Monday, June 09, 2008

Layton Adopts Green Party Policy

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, Jack Layton ain't been exactly sociable with the gal I adore, Earth Mother Lizzie May. Now, it looks like that might be changin'. Today is Lizzie's birthday. I don't know if Jack sent her any birthday greetings or not but he sure as hell done Lizzie a favour by stealin' a plank from the Green Party policy book.

Greenies are happy to share our good green ideas and when other parties lift a policy, like Stephane Dion did with our tax-shifting policy, we're happy 'huggers. I reckon Happy Jack's makin' Lizzie happy on her birthday by adoptin' a GPC policy.

From the Globe, June 8, 2008:

Yesterday, in a speech in Ottawa, he (NDP Leader Jack Layton) called on the federal government to suspend any new permits for oil sands development projects until the cumulative social and environmental effects have been examined.

“No new approvals until we get it right,” he said.

From Vision Green, October 15, 2007:

Green Party MPs will:

  • Address inter-provincial/territorial and international water-related concerns by demanding that government:
    1. Restore ecosystem health to Canada’s coastline and inland watersheds by funding improvements to municipal wastewater treatment systems, with particular emphasis on ensuring shoreline communities and industries stop dumping untreated waste into rivers, lakes and oceans; and,
    2. Ensure that binding water-sharing agreements among provincial, territorial and federal governments are created within the Mackenzie Basin (within 1 year). The agreements must reflect contemporary scientific knowledge and principles of social equity, efficiency and ecological integrity. Elements to include:
      1. Capping withdrawals from the Athabasca River based on assessment of in stream flow needs;
      2. Ensuring oil sands developers deal responsibly with polluted waters in storage ponds (largest man-made structures on Earth); and,
      3. Placing a moratorium on further oil sands development (i.e. increases in annual production).
From Green Party, May 2, 2008:
The Green Party of Canada is calling for a moratorium on the expansion of Tar Sands development and an elimination of government subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.
Back in December, Earth Mother Lizzie May posted up a boog story where she listed off 31 policies that were unique to the Green Party. When Dion and the Grits adopted our carbon tax shift, the list got a little shorter. Now that Layton and the Dippers have adopted our moratorium on tar sands expansion policy, another item can be scratched off Lizzie's List of Green Party Uniqueness.

Here's Lizzie's December 2007 list:
  1. A carbon tax, an indispensable step in getting the prices right in energy choices and allowing reduced income and payroll taxes.
  2. “Income-splitting” to reduce the tax burden on middle class couples.
  3. A continuing role in Afghanistan but within a transformed U.N. mission, legalizing and regulating the poppy trade for medicinal use, and bringing in more Islamic nations into the peace-keeping, security efforts in Southern Afghanistan through the U.N.
  4. An end to asbestos mining and export to developing countries. (truly outrageous that for all the talk about asbestos, only the Green Party is prepared to call for banning mining and export.)
  5. The phase out of nuclear power and uranium mining.
  6. The reform of the Divorce Act to make family law less of a battleground.
  7. To launch a national dialogue toward a Guaranteed Livable Income.
  8. The legalization of marijuana, to be controlled, regulated and taxed.
  9. The six month notice to get out of NAFTA with immediate re-negotiation of key provisions.
  10. Support for open source software and net neutrality.
  11. National shift to GE-free, organic agriculture and regional food self-sufficiency.
  12. A moratorium on new projects in the tar sands.
  13. Creation of a federal Department of Tourism
  14. Protect drinking water at its source (no other party will do this--the BC NDP jailed citizens for trying to protect drinking water).
  15. Amend the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to enshrine the right of Canadians to an ecological heritage that includes breathable air and drinkable water.
  16. Pass federal legislation to prohibit bulk water exports.
  17. Establish a National Parks completion budget; protect at least half of Canada's Boreal Forest in a network of large interconnected protected areas as called for in the 2003 Boreal Forest Conservation Framework
  18. Zero waste, including laws requiring lifetime stewardship of products
  19. A cancer prevention strategy that includes a toxic-free Canada -- taxing toxics and pollution; ending the production and use of the most dangerous toxic chemicals by 2012.
  20. Pan-Arctic waste management strategy.
  21. Shift funding from mega-freeway projects like Pacific Gateway that encourage urban sprawl and use the funds instead for public transit.
  22. Implement Genuine Progress Indicator (or Index of Well-being)
  23. Enact "living will" legislation to give person the choice to die with dignity.
  24. Explore establishing a new crown corporation to bulk purchase and dispense generic drugs - to bring down the costs of pharmacare.
  25. Pass pay equity legislation; immediately implement full pay equity for women employed in the federal sector and develop tax incentives for companies to meet gender and pay equity.
  26. Press professional societies to remove unnecessary barriers recognizing the professional credentials of immigrants.
  27. Canada must support and implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  28. Revamp CIDA to focus on developing community-based green economies, poverty alleviation and programmes to combat and adapt to climate change.
  29. Declare Canada a nuclear free zone.
  30. Reform WTO, IMF and the World Bank, placing these under the authority of the UN General Assembly and shift the direction of international trade away from free trade to fair trade.
  31. Scrap the SPP (Security and Prosperity Partnership)

Well, I guess we're down to only 29 policies that are unique to the Green Party. As we move closer an' closer to the next federal election, I wonder who's gonna be next to take a page outta Vision Green.



Robert McClelland said...

An NDP press release from September 26, 2006.
Layton challenged Harper to deliver on key targets and environmental initiatives:...
Consider a moratorium on oil sands development until environmental concerns about the production of massive amounts of carbon emissions are addressed

Who stole what from who?

JimBobby said...

Good find, RobertyBob. I think the key semantic problem is with the word "consider." Instead of simply suggesting Harper think about a moratorium, Layton is now saying there should actually be such a moratorium.

Lotsa people consider quitting smoking but far fewer actually do it.

The Greens put the moratorium into our official policy statement. The NDP unofficially said the government should think about a moratorium. There's a difference.

Essentially, the GPC called for an end to tar sands exploration in our January 2006 platform when we said:

Green Party MPs will work to:

End all federal subsidies to fossil fuel sectors and discontinue exploration, drilling and extraction in ecologically sensitive areas.

I don't think anyone is arguing that the tar sands are not an ecologically sensitive area.

Note that we didn't simply suggest the government consider an end to such exploration. We called for an absolute end to to extraction in sensitive areas.