• The Buffalo Tribune Team

NDP's radical policy convention includes Abolishing billionaires & Canadian Forces

This past weekend the Federal NDP Party convention, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh brought forth polices that would target the wealth and national defense communities in Canada.


Even before Singh entered into a political profession and was involved in the law scene, he was no stranger to the spotlight as "street style photographers stopped him and Gurratan, shooting [him and his] brothers like GQ models, their sleeves artfully rolled, their faces conveying practiced insouciance as they leaned against their retro fixies."


Over 500 resolutions were issued in preparation of the NDP's virtual convention, which kicks off in three days. Some proposed policies are radical—even for the NDP.


They include the following topics:

Personal wealth:


Citing extreme wealth inequality and an increase in the number of Canadian billionaires, some NDP members have proposed the following:

  • Abolishing billionaires by taxing all gross wealth above $1 billion at 100 per cent.

  • Create a wealth tax for personal incomes of the rich (79% of Canadians support a wealth tax, they argue)

  • Campaign for severe penalties against tax evasion, including the confiscation of untaxed profits, asset seizures and jail time. This also includes policy to end tax havens, and forcing the Web Giants to pay taxes in Canada, in addition for progressive taxation of personal incomes of the very wealthy, corporate profits, large personal inheritances, and stock market financial transactions.

Health

Certain NDP members have called on the federal government to modify health in the following manner:

  • Work with provincial and territorial governments to implement high quality long-term care, and ensure all facilities are built on a non-profit model.

  • Create a Crown corporation to produce vaccines, pharmaceuticals and medical devices; build necessary infrastructure to produce said vaccines/medicines for Canadians

  • Negotiate a new Canada Health Accord with the provinces and territories to ensure vision, dental, hearing, mental health, podiatry, physiotherapy, chiropractic and seniors' care are covered.

  • Decriminalizing the possession for personal use of all drugs, with the goal of working with provinces and territories to promote the rehabilitation and recovery of drug users and to reduce overdoses

  • Declaring reproductive healthcare and abortion services human rights

Labour and workers

  • The implementation of a progressive guaranteed basic income system in Canada, which maintains existing levels of publicly funded social supports

  • Implement a $15 or $20 per hour federal minimum wage.

  • Nationalization of the major auto companies, to be operated under workers’ and community control, and advocate a shift towards building fuel-efficient, environmentally sustainable cars, including electric delivery vehicles for Canada Post, electric feet vehicles for all levels of government and public agencies, and especially mass transit vehicles designed to meet society’s transportation needs.

  • Reduce the work week throughout Canada to 32 hours, without loss of pay or benefits to workers, and to outlaw mandatory overtime.

Environment and transit

New Democrats could debate resolutions calling on Ottawa to:

  • Achieve emissions reduction of 55 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

  • Develop a net-zero building code for all new buildings by 2025.

  • Actively campaign against all new pipelines.

  • Support the removal of subsidies to fossil fuel industries and support incentives to develop Canadian renewable energy.

  • Support legislation that imposes a green tariff on foreign goods and services from countries that do not have a comparable carbon pricing system.

  • Establish free public transit within one year of forming government.


Indigenous policy

  • Ending the heroic commemoration of Macdonald and instead aim to present Canadians with a nuanced and holistic view of Canada’s first Prime Minister by working with municipalities to remove Macdonald statues from public spaces and display them in museums instead.

  • Another calls for the return of Crown lands and the restoration of Indigenous jurisdiction to Indigenous nations, commonly known as "Land Back."

  • One resolution calls for the incorporation of Indigenous symbols into the Canadian flag, with all-party consensus and consultation with First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists.

  • Supports the permanent removal of all non-indigenous police forces from indigenous lands.

Foreign relations

  • Call upon Israel to end its occupation and settlement program, lift the Gaza blockade, recognize its Arab-Palestinian citizens’ right to full equality, and address refugee claims fairly

  • Recognize the State of Palestine and upgrade the status of the Palestinian General Delegation in Ottawa to the General Delegation of Palestine, with full immunities.

  • While strongly condemning antisemitism, opposing the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition with its examples of antisemitism, which have been used to attempt to silence those who denounce grave abuses of human rights of the Palestinian people

Social issues

  • Others call for the complete or partial defunding, disarming and disbanding of police forces in Canada (see above).

  • One resolution in particular calls on the government to freeze military spending, while another proposes "the phasing out of the Canadian Armed Forces."

  • Furthermore, retraining said members of the Canadian Armed Forces , at the expense of the federal government, into civil service roles that help expand Canadian, provincial and municipal social services, such as expanded health care, education, community services, public transit and parks.

  • And another resolution calls on an NDP government to ban the use of pepper spray by law enforcement because of the long-term adverse health effects.

Housing

  • A moratorium on evictions, mortgage foreclosures and utility cut-offs due to unemployment.

  • A national housing strategy to ensure every Canadian has access to a safe, adequate and accessible home.

  • The construction of affordable housing on vacant federal lands.

Students

New Democrats may debate calling on the federal government to:

  • Cancel student debt for all current and former post-secondary students.

  • Support a universal transit pass for students.

  • Incorporate student housing in the national housing policy.


You can read all of the policies here:

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