Text of Coalition agreement

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kim elliott kim elliott's picture
Text of Coalition agreement

hey all - i'm not sure where to find this on-line, but this text was sent out to the media, and I thought folks would want to see the full text. I'm sure Michelle or oldgoat will tell me I've violated some babble rule by publishing such a long post... but I hope you'll make an exception! 

A Policy Accord to Address the Present Economic Crisis


Preamble

The new Government is supported by parties that share a commitment to fiscal responsibility, a progressive agenda and a belief in the role of Government to act as a partner with Canadians and Quebecers. Where appropriate, these goals should be pursued in full partnership and consultation with the provincial and territorial governments.


Fiscal Principles

This policy accord is built on a foundation of fiscal responsibility. All three parties agree that the Canadian economy and the fiscal framework of the federal government have severely weakened since the last federal budget.

As the Parliamentary Budget Officer concluded, due to the policy choices of the Conservative government, the starting point of the federal government is deficit. This new reality does not reduce the necessity to stimulate the economy consistent with the understandings arrived at by all nations in the G20.

The following plan describes common goals and sets out an outline to provide active stimulus for the economy over the next two years, with a shared commitment to return to surplus within four years.


Economic Stimulus Package

The top priority of the new Government is an economic stimulus package designed to boost the domestic economy beginning with (but not limited to):

• Accelerating existing infrastructure funding and substantial new investments, including municipal and inter-provincial projects (such as
• transit, clean energy, water, corridors and gateways). This would certainly include addressing the urgent infrastructure needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuit;

• Housing construction and retrofitting; and

• Investing in key sector strategies (like manufacturing, forestry and automotive) designed to create and save jobs, with any aid contingent on a plan to transform these industries and return them to profitability and sustainability.


Rapid Support for those affected by the Economic Crisis

The new Government is committed to ensuring that the federal government has the appropriate programs in place to assist those most affected by the economic crisis so that all citizens will be in a position to fully participate in the economic recovery to follow, including the following measures:

• Facilitate skills training to help ensure Canadian workers are properly equipped to keep pace with the rapidly changing economy, while respecting provincial jurisdiction and existing agreements;

• Amend the current law establishing a new crown corporation for employment insurance in order to guarantee that all revenue from EI premiums provides benefits and training for workers. Eliminate the current two week waiting period;

• Lower the minimum required RRIF withdrawal for 2008 by 50 per cent;

• Reform bankruptcy and insolvency laws to better protect pensions; and

• Implement an income support program for older workers who have lost their jobs in order to help them make the transition from work to receiving retirement benefits.


Other Priorities to Stimulate the Economy

• Support for culture, including the cancellation of budget cuts announced by the Conservative government.

• Support for Canadian Wheat Board and Supply Management

• Immigration Reform
• Reinstate regional development agency funding to non-profit economic development organizations.


Families

As finances permit, we are committed to moving forward with improved child benefits and an early learning and childcare program in partnership with each province, and respectful of their role and jurisdiction, including the possibility to opt out with full compensation.


Working with our North American Partners

We will work with our North American Partners to pursue a North American cap-and-trade market with absolute emission targets, using 1990 as the base year.


Working with our International Partners

The new Government is committed to working with the international community, particularly with G-20 partners, in pursuit of an effective new global financial architecture.


Confidence Votes

The Government will not request a dissolution of Parliament during the term of this agreement, except following defeat on an explicitly-framed motion of non-confidence presented by the Opposition; or any vote pertaining to the speech from the throne; or on a budget vote at on any stage in the House; or on any bill to implement a budget at any stage in the House; or on any motion in the House to concur in, restore or reinstate any Estimates; or on any supply bill at any stage in the House.

The Bloc Québécois will neither move nor will it support any motions of non-confidence in the Government during the term of its support for this agreement, and will vote in favour of the Government's position with respect to all matters referred to in the immediately preceding paragraph.


Term of this agreement

The Liberal Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party of Canada will adhere to this agreement until June 30, 2011 unless renewed.

The Bloc Québécois will adhere to this agreement until June 30, 2010 unless renewed.

Agreed on December 1, 2008

 

Hon. Stéphane Dion
Leader, the Liberal Party of Canada

Hon. Jack Layton
Leader, the New Democratic Party of Canada


Gilles Duceppe
Leader, le Bloc Québécois

 


The Bish

While I'm disappointed in the admission that the corporate tax cuts will stay, and quite angry that Dion said during the press conference that Afghanistan isn't open to debate, on the whole I can support this statement.  It's almost infinitely better than the Conservative plan.

Michelle

Thanks for posting the text of the agreement, Kim!  It's actually good for this to have a separate thread so people can find it easily by the thread title as a reference. 

But I'm going to close this thread now and let the discussion about this continue in the already open general discussion thread. :)

Michelle

Might as well open this again so it doesn't sink too far.  It's a good resource, and what the heck, I don't think we have quite enough threads on the coalition yet anyhow. ;)

Wilf Day

And here's the other document:

December 1, 2008

An Accord on a Cooperative Government to Address the Present Economic Crisis

This document outlines the key understandings between the Liberal Party of Canada and the New Democratic Party of Canada regarding a new cooperative government.

