The Green Party vision

[This document was published as an appendix to Jim Harris’s We Can letter during the 2006 federal election.]

As the new kid on the block, we appreciate that many Canadians want to know more about the Green Party of Canada, who we are and what we stand for. It’s difficult to stick old-style political labels on us, because we’re neither a party of the left nor a party of the right. For us, good ideas are simply good ideas. So, who is the Green Party?

We are socially responsible and inclusive. That means: health, not just health care, lessening financial obstacles for post-secondary students, affordable housing, working with aboriginal communities to improve well-being and self-governance, properly funding arts and culture, supporting immigrant communities, and more.

We are environmentally sensitive and innovative. That means: promoting energy conservation, and the conservation of wildlife, habitats, and natural ecosystems, shifting to a green economy, building mass transit and transportation systems that make ecological sense, reducing greenhouse gases and respecting the Kyoto Accord. We believe that those who pollute should pay the full cost of remediation and any damages arising from their recklessness. We have a strong vision for a sustainable society, one that respects all citizens and the natural environment that sustains us.

We are conservationists and trusted guardians of Canada’s natural wealth. From depleted fish stocks to contaminated water to clear-cutting old growth forests, poor management of ecosystems has resulted in the loss of species and jobs as well as the disintegration and displacement of village communities built around these ecosystems. We can help strengthen our economy by conserving our ecology.

We are prudent. We don’t like to waste money, we will reform the tax system so that our spending better reflects the goals of a healthy and safe Canada, we want to address Canada’s fiscal imbalance. We reject red tape simply for the sake of red tape. And we believe Canadian sovereignty and the interests of Canadian citizens must always take precedence in trade negotiations.

We are sound financial managers. We know that the full-cost of many activities is not always found in the financial bottom line, we believe in living within our means, we know that Canada’s changing demographic reality will place greater burdens on our society, and we know that reducing poverty rates will benefit all Canadians.

We are democratically representative. That means: adopting a proportional representative electoral system, renewing our political institutions, restoring people’s trust in government, and connecting with community groups and citizen-based movements that are giving us the progressive tools of a more accountable and participatory society.

We can build healthy communities and a healthy country. And together, we can again inspire Canadians.

[For more background on the six key principles that guide the Green Party of Canada’s policies, see Green Values.]

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