Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

FEDERAL ELECTION : 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK CANDIDATES

Posted by strattof on April 14, 2011

1. Why did your party consent to Canada’s involvement in the military mission in Libya?

●The declared goal of the mission is to protect civilians from Colonel Qaddafi’s security forces. There are credible reports that the western bombing campaign has already killed a number of civilians. As the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate, aerial bombings by western forces pose an enormous danger to civilian populations. ●How many millions (or will it be billions?) is this mission going to cost Canadians? Why is nobody in Ottawa asking this question? This is taxpayers’ money that could be spent on healthcare, education, and affordable housing. ●For the first time ever, Canada is fighting two wars simultaneously.

2. Do you think the Canadian government should purchase fighter jets?

●Last summer, the federal government announced its intention to purchase 65-F-35 fighter-bombers from Lockheed Martin for $16 million. According to Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, the true cost of the purchase will be $30 billion. Washington defence analyst, Winslow Wheeler, says even this figure is too low, that the fighter jets will cost about $40 billion. ●These stealth fighter-bombers are weapons of aggression, not defence. Canada is not expecting an aerial attack against its territory. Rather these fighter-bombers are being purchased to allow Canada to participate in wars launched by the USA and its allies. Why is there always more money for weapons and war-fighting and never enough to spend on important social programs that benefit all Canadians?                                                                      

 3. Do you think corporate taxes should be cut or raised?

Corporate tax rates: 1993-2012

1993: 28%.

2003: 23%.

2008: 19.5%.

2010: 18%

2011: 16.5%

2012: a planned cut of 1.5% to 15%

Over the past two decades, Liberal and Conservative governments have cut corporate taxes by almost 50%. The cost of these cuts to the government over the period 2007-2012 is estimated to be $14 billion. This is money that could be spent on ending child poverty in Canada. Canada’s corporate tax rate is already considerably lower than that of the US, which stands at 35%, as compared to Canada’s 16.5%.  

4. How do you propose to end child poverty in Canada?

In 1989, the House of Commons unanimously resolved to eliminate poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000. Yet today 610,000 Canadian children, or nearly one in ten, are poor. Aboriginal people are disproportionately affected; in First Nations communities one in four children lives in poverty. Boosting the Child Tax Benefit to $5,100 per child would go some way to eliminating child poverty in Canada.

5.  Will you work for the removal of Abousfian Abdelrazik’s name from the UN 1267 list?

Abousfian Abdelrazik has  been cleared of all suspicion of terrorist activities by both the RCMP and CSIS. Still his name remains on the UN 1267 “No-Fly” list, which prevents him from earning a salary, receiving gifts or loans of money, or maintaining a bank account. The Canadian government can lift the sanctions from Mr. Abdelrazik in Canada. It can also lobby UN Security Council members to have Mr. Abdelrazik’s name removed from the 1267 list.                    

6. Do you support a fair, ambitious, binding international agreement to stop climate change?

On the 2011 Climate Change Performance Index, Canada ranks 57th out of 60. We are one of the top ten CO2 emitters in the world. Our country is also the only country to have reneged on its international obligations to fight climate change. Furthermore, Canada has undermined efforts to reach a new accord. A tax on carbon would be an important first step in improving Canada’s environmental performance.

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