Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

FEDERAL ELECTION: 6 QUESTIONS TO ASK CANDIDATES

Posted by strattof on July 11, 2015

  1. Do you think Canada should be at war in Iraq and Syria?

Western military operations against ISIS will not have a good outcome if the first 13 years of the so-called “war on terror” are anything to go by:

  • Descent into chaos and violence in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya: Where is the promised freedom and democracy?
  • The emergence of ISIS in Iraq, a direct result of the 2003 US-led occupation of Iraq.
  • Endless war in the whole Middle East region.
  • Violence in western countries, including Canada ‒ which should not surprise us: To inflict violence on other countries is to invite retaliation. How many Muslim countries has Canada inflicted violence on recently? 

“War begets violence and hatred that only begets more violence and hatred.”—Archbishop Desmond Tutu

  1. How many of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations does your party intend to implement?

Residential schools were “part of a coherent policy to eliminate Aboriginal people as distinct peoples.”—TRC report

The legacy of the schools remains, including:

  • The racism many Canadians harbour against Indigenous peoples.
  • On-going systemic racism, evident in ●33% – 50% less funding for First Nations schools ●22% less funding for First Nations child welfare services ●housing shortages and substandard over-crowded living conditions on First Nations ●139 Drinking Water Advisories in effect in 94 First Nations communities ●lack of respect for First Nations Treaty rights.

Without truth, justice, and healing, there can be no genuine reconciliation.”—TRC report 

  1. What will your party do to reduce the gap between rich and poor in Canada?

Since the 1980s, income inequality has been increasing in Canada, reversing the trend since the 1930s that saw increasing equality.

Today in Canada

  • The richest 1% earn 12.5% of total income, up from 7% in 1982
  • The highest paid 100 CEOs earn 195 times more than the average worker, up from a ratio of 105 to 1 in 1998.
  • 850,000 people use food banks every month.
  • 1 in 6 children live in poverty. 

Reducing Income Inequality: 4 Measures the Federal Government Can Take 

  1. Introduce a new top income tax rate of 35%, up from 29%, on those with incomes over $250,000: the richest 1%.
  2. Increase the corporate income tax rate from 15% to 22%, which is still well below the 29% it was 15 year ago.
  3. Invest in social housing.
  4. Introduce high quality universal early childhood education.
  1. What action will your party take on climate change?

Since climate change first became an issue in the 1990s, the Canadian government has repeatedly placed corporate profits and economic growth before the health of people and the planet. As a result, Canada has one of the worst records in the world when it comes to taking action on climate change, ranking 58 out of 61 on the 2014 Climate Change Performance Index.

To avoid catastrophic consequences for human, animal, and plant life, a global rise in average temperature of 2°C must be avoided. Average global temperature has already risen by .85° C.

What can our government do to help avert the worst consequences of climate change?

  • Implement strong carbon taxes.
  • Develop a national renewable energy plan. 

“The climate is a common good, belonging to all and meant for all.”—Pope Francis 

  1. Where does your party stand on tar sands development?
  • Tar sands are the single biggest contributor to the growth of carbon emissions in Canada.
  • According to climate scientists, if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we must leave at least 80% of tar sands oil in the ground.
  • The tar sands industry also displays complete disregard for the health and land rights of First Nations living downstream from the tar sands.
  • The federal government continues to subsidize the tar sands industry to the tune of $1.3 billion per year.

LEAVE TAR SANDS OIL IN THE GROUND!

Will your party commit to a major and designated investment in public transit?

  • Public transit cuts carbon emissions, making it part of the solution to climate change. One bus load of passengers takes the equivalent of 40 private passenger vehicles off the road, reducing emissions by more than 12,000 tonnes a year.
  • Public transit cuts air pollution which is responsible for 21,000 premature deaths annually in Canada.
  • Public transit cuts traffic congestion and hence increases productivity.

Public transit is a win-win-win proposition: a win for the environment, a win for human health, a win for the economy.

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