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SCC 2006 Election Survey – New Democratic Party of Canada

Full text of responses to the
SCC 2006 Election Survey


Bloc Québécois
Conservative Party of Canada
Green Party of Canada
Liberal Party of Canada
• New Democratic Party of Canada


Sierra Club of Canada submitted its 2006 election survey on environment issues to the five federally funded political parties. The full text of the questions can be read. The text of the New Democratic Party of Canada response follows.

Note: Covering letters which acompanied survey responses have been omitted. The text of party responses is, in all other respects, unaltered.


New Democratic Party Response



Election 2006 Questionnaire

1)  FUEL ECONOMY

QUESTION:

If your party forms the government, will you adopt the California Clean Air greenhouse gas standards that will require new cars to be 33% more fuel efficient by 2015?

 

YES. The NDP is committed to improving fuel efficiency of cars through regulation. That’s why we introduced a motion in February 2005 that called for mandatory vehicle efficiency standards in Canada.

As well, we are the only political party with a Green Car strategy, first released in July 2003, that includes:

  • Replacing voluntary emission targets with mandatory targets for all manufacturers selling cars in Canada, mirroring California’s tough rules, specifically requiring automakers to develop and build vehicles that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by mandating a 25% improvement in the average fuel efficiency of motor vehicles sold in Canada by 2010.
  • Providing tax incentives and funding for research and development into new fuel technology for cars, giving incentives to manufacturers to retain and expand plants in Canada.
  • Joining with states like California and Massachusetts to set mandatory sales targets for vehicle manufacturers for green cars. By enacting these tough rules, Canada could help create a North American market of almost 80 million people for cleaner cars.
  • Providing significant GST rebates on greener cars, with the incentive increasing with the fuel efficiency of the car, and enacting green car purchasing policies for the federal government.

 

 

2)  ASBESTOS

QUESTION:

If your party forms the government, will you commit to ending federal funding support for this deadly industry ($700,000 announced in early December 2003) and support instead the just transition of workers?

Comment: The NDP recognizes that there are many questions facing the asbestos sector and that its future is a vital issue for the Canadian economy, public health and the workers and families that derive their livelihoods from this long-standing industry. We support further constructive public dialogue.

 

 

3)  SPECIES AT RISK

QUESTION:

If your party forms the government, will you be prepared to use the emergency and safety net provisions of the Act to truly protect endangered species?

YES. The NDP has been critical of the inadequacies of the Species at Risk Act, particularly the section that leaves the final determination of species at risk to cabinet, instead of scientists.

 

4) NUCLEAR SUBSIDIES

QUESTION:

If your party forms the government, will you commit to ending subsidies to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL)?

YES. Canada’s NDP believes that the federal government should take a leadership role in guiding Canada to a clean, green energy future. That’s why the NDP is committed to ending all federal subsidies to AECL and reinvesting the money into renewable power production. This is a key element of our Kyoto Implementation Plan.

 

 

5)  NAFTA

QUESTION:

If your party forms government, will you commit to a re-negotiation of Chapter 11 and to ensuring no similar provisions in any new trade agreements?

YES. The NDP wants significant changes made to NAFTA to address serious shortcomings, especially in provisions dealing with the environment, starting with the removal of Chapter 11 and its investor state mechanisms. We would work with progressive legislators in the United States and Mexico to achieve this reform.   In addition, we would refuse to sign any other trade agreements containing investor state mechanisms and would work with like-minded countries throughout the world to negotiate fair trade agreements that respects existing environmental, social and labour treaties.

 

6)  KYOTO

QUESTION:

If your party forms government, will you commit to a long term strategy to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030?

We commit to a 25% reduction below 1990 levels by 2020, as called for in a November 2004 study released by the David Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institute. We’ll meet this commitment by introducing Clean Air Act that will set and pursue a target that lives up to our responsibilities to the Kyoto Accord to address air pollution.

