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CPC ConventionWatch 2008 – Protecting the health and safety of Canadians, one almost-certain-to-be-ignored policy resolution at a time.


 

Before we get started with the latest additions to the ITQ cheatsheet for the upcoming Conservative Party policy convention – which starts tomorrow, you guys; I know, it totally snuck up on me, too – I’d just like to point out that, according to prodigal spokeschirper Ryan Sparrow, none of these resolutions are likely to have any influence whatsoever over, you know, actual public policy, at least as far as the government is concerned. As he told the Globe and Mail last week, “They’re just like any other consultation you would have with any stakeholder group”.

Just to make sure there was no misunderstanding, he then went on to confirm that “the government will not be bound by the Winnipeg decisions,” just in case any of you card-carrying Conservatives — especially those who come from the Reform side of the family – were under the impression that your vote – or for that matter, this convention itself – actually matters. (Side note: No wonder the party seems to be doing everything short of accidentally rerouting everyone’s flights to Reykjavik to dissuade delegates and party members from showing up in Winnipeg – if a policy resolution passes in a two-thirds-empty conference room, will anyone notice?)

That, however, is not going to stop ITQ from perusing the recently leaked resolution package to point out the few proposals that could have the potential to raise a ruckus on the convention floor – or on the interweb, given the promise of an unprecedented number of fully-accredited bloggers that are expected to attend. We’ve already gone over the social policy package, so now let’s move onto health and safety, shall we?

(A quick reminder – the indented text above each proposed resolution is from the 2005 Policy Declaration, which is available here; text in bold would be added to the current PD, while text that has been struck out would be deleted, and ITQ’s comments will be italicized and in bold.)

RESOLUTION P-102

43. Clean Air
A Conservative Government will legislate caps on smog causing pollutants like nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). We will negotiate power plant and smokestack emissions limits with the United States and the northern border states. Within Canada we will also investigate a cap-and-trade system that will allow firms to generate credits by reducing smog-causing pollutants.

California Emissions
PROPOSED BY CHAMBLY-BORDUAS

A Conservative Government will legislate caps on smog causing pollutants like nitrogen oxide (NOx),
sulphur dioxide (SO2), and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). We will negotiate power plant and
smokestack emissions limits with the United States and the northern border states. Within Canada we will also investigate a cap-and-trade system that will allow firms to generate credits by reducing smog-causing pollutants.
The Conservative Party believes the government should impose the current California emission
standards for all new Canadian automobiles.

ITQ: Well, Arnold will be happy – although I’m not sure if the same can be said about the Canadian auto sector, which isn’t exactly having the greatest year ever as it is.

RESOLUTION P-103

44. Alternative Energy and Transitional Fuels
The Conservative Party believes in promotion of alternative energy (such as wind, solar, geothermal) and transitional fuels (such as biodiesel, ethanol, natural gas) to help develop hydrogen as a fuel. The expense of assuring the security of traditional fuel sources and concerns over pollution makes the use of these energy sources necessary.

Alternative Energy
PROPOSED BY NORTH VANCOUVER
The Conservative Party believes in promotion of alternative energy (such as wind, solar, geothermal) and transitional fuels (such as biodiesel, ethanol, natural gas) to help develop hydrogen as a fuel. The expense of assuring the security of traditional fuel sources and concerns over pollution makes the use of these energy sources necessary.
The Conservative Party believes in the development of a diversified and secure energy
supply for the future use of Canadians and protection of the natural environment.
We will promote the development of alternative energy sources (such as wind, solar, geothermal)
and transitional fuels (such as biodiesel, ethanol, natural gas) and continue to support the
development of hydrogen as a fuel.
The Conservative Party believes the government should encourage the development of these
alternatives through tax reduction based incentives which promote research, innovation and
development of alternative energy sources.

ITQ: This wouldn’t substantially change current party policy, other than the bit about “tax reduction based incentives”.

