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2000 PUBLIC TRUST GREEN BUDGET PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow
Thursday, 02 January 2014 09:07

2000 PUBLIC TRUST GREEN BUDGET  Add  diagram

 

Presented February 28, 2000

 

Joan Russow (PhD) National Leader of the Green Party of Canada

1230 St. Patrick St. Victoria, B.C. V8S4Y4 CANADA

1 (250) 598-0071

 

 

PUBLIC TRUST GREEN BUDGET: REDIRECTION, RELOCATION AND REASSIGNMENT OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS.

 

MOVING FROM SUBSIDIZING THE MILITARY, INDUSTRIAL, FINANCIAL WANTS

 

                TO FULFILLING HUMAN RIGHTS AND NEEDS  WITHIN A SOCIALLY                      

EQUITABLE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND ECONOMY

 

 

            TO COMPLYING WITH AND ENFORCING OBLIGATIONS AND COMMITMENTS  PREVENTING HARM THROUGH ACTING WITH PRECAUTION

 

 

THE POLITICS OF PUBLIC TRUST versus THE POLITICS OF VESTED ECONOMIC INTEREST

 

 

THE GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP) AS A MEANS OF EVALUATING THE HEALTH OF THE ECONOMY has been proven to be an inadequate tool.  It measures economic growth often ignoring the effects of social decline and environmental degradation  THE "CRITERIA OF PUBLIC TRUST" (CPT) is proposed in its place.  The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fails to factor in ecological and social costs and flourishes within the "cycle of error/rectification of error"; the Criteria of Public Trust" (CPT) serve to break this "cycle of error/rectification of error" (See Annex of Criteria of Public Trust) .

 

THE GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP) AS A MEANS OF EVALUATING THE HEALTH OF THE ECONOMY has been proven to be an inadequate tool.  It measures economic growth often ignoring the effects of social decline and environmental degradation  THE "CRITERIA OF PUBLIC TRUST" (CPT) is proposed in its place.  The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fails to factor in ecological and social costs and flourishes within the "cycle of error/rectification of error"; the Criteria of Public Trust" (CPT) serve to break this "cycle of error/rectification of error" (See Annex of Criteria of Public Trust) .

 

The Federal government has consistently demonstrated misplaced spending priorities

.

The Public Trust Green Budget is a diagram which illustrates department by department spending as detailed in the "Treasury Board Estimates 2000" with comment on how the department funds could be redirected, relocated, or reassigned.

 

REDIRECTION, RELOCATION OR REASSIGNMENT OF FUNDS:

The Public Trust Green Budget builds on the 1999 Public Trust Green Budget which stressed the need to redirect, relocate or reassign funds from subsidizing military, industrial and financial wants to fulfilling human rights and needs within a socially equitable and environmentally sound economy.

        In the 2000 Green Public Trust Budget a distinction is made among “redirecting” “relocating”  or “reassigning “ funds. “Redirecting” would be moving funds within the same department but allocating the funds for different purposes. . For example, funds in the Department of Agriculture would be redirected from subsidizing genetic engineering and chemical dependence to promoting organic farming  and other forms of ecologically sound farming.  Similarly, funds in the Department of Natural Resources would be redirected away from subsidizing the fossil fuel and nuclear industry to promoting environmentally sound alternative energy. In the department of Fisheries, funds would be redirected from promoting aquaculture to preventing destruction of fish habitat and preserving wild stocks. Likewise in the Department of Transport funds would be redirected away from subsidizing the automobile use to promoting systems that facilitate the moving away from car-dependency.

        On the other hand, “Relocating”  of funds means either allocating funds from one department to another department, or to a newly designated department.  An example of “relocating funds”  would be the relocation of fund  from the Department of Defence to Department of Finance for Transfer payments for health care 3 billion to Finance for transfer payments  for education, 1 billion to the Department of Human Resources, for Anti-poverty fund, and .34 billion to the Department of Environment. Similarly "relocating funds" would be the relocation of 10,000 from the salaries of MPs, Senators and the Governor General into an Anti-poverty Fund for poor children and their families.[transfer payments to the provinces in the Department of Finance to assist in the eradication of child poverty.]

