Wednesday, January 30

Liberals on Mr. Harper’s Response on the Manley Report

On Monday January 28, Prime Minister Harper officially responded to the Manley Panel¹s report on Canada¹s Future Role in Afghanistan.

For the past year, the Liberal Party¹s position on Afghanistan has been clear; we want to see an end to the current combat mission in February 2009 and a shift to a different role for Canada¹s military in Afghanistan. Our position has been that the mission must have clear timelines and that we believe that there should be a regular rotation of NATO troops to ensure a fairer sharing of the burden by all NATO members. The Prime Minister gave a very broad and vague statement on his government¹s position generating more questions than answers. Until Canadians start to get some specific details on the government¹s position, Liberals are not prepared to give blanket support to the government. Mr. Harper indicated the government was not interested in fixed deadlines and that Canada¹s involvement would be reviewed in two to three years. We need to know what this means. Canadians and NATO need clarity. We have questions that we think the Prime Minister must address before we can talk of extending the mission. Questions include:
o How will the Prime Minister bolster and improve our diplomatic efforts surrounding the mission?
o What concrete steps will the Prime Minister take to improve the domestic management of the Afghan file?
o What is the government going to do to strike a better balance between our military efforts and our development assistance?

Liberals have been calling on the government to deal honestly with NATO for over a year. We hope it’s not too late to start. Canadians need to know how the Prime Minister intends to improve the transparency and honesty with which the government deals with this file, particularly as it relates to detainees. At last, the Prime Minister is saying we need to engage in a discussion on the mission. As Liberals, we have been discussing the issue with Canadians for over a year and will be happy to engage in a national discussion to make sure that Canada strikes the right balance in its approach to Afghanistan.

Tuesday, January 15

Report on Liberal Candidate Activities for 2007

Report on Liberal Candidate Activities for 2007
Hi Fellow Liberals:
It’s timely to wish you and yours the best as we start 2008 and; it gives me pleasure to provide the following report as Liberal Candidate for Lethbridge Riding.

On the week-end I was nominated, April 14, 2007 I concluded the Aboriginal retreat I was involved in and in May I attended the 3rd ever National Medicare Conference - Building on Tommy Douglas' vision of Medicare, in Regina. Woh! What a Conference and impressive array of speakers, 38 in two days; experts from across Canada, Britain, the US and NZ! Speakers included Shirley Douglas, actress daughter of the famous 'Father of Medicare - Tommy Douglas and other distinguished people like Dr. Michael Rachlis, Hon. Monique Begin, former Minister of Health in the Trudeau Government and Roy Romanow, former Premier of Saskatchewan and author of the Romanow Report on Health. Topics covered the International Perspective; Financing to Achieve Greater Equity; Homecare Reforms, Pharmacare, Homecare and Primary Care; Social Determinants of Health and Getting to Where We Want to Get To. Highlight of the conference was Stephen Lewis, from the UN. He had most of us in tears as he described his firsthand experiences of aids and poverty in Africa which the world needs to know about. He noted 15,000 people die daily from aids for lack of drugs and the basics of life that are available but not provided by governments that renege on commitments. When will we wake-up?