RESOLUTION P-105

46. Offshore Oil and Gas Development
A Conservative Government will promote exploration and environmental assessment of offshore natural resources on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, in cooperation with the provinces, affected First Nations, private industry and other relevant scientific and environmental groups. We will ensure that companies follow best practices and the precautionary principle to mitigate environmental risk, allow for arms-length regulatory processes to ensure safe and environmentally responsible practices prior to development of these natural resources, and consider the potential of these natural resources before designating new Marine Protected Areas.

Offshore Oil
PROPOSED BY NORTH VANCOUVER
To capture economic, social and net environmental benefits, a Conservative Government will promote
exploration and development environmental assessment of offshore natural resources on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts in Canadian waters including the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic, in cooperation with the provinces and territories, affected First Nations, private industry and other relevant business, scientific and environmental groups.
We will ensure that companies follow best practices and the precautionary principles to mitigate
environmental risk, allow for arms-length regulatory processes to ensure safe and environmentally
responsible practices prior to development in the exploration for and development of these natural
resources, and consider the potential of these natural resources before designating new Marine
Protected Areas.
The Conservative Party supports ensuring that accurate and complete information on the risks and
benefits of such developments is made available to the public.

ITQ: Hey, look – an opportunity to recycle the “Drill, Baby, Drill” hats and signs that would show up in the background during McCain-Palin campaign rallies.

RESOLUTION P-106

51. Health Care

iv) We will work with the provinces and territories in the development of national quality indicators and objectives.

Healthcare
PROPOSED BY EDMONTON EAST
iv) We will work with the provinces and territories in the development of national quality indicators and objectives; and to encourage the provinces and territories to further experiment with different
means of delivering universal health care utilizing both the public and private health sectors.

ITQ: And the countdown begins – which will be the first opposition party to put out a press release accusing the Conservatives of having a secret agenda to impose American-style private health care on unwitting Canadians?

RESOLUTION P-108

53. Public Health
The Conservative Party supports the creation of a Canada Public Health Agency and the appointment of a Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. We recognize the importance of wellness promotion and disease prevention in enhancing the health of Canadians and contributing to the sustainability of our health care system.

Public Health
PROPOSED BY CENTRAL NOVA AND PRINCE GEORGE – PEACE RIVER
Delete all

ITQ – This is likely just an attempt to delete an out-of-date policy provision, as the country now has a Chief Public Health Officer – stand up and wave to the crowd, Dr. David Butler-Jones – although there is a slight possibility that the two ridings involved want to abolish the position itself, which would be far more interesting simply because of its utter inexplicability.

RESOLUTION P-111

54. Health Sciences Research, Development and Innovation
i) The Conservative Party recognizes the importance of health sciences research in enhancing the health of Canadians and as a dynamic economic sector in its own right. A Conservative Government will foster an environment that encourages health sciences research and development of new health care technologies in part through the provision of an adequate level of federal funding.
ii) A Conservative Government will be open to innovations which would reduce waiting lists, improve the quality of care, and ensure better coordination and information sharing in the delivery of health. A Conservative Government will not be afraid to implement new advances so that all Canadians can benefit from a modern effective health system tailored to meet their needs.

Complementary Health
PROPOSED BY NANAIMO-ALBERNI
iii) The Conservative Party supports the government amending the Canada Health Act to permit
the funding complementary health services which demonstrably improve people’s health.

ITQ: I’m not positive, but I think this is probably the result of intense grassroots lobbying by the chiropractic industry.

RESOLUTION P-113

77. Dangerous Offenders
i) A Conservative Government believes that government has an obligation to strengthen Canadians’ confidence in our legal system’s ability to judge dangerous offenders appropriately so that dangerous offenders will not be released until they are no longer a threat to society.
ii) Anyone convicted of three offences causing death or serious harm against the person shall be automatically designated as a dangerous offender. This would not preclude the Crown from pursuing dangerous offender status for any other offender deemed to fit the criteria.

