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Sustainable Economy

(The following was included in the GPC 2000 election platform. It is
posted to stimulate discussion on a 2004 plank, and does not represent
a recommendation of the 2004 Platform Development Committee.)

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A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY

Our current approach, which revolves around exploitive economic
growth, has caused great harm to our environment and our health -
but it hasn't been able to solve economic injustices like
unemployment and child poverty. It's time for our economy to
make the transition from growth to sustainability:

A Socially Just and Ecologically Sound Economy

The Green Party would redirect and reassign government funds to
support the transition to sustainability through the following
measures:

- implementing the Precautionary Principle, and ensuring that
corporation are responsible for their products from cradle to
grave

- enforcing the Polluter Pay principle by requiring polluters to
pay compensation for previous destructive use of resources

- establishing programs that will phase out harmful activities,
coupled with a fair and just transition for workers and
communities.

Community Economic Development

The Green Party supports local business because we believe that
jobs, profits, and decisions should stay in the hands of our
local communities - not with the distant head offices of huge
mega-stores that undermine the health of local businesses, and
promote car-dependence. The Green Party will support small
businesses by promoting LETS (Local Exchange Trading Systems),
cooperatives, and other community-based economic development
programs.

The Reduced Work Week

It's amazing to think that Canadians haven't had their work week
reduced in over fifty years. The shift to a 32-hour week - with
no overall reduction in pay, since lower health and social
assistance expenses will result in lower taxes - is long overdue,
and it's a step that will allow us to lead less stressful and
more healthy lives while reducing unemployment. Plus, all
Canadians will enjoy a 3-day weekend, every weekend!

Fair Trade, Not Free Trade

Canadian democracy is being eroded by globalization and the
devolution of power to big corporations. Trade arrangements like
NAFTA and the WTO cater to large multinational corporations, and
cause jobs to migrate to wherever labour costs and environmental
standards are the lowest. Even worse, these arrangements
override the authority of our own government, which means that
major decisions affecting our lives are being made by unelected
trade organizations, and not by our elected representatives. To
remedy this crisis, the Green Party will:

- abrogate NAFTA, and promote the dismantling of the WTO

- work out new trade deals in accordance with international
public trust laws that protect and promote human rights, social
justice, and the environment.

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