As a politically active citizen, I identify with the Conservative Party of Canada. Jeremy Gilchrist’s editorial did not do the Conservative Party justice. It is editorials such as his, absent of factual and logical arguments, which lead to condescending views of conservatives. I am not a staunch conservative and do not agree with all actions of the Conservative Party. Albeit, there are many reasons I vote for the Conservative Party of Canada. I vote conservative because they focus on economy. The period between 2006 and 2009, the worst record of economic growth since the Great Depression, was not the fault of the Conservative Party. On the contrary, the Conservative Party successfully helped steer Canada through the Great Recession. The response of fiscal stimulus policy along with the Bank of Canada’s monetary policy resulted in a 6.3 per cent improvement in employment from July 2009 to 2013 — the best recovery of any G-7 nation. Canada has the lowest corporate tax rate of the G-7 nations, creating investment incentives for other nations and proving domestic corporations with income to hire more employees and reinvest in research and development. The Conservative Party has lowered the tax rate from 21 per cent in 2006 to 15 per cent in 2013. Federal tax revenue has largely remained stable throughout this period contrary to the expectations of conservative opponents. I vote conservative because of their focus on foreign relationships through free-trade agreements (FTAs). It is in both consumers’ and producers’ best interest to diversify our trading partners and expand our export markets. Since 2006, the Conservative Party has enforced six FTAs, signed two, and concluded negotiations with the European Union, a huge opportunity for Canadian-made products. Canada is currently discussing new FTAs with ten nations. I vote conservative because support of oil sands development is beneficial for the entire Canadian economy. Businesses across Canada provide equipment, labour, and innovative environmental technology to companies operating in the oil sands. In fact, development of the oil sands is not under federal jurisdiction. Section 92A of the 1982 Constitution delineates the responsibility of natural resource development, conservation, and management to provincial governments. The Joint Canada-Alberta Implementation Plan for Oil Sands Monitoring continues to uphold stringent, innovative environmental monitoring programs. It is unrealistic to stop developing Alberta’s oil sands in the short term. The best alternative is to make operations as safe and clean as possible. Investment in environmental protection and research and development of new technologies supported by the conservative government is making this possible. The Conservative Party is the only government in Canada to formally apologize to First Nations for the residential school system. Oil-sands corporations have employed 1,700 permanent aboriginal employees and provided $1.3 billion to aboriginal-owned businesses in goods and services. While I vote conservative, I believe all political parties have a vision for Canada to be the most successful nation in the world. It is up to each of us to make an informed decision on which party fits our own values and ideals.
4A Environment and Business