CANADA : Five Big Ideas for the Next Century

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Added: Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:29pm
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We’re approaching the end of a year-long 150th birthday party with special events held across the country. Canada is one of the best places to live in the world. People live in security, with freedom to act creatively and are able to contribute positively to their community. Neighbours are friends, not enemies.  But Canada needs new BIG ideas if it wants to move forward this century.
Big ideas for good living are worth implementing. In no particular order we make our shopping list for a renewed, progressive, environmentally sustainable, growing Canada.
High Speed Rail: Cross Canada traffic could use high speed rail. At least joining the country’s two main cultures via the Quebec City to Windsor corridor would be a big step forward. But no will has been exercised to fund and implement such a venture. If the Chinese see a future in developing train service that travels at 400 km per hour, why cannot Canada? Let’s reduce air traffic congestion and move to more comfortable travel.  Job creation would be this initiative’s first benefit.
Universal Pharmacare: the high cost of drugs in Canada is a drug manufacturer’s paradise.  Many Canadians cannot afford the drugs they need to live. Seniors,
people with chronic illnesses, cancer, heart ailments –all are susceptible to fatal drug costs. Many do not have insurance to help pay for medication. Many have to choose between food, lodging or medicine. We need a government that has the guts to move forward on this issue  making medicines affordable by implementing a pharmacare system. By buying drugs in bulk, all Canadians will benefit.
High Speed Internet: Our internet providers seek profits before they deliver services. Governments have given incentives by the hundreds of millions but reliable high speed internet is still a pipe dream in many areas of Canada; the Pontiac is one such glaring example. A modern Canada needs affordable and available to all high speed internet.  Economic progress depends on it. Must we wait thirty years like we waited for Route 148 to be fixed?
Basic Income Guarantee:  With the acronym BIG, this is the idea of providing everyone with a basic income, so that the poverty line is eradicated and people have enough money to lead productive lives.  This requires a huge re-shaping of our perspective on how people live and cope in our modern society.  It requires
simplifying the tax structures and all the piece-meal “boutique” payments.  Citizens should not have to live in fear of becoming homeless, or finding how to pay for post secondary trade school or university, nor be ostracized for being poor.
Canada’s 150th birthday must be remembered not only for its past achievements; it must be an occasion for looking forward and demanding a better future.

Carl Hager
Rédacteur EN chef interim /
Interim Managing Editor