It was also noted that poverty is rampantly increasing in our own country as the gap between rich and poor; "the haves and have nots" widens as the poor struggle to get the basics of life in minimum wage jobs. An interesting fact noted is that Canada spends only 9% of our GDP on Healthcare while the US spends 16% and still has 45 million people without healthcare. It was noted that we need to be on our guard, cooperation is the key to achieve our goal and that we need to work for the next phase in health Care universality in coverage for dental, eye and pharmacare as well as a national child development program. I just wish everyone could have been there to experience it.
On May 18 I attended a Liberal BBQ to welcome Mme. Janine (Mrs. Dion) Krieber who visited Lethbridge. On May 19 I attended a workshop on bio-fuels then I accompanied Dianne King and Hon. Anne McLellan, former Deputy Prime Minister on a tour of Black Velvet Distillery guided by Chris Spearman. At noon Anne was the speaker at the Grandstand Restaurant. I have taken advantage of as many opportunities as possible attending fundraisers, public forums as well as made a presentation on Friends of Medicare to the Lethbridge Rotary and attended almost every session of SACPA to help me keep current and versed in the issues.
Earlier in the year it looked as if we might have an election call however the possibility obviously changed when the government’s rating dropped. In preparation for campaigning we developed a brochure to help introduce me and my platform. I got an initial supply of brochures printed as well as buttons. I also updated my webpage and sample speeches which I have just updated again.
Though my career experiences helped me understand many social issues especially poverty and the cycle of poverty I still have difficulty accepting that we are experiencing poverty given that we are such a rich country. As one works in health one quickly realizes the correlation between income, poverty and health and the need to narrow the gap so everyone enjoy a reasonable standard and live in dignity. I believe strongly we need not only jobs but legislation for a living wage as well as a child care and development program that provides education and work opportunities as well as assertive individual and family supports to help eradicate the cycle of poverty.
I have done some door-to-door campaigning in Lethbridge and Cardston and over the summer I took in as many activities as possible in the riding from fairs to Pow-wows and even attended the Calgary Stampede parade. On June I attended Aboriginal Day at Sik-ooh-kotoki followed by a Pow Wow in Galt gardens and on June 2 a van load of us attended a dinner with Mr. Dion in Calgary. A couple of us traveled to Nanton for a BBQ with former Agriculture Minister, Wayne Easter on June 22. I also participated in the Annual Dragon-boat Festival on the first week-end in July and attended the Coaldale Fair breakfast. We had a BBQ for the management team at our home on June 24 and another for the official campaign kick-off on July 1. Over 40 attended the kick-off and on July 2 Russ and I attended the Raymond Parade followed by a Canada party at a friend’s home there, and on July 10th Gloria and I left for vacation in Nova Scotia.
In the summer the main issues on people’s minds were the war in Afghanistan, its futility and the loss of so many young Canadians and Mr. Harper’s broken promises on the Income Trusts issue. Some said they made a mistake in their vote last time and intend to rectify it in the next election. Mr. Dion also phoned a couple of times expressing appreciation for our support, enquiring as to the issues here and how he and the party can help.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend Bonanza Days in Milk River since I had to accompany the Hon. Ken Dryden on his visit here on August 1. Matthew Conley, I and Senator Fairbairn also accompanied him to the Medicine Hat dinner in the evening. I got an extra copy of “The Game” signed by him which we can use as fundraiser. He gave us a riveting summary of his reflections and review of Mr. Harper’s and the Conservative government’s performance to that point. I attended the Picture Butte fair breakfast and parade on Aug. 11 and accompanied Senator Joyce attending two and three breakfasts a day in Lethbridge during Whoop-up week and was her guest at the Exhibition President’s dinner. On August 21 I attended the Annual ALP BBQ attended by about 80 people and on Aug. 23, Hon. Ralph Goodale, former Finance Minister visited and we attended three breakfasts, a media event, public luncheon, met with Water Institute staff at U of L and finished off the day with a ‘Wine and Cheese’ reception at our home. Several remarked how impressed they were with Mr. Goodale.
On Sept. 13 I accompanied the Hon. Garth Turner, maverick politician and former Conservative-turned-Liberal. His topic was ‘Needs of Investors and Homeowners’. Though a serious man he had us all in stitches with his presentation to the public at the Legion that evening and he holds back no punches. On Sept. 21 I attended the Schizophrenia Society Annual Gala and on Sept. 28 heard Michael Byers, formerly of Lethbridge speak on his book ‘Intent for a Nation’ which is counter to George Grants ‘Lament for a Nation’, written in 1967. Michael believes Mr. Harper and gang’s intent is harmonization leading to integration with the US, they are most undemocratic and must be stopped.
On Oct . 4 I spoke to the Lethbridge Rotary on Friends of Medicare’s aims and I was invited to be with Mr. Dion on Oct. 10 in Edmonton where we attended meetings including attending a “Town Hall” meeting of a few hundred people. Unexpectedly, he called on me to summarize Mr. Taft’s and ALP’s proposed “Western Tiger” initiative for upgrading oil before exporting it to the US. I was back in the Capital again for the Campaign Workshop on Oct 12, 13 and 14. I have maintained my responsibilities on the various committees for Social Housing in Action, Sik-ooh-kotoki Friendship Center, Aboriginal Housing in Action and Friends of Medicare and met with Cheryl Dyck, Economic Development Lethbridge. I have attended a variety of functions including ethnic and fundraising activities and on January 10 attended a meeting in Calgary on urban issues with Hon. Paul Zed, MP and Senator Larry Campbell. Homelessness and housing costs appear to be the main issues now. I have an upcoming meeting on January 14 with Mr. Craig, Mayor of Coaldale and on Jan. 15 with Guy L’Heroux, President of the Metis Association and further meetings scheduled with the City and Chamber of Commerce.
My summary of the Conservative Government record is as follows:
After two years, and little if any progress on issues of importance to Canadians, Mr. Harper talks as if he had a majority, and operates as though he’s campaigning instead of providing leadership and good government which Canadians want and deserve. As the saying goes; one can fool some of the people all the time but not all the people all the time. Hopefully Canadians are keeping track of his record; a record of hype, broken promises and misrepresentation etc., and the list goes on.

