May 2012 Dialogue with Kelvin Goertzen

In early May a few of us met with Kelvin Goertzen at his Steinbach office. We had a good one hour discussion. In response to that meeting, Kelvin invited us to prepare a list of policy issues we have an interest in discussing, in anticipation of policy development work Kelvin thinks the Conservative Party will do in about 15 months.

We have now sent Kelvin the following note. Anyone wanting to work on any aspect of this, please get back to me.

Hi Kelvin,

Here are some policies that we believe would be more compatible with a vision of a sustainable future than the status quo. We also believe they are quite compatible with a conservative ideology. 

Although I have opinions with respect to all of these issues, I am an expert in none. Nevertheless, I believe with some research we could provide you with a thoughtful one or two page document relevant to our situation in Steinbach. In most cases, I believe we could also assist in bring together two or three knowledgeable people to participate in a discussion of any one of the points below.
  1. Carbon Tax: This should be revenue neutral, so it would be offset either by a reduction in income tax (broadly defined) or a dividend paid to all citizens.
  2. Energy Pricing
  3. Land Value Tax: As advocated by Frank de Jong at a recent meeting of the Frontier Centre. This would also embrace the question of land based school tax.
  4. Steady State Economics: Perpetual growth is impossible. But what is the alternative?
  5. Disaster Preparedness: That is, what's today's equivalent of "Duff's Ditch?"
  6. Encouraging local food supply systems.
  7. Encouraging community resilience.
  8. Urban design for sustainability. Because of the rapid growth now occurring in southeastern Manitoba, this question is of particular relevance to this area.
  9. Develop Steinbach as an Electric Car hub. Given: a) We are the automobile City, b) we enjoy the cheapest electicity on the planet, c) we have 100's of people who commute to Wpg, d) the technology exists that would allow an electric commute to Wpg, e) the commuting distance Steinbach to Wpg is almost ideal!  What would it take to make Steinbach a hub for the popularization of the electric car as the commuting vehicle of choice?
If you are in a position to say which idea(s) has the most appeal, we would work at that.

Eric Rempel
Chair, SETI