New Democratic Party response to Question 9

Question:  How will your party’s economic policies keep Calgarians working?

Answer:  Small Businesses create 80% of all new private sector jobs. An NDP government led by Tom Mulcair will immediately begin cutting the small business tax rate from 11 to 9 percent to help small business owners create jobs. Fully implemented, this will cut small business taxes by nearly 20 percent and save small business owners across Canada an approximate $1.2 billion each year. We’ll put more money back in the hands of almost 700,000 small businesses. The NDP is focusing on supporting Canada’s important natural resource sector while growing our manufacturing and innovation sectors. We will champion Canadian companies abroad to improve trade.

We will cut taxes for companies investing and building in Canada by extending the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance and offer targeted support in key sectors like automotive and aerospace in exchange for binding guarantees on jobs and training.

We will invest significantly in local infrastructure and transit, social infrastructure like childcare facilities and sustainable development infrastructure like disaster mitigation, home retrofits and clean energy to improve productivity, affordability and keep our cities moving. These key investments will be good for Calgary’s economy, will get people to work, and our products to market.

Question:  What are your party’s policies regarding the energy sector? Do you support the construction of pipelines to connect Alberta’s oil and gas to markets in other parts of Canada and for export overseas?

Answer:  Natural resources are a key part of the Canadian economy, and will continue to be long into the future. The reality is that provinces will be developing their natural resources. The question is how we develop them sustainably, while protecting the environment and supporting value-added jobs in Canada. We need strong environmental assessment legislation, in contrast to the attacks on environmental regulation put forward by the Harper government. Communities need to be meaningfully consulted on projects.

New Democrats judge major resource projects, like pipelines, on their merits. We look at issues like environmental sustainability, community consultation and economic benefit through things like value-added jobs. Of course, all pipelines need to adhere to the highest possible safety and environmental standards consistent with the principles of sustainable development.

The Conservative’s divisive approach to dismantle environmental assessments of natural resource development proposals has failed to help get Canadian oil to markets. Instead, it has fueled mistrust in the government’s ability to adequately monitor and mitigate risks in our communities and to our environment. With the proper environmental review and high safety standards, we think that processing Western Canadian oil in Canada makes sense, and the government should be doing more to protect value-added upgrading jobs right here in Canada.

Question:  Does your party support the development and adoption of a National Transportation Strategy?

Answer:  Yes, the NDP has long advocated for a national transportation strategy that invests adequately in our infrastructure, and transit, invests in transportation R&D and innovation, and focuses on creating jobs in Canada’s auto, aerospace, and transportation manufacturing sectors. Our Better Transit Plan will help municipalities across Canada to purchase Canadian-made buses, trains and transport infrastructure. We will create jobs in engineering, design, manufacturing and operations right across Canada, and export our products abroad.

Question:  How will you diversify Calgary and Alberta’s economy?

Answer:  Canada’s diverse economy needs a government that is not simply focused on the success of one industry or sector. Stephen Harper put all his economic eggs in one basket, and then dropped the basket. Diversifying the areas of economic development and growth will make our economy more resilient.

We will introduce a new Innovation Tax Credit, restore the tax credit for Labour Sponsored Venture Capital, restore funding to Canada's research granting councils and we’ll make it easier for businesses to access government support for innovation, talent, and R&D.

We will implement sector-specific strategies for forestry, auto, and aerospace with significant new funding for innovation and research. We will implement a micro-brewery tax-credit. We will create thousands of new jobs in clean energy, housing construction, infrastructure, childcare facilities, and increase funding to boost tourism.

Question:  Good decisions are based on good data. What is your party’s position on the long-form census?

Answer:  The NDP will immediately move to restore the long form census and provide the necessary funding to ensure it can be included in the 2016 census. While principled leaders approach a situation with fact-based decision-making, Stephen Harper does the opposite: decision-based fact-making. He and his cabinet have muzzled scientists and dismissed the advice of experts from across the Canadian society.

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