooperative education initiatives;
  • require a license for any organization or institution that performs genetic engineering for commercial or scientific purposes.

In addition to these fiscal and structural proposals, the Greens would replace Canada's first past the post system with a "proportional representation" system: you vote for parties, the parties choose your MPs for you. They propose this as a way of creating a 50-50 gender split in the House of Commons, and as a way of creating more diversity according to genetic factors (race): parties would, it must be assumed, be permitted to fight perceived sexism and racism by employing sexist and racist MP selection criteria within parties.


Page Last updated: Thursday, May 27, 2004  








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