The role of policy in a leadership race:
The Green Party prides itself on having a member-driven policy process. At the same time, the leadership race is an important opportunity to discuss the policy direction of the party. The policies proposed here, which will be brought forward at the next general meeting for member approval, represent Dimitri’s vision for how the party can live its values more completely in the political environment of 2020 and beyond.
Canadians are proud of their publicly funded healthcare system. Despite this, our federal and provincial governments have long underfunded it and joined with corporations to privatize it. COVID-19 has revealed the unconscionable cost of this assault in the length and severity of the lockdowns and in long-term care homes even as bereaved families are prevented from going to court to seek redress.
The Green Party under Dimitri’s leadership commits to redressing the deficiencies of Canada’s healthcare system by expanding it into a universal, comprehensive and publicly and sufficiently funded People’s Healthcare Service (PHS). The new PHS will include dentistry, pharmacare, eldercare and mental healthcare. It will also ensure more equitable salaries and improved working conditions for healthcare workers, as well as the training of numerous new health professionals.
The PHS will fulfil its expanded mandate through a revamped Legal, Structural, Compliance and Financial Framework, including governance by First Nations of their healthcare services.
Healthcare in Canada falls largely under provincial jurisdiction while also being governed by the provisions of the Canada Health Act (CHA), with its five criteria and two conditions. Mindful of this, Dimitri’s government will implement its vision through a combination of energetic initiative on all matters falling under federal jurisdiction and leadership, partnership and incentivization on all matters falling under provincial jurisdiction.
Canada professes a deep commitment to equality and multiculturalism and is committed, under its Charter of Human Rights and in international law, to fulfill these commitments. Despite that, neoliberal policies of recent decades, and the pandemic, set back historic struggles for equality, freedom and respect. They increased economic inequality and poverty and worsened discrimination, exclusion and backlash facing equity seeking groups – women, racialized Canadians, 2SLGBTQIA+, the old, the young, migrants and mentally ill and differently abled people. Affirmative action that does not tackle the underlying causes of the disadvantages equity seeking groups suffer only entrenches them.
The Green Party under Dimitri commits itself to a radically deep and wide transformation that reaches all. It encompasses:
● economic management that eliminates poverty and radically reduces inequality; representation of equity seeking groups in all important political, social and cultural institutions;
● the public, free and accessible provision of social services by skilled personnel trained, inter alia, in anti-discrimination;
● expanding data collection capacity to support evidence-based policy and performance monitoring;
● legal reform to strengthen anti-discrimination;
● strategies to end violence and intimidation in all forms and venues
● expanding knowledge of the contributions, roles and struggles of equity seeking groups in the educational system and in our culture; and
● an egalitarian, non-discriminatory and green recovery from the pandemic.
As a settler society, Canada’s history has been one of dispossessing Indigenous peoples of their land, sovereignty and rights. Though the Royal Proclamation of 1763 recognized Indigenous peoples as the original occupants of the land and, as such, bearers of special rights including collective rights such as the right to self-determination or sovereignty and rights to traditional land, to this day, the Canadian state continues its termination policy towards all three in order to support its extraction-based economy. The result is genocide.
The ongoing dismissal of land rights, the kidnapping of Indigenous children from their communities, the over-incarceration of Indigenous people in the justice system and the tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls are only the most visible features of this genocide.
The Green Party of Canada under Dimitri’s leadership is committed the most affirmative possible approach in working with Indigenous peoples to effect a root and branch overhaul of the relations between the Canadian state and Indigenous people, above all by insisting on Indigenous land, sovereignty and rights and rejecting the racist doctrines of discovery and terra nullius.
Our approach is committed to working with Indigenous peoples, their grass roots and elected leaders and their Indigenous knowledge, strengths and ways in nation-to-nation relations. It is committed to restoring Indigenous sovereignty, land and rights and ending the genocide as national priorities.
The global ecological emergency is an existential threat. The climate crisis is already grave but is only one part of the broader picture of our broken relationship with nature. It also includes equally grim biodiversity loss, pollution and the wider ecological imbalance in our relationship with other species that is implicated in the zoonotic virus behind the current pandemic.