To get us through the first Kyoto commitment period (2008-12), the NDP is committed to implementing its Kyoto Implementation Plan, introduced in January 2005. The NDP was the first national party to offer a comprehensive Kyoto Implementation Plan. Again, we are the first national party to announce targets for the post 2012 commitment period that puts us on the necessary greenhouse gas emission reduction path.

 

 

7)  BIOTECH

QUESTION:

If your party forms government, will you commit to a public commission to allow the Canadian public and Canadian Parliament a full debate on whether these subsidies are in the Canadian national interest?

YES. The NDP commits to placing a moratorium on all new genetically engineered crops, particularly wheat, to protect Canadian markets overseas and changing current regulations so that biotech corporations must prove new technology is environmentally safe before it is used. We are also committed to implementing mandatory labeling for genetically engineered food, like that already in place in much of Europe, Asia and Australia.

 

8)  PESTICIDES

QUESTION:

If your party forms government, will you commit to using the Pest Control Products Act to ban or restrict the use of pesticides with the potential to cause cancer, birth defects, immunological suppression or neurological damage, from use for cosmetic (lawn care) and/or household use, giving every Canadian equal protection?

YES. We’ll also pass the Polluter Pay and Toxic Pollution Reduction Act. This will overhaul the Canadian Environmental Protection Act – Canada’s national pollution law – to introduce the polluter pays concept and to replace the current emphasis on voluntary action with mandatory pollution prevention measures.

This puts the protection of citizens and their health ahead of the needs of big polluters: The onus would be on industry to prove that a chemical is safe before it goes to market. This kind of crackdown on polluters is long overdue in Canada and is consistent with action taken in other industrialized countries. For example, the European Union has already banned some of the most toxic substances being dumped into the environment by industry.

 

9)  THE OCEANS ACT

QUESTION:

If your party forms government, will you commit to implementation of the Oceans Act with authority superior petroleum boards to allow ecosystem based decisions and the precautionary approach to be respected?

 

YES.

 

 

10)  ECOLOGICAL FISCAL REFORM

QUESTION:

If your party forms government, will you commit to Ecological Fiscal Reform measures such as tax shifting or feebate, and, without raising taxes, realign the fiscal system to tax those things we do not want (pollution) and reward those things we do (innovation and jobs)?

YES. For example, our Kyoto Implementation Plan calls for an end to subsidies for fossil fuel extraction and production and re-directing this money towards promoting green energy initiatives.

 

 

11)  HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE

QUESTION: Given the controversial nature of radioactive waste management, will your party support (a) amending the Nuclear Waste Management Act to overhaul the board of the NWMO to include health, safety, and environmental experts?

YES.

 

(b) a full parliamentary debate and free vote on the recommendations of the NWMO and the environmental assessment panel.

YES. We commit to a full parliamentary debate and vote on the recommendations of the NWMO and the environmental assessment panel.

 

12)  National Parks

Question:

If elected will you complete the national parks system and protect the ecological integrity of existing national parks.

YES.

 

 

13) CEPA vs. REACH

QUESTION:

If elected will you ensure that the review of CEPA enables it to become a piece of legislation as stringent and able to protect human health and the environment as Europe’s REACH program?

YES. We will introduce and pass the Polluter Pay and Toxic Pollution Reduction Act. This will overhaul the Canadian Environmental Protection Act – Canada’s national pollution law – to introduce the polluter pays concept and to replace the current emphasis on voluntary action with mandatory pollution prevention measures.

This puts the protection of citizens and their health ahead of the needs of big polluters: The onus would be on industry to prove that a chemical is safe before it goes to market. This kind of crackdown on polluters is long overdue in Canada and is consistent with action taken in other industrialized countries. For example, the European Union has already banned some of the most toxic substances being dumped into the environment by industry.

 

14) TERMINATOR SEEDS

QUESTION:

(a) Does your party oppose the field testing and commercialization of Terminator seeds (Genetic Use Restriction Technologies or GURTs)?

YES.

 

(b) Will your party support a strengthening of the de facto moratorium on Terminator technology at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity?

YES.





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