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The plan: strong economy, fair society, clean environment

Reports, petition, Facebook group promote ways to change Canadian society for the better.

James Clancy says we have a rare opportunity to make progressive change in CanadaOTTAWA, December 15, 2008 — The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is calling on the federal and provincial governments to work together on a 5 point plan that would stimulate the economy and at the same time enhance Canada's social foundations and improve the environment.

The 340,000-member national union released two new reports today. In the first report, called Now it's our turn the union lays out a plan that would stimulate the economy and support families and businesses by investing in public services, spending on infrastructure projects, enhancing income security programs, and protecting and expanding pension plans.

Economic, social and environmental goals are inseparable

"We have got an extremely rare opportunity right now to make progressive change in Canada," says James Clancy, NUPGE national president. "This is our chance to pressure our governments to deliver a common sense plan that will ensure a strong economy, fair society and clean environment for all of us."

In the document Now it's our turn the union emphasizes that economic, social and environmental goals are inseparable. "It will do us no good to fix the economy and forget about social programs. It will be impossible to fix the economy and forget about the environment. What has happened to our economy, what is happening to our social programs and environment forces us to face the folly of believing these concerns are in any way separate and individually 'fixable'. These things are inextricably linked together."

At the heart of the document is a 5 point plan that calls on all governments to work together on:

* A framework for financial stability;

* Strengthen public services and invest in infrastructure;

* A modern industrial strategy and a new green economy;

* A security package for all working families; and

* A plan to protect and expand pensions.

The union has also established an online petition campaign urging political leaders to adopt its 5 point plan.

Making public services a priority: How Canada can beat tough times

The union also released a complementary report called Making public services a priority. The report argues that "the public sector in all its dimensions, federal, municipal and provincial has the potential to carry us through tough economic times and bring us out on the other side well prepared for what the future holds."

The union emphasizes that the federal government needs to provide a bold fiscal stimulus package for the economy and that investments in public services must be a key component of the package. "Looking at the options, investing in public services makes the most sense for Canada at this time. These investments are essential to maintaining a decent quality of life for Canadians and they will stabilize and stimulate the economy by creating jobs and ensuring people have money to spend at local businesses in their communities."

Links and sources
  Now it's our turn (pdf), by NUPGE
  Making public services a priority (pdf), by NUPGE
  Petition — Now It's Our Turn: A common sense plan for a strong economy and fair society
  Facebook group: Now it's our turn: A strong economy and a fair Canada

Posted: December 15, 2008

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