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Ralph Goodale, MP

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Dear friends,

Thank you for visiting my website. I hope this offers you useful information on the work I am doing as Regina-Wascana’s Member of Parliament.

If you have any questions or comments about any federal program or service, or need help dealing with any department or agency of the Government of Canada, please don’t hesitate to contact my Constituency Office. It is an honour to serve our community.

Ralph
ralph.goodale@parl.gc.ca

Credible climate policies help drive economic growth

Posted on December 5, 2016

 

Canada’s plan to deal with Climate Change is aimed toward the successful development, transportation and marketing of our valuable oil and gas resources in western Canada, while protecting our clean air and clean water for generations to come.

Both sides of this equation are equally important.  Canadians want both a prosperous economy and a clean environment, together.

To get there, the plan involves several inter-dependent components which, taken together, produce the desired results.  One essential piece is putting a price on pollution, but not necessarily a carbon tax.  There are several different ways to do it.  The exact design is up to each province to determine in its own best interests.

So far, eight provinces—British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (representing some 93% of Canada’s population)—have embraced the concept.  But each one is pursuing a different pollution pricing technique.

There is also substantial flexibility, within each of those techniques, to protect sensitive sectors – like agriculture.  British Columbia, for example, has exempted farm fuels, among other things.  Its pollution pricing system has been in place for 10 years, and BC today has Canada’s strongest economy and the best performance on greenhouse gases.

All new revenues from pollution pricing will be completely controlled at the provincial level, and used as each province sees fit.

This would empower Saskatchewan to totally eliminate its personal income tax, if that is what the provincial government feels is the best thing to do.  Or it could slash property taxes on farmland, small businesses and homes.  Or it could cut every form of provincial taxation right across the board by nearly 40%.  The choice would be entirely up to the province.

Or it might decide to pay down provincial debt.  To protect the competitiveness of its oil and gas exports, Saskatchewan could also choose to reduce or even cancel its provincial royalties, and still be money ahead.

Saskatchewan is rightly proud of its Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology.  A price on pollution would make CCS innovation far more competitive in the marketplace, both at home and abroad.  A price on pollution also generates the environmental credibility necessary to build new pipelines—to get western resources to world markets at a better net return.

As proof of this point, the Government of Canada has approved four major pipelines this fall, two for natural gas and two for oil—most recently, the “Line 3” project across Saskatchewan and into the US, and the Kinder Morgan line from Edmonton to Vancouver.

These projects will drive investment, jobs and growth for the western economy.  At the same time, they are environmentally responsible because we are going to price pollution, wean ourselves off coal, transition to more renewable fuels, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, the national plan for the economy and Climate Change includes other major federal investments which could help bolster Saskatchewan:

  • Investments in new science and technology—which could include more CCS, clean-tech, renewables, energy efficiency, new crop production, agro-forestry and other innovations to reduce greenhouse gases and adapt to those impacts of Climate Change which cannot be avoided;
  • Investments in smart new power grids—which could link major industries like Regina’s steel plant, the heavy oil upgrader and potash mines to hydro power from Manitoba or the North West Territories so electricity for these heavy emitters can come completely carbon-free; and
  • Investments in new water control infrastructure—which could better manage damaging flows from severe storms and floods, protecting downstream communities from the costly consequences of Climate Change, while creating new upstream opportunities for irrigation, diversification and value-added economic growth.

Altogether, the combined elements of this plan can work well for Saskatchewan.  It’s about far more than just the status quo or putting a price on pollution.  It’s about positioning our province—including resources and agriculture—to grow, compete and prosper in the new economy of the 21st century.

Multiculturalism week couldn’t be more timely!

Posted on November 21, 2016

We’re celebrating Multicultural Week in Saskatchewan, but a few days ago in Regina and Ottawa, ugly signs of racism and hate were evident in graffiti attacks on several private dwellings, a playground and four different places of worship.

Vulgar words and degrading white supremist symbols, scrawled by cowards at night, are intended to drive wedges of fear and division. But the communities’ reaction, across religious and cultural lines, is most often a strong expression of solidarity against such reprehensible conduct.

