Following our introduction last week by Dr. Jason Thistlethwaite, this post covers the candidate responses from the Kitchener Centre, Kitchener South-Hespeler and Cambridge Ridings. All candidates from the four leading parties in the Canadian 2015 federal election were invited to participate and the responses we received are listed in alphabetical order below. The next post will cover the Waterloo riding and be posted tomorrow.
Green Party of Canada, Cambridge
Green technology is one of the greatest business opportunities of this century. The Green Party advocates focus on community economic development and investment in clean technology.
We need federal leadership to develop true cost accounting to ensure that we are measuring and tracking accurately to appreciate full costs. If products and services are priced by their positive or negative impact through the product life cycle, society can make rational market choices to guide the economy toward environmental sustainability. Some examples include: fiscal reform for fair taxes to end perverse tax subsidies; increase taxes on activities that harm the environment; and incentives for individuals and business investing in modern clean-tech economy.
The Green Party favours a Genuine Progress Indicator, such as the Canadian Index of Well-being, to develop a systematic, comprehensive definition of well-being to be able to accurately include natural resources in our Canadian national accounts.
Another area of focus to help Canada participate in the green economy is federal leadership with respect to investment in research and innovation in order to systematically promote an integrated system for business development and growth. Green members of Parliament will work to:
- Establish a federally funded Green Ventures Capital Fund to support viable local green start-ups
- Set up a Green Venture Capital Funding Program for matching of federal funds for locally-raised venture capital
The Green Party believes government should create conditions that support business development through: predictability; policy coherence; clear rules; a level playing field and transparent decision-making.
New Democratic Party of Canada, Kitchener Centre
I strongly believe that every person on this earth deserves a clean and healthy environment. Kitchener Centre has many environmentally innovative individuals and businesses.
We are an organically created community full of green and sustainable businesses which bring hundreds of green jobs to the region. To support them, the NDP is investing in a long-term clean economy. We have seen effects of manufacturers not investing in a clean economy, hurting their competitiveness. To restore Canada’s environmental credibility at home and around the world, the NDP will work with all levels of government to introduce legislation protecting the right of Canadians to a clean and healthy environment. Kitchener Centre businesses understand the reality of climate change. A clean economy creates good quality jobs promoting a healthy environment and fostering community. New Democrats will support businesses with a green agenda by:
- A financing mechanism in NDP’s climate change plan allowing Canadians to safely invest up to $4.5 billion in renewable energy and clean technology – a sector expected to hit $3 trillion in 2020.
- Eliminating the Conservatives’ billion-dollar subsidies to the fossil fuel industry allowing us to kick-start our clean energy sector making Canada a global market leader in sustainable businesses.
- Tom’s bold urban agenda provides stable, predictable investments in public transit to help Canadian cities reduce emissions. As Environment Minister in Quebec, Tom Mulcair acted on climate change by lowering emissions every year.
- NDP will cut the small business tax rate from 11 to 9 percent over the first two years of our mandate. Fully implemented, this will cut small business taxes by nearly 20 percent and save 70 000 small business owners across Canada an approximate $1.2 billion.
Liberal Party of Canada, Cambridge
Thanks for the opportunity to address the members of Sustainable Waterloo Region. I appreciate all the hard work to improve our communities.
The Liberal Party will support businesses in a green economy by jump-starting our economy in general, providing key tax breaks which will provide an immediate infusion into the economy, improving all businesses including green businesses. In order to accomplish this we will not be raising corporate taxes.
Our plan is to provide significant infrastructure funding into three areas – social infrastructure, improved transit infrastructure, and green infrastructure. This boost will nearly double federal infrastructure investment over the Conservatives, to $125 billion over the next decade. That helps businesses remain competitive, get their goods to market, and get employees to work and home, quickly and safely.
It also has the benefit of providing significant spin-off benefits to other types of green infrastructure.
The growth of infrastructure spending, and green infrastructure in particular, means that green projects, and the needs of a sustainable community will move to the forefront. Green businesses will finally have an ally in government, and a significant customer for their innovative projects.
We will bring new expertise to green public and private projects and help to spur green innovation across the board. We’re the only party having this conversation
A liberal government will provide unprecedented new investments in public transit, social infrastructure and green infrastructure. All will support businesses, and particularly green businesses. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about our plan.
Green Party, Kitchener South – Hespeler
The Greens are serious about bringing Canada into a thriving 21st century green economy that is sustainable. We will support businesses for the green economy by incentivizing green manufacturing practices that use energy wisely and produce less waste from resources used.
Companies that run efficiently are greener and more profit comes from their wasting less.
We will create jobs by re- introducing and expanding the home renovation tax credit to create incentives for individuals and companies to make their homes and businesses more efficient.
We will focus on installing high-efficiency insulation, solar heating and electricity energy- efficient appliances. We will also support accessibility upgrades.
The Green Party platform calls for “an army of carpenters, electricians and contractors” to repair and upgrade outdated and leaky public buildings such as schools, universities and hospitals.
These changes will reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent nationwide and save taxpayers
money in the operating costs of these buildings.