First: it was claims of success on a Softwood Lumber deal. (it left millions of dollars to the Americans to fund them to fight us further on issues under NAFTA).

• They refused to follow through on our Kyoto Commitment. All they have come up with is inaction, excuses and misleading targets that will result in our country’s carbon emissions increasing until 2050 or beyond. Their proposals lack any enforcement teeth, thus allowing the situation to worsen; hopefully not past the point of no return.
• In May 2006, two weeks after killing the Kelowna Accord, a government delegation cited the Accord as an example of how well our Indigenous people are treated; yet Mr. Harper’s Government declined to sign the UN declaration on Human Rights for such people, and was subsequently chided by the UN for failure to do so.
• Afghanistan has been a total fiasco, in which to date 72 Canadians have been killed.
• Latest, they’ve attempted to silence General Hillier and we still have no indication when our troops will be replaced.
• The Government continues to defy rulings to make the bidding process for military contracts fair; currently around 140 million dollars are in question.
• Latest, the Auditor General’s Report shows they’ve failed to adequately ensure that Canada’s soldiers enjoy health care services they deserve.
• On a separate issue, the Attorney General recently raised serious concerns over whether the Government has taken adequate action to protect our borders.
• A year ago they precipitated the Income Trust issue which resulted in the loss of billions of dollars of seniors’ hard earned cash meant for retirement.
They made a big noise about access to health services; most of us could have predicted the outcome since it is largely a Provincial Responsibility.
• Currently, the Elections Canada Commissioner is investigating (the Conservatives) for allegedly orchestrating an elaborate money-laundering scheme. It allowed the Party to overspend by more than a million dollars. Conservative candidates apparently claimed nearly $800,000 dollars in rebates for the 2006 Federal election. Instead of cooperating, they’re taking Elections Canada to court.
• The Conservative government never enacted the ‘Law and Order Legislation’ approved by both houses; one can only suspect that this is to provide an issue he can blame us Liberals for when he calls the next election.
• Their so-called tax break amounts to a paltry $10.00 a year to someone with an income of $20,000.00 and not even a couple hundred for the guy making $150,000.00; big deal! The GST cut caused more irritation and cost to business again.
• Mr. Harper has said they will support the upcoming resolution on Capital Punishment and they will not intervene on behalf of citizens to be executed in other countries.
• Latest, you may recollect how they so bull-headedly and shamelessly misrepresented what the majority of Canadians wanted at the Bali Conference on the Environment and voted against proposals on Carbon control.
In summary, Mr. Harper and his team continue to mislead Canadians, and to misrepresent us to the world. The grandstanding continues and he has provided no information, except secrecy on the Security and Prosperity issue.

Immediately following Mr. Dion’s election, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives saturated the media with the notion that Mr. Harper is a leader and Mr. Dion is not. However, I and many who know Mr. Dion, know he’s a man of integrity. Transparency is evident and what you see is what you get. He’s an unpretentious and deeply committed Canadian. While Mr. Harper was busy trying to break-up the country, even signing the “firewall” manifesto; Mr. Dion was busy establishing the Clarity Act that resulted in great personal risk, to the point he and his family had to be given protection.