This instinct to condemn intolerance and to stand with those who have been victimized is crucial. It sends an important pan-Canadian message that there is no social licence for hate – not in Canada.

Ours is a young country with a small, but complicated population, beginning with Indigenous peoples, and then the Norse and French and British explorers and settlers, and then wave-after-wave of enriching immigration.

And today Canada includes every ethnicity, colour and creed, two official languages and many cultures – the diversity of the whole world – mixed together, not in a melting pot, but as an intricate mosaic, and strung out sparsely across the second-largest landmass on the face of the earth. And from all that complexity we have forged a nation.

The Aga Khan, an honourary citizen of Canada, has described this country as the finest expression of pluralism the world has ever known.

Queen Elizabeth has noted that Canadian citizens are not asked to deny their forebears or forsake their inheritance, but only that each of us should accept and value the cultural freedom of others, just as we enjoy our own.

Prime Minister Trudeau has long championed the point that Canada is strong and successful not in spite of our differences, but precisely because of them. In 1982, his father enshrined multiculturalism and the Charter of Right and Freedoms in our Constitution.

But we shouldn’t think that all of this goodwill is our automatic birthright. We cannot be careless. Our history records some painful failures.

The internment of Ukrainian Canadians in World War One and Japanese Canadians in World War Two. The Chinese Head Tax. The Komagata Maru. The Voyage of the Damned. The election of a Saskatchewan government in 1929 with the perverse involvement of the Ku Klux Klan. A hundred and fifty years of failure in reconciling with Indigenous people. Internet slurs about recent refugees. And that graffiti.

The truth is we always need to work very hard at the principled values that bind us together. Our sense of fairness and justice. A spirit of generosity. Compassion. Caring and sharing. Open hearts and open minds. Pride in our vast diversity.

Better perhaps than most countries, we have practised the creative art of accommodation – to make room for one another. To reach out. To listen to each other. To bridge differences. To try very hard to understand one another.

And once we have listened and understood, Canadians are typically prepared to act with and for each other together. Not because it’s in the narrow self-interest of some comfortable majority. Not because we HAVE to. But because we WANT to. Because the action we take together is right for the fair and decent country we aspire to be.

And thus, Canada is a triumph of the human spirit – built and held together, not so much by the force of law or the force of arms or force of any kind, but by our common will. And that kind of nation-building – the Canadian way – is a never-ending process.

Canada is now and ever will be a precious and delicate work-in-progress. It depends on us, all of us, always, together. And we dare not take it for granted.

Multicultural Week helps to remind us.

Statement on the death of Nia Eastman

Posted on November 10, 2016

Today Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale issued a statement on the death of Nia Eastman:

“It was with great sadness that I learned that Nia Eastman was found deceased by the RCMP today following an Amber Alert.

It is heartbreaking to lose a child, and nothing can ever make that right. I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to Nia’s mother and family, her community and all those who have been touched by this tragedy.  We are all grieving together this most terrible loss.”

A way to cut taxes on income, farm land and small business, while boosting the case for a pipeline

Posted on October 25, 2016

An important debate is underway in Saskatchewan about the tools to use to combat the accelerating impacts of climate change. Significant tax reductions should be part […]

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Remembering 9/11, 2001

Posted on September 12, 2016

Like everyone else, I can remember exactly where I was on that clear, sunny September morning in 2001 when terrorists struck viciously at the United States […]

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Gas Tax Transfer Pays Off For Saskatchewan

Posted on September 2, 2016

Eleven years ago, as Canada’s Finance Minister, I had the privilege of launching a new form of revenue-sharing between the Government of Canada and every municipality […]

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New Education Fund Invests In Saskatchewan’s Young People

Posted on August 23, 2016

Published on Huffington Post

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Keeping Canadians and their Values Safe and Secure

Posted on August 14, 2016

Available here.

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Working Toward A Better, Fairer Immigration Detention System

Posted on July 20, 2016

Published on Huffington Post .

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“Real Change” Gets Off to a Good Start

Posted on June 27, 2016

On October 19th, 2015, Canadians voted to change their government. Prime Minister Trudeau has been in office now for about eight months. The first sitting of […]

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