Canadian NDP (New Democratic Party) Leader Jack Layton released a central plank of the NDP’s election platform, the environment, saying it’s time Canadians were offered a positive choice with innovative solutions. Layton also released the party’s election slogan, ‘New Energy. A Positive Choice,’ that hinges strongly on renewable energy.Ottawa, Canada – April 9, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “Canada can build a green and prosperous economy,” Layton said. “We can create jobs as we clean our air and water. We can build for tomorrow by becoming a world leader in renewable energy, and I am proud to lead the only party listening to Canadians when they say that’s what they want. We don’t need more speeches from the Liberals because their 11-year record says it all – from climate change to smog to toxics, you have to wonder who they’re listening to.” A centerpiece of the NDP’s environmental platform is a plan to create jobs with renewable energy, and meet Canada’s Kyoto commitments on climate change. The party said it is based on a balanced budget and is sensitive to the needs of workers and communities affected. Among the NDP’s innovative ideas to fight climate change and clean the air are: – Creating the Climate Change Exchange, which would auction off emission credits for corporations with a decreasing number of credits available, creating market incentives to pollute less. Proceeds from the exchange would fund green energy projects, including an east-west transmission grid to help replace coal power with hydro power. – Leveraging all of the government’s Petro-Canada stake to create a new Crown corporation for renewable energy, with innovation centers in solar, tidal, wind and geothermal energy across Canada, located close to fossil fuel centers. – Phasing in a tax-shifting regime to wean Canada away from its dependency on fossil and nuclear energy and moving aggressively towards a new, green energy future. – Establishing a national building retrofit program to cut pollution, create jobs and lower energy bills, paid for through a revolving loan fund with funds coming from and profits going to the Canada Pension Plan. – Supporting aggressive investment in public transit and passenger rail; and mandatory fuel efficiency for vehicles as part of a green car industrial strategy that includes working with progressive American states to create common markets for green cars. The NDP also unveiled innovative ideas to achieve clean water, clean up toxics and respect Canadians’ right to know what they eat. For further information see the link below.