Just a reminder that Election Day is Monday, October 19th. Every vote matters. For more information including voting locations, please visit www.elections.ca or call the Guelph Returning Office at (1-866-239-2826)
I want all Canadians to live well: That means a good job and financial confidence, protection of our water and other natural resources; assurance of a habitable environment, privacy, liberty, national security, good health care and housing; a vibrant cultural scene; and a lively, open democracy. Our platform embraces these things. But what’s most important is that while it’s a long list of policies, they’re all part of a cohesive, positive vision of a strong, secure and sustainable Canada. We’ll expand medicare, implement a national strategy to help seniors thrive, and establish a Guaranteed Liveable Income to reduce the poverty that grinds down so many Canadians. Our National Housing Strategy ¬will move people experiencing homelessness into independent, permanent housing, with services they need. We’ll recognize indigenous rights and negotiate land claims. We’ll reverse CBC funding cuts and the elimination of home mail delivery. We’ll refocus our defence forces and improve disaster preparedness. We’ll make Canada more democratic by introducing proportional representation; ensuring MPs have a meaningful role; making decisions based on facts, not ideology; and replacing blind partisanship with collaboration. We’ll repeal Bill C-51, the “anti-terror” legislation that’s really an unprecedented attack on our privacy and freedom. And, of course, we’ll take many steps to protect our environment, including the virtual elimination of fossil-fuel use in Canada by mid-century. To help us get there, we’ll impose a carbon fee and distribute the proceeds to every adult Canadian as a carbon dividend.
As hosts to one of Ontario’s top universities, we here in Guelph understand the importance of post-secondary education and ensuring students have access to it. But like you, I know too many young people either can’t afford a college or university education or graduate with an unsupportable mountain of debt. Under the Green Party, Canada will join the world’s most successful economies — think Germany, Norway, Sweden and Austria — that have increased their prosperity, equality, productivity and economic competitiveness by eliminating post-secondary tuition fees. We’ll start by ensuring access for students without adequate financial means, including all First Nations, Métis and Inuit students. By 2020, we’ll end fees for all Canadians. We’ll also eliminate existing or future student debt up to $10,000, abolish interest charges on new student loans and increase funding for bursaries. We also understand education and skills-development are life-long necessities, so we will invest in them. First, we’ll create a Canadian Sustainable Generations Fund, financed mainly by returning tax rates on large corporations to the 2009 level of 19 per cent, eliminating loopholes and inefficiency in the tax system and working with provinces to increase resource extraction royalties. Second, to help students gain experience in a first job, we’ll provide $1 billion a year through a national Community and Environment Service Corps that lets municipalities hire Canadian youth to do work that needs to be done.
Many of us feel squeezed by rising debt, job insecurity and stagnant or falling income. Instead of trying to improve this situation, the Conservative government has made it worse. It lavishes benefits on wealthy corporations and individuals. It favours polluting boom-or-bust resource extraction over job-creating manufacturing and innovation. It secretly negotiates trade deals that undermine Canadian businesses, the environment and workers’ rights; widening the already huge gap between rich and poor. I want to invest in people and create good jobs, and that’s what the Green Party will do. We’ll focus on sustainable resource development, energy efficiency, renewable energy, digital upgrades, clean-tech manufacturing, tourism, the creative economy and emerging technologies. We’ll spend some GST revenue on municipal infrastructure, put Canadians to work through a National Sustainable Jobs Plan, and re-introduce an expanded home renovation tax credit. We’ll work with First Nations and the provinces to ensure the responsible development of Canada’s natural resource wealth and set strict rules on industrial development to eliminate waste and pollution. We’ll stop oil sands expansion and high-risk plans for new raw bitumen export pipelines and tankers. We’ll support local agriculture and food production. We’ll develop a national transportation strategy, focused on rail, with strong support for passenger service. Since small businesses create more jobs than any other part of Canada’s economy, we’ll cut red tape for them, and create a $1 billion-per-year grants program to help entrepreneurs get their good ideas and new technologies to market.
Bob Desautels, Guelph
"Gord Miller has the skills and experience to be a strong voice for Guelph in Ottawa. He will be a champion for Guelph’s business community and a leader in promoting Guelph’s local food and clean tech sectors. Gord has the integrity, knowledge and commitment to be the kind of Parliamentarian that will make Guelph proud."