Late last week, Peggy Nash detailed her innovation policy, including a new Canada Innovation Fund, targeted tax credits and expanded “ pre-commercial and commercial fiscal support” through a new Canada Development Bank. She recently talked to the Georgia Straight about the economy.
She characterized Harper’s economic policy as simply getting government out of the way so that corporations are free to do whatever they want—in the flawed hope that some benefits will trickle down to the rest of the country. “Well, we’ve got the highest level of inequality in Canada since the 1920s,” Nash noted. “But a big chunk of the wealth that’s being created—about a third of new wealth created before the downturn in 2008—went to the top one percent. That’s not good fiscal policy.”
Nash, a former negotiator with the Canadian Auto Workers union, said that she favours government working with business, labour, and communities “so we’re all pulling in the same direction to create good-quality jobs”. “Specifically, we shouldn’t just be shipping raw logs or raw materials or raw bitumen out of the country,” she declared. “What we should be doing is providing good stewardship of our raw materials and processing as many of those raw materials here in Canada as we can. That’s where the good jobs are; it’s where the innovation and technology are.”
Ms. Nash’s full economic policy paper is here.