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The world changed quite dramatically in the years after Agenda 21 was framed. Neoliberalism -- with its signature policy prescriptions of privatization, deregulation, trade liberalization, financialization, structural adjustment, welfare cutbacks and monetarist shock therapy -- became the drug of choice or necessity for much of the world.
The federal leaders' debate on the economy focused on important issues but no one talked about a different vision for Canada's economy. A better economic vision would support the right of all Canadians to live in a healthy environment, with access to clean air and water and healthy food. It would respect planetary boundaries and provide the moral imperative to decrease growing income disparities. Businesses would be required to pay for environmental damage they inflict, capital would be more widely distributed and ideas, such as employee shareholder programs with ethically invested stocks, would be the norm.