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Opinion

Maytree Wishes for the New Year

Published on 15/12/2009

While year-ends are a time to sum up, they are also a time to look forward to what we want to achieve next year. We have a few special wishes for Canadians, which are in Maytree’s tradition of aspiring to and acting on solutions that have the power to lead us to a more just, inclusive and prosperous society. So rather than focus on what has been a hard year for many Canadians, we want to make a “wish list” that we will not only hope for, but work to bring about. We would like:

  • The return to politics of the “Happy Warrior” who inspires us with political vibrancy, meaningful debate and cross-party collaboration underpinned by respect for opposing opinions. We’re tired of dismissive language and mud-slinging, and slavish devotion to the media sound bite.
  • A full recognition of the importance of cities in Canada, signalled by stronger federal and provincial investments in urban policies such as housing and transportation. Let’s leave no one out in the cold, far from home.
  • A stimulus package that focuses on poor people in Canada, by putting money into the hands of those who really need it and who will spend it. Enhancing the National Child Benefit, the Working Income Tax Benefit, and the benefits for Canadians with disabilities will put money into the economy immediately, and lead to lives of dignity and inclusion.
  • A renewed commitment to citizenship-based immigration that brings in future Canadians and not disposable temporary workers.
  • A new inland refugee system that makes decisions that are fast and fair, but final, so that Canada can fulfil its commitment to those in need of protection.
  • An end to taxation without representation in Toronto by allowing 200,000 landedimmigrants who are not yet citizens to cast a ballot in municipal elections. And the same reform in other municipalities across Canada.
  • A stop to the spread of a new form of human slavery in Canada through the launch of a coordinated national/provincial effort to fight the pernicious evil of human trafficking.
  • And, importantly, a renewed understanding that citizenship is not just what we know, but what we do. It is engagement with each other regardless of where we come from and where we live. Citizenship is not mastering a list of facts, but a way of being included in the building of vibrant communities and a strong Canada.

At Maytree, we work for a prosperous Canada, where everyone is included and has an opportunity to succeed. We wish you happy holidays, and thank you for playing such an important part in creating the change that can bring prosperity and equity for everyone.

Summary

Our “wish list” of ways to make a prosperous Canada, where everyone is included and has an opportunity to succeed.

Topic(s)

Cities and communities, Civic engagement, Disability, Poverty