F) ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

27. Economic Principles

The Conservative Party believes:

i. that it is the responsibility of government to create an economic climate in which Canadians can thrive and prosper, and with their success create quality job opportunities for Canadians;
ii. in the principle of maximizing value-added processing in Canada, and that the government should create an economic environment that encourages Canadian businesses to export products rather than raw materials;
iii. that a dollar in the hand of a Canadian citizen is better than a dollar in the hand of a government bureaucracy. Canadians should be enjoying a higher standard of living, a more competitive economy and greater productivity, similar to our major trading partners;
iv. that Canada’s competitive position in the world should never be impeded by a lack of ethics in Canada’s government ;
v. that lower taxes and reduced government interference in the economy will result in more purchasing power in the hands of the people of Canada, which leads to a more competitive economy, greater productivity, more quality job opportunities, and a higher standard of living ;
vi. that the Government adopts an aggressive regulatory reform process designed to eliminate red tape ; and
vii. that the government of Canada takes action to accelerate Canada’s productivity growth rate by:

a) increasing human capital through better secondary, post-secondary and job related education as well as more efficient immigration of skilled workers; and
b) encouraging efficiency and innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises through greater R&D, capital investment and organizational sophistication.

28. Industrial Development

The Conservative Party favours reducing subsidies to for-profit businesses. We believe it will be possible not only to reduce, but eventually to eliminate subsidies to for-profit businesses by focusing on improving overall economic growth through facilitating competition, improving productivity, streamlining regulation and fostering innovation in concert with free and fair trade agreements.

We believe the government should work with international organizations and individual nations to reduce protectionist policies to secure free trade agreements. Our goal in negotiations should be to secure agreements that benefit Canadian manufacturers by allowing them to compete and succeed through competition on a level playing field. Where there is injurious harm caused by a trade action, and we have a reasonable chance of winning and/or reversing this action, we should support an industry on a temporary basis until the trade action is resolved. 

We support amending the Investment Canada Act to expand the review process to include not only the net benefit to Canada in reference to our industrial, economic and cultural policies, but also a consideration of our national security interests. This would include security of supply, technology transfer and any anti-trust implications. 

We support the privatization of crown corporations that compete directly with comparable services from existing private sector institutions. 

29. Science, Research and Development 

The Conservative Party supports the establishment of a single authority or single window to review big science projects according to published guidelines. These types of projects are often tied up in the bureaucracy because, under the current system, they are forced to seek funding from a myriad of departments and agencies. A single-window approach would be more transparent for the research community and more accountable to Canadian taxpayers.

We support the creation of an independent Chief Scientist who would advise and report to Parliament on scientific matters, and help coordinate science policy issues within government, and internationally. This office would be modeled on the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology in the United Kingdom. The Chief Scientist should be mandated by Parliament to provide independent and balanced analysis of public policy issues related to science and technology. This information should be provided openly to Parliamentarians and Canadians to enable informed decisions.

We support the funding of innovation, technology and research through the granting councils. We support a competitive peer review process and enhanced transparency and accountability to determine who shall receive grants through these councils.

We recognize the importance of private sector investment in research and development of commercial applications. We recognize that the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit has been successful in spurring private investment in research and development. The government should work with stakeholders in all fields of research and various industry sectors to expand this tax credit. We support the elimination of the capital tax and the reduction of the capital gains tax because the effectiveness of the SR&ED tax credit relies upon the general level of tax on capital and investment. In principle, we believe the government should provide more scientific research and experimental development tax incentives. 

30. Foreign Ownership Restrictions 

The Conservative Party supports relaxing foreign ownership rules on Canadian industry in concert with our major trading partners in the telecommunications, broadcast distribution, and airline industry. We believe the government should conduct an immediate review to determine whether to reduce or completely remove these rules. 

31. Infrastructure 

The Conservative Party believes the government should allocate a portion of federal retail gasoline taxes to the provinces and territories to fund infrastructure.

To augment direct Government support for infrastructure, the Conservative Party supports using the P3 funding model to expand and hasten the renewal of Canada’s infrastructure.

32. Financial Institutions

The Conservative Party believes that government should protect the best interests of consumers by fostering competition and ensuring that the financial services sector is appropriately regulated, balanced with stability and opportunity for success and growth in these institutions.

33. National Securities Regulator

The Conservative Party recognizes that efficient capital markets are vital to Canada’s prosperity and that a single, national, securities regulator with robust enforcement powers is the most effective way to fight white collar crime and protect the savings and investments of Canadians.

We believe the government should work with the provinces and territories to create such a regulator.

34. Labour

The Conservative Party supports the right of workers to organize democratically, to bargain collectively and to strike peacefully while:

i. respecting the law;
ii. respecting the right of other workers, without sanction, not to participate should they so
choose; and
iii. respecting private property

We believe that government should work with unions and employers in areas of federal jurisdiction to develop dispute settlement mechanisms to minimize or avoid disruption to services to Canadians;

We support the right of union workers to a secret ballot in a strike vote. We support right to work legislation to allow optional union membership including student unions.

