Internet in isolated communities, especially in the Canadian North, is expensive and limited. With the end of the Community Access Program, seed funding is now gone for a number of communities. Like the railway of the 19th century, the internet and modern telecommunications can link the country and make the distances between our citizens seem smaller. It is also a platform for entrepreneurship and job creation in small communities, not to mention an invaluable tool for education. To that end, the OYL will urge the Liberal Party of Canada to push for a Northern telecommunications strategy to expand infrastructure and improve access, both at community access points and in homes, and to provide training and education. This would be done in partnership with private industry, sourced through an open, transparent, and competitive bidding process.
Northern Canada Telecommunications Rehabilitation
Trevor LaForce | Ottawa West-Nepean Young Liberals
WHEREAS modern internet and communications technologies are powerful tools in education;
WHEREAS isolated communities in the Northern provinces and the territories, especially Nunavut, are frequently without access to broadband internet access;
WHEREAS the availability of internet and communications technology provides tools for entrepreneurship, new innovation, and job creation;
and WHEREAS the end of the Community Access Program will cause disruptions in staffing and services in Northern community access points;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Ontario Young Liberals urge the Liberal Party of Canada to adopt a renewed Northern telecommunications plan as part of its platform.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT such a telecommunications plan would involve an expansion of the available infrastructure and an affordable cost to communities and individuals for both community access points and in-home service.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT any contracts awarded for the expansion of northern telecommunications infrastructure be done via an open, transparent, competitive bidding process.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT this plan would provide funding to communities for training programs and grants for improved technical education in schools.
Foreign ownership of and profit from the Alberta oil sands is at an all-time high. Environmental concerns are frequently ignored, and the cost of Canadian oil and gas to Canadians is rising. Further, oil interests exercise unprecedented influence in politics. In order to begin correcting these issues, Canadian oil should be nationalized and new emphasis placed on forward-looking, clean, renewable technologies and fuels.
Nationalization of Canadian Oil Industries for Canadians
Brian Wallin | Ottawa West-Nepean Young Liberals
WHEREAS the Alberta oil sands are three-quarters foreign owned, with forty percent of profit going to foreign-owned companies;
WHEREAS new technologies and forms of energy are not pursued to the same degree as pipelines;
WHEREAS oil companies try to undermine the political process in order to benefit themselves;
WHEREAS the production of oil is often not environmentally friendly and has ill effects on the lives of Canadians who live near production sites;
WHEREAS the individual in society cannot be free when the high cost of living supercedes their value as great Canadian resources;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Federal Liberal Party of Canada seek the nationalization of Canadian oil for Canadian people.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT a Liberal government would advance research into clean, renewable sources of energy through incentive and stimulus to those industries.
Currently, low-impact sources of energy are not cost-effective. Limited, large-scale projects like wind and solar farms are good first starts, but putting those technologies on all doorsteps would jumpstart the industry. By providing a granting program to subsidize the installation of those technologies in new-built homes, contractors would be able to not only construct homes that minimize their impact on the environment and reduce lifetime energy costs for homeowners. This would create partnerships between green and traditional industries, scale up production of green technologies to be more cost-effective for homeowners who want to retrofit existing homes, and expand green-collar industries installing and servicing these new technologies.
Funding Green Energy in New Homes
Trevor LaForce, Brian Wallin and Josh Kaine | Ottawa West-Nepean Young Liberals
WHEREAS the rate of adoption of green technologies in the home is still low;
WHEREAS Ontario should continue to set a national example in the use and financing of renewable energy;
WHEREAS the Ontario Liberal Party currently supports the use green technologies such as wind and solar farms;
WHERAS a state funded program would reduce the overall cost of these technologies for consumers;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT Ontario provide cost offsets in the form of granting programs to companies involved in the construction of homes to ensure pre-sale installation of technologies to reduce a household’s environmental footprint.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT a wide variety of technologies be supported by this program, including: geothermal wells, solar panels, rooftop wind turbines, rain collection and filtration, as well as technologies for waste management and repurposing.
BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED THAT these funds be awarded on a pre-agreed per-technology, per-home basis.
Ontario’s education system is outdated. Architected in the 19th century to service an emerging industrial base and saddled with pre-Confederation-era legislation, the current primary and secondary systems are increasingly unable to produce students who go on with healthy living, fitness, life skills, and basic job skills. Universities must cater to underperforming first-year classes. Health care must cater to less naturally healthy individuals. And students are not civic-minded individuals; the voting population is dwindling and gentrified. This policy calls for a commission to recommend reforms to Ontario’s education system, so that a student’s education is designed for lifelong learning, health, civic engagement, and self-sufficiency.
Forward-looking Education in Ontario
Trevor LaForce | Ottawa West-Nepean Young Liberals
WHEREAS Ontario’s current education system has its roots in 19th-century British models;
WHEREAS the underlying structure of the education system is designed to service an industrial-age economy;
WHEREAS today’s digital natives interact with information and their learning in ways not planned for by the architects of our education system;
WHEREAS new media and information technologies mean that education is no longer bound to the classroom;
WHEREAS university programs are increasingly forced to cater to a lack of basic skills, such as essay-writing, time management, and communication;
WHEREAS the rising levels of childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes, amongst other concerns, showcase a need for a more comprehensive look at youth health and nutrition;
WHEREAS the burden on health care and welfare services can be reduced by ensuring that students have life and job skills to maintain their own health and employment;
WHEREAS voter turnout is in decline and gentrified;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the province call a commission in order to recommend reforms to the education system and curriculum.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT health, fitness, life skills, basic job skills, and civics be priorities in this study, and that recommendations be focused on creating a holistic education incorporating these elements.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the aforementioned elements be incorporated at all stages of education to design for lifelong learning.
Hey Young Liberals!
Policy Parliament is right around the corner, and as such, it’s time to flex our own policy muscles.
We’ll of course workshop our policies at our upcoming policy meeting (go and vote on a time if you haven’t already!) but here’s a place to start building out your idea.
Federal/Provincial – is your policy going to affect only Ontario or the country at large?
Title – Keep it simple, direct, and to the point.
Authorship – WHO ARE YOU!?
Preamble – “Whereas” statements, providing the background for and basis of your policy. Why do we care? Why is this important?
Direction – Your BIRT statements. What are we going to do about it? What position or actions are we going to take?
Here’s an example I happened across and borrowed from oyl.org. It’s from their 2010 Summer Fling policy document:
HIGH SPEED RAIL IN CANADA: DEVELOPING A PROGRESSIVE RAIL SYSTEM, WHILE ENSURING A GREEN FUTURE
Jessica Stark and Richard Francella
WHEREAS Canada’s railway system is currently an important travel option for Canadians and is an economically and environmentally justifiable alternative to other means of transportation which produce higher emissions,
WHERAS Canada is subject to strong public pressure to achieve its carbon emission reduction targets as per the Copenhagen Accord,
WHERAS VIA Rail currently faces low ridership due to its slow travel times and aging infrastructure,
WHEREAS high speed rail has been proven to have extremely positive effects on tourism in both Europe and Asia,
WHEREAS the United States has recently unveiled a high speed rail proposal of its own, and has urged Canada to also adopt a high speed rail system in order to compliment this planned network,
WHERAS over 80% of Canadians favour the prospect high speed rail, according to a 2009 EKOS poll,
WHEREAS a high speed rail system will provide an inter-provincial transportation option that has no reliance on foreign oil and provides efficient travel times for Canadians,
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Ontario Young Liberals urge the Liberal Party of Canada to significantly increase funding and create a policy for a high speed railway system as part of its platform.
BE IT FURTHER RESOVED THAT this system would link major cities in widely used rail corridors in order to increase employment and ensure green and efficient transportation for Canadians.
BE IT FUTHER RESSOLVED THAT Canada would investigate the prospect of linking its high speed system with that of the United States in order to ensure travel constancy on shared routes.
So what are your policy ideas? Let’s get writing!
Paddle your own canoe, guys and gals,