The Issues

All Our Relations: Thoughts on Canadian Leadership.

I’d like to tell you about what we can achieve, together, for Canada.

We can have the strongest economy in the world. We can have the healthiest environment in the world. And we can have the fairest society in the world.

Those are lofty ambitions, but Canadians are up to the challenge. We are blessed with a terrific head start. We still have abundant natural resources, fresh water, forests, arable land, minerals and energy. We have a well-educated, multilingual workforce with strong ties around the world. We have a long history of peaceful coexistence and cooperation among our people. These and other advantages provide Canada with a deep history and a bright future. [...]

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Raise the ceiling, fix the floor.

When we share what we have, we gain a country and neighbourhoods where we look after each other. It’s only fair that the richest among us, who benefit the most, do this as much as the rest of us.

This debate usually is framed around taxes. And we absolutely need a fair tax system in this country. But potential revenue also comes in the form of exemptions, deductions, deferrals, concessions, credits, and rebates. We can’t ignore this part of the issue. [...]

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Peace and the Middle East

This week, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, waded into the issue of Israel-Palestine relations by choosing to lecture only one of the two sides about how it must be the one to change, and then about the error in a unilateral approach. It is hard to imagine a worse approach to building peace or a more hypocritical position for Canada.

The Middle East conflict is perhaps one of the most challenging international issues facing the world today. I am firmly committed to ensuring that the context for peace in the Middle East is established, so that the parties can move forward together. I believe Canada can and should play a role in helping that happen.

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How To Defeat Stephen Harper

After the success of the May 2nd election, New Democrats were elated. Short months later, with the loss Jack Layton, we were devastated. Now, with a leadership election going on, people have begun to turn their minds to the future, to where we are going as a party and how we can defeat Stephen Harper.

Obviously, we must re-elect the people we have in Parliament now. We cannot step backward. That means maintaining our social democratic values, acting as a responsible and responsive opposition and solidifying our new base in Quebec.

I come from a 10,000-year tradition of communal living where we understood that the strength of all of us depended on the strength of each of us. Regardless of your role in the community, everyone ate, everyone had a home, everyone had clean water and everyone participated fully in decisions. I am a social democrat. [...]

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International Policy

Canadians take pride in our historic role as a constructive and influential nation on the world stage, but the sad reality is that Canada’s reputation as a foreign policy leader is in decline.

Under Paul Martin, the Liberals tried to modernize their approach to deal with today’s challenges, but they failed to create a coherent role for Canada in the world. It was a little of everything and not enough of anything.

Following his election, Stephen Harper rightly identified that Canada’s foreign policy lacked coherence, but his response to that problem was even worse. The so- called “muscular” approach he championed led to necessary reversals from poorly considered initial positions. [...]

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The Hollowing Out of Rural Canada

I have a message for rural Canadians. I get it. I’m on your side. And I’m ready to fight for your future.

Let’s not beat around the bush, rural communities here across this country are under threat. They need someone to stand up for their rights and interests.

Look at the lack of investment in basic infrastructure: roads, water, hospitals and health care, schools and libraries, the list goes on. [...]

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Copyright, the Commons, and Canada

Canada’s copyright and digital policies aren’t working. That’s what I’m hearing from artists, independent Internet Service Providers, and consumers.

Our laws are out of date; they were written before file sharing or Facebook, before iPods or BitTorrent. If they ever worked, they don’t anymore. They don’t support the information commons or encourage creativity in the arts. They don’t help people. [...]

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