As young and old climate strikers insisted last year, the ecological emergency was already upon us when the pandemic highlighted another critical dimension of it. We can no longer go on abusing the nature that nurtures us. Our socialistic and internationally cooperative response will repair humanity’s broken relation to nature. It is also the essential foundation for just green wellbeing the world over.
The time is now.
If today the world faces ecological and public health emergencies without the means to coordinate international action to address them, something is clearly wrong in the way its international relations are organized. Canada’s foreign policy has played no small part in bringing matters to this pass. Cooperative Foreign Policy for a Multipolar World proposes a radical overhaul of Canada’s foreign policy.
- End Sanctions that harm the Innocent. Criticise and end Canada’s acquiescence in the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran and the US inhuman sanctions on Iran, Cuba and Venezuela.
- Resist the annexation. Impose political, military and economic sanctions on Israel for its illegal occupation and settlement.
- For the universal application of international law. Demand that the International Criminal Court (ICC) end its exclusive focus on war crimes committed by the American government’s official enemies. American and other western state war criminals must be made equally accountable for their crimes.
- Stop exporting arms. Cancel the Saudi arms deal and impose a ban on trading in arms with all states that do not comply with UN Human Rights protocols and any states whose governments are engaged in violations of such human rights.
- Total nuclear disarmament. Accede immediately to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
- Resume relations with Iran. Restore diplomatic relations with Iran as desired by Iranian Canadians, ending our complicity in US led efforts to target Iran.
Our existing economy not only puts profit before people and guarantees spiralling inequality, but it is also the root cause of the ecological emergency. Economy and ecology are inextricably intertwined. To mend our relationship with the earth, we must wrest power from private corporations and bring the economy under democratic control so that it meets human needs without exceeding the limits of our planet. The vision of Just Green Wellbeing outlined here provides the foundation on which our blueprint for ‘Responding to the Ecological Emergency’ rests.
- The Time is Now
- We Can Do It
- Planning: The Key to Democracy
- Our Five Plans
- The Means to Plan
The world of work has changed. Workers’ rights, both individual and collective, have deteriorated; high-quality jobs have been replaced by precarious and part-time work with few benefits and no pensions; and large corporations prey on small businesses and workers.
Workers deserve a positive work environment, high wages, and freedom from discrimination. To rejuvenate workers’ rights in Canada, we must address the following areas:
- Improving Bargaining Rights
- Raising Wages
- Democratizing Corporate Governance
- Improving Health and Safety
- Increasing the Social Relevance of the Economy
In theory, Canadians have equal rights. In practice, they do not. Our justice system is neither fair nor accessible. It works best for the economic and social elites who have access to money, and who are not burdened by systemic discrimination and biases.
Our criminal justice system suffers from systemic racism and prioritizes punishment over rehabilitation. Our civil justice system is unaffordable except to the very wealthy, with women most severely affected. Government and private companies are using technology in ways that erode privacy and human rights.
Ultimately, our legal system does not fulfil the basic function of a justice system: to provide citizens with security, dignity and compassion. To create an equitable society, there are seven areas of reform we need to address:
- Police and Prosecution Reform
- Prison and Parole Reform
- Access to Justice
- Holding Corporations Accountable
- Reforming Judicial Appointments
- International Law
- CSIS, Surveillance, and Privacy
In presenting proposals for change in the governance of the party, we will be guided by the will of the party. Any change in the governance of the party requires full discussion amongst party members in their EDAs, amongst various vetting authorities within the party, and in general assembly before being adopted by the membership at large.
The impetus for our proposals is that, in general, the governance of the party is poorly supporting the needs of the members. We call for a fresh approach. We hope that these proposals will stimulate that discussion and lead to better results both in our own management and in our electoral performance.
To improve the next electoral outcome for the GPC, organizational reinforcement is essential in the three areas: Democratization; EDA Development; and Accountability and Transparency.