        An example of "relocating"  to a newly designated department  would be the relocation of funds from the Department of Industry  to a new Department responsible for implementing  “Fair and Just Transition and Conversion ” 

        Finally, “Reassigning of funds would be  the elimination of a Department and its budget and reassigning the allocated funds to a similar or different purpose. For example,  the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs should be dismantled and the funds in the Department reassigned and transferred to First Nations  communities for them to create and implement their own policies within a framework of international principles.

        Few will deny that there is an urgent need for change. Political action  happens when it does not conflict with vested economic interests.  The political response to issues - like erosion of health care, environmental degradation, disintegration of communities, overconsumptive models of development, globalization through corporate control, and privatization of essential services - has been mostly ineffectual.

        If positive change is to occur, it must come as a reflection of global public trust, rather than at the whim of vested economic interests. For over fifty years, through international agreements, member states of the United Nations have incurred obligations through conventions, treaties and covenants.  Member states of the United Nations have also made commitments through UN. Conference action plans, and created expectations through General Assembly resolutions.

        The Year 2000 begins the official UN Decade Promoting the Culture of Peace. The Culture of Peace will  be in place when there is global implementation of the Public Trust international law  Canada and other member  states of the United Nations have undertaken, but not implemented,  the following actions within public trust international law:

 

1.      Promote and fully guarantee respect for human rights, including

labour rights, the human right to unadulterated, healthy food, housing and health care, and social justice;

2.      Enable socially equitable and environmentally sound development;

3.      Achieve a state of peace, justice and security;

4.      Create a global structure that respects the rule of law; and

5.      Ensure the preservation and protection of the environment, the

respect for the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose, the reduction of  the ecological footprint and moving away from the current model of over-consumptive development;

        Unfortunately, Canadian governments continue to undermine these international obligations, commitments and expectations.

 

The public trust concept reflects the interdependence of the above issues. For too long Government departments have been functioning within a fragmentary model rather than addressing the interdependence and complexity of the public trust. The Public Trust Green Budget diagram displays the spending priorities concurrently department by department so that the connections among departments can be examined, and a comparative analysis of spending priorities can be made.

        The Minister of Finance claims that a surplus of revenue exists beyond current Treasury Board estimates. This anticipated surplus could be allocated to the furtherance of the public trust as outlined above, and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an estimate of economic value could be replaced with the Criteria of Public trust (CPT). Increase transfer payments for universal, accessible,  non-two tier health care service, and for higher education for the promotion of corporate-free higher education (all intrusion by corporations into university research should d be disallowed).

        Debt and phasing out of sunset industries coupled with a fair/just transition program for affected workers and communities.

The debt, which currently stands at roughly 580 billion could be reduced through immediately addressing the corporate/individual tax imbalance. Tax contribution by corporations in relation to tax contributions by individuals was almost at 50% in 1950 (48% individual/46% corporate); now the corporate/individual tax ratio has declined to less 12% by corporations and  increased to 86% by individuals. The Canadian Economic Observer in June 1991 estimated that “a reduction in corporate taxation was a cause of the debt”. Additional revenue from the increased corporate tax should also be directed to the phasing out of sunset industries coupled with a fair/just transition program for affected workers and communities.

 

BUDGET COMMENT

Note figures apart from those that are suggested for redirection, relocation and reassignment are from 2000 Treasury Board Estimates.

 

REVENUE: 170,000,000,000?

(151 BILLION + 18 BILLION ANTICIPATED SURPLUS)

Surplus funds (if materialized), 12 billion/per year could be redirected from corporate subsidies to support social justice, human rights, environmentally sound development increasing transfer payments to ensure the human right to a universal non-two tier health care system, the human right to unadulterated healthy food, the human right to housing; to provide access to social programs--including pensions, child benefits, child care, and access to higher education. The commitment made at UNCED to .7% of GDP to be spent on socially equitable and environmentally sound development in the South has to be realized.

