The Economy

George Takach on the economy: Set the table and get out of the way

For seven years, the Harper Conservatives have consistently fumbled Canada’s economic management.

Liberal governments left a legacy of a balanced budget, a strong economy and a properly regulated banking sector. The Liberal Party has earned the right to call itself Canada’s most trustworthy economic steward. We have to prove through our convictions and ideas that we have the economic vision that will take our country forward, and deliver on jobs, productivity and a brighter economic future to invest properly in social policy and innovation.

Join me and help make Canada work better

George Takach’s vision for making innovation and technology the engine of Canada’s economy is already clear: Expanding affordable broadband services into rural Canada, boosting our high-tech infrastructure, and implementing a Digital Bill of Rights to give Canadians more freedom.

But there’s more we can do to build a 21st-Century economy. George Takach’s economy policy is based on three principles we need to follow.

1. Listen to the experts;

2. Establish a more competitive tax system where we tax bad things, not good things; and

3. When it comes to our economy, we need to set the table and then get out of the way. Meddling leads to uncertainty and volatility.

Mr. Takach’s background as one of Canada’s top technology lawyers offers the blend of experience and leadership skills to lead a government that will secure our economic prosperity based on these principles.

Flowing from these principles is a four-point plan to make Canada work better:

1. Optimize our supply chain capacity

We have to open up to the world to get good jobs here in Canada. Other parties focus excessively on the trade deficit. Unfortunately, that measure tends to count only finished products, not parts of things, in assessing performance.

Our trading world is now a network of global supply chains; we can make part of something (or several parts along the way) here in Canada, then move them elsewhere to be finished.

Supply chain innovation creates high-paying, long-term jobs. A Liberal government led by George Takach will make the adjustments necessary, even if it means unilaterally lowering tariffs and non-tariff barriers, to ensure that we’re a haven for global supply chains. This will lead to the creation of innovative, competitive Canadian companies that will create new jobs based on where the global economy is heading, not where it’s already been.

2. A competitive tax system

Canada needs a tax system that encourages investment and labour-force participation. Our current tax system doesn’t help, especially with relatively high income-tax levels that serve as a disincentive to permanent employment and investment. We need lower income taxes and a much simpler tax code. In addition, the federal government can do so much more to encourage saving.

To achieve this, George Takach is calling for a Royal Commission on Tax Reform. We need experts to lay out the best options for our future, with a mandate to seek focus on efficiency, productivity and growth.

3. Price carbon and cut payroll taxes

Everyone, including the energy industry, supports the concept that those who pollute must also pay. George Takach will put a price on carbon emissions that cause climate change and air pollution. The revenue generated will be applied to eliminating Employment Insurance premiums for both employers and employees.

Every Canadian will have one less tax on their paycheque, and take home more of the money they earn. Businesses won’t be penalized for doing what we all want them to do: hire more Canadians.

The national price on carbon will be applied in a way that will protect Canadians who don’t pay EI, as well as rural Canadians, through a system of rebates. The carbon price will also be fair to industries that are contributing to our economic success – such as the energy sector – but need time to adjust. This plan will boost job creation and take-home pay, provide incentives to develop innovative clean technology, and finally build an environmentally sustainable economy on a large scale.

4. Make foreign investment rules more transparent

It’s time to stop meddling in the marketplace. George Takach would amend the Investment Canada Act to eliminate the Net Benefit Test for large foreign investment in Canadian firms.

The test has evolved into a confusing and vague policy instrument that curbs investment from flowing to Canada, thus undermining our ability to compete on a global scale, and our private sector’s ability to gain full access to the world’s capital. It has also proven to be toothless, since companies can ignore any concessions Ottawa “negotiates” with the them to pass the test. Finally, it’s too easy to use the test to play political games, as we have seen in the past year from the Harper Conservatives’ handling of the CNOOC-Nexen and Petronas-Progress Energy mergers. George Takach would replace the Net Benefit Test with a simple, narrow national security test. Large-scale foreign investment would only be disallowed if experts from CSIS, the RCMP, and other security bodies concur that a proposal would threaten Canada’s economic security.

Canada’s culture, banking and telecommunications sectors would continue to have additional investment restrictions in order to protect consumers. But better, clearer rules will be developed to encourage innovation and growth. Investors, both foreign and domestic, need certainty, and Canadian firms need the capital influx to continue to compete globally.

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George Takach believes all Liberal leadership candidate owe it to party members, supporters and Canadians to provide a blueprint for how they propose to shape our economy in the 21st Century. The Liberal Party is the only movement that can deliver on a plan like the one proposed by George Takach, we can act now to protect our prosperity tomorrow, and make good jobs and opportunities more accessible for everyone. But that can only happen if we bring Canadians together, not drive them apart.

Join me and help make Canada work better

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