OUR ALBERTA, OUR CANADA, OUR FUTURE
Len has been instrumental in embracing and leading positive change in St. Albert, in Alberta and in Canada and he believes the responsibilities of the Senate need to be enhanced in the 21st century.
The Senate needs to increasingly weigh legislation in light of our economic realities. As legislation is passed we must be mindful of the costs associated with implementation and ensure that legislation is re-examined as required to ensure it is having the desired effect.
The Senate is ideally positioned to provide leadership in building partnerships with the four orders of government (federal, provincial/territorial, municipal, and aboriginal) with the private sector, academics, volunteer sector, NGOs, and labor. Together, this partnership could develop a flexible long term sustainability plan for Canada, break down interprovincial barriers, and eliminate duplication of services which costs Canadians billions of dollars. A long term sustainability plan would enable Canada to compete with the world’s fastest growing economies in China, India, and South America.
The Long Term Sustainability Plan should address and provide solutions to:
1. Canada’s Municipal Infrastructure Debt
- By implementing a 25-50 year plan to address Canada’s $123B municipal infrastructure debt and proper funding for municipalities;
- By implementing a national transit/transportation system that will enhance public transit and link rural and urban municipalities;
- By implementing a 25-50 year plan to address Canada’s national highway $25B debt.
2. Seniors’ Support Needs
- By implementing British Columbia Provincial Property Tax Deferral Program across Canada;
- By addressing funding for Canada’s aging population especially related to:
- Transit/Transportation needs
- Heath Care
3. Aboriginal Issues
- With all orders of government working together to meet urban and rural aboriginal needs;
- By implementing programs like Common Ground across Canada;
- By implementing Best Practices from First Nations-Municipal Community Infrastructure Partnership Program (CIPP) Service Agreement Toolkit.
4. Rural and Northern Canada Sustainability
- By implementing recommendations from Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC) Report: One Vision, Many Voices – How To Build A Sustainable Rural Canada;
- By implementing recommendations from Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Report: Wake Up Call: The National Vision and Voice We Need for Rural Canada;
- By implementing recommendations from Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM): On the Front Lines of Canada’s Northern Strategy Report;
- By appointing a Cabinet Minister for Rural and Northern Communities;
- By planning and developing a corridor from Churchill to Prince Rupert which may include but not be limited to road, rail, utility and pipeline.
- By increasing high speed connectivity in Rural and Remote areas of Canada to ensure readily available access to critical information and promote opportunity.
5. Inter-Governmental Relation Issues
- By bringing the orders of government (federal, provincial/territorial, municipal, and aboriginal) to the table when dealing with issues that affect them;
- By implementing the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) across Canada;
- By eliminating downloading of responsibilities from one order of government to another without accompanying resources/revenues/collaboration;
- By re-evaluating the responsibilities of each order of government and implementing changes to increase cost efficiencies and eliminate duplication. The order of government that can best provide the service should be providing it.
6. Economic Development
- By reducing traffic congestion that costs business billions of dollars;
- By eliminating provincial trade barriers through the implementation of the New West Partnership Trade Agreement across Canada;
- By establishing flexible portable pension plans for Canadians.
- By assisting the new immigrant workforce to integrate and relocate across Canada.