We support requirements for clarity and public transparency in financial returns from labour unions. 

We believe that the government should prevent mandatory dues collected by unions from being diverted to fund political causes unrelated to workplace needs.

We believe that mandatory union membership and forced financial contributions as a condition of employment limit the economic freedom of Canadians and stifle economic growth.

35. Regional Development

The Conservative Party recognizes that regional development policies are an important part of any comprehensive strategy to assist the regions of Canada to meet the opportunities of the new global economy. Regional development agencies, like ACOA, WED, FEDNOR and CED-Q, must be de-politicized and focussed on attracting new private sector investments.

36. Intellectual Property – Patent Legislation

The Conservative Party supports the creation of a process to allow the patent holder to restore time lost on 20 year patent protection due to delays in government approvals.

37. Copyright Legislation

The Conservative Party believes the objectives of copyright legislation should be:

i. to create opportunities for Canadian creators to enjoy the fruits of their labour to the greatest possible extent;
ii. to ensure the rights of Canadian creators are adequately protected by law;
iii. that these rights are balanced with the opportunity for the public to use copyrighted works for teaching, researching and lifelong learning;
iv. to continue to allow an individual to make copies of recordings of musical works and video for that person’s personal and individual use; and
v. that enforcement is applied fairly and in accordance with international standards.

We believe that reasonable access to copyright works is a critical necessity for learning and teaching for Canadian students and teachers, and that access to copyrighted materials enriches lifelong learning and is an essential component of an innovative economy.

We believe the government should give consideration to educational public policy goals within the copyright framework and work with industry to increase awareness and to develop a public education campaign to better inform users and creators of the copyright laws in Canada.

We support the elimination of the levy on blank recording materials.

38. Northern Development

The Conservative Party believes it is essential to the economic development of the three northern territories to ensure they have a resource revenue sharing agreement with the federal government immediately.

We are committed to the devolution of responsibilities for northern development from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to the three territorial governments, Aboriginal governments, and where necessary to the appropriate federal departments. Northerners shall control their own future and we are committed to the orderly devolution of decision-making away from Ottawa to the territories.

We support investing in scientific infrastructures specializing in polar scientific research in order to increase the body of scientific knowledge on the Arctic region.

We support strategic investments in the Far North and the Territories, especially in communications and defence infrastructure and transportation, including new highways.

39. Arctic Sovereignty

The Conservative Party believes that demonstrating Canada's presence in the Arctic requires both political and economic development in northern Canada. We believe the government should:

i. work with the territories to streamline regulatory processes;
ii. make substantial strategic investments in the territories, particularly in transportation
infrastructure;
iii. fast-track the devolution of "provincial type" responsibilities to the territories from Indian
and Northern Affairs Canada and other federal departments; and
iv. work in partnership with the governments of Yukon, NWT, and Nunavut to assert and
maintain sovereignty in the Canadian Arctic with clear, effective and consistent rules and
with an integrated, coordinated resource management approach to meet the challenges
associated with increased exploration, development and marine traffic in the Arctic.

40. Long-Term Energy Framework

The Conservative Party believes that Canada has a natural economic advantage due to an abundance of fossil fuels, uranium, renewable sources of biomass fuel, hydro power generation, and some of the world’s best wind regimes.

We believe that government should develop a renewable and non-renewable energy framework which takes into account outstanding obligations and which will meet our long-term requirements for domestic consumption and export.

We believe that strengthening energy market integration will ensure greater reliability of energy supplies across Canada. We encourage the government to explore ways to reduce barriers to the movement of energy products across provincial and other borders. The government of Canada should provide leadership and work closely with provincial and territorial governments to align energy goals in the best interests of all Canadians and seek to achieve a positive impact on energy infrastructure development, energy supply and energy demand in Canada by removing artificial barriers to interprovincial and international energy trade. 

We continue to support exploration for fossil fuels, pipeline construction, transportation efficiencies and plant improvements to increase energy conversion efficiencies and reduce pollutant and greenhouse gas discharges. 

We support the application of nuclear energy and its associated industries to provide energy to Canadians while reducing negative impacts on the environment. 

We believe the government should support and encourage the private development of alternative sources of energy and fuels, including: wind, solar, and geothermal sources of energy; alternative transportation fuels including bio-diesel from oil seed crops and methanol, ethanol or methane from biomass and organic waste; fuel cell technology and the use of hydrogen as transportation fuel. 

We believe that pipelines provide effective and efficient transportation of fossil fuels and will work to insure that Canada has an efficient pipeline network, and that legislation implemented through the National Energy Board ensures any liability from pipeline operation and abandonment is assumed by the operator of the pipeline and not the public, or the property owner through which the pipeline passes. 

41. Mining 

The Conservative Party supports positive policies pertaining to the mining industry for the future such as:

i. increased investment in geosciences programs and research ; and 

ii. streamlining regulatory processes related to these industries.


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