EXPENSES: (+..5803) 151,559,228,000 (as per Treasury Board Estimates including 42,5000,000 Debt servicing (21% of Revenue)

GDP 1998, 895 billion; projected GDP 2000

 

DEBT: Total debt is 580 billion 20,000 per person. Debt reduction : institute an inheritance tax: first 200,000, no tax; up to 500,000, 25% and over 750,000, 75%.

The debt, which currently stands at roughly 580 billion could be reduced through immediately addressing the corporate/individual tax imbalance. Tax contribution by corporations in relation to tax contributions by individuals was almost at 50% in 1950 (48% individual    46% corporate); now the corporate/individual tax ratio has declined to less 12% by corporations and  increased to 86% by individuals. The Canadian Economic Observer in June 1991 estimated that “a reduction in corporate taxation was a cause of the debt”. Additional revenue from the increased corporate TAX should also be directed to the phasing out of sunset industries coupled with a fair/just transition program for affected workers and communities.

 

DEPARTMENT BY DEPARTMENT COMMENT

 

NATIONAL DEFENCE (10,304,500,000) 

1999 was the culmination of the Decade devoted to the furtherance of international law, and 2000 is the beginning of the Decade of a Culture of Peace. A culture of peace will be achieved through the "force of compliance". Through over 50 years of international agreements, the Canadian government has incurred obligations, made commitments and created expectations related to the  promotion of the public trust. In a General Assembly resolution from 1981, for example, expectations were created that governments would reduce the military budget. The Canadian government has the opportunity of being at the forefront of promoting a culture of peace by reducing the military budget and relocating 3 billion into health care, 1 billion into higher education, 1 billion to Human Resources into an 'Anti-poverty fund for poor children and their families, and 304,500,000, to the department of environment. Two billion could be redirected into conversion programs linked with Just transition programs for affected workers, and 3 billion redirected into a natural and anthropogenic disaster prevention and mitigation training program and into promoting  a culture of peace through the  “force of compliance”. This program could be used to prepare the Canadian military for the expected increase in weather related events brought about through climate change. This program could also be mandated to  prevent risks incurred by the Federal government such as the berthing of nuclear armed or nuclear capable vessels, the continued use of bases such as the Nanoose weapons testing range, and the use and disposing of depleted uranium from military activities.  304,500,000 transferred to the department of environment to supplement the cost of restoring sites damaged through military activities.

 

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE

3,388,038,000

 

388,000,000 should be relocated to Department of Canadian Culture for the promotion of "Safe Anti-racism Sites" and implementation of the International Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Funds should be redirected  from subsidizing international vested economic agreements to implementing international   public trust agreements.. Rather than acknowledging obligations, commitments and expectations under International public trust agreements, the Canadian government only  appears to adhere to perceived privileges and demands under international vested interest agreements or institutions such as WTO, NAFTA, GATT, APEC, NATO. The Canadian government has failed  to sign and ratify significant conventions such as the Law of the Sea and the Convention on the Rights of  Migrant Workers and Their Families . When Canada does sign and ratify international public trust agreements, it often has failed to implement the necessary legislation to ensure compliance.  Canada has also made commitments through UN Conference Action plans.  The funds in Foreign Affairs must be relocated to and redirected towards the promotion of  and compliance with the public trust international law. The Canadian government should support the call for the dismantling of NATO for violation of international law, and should work towards the abrogation of NAFTA, the Dismantling of the WTO and APEC and other vested interest international agreements for contravening international Public Trust law.  Funds in CIDA must be redirected away from subsidizing  the vested economic interests of Canadian industries but into supporting the public trust  While continued levels of funding for CIDA should be at current rates, funding to support Canadian corporations in developing countries should be terminated immediately and redirected to projects that are socially equitable and environmentally sound and that have been conceived and executed in consultation with disenfranchised citizens of partner countries. The funding for  IDRC  should be maintained but its mandate extended to include also the failure of international agreements to be implemented in  Canada.

withdrawing from NATO, condemning NATO's disregard for international law, and advocating the disbanding of NATO.