It’s clear to me and many who the leader is. The issue on which we lost the 2006 election, and which was resolved by the Gomery Inquiry, sure pales in comparison to the mounting issues and ineptitude of a right-wing government bent on getting their ideology established. Business and Wall Street called their proposal in follow-up to the Income Trust fiasco “stupid” and complimented the Liberal plan. The Liberal Opposition believes Canadians deserve real leadership from a Prime Minister who is honest and accountable. Mr. Harper has not delivered. People want a richer, fairer, greener Canada. This is the Liberal Goal. Let’s get back to governing: to resurrect the child-development program and the Kelowna Accord, to support our farmers and businesses, to make education affordable for our youth and to rescue our planet before it’s too late. I remind you it was you and the Liberals that had Canada lead the G8 and the world with nine of 11 balanced budgets.

What is a Liberal and why Vote Liberal?
1 Liberals are fiscally responsible, and flexible yet keep their word; e.g. they said they would and cut the huge deficit inherited in 1993, and were the only G-8 country to post balanced budgets in their last 9 years in office.
2. Liberals strive for a fair and sustainable balance between individual interest and the best interests of all Canadians. The current government does not see this as a priority.
• A Liberal Government will:

• work for a vibrant and sustainable economy and sustainable environment,

• maintain universality in health care and education;
• enhance literacy and skills development,
• main re-establish a proper child development program,
• establish the 30/50 Plan to eliminate poverty,
• maintain transparency and responsible accountability, including reparation for victims of the Income Trust fiasco generated by the Conservative government in November, 2006,
• resurrect and implement the Kelowna Accord to assist our Aboriginal people,
• continue working towards returning Canada’s foreign policy role to development in Afghanistan as soon as our current military commitment expires in 2009, and

• regain international respect for Canada as the balanced, responsible and peace loving country we had been perceived as for so long in the past.
Whose record and policies would we feel proud of? If you believe as I do, we need change and the time is now; so talk it up with your family, friends and work colleagues and encourage them to vote Liberal. Please feel free to use and pass on any reports I provide and please remember to check our webpage, for National and for the latest from me. I thank everyone for their support and encouragement and look forward to your continued help as we continue the campaign so your voice can be heard in Ottawa. Respectfully submitted,

Michael Cormican, Liberal Candidate, Lethbridge Riding January 10, 2008

Wednesday, January 9

Report of the Liberal Team and Stéphane Dion for 2007

Though this accounting is long it is well worth taking the time to read it and I believe it needs to be published as widely as possible consequently I’m taking opportunity to publish it here. Thank you for your time and interest and Happy New Year!

Achievements of the Liberal Team under Stéphane Dion in 2007

• December 3, 2007, the anniversary of Stéphane Dion¹s first year as Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
• Throughout the year, Stéphane Dion laid out a progressive agenda for a richer, fairer greener Canada.

