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September 22, 2008

How Do You Like These Numbers? Proof That You Can Be Progressive and Productive

The new liberal platform is about so much more than dollars and cents. It factors in the needs of everyday people (as opposed to mega-corporations) and it begins to address long-standing issues of poverty and injustice. This is a blueprint for a Canada that can make us all feel proud about our country again. We can feel that unifying sense of shared purpose that comes from pulling together to achieve shared goals: a juster, fairer, and greener Canada.

If you can't decide who to vote for in this election, I'd like to challenge you to vote for hope and change.
Cast your vote in the direction of optimism. Place your faith in someone who has a vision of a better Canada and who was tough enough to stand up against the naysayers for the past two-and-a-half years because he wanted to get to this place: a time when he could cast out his vision, share it with his fellow Canadians, and watch it take root and grow.Hopegraffitti

It's also a practical vision -- one with dollars and cents attached. I'm talking real money that will end up in your pocket (as opposed to disappearing in a non-refundable tax credit that only pays off for a select few).

It's not often that I can feel good about something from both a mom perspective (I have four kids) and a small business perspective (I have my own business), but the new Liberal Party platform has lots to offer Canadian parents and entrepreneurs.

Here's what Liberal leader St├ęphane Dion had to say earlier today: "A Liberal government will get the fundamentals of the economy right," said Mr. Dion. "We will build a richer Canada by cutting taxes for all Canadian families and businesses, making them more competitive; we will build a fairer Canada by directing significant tax benefits to families with children, increasing benefits to the disabled, seniors and families struggling to achieve success; and we will build a greener Canada by targeting tax cuts to Canadians and businesses to invest in renewable, energy efficient technologies."

A Liberal government will build a richer Canada by:

  • leaving more in the pockets of Canadians by lowering the lowest- and middle-income tax rates. Lowering income taxes as much as 10 per cent for many Canadians;
  • increasing the competitiveness of Canadian small businesses by lowering the small business tax rate to 10 per cent from 11 per cent. This represents a nine per cent cut in small business taxes;
  • lowering the corporate tax rate to 14 per cent by 2013, making Canada one of the most competitive business jurisdictions in the world, driving the Canadian economy and creating jobs; and
  • investing in the future and simplifying the tax system for post-secondary students providing most students approximately $1000 each year, and extending the $400 per month education tax credit to apprentices. [This sounds great. I have two kids in college and a third who is considering an apprenticeship program.]

A Liberal government will build a fairer Canada by:

  • introducing a new $350 refundable child tax credit that will benefit all families;
  • increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors by $600 a year for low-income seniors even if they don't earn enough to pay taxes, and by $800 a year for low-income senior couples;
  • improving the employment credit for low and middle-income Canadians and putting up to $250 more into their pockets;
  • making the Disability Tax Credit refundable, significantly improving the incomes of disabled Canadians with low incomes;
  • finally indexing the Northern Residents Deduction so the tax benefit addresses the changing costs of Northern Canadians;
  • improving the Working Income Tax Credit for low-income Canadians and help them get over the welfare wall; and
  • creating a new Guaranteed Family Supplement for the poorest families with children, worth $1,225 a year more per family.

A Liberal government will build a greener Canada by:

  • providing up to $10,000 in refundable tax benefits to Canadian families for investments in energy-saving retrofits to their homes. This will improve energy efficiency, contribute to the fight against climate change and save Canadians money;
  • implementing an Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance rates, which will provide new tax benefits to Canadian businesses that invest in green technologies. As the price of fossil fuels rises, this tax benefit will
  • accelerate the investment in the technologies that will improve the competitiveness of Canadian companies; and
  • improving the Science, Research & Experimental Development tax credit, giving tax benefits to Canadians that innovate and build the solutions of the future.


INVESTING IN CHANGE
IN AN INNOVATIVE AND PROGRESSIVE WAY

"The Conservatives have not invested in Canadians, have not lowered income taxes or invested in innovation. That is why Canada has had the lowest growth and productivity since 1990," said Dion. "The Liberal Party is the only party that will lower taxes for Canadians in a progressive and effective way. Only a Liberal government will get the fundamentals right and build the economy for all Canadians."

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Comments

Excellent points, Wayne. I recently joined the CCPA and have been enjoying their many excellent publications. They have a new one out today that's available today for free from their website -- a book analyzing the Harper government record. (Maybe that's the one you're quoting from!)

http://www.policyalternatives.ca/Reports/2008/09/ReportsStudies1960/index.cfm?pa=BB736455

Here is what Ken Battle , of The Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives had to say on " Child Benefits Under The Harper Government " :

" Good social policy is a rare and endangered species. It took the Harper government just two years too unravel decades of hard-won progress under both Liberal and Progressive Conservative governments " .

Families must now contend with a child benefit system that is COMPLEX, IRRATIONAL , and UNFAIR" !

Need we say more ?

No party will get a majority in this election !

Another election 2 years down the road ! $700.0 million spent on elections in two years !
This would go a long ways to feeding the hungry children in Canada and tackling the root cause of criminal behaviour in are impoverished youth !

BTW - Wayne, you say "if these policies ever become law." Harper's Minister of Justice Rob Nicholson has stated that Harper will call another election if the opposition doesn't support this legislation (assuming, of course, that Harper gets elected; doesn't get a majority). Funny way to run a democracy, don't you think?

Wayne, I totally agree. There's nothing in that plan about attacking the root causes of criminal behavior, like poverty. There was an excellent series in THE TORONTO STAR earlier this year that talked about the difference that can be made by investing in early-childhood programs in traditionally crime-ridden neighborhoods. That approach has been proven to be more effective because it lifts up entire communities rather than beating down neighbourhoods one child at a time.

The contrast between Harper's approach and Dion's much more socially progressive approach really gets hammered home when Harper starts talking crime.

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