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Question 7: Prosperity

How should Canada take advantage of its location in North America to increase prosperity while promoting our distinctive identity?



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Date: 2003-05-01 17:53:57
First and foremost recognize that a sustainable economy and a growing economy may not be mutually compatible goals, and that the priority, globally, must be a sustainable economy.

Second, recognise that Canadian prosperity cannot be pursued in isolation from or in opposition to the prosperity of other nations. Canada should NOT support positions at international trade fora which promote the competitiveness of a few Canadian companies at the cost of weakening the economies of developing nations, but should rather seek ways to engage in trade that are mutually enhancing to the peoples of all nations. Of course, there will also be times when Canada needs to defend its economic interests with vigour.

Canada should support positive measures to reduce international financial instability such as a tax on currency exchange.

Canada should draw up clearer and firmer rules for Canadian companies operating in areas of conflict (e.g. Sudan). Canada needs to be alert to situations in which Canadian companies operating abroad draw criticism for lax environmental and human rights policies and take appropriate measures to rectify the situation. In this regard, appropriate screening policies should be in place for the Canada Export Development agency to assure that Canadian tax funds are not supporting investments that are environmentally questionable such as the Three Gorges Dam in China.

Finally, Canada should use its influence within the G8, the OAS, APEC and the WTO to promote its values as the basis on which international agreements (especially those on trade and investments) are based.
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