Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, MP Saanich-Gulf Islands, today welcomed her fellow Members of Parliament back to the House of Commons for what will be an “historic and crucial” few weeks.
“This is an historic and crucial time for Parliament and Canadians,” said May. “The Harper Conservatives are playing fast and loose with our democracy, our traditions, and too often the facts. There were several factors that reveal the weaknesses in the Conservatives’ agenda.”
The economy is going backwards. Economist Jim Stanford pointed out in an analysis for the Centre for Policy Alternatives that: “In July, 2011, unprocessed and semi-processed resource exports accounted for two-thirds of Canada’s total exports, the highest in decades,” wrote Stanford. “Compare that to 1999, when finished goods made up almost 60 per cent of our exports.”
Dutch Disease is alive and well in Canada. Even the respected Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has warned Canada about its inflated petrodollar, which inevitably hurts businesses depending on exporting their products (manufacturing, services, tourism). Oil companies’ annual reports show that the higher dollar hurts their cash flow and profits.
Canada might suffer financially as it becomes an environmental pariah. The respected National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy warned in a report recently that Canadian businesses might suffer “significant economic repercussions” affecting Canada’s growth and our international competitiveness if this country ignores or avoids sustainable environmental practices in the manufacture of its export products.
Labour myths are propping up Bill C-38 changes. The Harper Conservatives have been repeating the message that there are “large and growing labour shortages.” The most recently released Statistics Canada data on job vacancies – for the three months ending in January, 2012 – show that there were 6.4 unemployed workers for every reported job vacancy.
“I urge Members of Parliament from all parties to consider the full picture, the real state of our economy, and our childrens’ futures as they wrestle with Bill C-38,” said May.