A Richer Canada: Liberal Commitments to Canada¹s Economy
• Building on our history of sound fiscal policies, the Liberal Opposition led the debate on the economic agenda, ahead of the government:
o We highlighted the challenges facing the manufacturing sector, touring factories, meeting with industry leaders and pressuring the government to take action;
o We fought for and won the restoration of summer employment program funding;
o We were the first to call for a review of the Canada Investment Act to address industry-driven concerns about potential hollowing-out of the economy;
o We pressured the government into backtracking from its disastrous interest deductibility plan for Canadian companies investing abroad;
o We called for corporate income tax reductions, deeper than previously scheduled, to give Canada a new tax advantage to replace our lost currency advantage. The government adopted our proposal;
o We demanded a real free trade agreement with South Korea that addresses the pervasive non-tariff barriers on Canadian-made cars. The government conceded that more work needs to be done to give our auto-makers opportunities to export and compete; and
o In February, following Stephen Harper¹s broken promise not to tax income trusts, Liberals proposed an alternative policy, which experts believe would put an end to income trust tax leakage and restore at least two-thirds of lost value.
• The Liberal team has a plan to move Canada¹s economy forward by putting more money in the pockets of Canadians while at the same time making Canada more competitive.
• Our plan includes:
o implementing a competitiveness strategy that includes investing in education and innovation, helping Canadian businesses access and succeed in global emerging markets, and ensuring competitive taxes to help our exporting sectors succeed in spite of the high Canadian dollar;
o holding a National Forestry Summit to address pressures on the forest industry;
o dramatically increasing government incentives for renewable power production and providing transparency and predictability to the energy sector to encourage green investment; and
o through the Carbon Budget, generating billions of investment dollars to create a cutting-edge, greener Canadian economy.
• Canadian municipalities face a real need when it comes to maintaining the infrastructure we all rely on daily. Our cities are the engine of the Canadian economy and unless they function well Canada won¹t be able to compete in the global economy of the 21st century.
• To address this problem, in June 2007, Mr. Dion committed to expanding the New Deal for Cities and Communities, launched by the previous Liberal government, but stalled by the Conservative government.
• A Liberal government will start by making the $2-billion annual gas tax transfer to municipalities permanent and will also develop a 20-year strategy to address Canada's infrastructure deficit, from roads to bridges, to public transit, to water and wastewater facilities, to community energy systems.
• Liberals know that Canadian cities and communities are at the centre of our country¹s success. Through the creation of an Urban Caucus, the Liberal Party is committed to working with municipalities, and the provincial governments to ensure that long term, stable, predictable funding is provided to our municipalities so that they may continue to grow and thrive.
• Liberals believe in supporting the family farm, not undermining it.
• The Canadian Wheat Board is a home-grown success story the largest single seller of wheat and barley in the world.
• When the Wheat Board is attacked, it hurts farm families. Liberals recognize that farmers should be able to choose whether or not the CWB maintains its single-desk selling feature.
• The Liberal Party stood up for farmers when the Harper government launched an ideological attack on the Wheat Board. Mr. Harper used rigged questions, marked ballots, intimidation tactics, and only got a 33 percent response rate. His heavy-handed manipulations tainted the plebiscite so badly it became meaningless. Farmers deserve to have a new, properly run plebiscite before any changes are made.
• Under the leadership of Stéphane Dion, the Liberal Party has also continued its strong defence of Supply Management.

