Reading the list of 26 resolutions passed at the liberal non-gathering last weekend is frustrating. There are duplications of themes, confusion in intent and cost considerations. And there are a few where you had to be there to know what they were discussing.
It is hard to imagine anything more top of mind for liberals than the need for a national pharmacare program and a universal income program. National standards for long-term care came next but we could be complaining on that subject for the next couple decades.
What impressed me was that high-speed rail came in number four in priority. This is not only a critical need for Canada but can pay its own way, can make a huge dent in greenhouse gas emissions and can improve relations, tourism and trade between provinces. I do not think that people are aware of the carbon cost of all the aircraft flying just the Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City corridor. We are unlikely to replace all the aircraft flying between those cities but high-speed rail can cost less and be just as efficient for those distances.
Being old enough to remember when we had ‘bumper-sticker’ policies, I still believe that a short, catchy title can make a promise work. “No worker left behind” might be a catchy title for the NDP but seems too narrow for liberals. And a ‘New Deal’ is something American Franklin Roosevelt campaigned on back in 1932.
It was good to see that there was a discussion on the post-pandemic economy but without a serious look at the tax base and the adjustments needed, our great-great grandchildren will inherit some of the debt we are accumulating.
And yes, our seniors need a better support structure. If anything, the current pandemic has shown Canadians many of the serious gaps in in the safety nets for Canadian citizens.
When a political party is willing to discuss the serious financial imbalance between the top one per cent of our population and the rest of us, I would be willing to pay the price of being there.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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