Stephan Dion says that Canada needs an economic package to counter the melt down of the US economy and the underlying issues in key parts of our own economy, especially forestry and manufacturing. So, here is an outline of a point by point plan:
1. Privatise forest lands and permit companies to use the forests against environmental regulations.
2. Dissolve the egg, milk and grain marketing boards and permit farmers to sell to world markets in any way they see fit.
3. End all forms of farm subsidy.
4. Stop the EDC from competing with banks for loan guarantees and investment for exports and return them to their original purpose of export credit guarantees.
5. Permit bank mergers.
6. Shut down the CRTC and permit inward investment in cultural industries – stop
trying to protect Canadian culture.
7. Abandon all carbon based taxes – instead offer inveatment incentives for the
widespread adoption of green technologies by firms and match provincial investments in carbon capture and storage.
8. Create free trade zones in BC, Alberta, Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes and encourage the relevant economic development agencies to focus on building industries in which a province can develop jurisdictional advantage.
9. Double SR&ED tax credits and triple the IRAP budget at the National Research Council so as to stimulate real innovation by firms.
10. Create a $1 billion venture capital fund which must be managed by a Canadian based venture capital consortium which matches these funds at 3:1 or better.
11. Provide Government RRSP deposit guarantees for the full amount of funds held in individual RRSP accounts.
12. Close tax loopholes, simplify the tax system and give a 3 year tax vacation to start-up companies.
13. Continue to invest in post-secondary education, both in terms of student places (increase funds available to support students in need) and research.
14. Don’t spend as a government more than you bring in revenue – fiscal conservatism, deficit free budgets and paying down debt. Cut programs that done add value and reduce the overall payroll of the Federal government by 20% by 2012.
15. Seek to develop the green industry sector through systematic procurement activities of Government and focused investments in greenenergy and green building technologies.
16. Refuse to subsidise failing industries and banks – instead, focus on creating a culture of commerce.
I suspect few if any of these proposals would meet with Dion’s liberal fascist agenda, which is about government programs and patronising subsidies. What we really need is to see firms and their growth as the key requirement for a 21st century Canada.