A Fairer Canada: Liberal Commitments to Improving Social Policy
Fighting Poverty
• In November, Mr. Dion unveiled the Liberal 30-50 Plan to fight Poverty: a comprehensive plan to dramatically reduce the number of Canadians living below the poverty line by at least 30 per cent and cut in half the number of children living in poverty in five years.
• Under the 30-50 Plan, the Liberals will:
• create a Making Work Pay Benefit to lower the welfare wall to encourage and reward work and give Canadians a springboard to success, dignity and independence;
• improve the Canada Child Tax Benefit and support working families by making the non-refundable Child Tax Credit into a refundable credit so that even people who do not pay taxes receive a benefit; and
• help lift vulnerable seniors out of poverty by increasing Guaranteed Income Supplement payments for the lowest income seniors, ensuring that the loss of a partner does not drive the surviving spouse below the low-income threshold, and encouraging and rewarding those seniors who choose to participate in the workforce.
• In addition to these supports, a Liberal government will work with all levels of government to provide better access to services that are essential in the fight against poverty such as affordable housing, universal child care and public transit.
• The Globe and Mail called it ³the most comprehensive anti-poverty package seen at the federal level in some time.² (Nov. 12, 2007).
• The Toronto Star said: ³With this aggressive plan, Dion has given Canada¹s most disadvantaged citizens the hope of a better life. At the same time, he has given all Canadians a clear alternative to Harper and the Conservatives.² (Nov. 10, 2007)
• Campaign 2000 said that it was a ³bold commitment.² (Nov. 14, 2007)
• Robert Arnold, President of the National Anti-Poverty Organization said ³These targets are doable, and actually exceed those recently expressed by Campaign 2000Š the new Liberal targets would position the government to go even further, towards the achievable goal of complete eradication of poverty in our country.² (Nov. 9, 2007)
• The speech was ³applauded² by the Caledon Institute of Social Policy. (November 2007)
Justice and Security
• The Liberal Party is committed to protecting our homes and our rights.
• That is why we have committed to appointing more judges; putting more police officers on our streets and more prosecutors in the courts; and toughening laws on internet luring and identity theft to protect Canada¹s most vulnerable citizens including children, and seniors.
• Mr. Dion has also committed to establishing a new fund that will help preserve the safety of ethnic and cultural at-risk communities across Canada. This would, for example, cover the costs of security in their places of worship and gathering places.
• Like most Canadians, the Liberal Party is opposed to the death penalty at home and abroad. That is why Stéphane Dion has taken a leadership role to make those views known and to uphold the law in light of the Conservatives¹ refusal to seek clemency for a Canadian sentenced to death in the United States.
Protecting the Charter
• Canadians are immensely proud of Canada's Charter - of what it has given our country and of what our country, through the Charter, has given the world. Stéphane Dion has committed to reversing the steps the Conservatives have taken to weaken the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by:
o reinstating the Law Commission of Canada;
o reinstating the Court Challenges Program and doubling its funding to $12 million from $6 million annually;
o instituting a fair, non-partisan judicial selection process; and
o increasing federal funding for legal aid to provide all Canadians with access to adequate legal representation.
Women in Politics
• While women in other countries are entering politics in ever greater numbers, in Canada we are moving backwards. The number of women elected to federal office has been stalled at about 21 per cent for more than a decade.
• To address this problem of under-representation, Mr. Dion has committed to run at least one-third female candidates in the next election
• The Liberals are taking a pro-active approach to send more highly qualified female candidates to Ottawa. We take pride in the fact there will be the greatest number of women representing our party on the ballot in the next election.
Official languages
• As Prime Minister, Stéphane Dion will implement an Action Plan for Official Languages even more vigorous than the one he shepherded as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs in 2003.
• The new Dion Plan will be endowed with substantial funding for the education of linguistic minorities from pre-school to post-secondary institutions for infrastructure in linguistic minority communities, for health care services, for networking, for the promotion of immigration and culture, as well as for the organizations that support official language minorities.
Aboriginal Peoples
• The rich cultures of Canada¹s First Nations, Inuit and Métis people form the foundation of our great country and Liberal Party is standing alongside with Aboriginal Canadians to urge the Conservative minority government to take action to improve the lives of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in Canada.
• Liberals would reverse Conservative cuts to Aboriginal literacy, health, languages and job-training, making employment a priority.
• We would also reinstate and build on the Kelowna Accord that the Conservatives scrapped and sign the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People that the Conservatives refused to endorse.
The Arts
• Following a series of cultural roundtables held earlier this year with Canadians artists, Stéphane Dion committed to restoring $22.8 million in cuts to the international promotion of Canadian art, including:
o $11.8 million in funding to the Public Diplomacy Program (PDP); and
o $11 million over 3 years for international arts touring and promotion.

A Greener Canada: Liberal Commitments to the Environment
• In December 2005, Mr. Dion brought the world together at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal and he wouldn¹t quit until all 182 countries had reached a deal. It is this passion and strength of conviction that makes Mr. Dion a true leader.
• Mr. Dion¹s agreement with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is a testament to his environmental leadership, putting the future of the planet above partisanship.
• CTV¹s Craig Oliver said ³the fact is that he's now been endorsed by a woman who has been regarded as a most serious environmentalist in the country by many people, who's been serious about it for years and years, while nobody else was thinking about it. He's been endorsed by her. That's going to help them in this campaign.² (Mike Duffy Live, April 13, 2007)
Carbon Budget
• With the same passion, the Liberal team unveiled its Carbon Budget plan in March 2007.
• The Liberal Carbon Budget plan will require the large industries responsible for 50 percent of Canada¹s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to cut their pollution significantly. As they do, they will have access to billions of dollars to invest in green technology.
• Our polluter-pay plan puts a price on carbon so companies no longer treat our atmosphere as a free garbage dump. We want to spur action to make Canadian industries greener and more competitive.
• The Liberal plan to fight climate change earned widespread support from environmental groups across the country.
• The Pembina Institute¹s Matthew Bramley called the carbon budget "the strongest proposal for regulating industrial greenhouse-gas pollution made by any political party in Canada," while Climate Action Network Executive Director John Bennett said: "This is great. It's hard to ask for much more.²
• Using the carbon budget as a blueprint for action, the Liberal Opposition put the planet ahead of partisanship and worked together with the opposition parties to redraft the Conservatives¹ flawed Clean Air Act and turn it into a useful tool to fight climate change. The Conservative government then allowed the bill to die on the order paper when they prorogued Parliament.
Clean Energy Plan
• In September, Mr. Dion committed that a new Liberal government would provide a power production incentive to expand renewable power to 12,000 Megawatts (MW) by 2015, instead of the 4,000 MW the Conservatives are planning. This would include incentives for onshore wind, offshore wind, small hydro, geothermal, wave and tidal, solar and biomass energy.
• The goal of this initiative is to have 10 percent of Canada¹s total electricity output come from low-impact renewable sources by 2015, providing enough electricity to power 3 million homes. This would generate over $25 billion in investment and make Canada a global leader in renewable energy.
Water Resources
• Mr. Dion also stood up for Canadian control over our water, advancing the Liberal Party¹s opposition to the bulk export, diversion or commodification of Canada¹s precious water resources. He proposed a federal-provincial initiative to close any possible legal loopholes, along with federal safety net legislation to allow the federal government to effectively ban bulk water exports in a way that would withstand a challenge under NAFTA or the WTO.