.

 

 

 

DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRY (3,502,284,000)

Rename the department of industry to the Department of "Just Transition" 

Redirect 2,000,000,000 to fair and just transition programs for workers and communities affected by conversion of sunset industries to socially equitable and environmentally sound development  and employment. In the 1999 Public Trust Green Budget there was a recommendation to relocate the funds in the Department of Industry away from subsidizing corporations and corporate-beneficial research in favour of implementing the provisions in the General Assembly resolution entitled, the Declaration on the Use of Scientific Technology for the Benefit of Humanity.

Government should advocate the revoking of charters or licences of transnational corporations for disregarding the public trust. To address the challenges of the 21st century, Canada must move away from policies of economic growth at any cost. In the future, the Canadian government must act with foresight to prevent the entrenchment of socially inequitable and environmentally unsound practices. Canada is in a situation where a transition and conversion policy is necessary to phase out, or ban socially inequitable and environmentally unsound practices. Public policies must direct public funding  to ensuring a just transition for workers and communities economically affected by  these transition policies. There must be a national commitment to implementing the public trust throughout the country with a fair distribution of the effects, and an obligation to communities and to maintain full income and all-inclusive targeted transition assistance  for working people who are dislocated as a result of the implementation of specific policies until they can find comparable work. Workers and the communities affected by the policy must be involved in the decision making process from the development of the terms of reference and throughout the process, and that the decision making process must be based on the fundamental principles of Just Transition supported by respective unions.  Redirect 1,502,284,000 from the National Research Council  and Natural Science and Social Science and humanities research  to socially equitable and environmentally sound projects. The research must not be linked to industry or "partnershipped with industry".

* promoting either a four day 32 hour week, or 6 hour day with the maintaining, in both cases, of benefits, and the implementing of a fair and just transition program for workers and communities affected by transition and conversion for the public good

- Renaming the Department of Industry as the Department of just transition, and redirect funding to assisting with the fair and just transition of workers and communities from socially inequitable and environmentally unsound practices

 

DEPARTMENT OF SOLICITOR GENERAL (2,727,095,000) - 500,000,000

Redirect funding into a new training and education program for CSIS and RCMP to assist them in distinguishing between dissent and subversion, in removing preconceptions, stereotypes, and prejudice, and in not violation civil and political rights. and into

retraining programs fostering respect for the public trust. Redirect funding also into disciplinary action for violation of civil and political rights and for having discriminated on  any designated ground. The emphasis should be on   crime prevention through social programs rather than incarceration. Redirect CSIS funding of .16 BILLION into International cooperation supporting Non Governmental Organization that are promoting the public trust. Redirect .003 billion from the National Round Table -an arena of competing interests condoning conflict of interest - Principle-based Advisory Compliance Enforcement (PACE) -- a principle-based decision making process promoting the establishment of Criteria of Public Trust. PACE will not be sector based  but principle-based drawing upon expertise and experience of members of the community. 500 million relocated  from Solicitor General  to Social Justice and Development (Human Resources) to promote youth-related programs.

 

PUBLIC WORKS AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES (3,811,119,000)

Funds relocated from   Parlamentarians (@3,00,000,000). from Senators (@1,000,000)  from Governor General budget (@3,00,000).to Human Right to Housing fund. At Habitat II (1996)  Canada made a commitment to develop environmentally sound human settlements in consultation with community organizations and individuals, particularly those  that have been traditionally marginalized from the decision making process. Ensuring that all Canadians have access to housing is not only the right thing to do but also is a human right recognized under the International Covenant of Cultural and Economic Rights, 1966. Redirect, as proposed in 1999,  1.63 billion from Department of Public works to implement commitments made though Habitat II, In particular, funds from Canada Mortgage and Housing should be redirected to guaranteeing the human  right to housing.