1. Role of caucuses

The Liberal and NDP caucuses will continue to meet as distinct caucuses. They will receive briefings and be consulted as appropriate. Both are entitled to offer advice to the government. The two caucuses may meet jointly as agreed from time to time to jointly address issues. The caucuses will sit next to each other on the government benches.

2. Cabinet

Nothing in this Accord is intended to diminish or alter the power and prerogatives of the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister will be the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

The Minister of Finance will be appointed from the Liberal caucus.

The cabinet will be composed of 24 ministers plus the Prime Minister.

Eighteen of these ministers will be appointed from within the Liberal caucus.

Six of these ministers will be appointed from within the NDP caucus, plus six Parliamentary Secretaries, sworn in as Privy Councillors, will also be named from the NDP caucus. In the event the Prime Minister chooses to appoint a larger cabinet, the NDP proportion will be maintained.

The specifics of these cabinet appointments will be made by the Prime Minister in appropriate consultation with the Leader of the NDP.

The rules and practices of cabinet confidentiality and solidarity will be strictly maintained. Normal processes of cabinet appointments and governance in the Canadian federal government will be respected. The cabinet is jointly and collectively accountable to Parliament for its work, including in daily question period.

3. A "no surprises" approach

Within the limits of common sense and the needs of cabinet government, the two parties agree they will work together on a "no surprises" basis.

Furthermore, upon its formation, the government will put in place a permanent consultation mechanism with the Bloc Québécois.

4. Appointments

Both parties are committed to restoring the integrity, transparency and efficiency of the appointments process in the Public Service and in federal bodies like the Supreme Court, the Senate and Commissions like the CRTC.

The Prime Minister will consult the Leader of the NDP as appropriate on appointments.

5. A standing managing committee of the Accord

A standing managing committee of the Accord, chaired by the Prime Minister, will be struck.

It will be composed of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the NDP, and such other persons as the leaders deem appropriate from time to time.

The committee will meet regularly to ensure the good order of the Accord; to deal with key issues that have arisen; to consult on key appointments; and to resolve any disputes which might arise from the Accord (for example, by referring issues relating to the Accord to a trusted committee of experienced, distinguished Canadians).

6. Term of this Accord

This Accord will expire on June 30, 2011 unless renewed.

Agreed on December 1, 2008.

Hon. Stéphane Dion

Leader, Liberal Party of Canada

Hon. Jack Layton

Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada

Jooge

kim wrote:

The new Government is supported by parties that share a commitment to fiscal responsibility, a progressive agenda and a belief in the role of Government to act as a partner with Canadians and Quebecers.

 

So whats with having 'Quebecers' separate from 'Canadians'? I can guess who asked for that! Frown

 

Fidel

But Steve "I'm a lap poodle for Prescott Bush's cokehead grandson" Harper thought  the Bloc Quebecois would make excellent coalition partners in 2004.

janfromthebruce

Wilf your link wasn't good. Here is the link to what Trudeau said: 

______________________________________________________________________________________
Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

Fidel

Yes, my partnership includes Quebec as well. Right now, Canada is a ship without a rudder - a northern Puerto Rico with a dwindling Polar bear count - and existing to export fossil fuels and raw materials to that failed NAFTA partnership south of us.

Wilf Day

". . . parties that share a commitment to fiscal responsibility, a progressive agenda and a belief in the role of Government to act as a partner with Canadians and Quebecers."

My partnership includes Quebec, if you'll pardon the hackneyed phrase.

A really good answer to concerns about the Bloc has been given by Justin Trudeau. A link to the video is on the Liberal party website, on the right-hand side "Justin Trudeau comments on the Liberal-NDP coalition."

http://www.liberal.ca/

Interesting that it's still prominent on their site.

 

Jooge

But why explicitly identify Quebecers? If you use your premise then list the members of every individual Province and Territory of Canada. How stupid would have looked if teh phrase read 'Canadians and Ontarians'? I think its a clear indicator as to who the puppet master is. Jack Layton may think he is in control of the situation but when you make a deal with teh Devil there is always a price to pay.

Highlander

Actually the only parties that have an issue with the idea of a "Quebec Nation within Canada" are the Liberals - whose new leader actually supports it so long as it is clear that we are dealing with a civil nation and not an ethnic one - and the Bloc, who have a problem with the whole "within Canada" part.

The notion of Canadians and Quebecers is entirely consistant with NDP policy going back to the '70s if not earlier.

Wilf Day

Jooge wrote:
But why explicitly identify Quebecers? . . . I think its a clear indicator as to who the puppet master is. Jack Layton may think he is in control of the situation but when you make a deal with teh Devil there is always a price to pay.

Keep your powder dry, boys. This is the only Quebec reference you can point to for the moment, because the Bloc got nothing specific from the agreement except to dump Harper -- the major point of their recent campaign -- and the re-opener in 18 months.

That's when you'll finally get something to complain about. If you haven't cried "wolf" too often before then.

Fidel

Jooge wrote:
But why explicitly identify Quebecers?

I think Harper made liberal mention of Quebecers and separatists because he intends to divide the country along regional and ethnic lines. It's a typical fascist ploy. He thinks Canadians are too stupid to remember that he himself indicated to the GG in 2004 that his coalition of Reform Party retreads, rightwing Liberals, and Mike Harris castoffs would be entirely agreeable to a ReformaTory-Bloc-NDP coalition.