Canada and the World: Liberal Commitments to Foreign Policy
• The Liberal Party¹s vision for a strong, multilateral foreign policy can reverse the damage done by Prime Minister Stephen Harper¹s simplistic and incompetent foreign policy by restoring Canada¹s proud and positive voice in the world.
• Stéphane Dion was at the forefront of defending Canada¹s interests with the release of the Liberal blueprint urging the Conservatives to honour the original spirit of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).
• By exposing the Conservative government¹s mismanagement of the Afghan detainee file, demanding full funding for funeral costs of soldiers killed in the line of duty, and standing up for veterans and their widows, the Liberal team is defending the interests of the men and women of Canadian Forces.
• Going forward, Liberals would:
• help preserve world peace through non-violent conflict resolution;
• support a well-trained, well-equipped and well-led Canadian Forces to enforce international law;
• defend human rights and economic prosperity between states and people;
• take a leadership role in promoting an international treaty banning cluster bombs;
• partake in effective multilateralism, including informing our allies about the end of Canada¹s combat mission in Kandahar in February 2009;
• help mitigate potential conflict over access to fresh drinking water by leveraging Canada's unique insight into fresh water management to become the leading exporters of sustainable fresh water management techniques in the world;
• promote the sovereignty and interests of the Arctic not only through military or marine infrastructure, but also through environmental protection, surveillance, search and rescue, and by encouraging the sustainable use of the Arctic¹s natural resources by our Arctic peoples;
• improve the fight against terrorism by enhancing international police cooperation in pursuit of the world¹s terrorist networks; and
• project Canadian interests not only through our diplomacy, defence and development, but through our citizens and artists.
• In February 2007, Mr. Dion outlined a clear plan for Canada¹s mission in Afghanistan that would see a better integration of military and aid efforts as well as a firm 2009 end date for the combat mission.
• The Liberal plan includes:
• clearly communicating to our allies in NATO that Canada¹s current combat mission in Kandahar must come to an end in February 2009 and the other nations of NATO must rotate in new troops, as was originally envisioned when NATO assumed leadership of the mission in Afghanistan;
• better integrating military, aid and diplomacy efforts and improving coordination and transparency;
• developing an effective strategy to combat the problems stemming from the local economy¹s dependence on the illegal opium trade; and
• addressing the chronic fresh water shortage.
• The Liberal Party believes that Canada must stay committed to Afghanistan beyond February 2009, and under a Liberal government, Canada would lead the debate within NATO about the future of the mission.
• We believe Canada should build on our traditional strengths as a nation and invest in a good government strategy on the ground in Afghanistan, including helping to build political institutions and a sound judicial system.
• The Liberal Party may support Canada assuming a role training Afghan police and/or army and a commitment to assign troops to protecting Afghan civilians and reconstruction projects. However, this cannot simply be the same combat mission by another name and no commitment should be made until a full Parliamentary debate has occurred.
• The Liberal Party understands that the lasting peace and security cannot be achieved in Afghanistan by military forces alone. The ultimate purpose of any military mission must be to create the stability needed to achieve a political solution.