 

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (885,697,000) -

The department should seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on whether Canada has been in violation of Canada’s international obligations because of Canada’s failure to enact the necessary legislation to ensure compliance. This recommendation builds on the recommendation from the 1999 Public Trust Green Comment that  some funding should be redirected from the Justice department to the implementation of International law in Canada in recognition of the culmination of the Decade Devoted to the Furtherance of International Law in 1999. The Law Commission should recommend that the practice by developers of intimidating citizens and locally elected officials through law suits. be treated as a “criminal offence of intimidation”. The section in the Criminal code on the dissemination of hate literature must be revised to correspond to the more stringent obligation contained in the International Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination. Human rights codes must include the following grounds:

- race, tribe, or culture;

- colour, ethnicity, national ethnic or social origin, or language; nationality, place of birth, or nature of residence (refugee or   immigrant, migrant worker);

- gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or form of family,

- disability or age;

- religion or conviction, political or other opinion, or - class, economic position, social conditions or other status;

  (1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the

  1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,

  among others);

Funds should be redirected from Judges salaries to an Anti-Poverty fund  for poor children and their families  Funds should be redirected to support the decriminalization of drugs and the implementation of other harm-reduction strategies including education and recognition of the substantive differences in the physiological and psychological effects of individual drugs and the need for regulatory regimes to reflect these differences ( such as the properties of individual substances, the consequences of their use and sale, and the consequences of attempting to prohibit, restrict, or control their sale and use.)

 

 

(  ) The Hope Standard (fax 604 869-7351 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

from "Simone"

 

1. What is one thing you would like voters to know about you?

 

If elected, I would work tirelessly on behalf of the constituents of the Okanagan-Coquihalla.  I would continually consult with citizens and hold public forums on key issues being discussed in parliament.

 I believe that the solutions lie in the furthering of the public trust:

(i) guaranteeing human rights, including labour rights, first nations rights, women's rights, and the right to be free from discrimination on any grounds; (ii) ensuring social and cultural rights such as the human right to unadulterated food, housing, and to an universally accessible, not for profit, publicly funded health care system, that addresses environmentally-induced diseases, and poverty related health problems;  (iii) preserving and protecting the environment and instituting just transition programs for workers and communities affected by loss of resource based employment.

 

2. What do you believe is the major issue facing Hope and the Fraser Canyon, and what do you see as the solution. 

 

I believe that inappropriate economic development threatens the quality of life of people living in our region.  An example of inappropriate development in the Sumas II Project. Already the air in the upper Fraser Valley is over-stressed.   The proposed SUMAS II natural gas plant will produce an increase in carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to 10,000 new automobiles.

 

I travelled to Bellingham, Washington in late July to make a  submission on behalf of the Green Party of Canada to the Judicial Inquiry into the SUMAS II project at the "public hearing" phase.  I spoke strongly against the project and urged that opponents use international law to block the project.  At the Bellingham meeting I raised the precedent of the Trail Smelter case which gave rise to the international transboundary princple:

 

"states shall take all measures necessary to ensure that activities under their jurisdiction or control are so conducted as not to cause damage by pollution to other States and their environment, and that pollution arising from incidents or activities under their jurisdiction or control does not spread beyond the areas where they exercise sovereign rights in accordance with various Conventions.

 

Sumas II is a project that will have serious environmental impacts in both Canada and the United States. Both Canada and the United States undertook under the Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) ,  to reduce CO2 emissions and to move towards environmentally sound energy such as wind and solar. Federal funds must be transferred from the Federal Department of Natural Resources to subsidize the conversion of fossil fuel dependency to environmentally sound alternatives.

 

The Federal government must intervene to ensure that the proposed Sumas II project does not proceed on the grounds that the project violates international obligations incurred and commitments made by both Canada and the US. If necessary, Canada should take the United States to the International Court of Justice for non-compliance with international obligations.

 

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 12:13
 

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