Dangerous Offender Status
PROPOSED BY DELTA RICHMOND EAST
(iii) The Conservative Party believes that the government should seek Dangerous Offender Status
(and mandatory life sentences) for any person convicted of a third serious violent offence, criminal
organization offence, terrorism offence or serious drug trafficking offence.

ITQ: Does anyone else get a “one of these things just doesn’t belong here” vibe from that list? I mean, does an aging hippie pot farmer who gets busted one too many times (well, two too many, technically) by the local cops really qualify as a “dangerous offender”? I know, I know — “serious drug trafficking offence” – but how, exactly, does one define “serious” in a statute so that it won’t inadvertently apply to someone who wouldn’t hurt a fly (unless it got trapped in his bong)?

RESOLUTION P-116

81. Firearms
A Conservative Government will repeal Canada’s costly gun registry legislation and work with the provinces and territories on cost-effective gun control programs designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals while respecting the rights of lawabiding Canadians to own and use firearms responsibly. Measures will include: mandatory minimum sentences for the criminal use of firearms; strict monitoring of high-risk individuals; crackdown on the smuggling; safe storage provisions; firearms safety training; a certification screening system for all those wishing to acquire firearms legally; and putting more law enforcement on our streets.

Firearms Background Checks
PROPOSED BY ESQUIMALT JUAN DE FUCA
The Conservative Party believes the government should work with the provinces and territories on
developing the most effective mechanisms for doing background checks on potential firearms
owners.

ITQ: Sorry, NRA fans – this is a good example of how even the most outspoken Canadian gun supporters tend to be orders of magnitude more modest in their demand to bear arms than their American counterparts – background checks aren’t viewed as the first step towards an Orwellian New World Order.

RESOLUTION P-117

83. Young Offenders
i) A Conservative Government will introduce measures to hold young lawbreakers accountable to their victims and the larger community. A Conservative Government will introduce measures to ensure that violent or serious repeat offenders 14 and over are tried as adults.
ii) A Conservative Government will work with the provinces and territories to put in place early identification and intervention strategies for youth at risk. The justice system for young people will provide effective punishment that deters criminal behaviour and instils a sense of responsibility in young offenders for their behaviour; and gives young people better opportunities for rehabilitation.

Young Offender Rehab
PROPOSED BY GUELPH
iii) The Conservative Party believes the government should work with the provinces and territories,
and interested employers to put in place a Youth Correctional Rehabilitation Program. The
program will recognize that poverty is one of the major roots of crime and that stable employment
can be the most effective solution to break the cycle of poverty. The program will offer youth a
voluntary opportunity for rehabilitation in which life skills are taught, enabling them to
successfully enter the workforce through participating employers.

ITQ: I don’t know what surprises me more – that this resolution will apparently make it to the floor, or that it didn’t come from a riding in Quebec.

RESOLUTION P-121

109 Canada First Defence Policy
The purpose of Conservative defence policy is to better defend the national interest – the security of the Canadian nation and the economic prosperity of the Canadian people – in accord with the values of Canadians. In all that we do in the area of defence policy, we will apply this basic measure of the national interest, and advance a “Canada First” Defence policy.

v) To support and maintain Canada’s military today as well as cover the costs of an increased force, the Conservative Party believes in immediately injecting significant funds into the Department’s budget, to address the shortfalls in capital, personnel, operating and maintenance activities. To implement our policy, annual increases will follow throughout the mandate.

Support for Children of Military
PROPOSED BY MACLEOD
v) (a) To support and maintain Canada’s military today as well as cover the costs of an increased force,
the Conservative Party believes in immediately injecting significant funds into the Departments budget, to address the shortfalls in capital, personnel, operating and maintenance activities. To implement our policy, annual increases will follow throughout the mandate.
(b) All military personnel’s children will receive four years of free post-secondary tuition in
Canada in the event that one of their parents dies while serving.

ITQ: Hard to argue with that, really – although obviously, one hopes that very few will have to take the government up on its offer.

Check back later today for the third and final installment of the ITQ Annotated Resolution Pack For Time and/or Attention-deficient Delegates!


 

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