With an election looming, grassroots New Democrats propose over 500 policy resolutions
Federal NDP convention delegates are sifting through more than 500 resolutions over the long weekend to decide how to chart the party’s path forward.
Delegates will have 24 hours to prioritize the resolutions on April 6 — just three days before the virtual convention kicks off.
With talk of an early federal election running hot, party insiders say this convention offers the party an early opportunity to get campaign-ready. 24newsreads.com News combed through the resolutions and lays out some of the highlights below.
Taxing the rich
The resolutions being considered for debate at the convention include proposals to:
Abolish billionaires by taxing all gross wealth above $1 billion at 100 per cent.
Create a wealth tax for personal incomes of the rich.
Campaign for severe penalties against tax evasion, including the confiscation of untaxed profits, asset seizures and jail time.
The party could end up debating several resolutions that would call for changes to the way health services are funded and delivered. Among other things, they call on the federal government to:
Work with provincial and territorial governments to implement high quality long-term care, and ensure all facilities are built on a non-profit model.
Pass legislation requiring the maintenance of an adequate stockpile of personal protective equipment at all times, and establish a public agency to manufacture and distribute.
Create a Crown corporation to produce vaccines, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
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.
Decriminalize all illegal drugs.
Update the NDP policy book to state that all Canadians are entitled to access abortion and reproductive health care services, regardless of their geographical location. The resolution says that no one should have to travel more than 200 kilometres to obtain such care.
Labour and workers
New Democrats may agree to call on the federal government to:
Create a guaranteed basic income.
Implement a $15 or $20 per hour federal minimum wage.
Legislate at least seven employer-paid sick days for all federally regulated workers and 14 additional days during public health outbreaks.
Legislate the right to strike for all working people.
Make it an offence for employers to use replacement workers during a strike or lockout.
Nationalize major auto companies and shift toward building environmentally sustainable cars.
Reduce the work week to 32 hours without loss of pay or benefits and 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.
One motion pushes for “an end to the heroic commemoration” of Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, and to remove his statues from public places.
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.
Palestinian rights and foreign relations
Several resolutions touch on Israel and the Palestinian Territories. One specifically calls for an end to all “trade and economic cooperation with illegal settlements in Israel-Palestine” and a suspension of arms sales to Israel until “Palestinian rights are upheld.”
Another calls for the NDP to oppose the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, arguing that it has “been used to attempt to silence those who denounce grave abuses of human rights of the Palestinian people.”
As India’s farmers’ protest continues, one resolution calls on the party to push the Canadian government to condemn the Indian government’s response and to stand up for the farmers.
One resolution calls for a review of the RCMP’s $10 billion budget and significant investments in mental health, de-escalation and harm reduction in cases involving substance abuse.
Others call for the complete or partial defunding, disarming and disbanding of police forces in Canada.
One resolution in particular calls on the government to freeze military spending, while another proposes “the phasing out of the Canadian Armed Forces.”
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.
Internet and affordability
Resolutions being considered for the convention include calls for Canada to:
Force web giants to pay taxes in Canada.
Place the telecommunications industry under public ownership.
Create a publicly-owned telecom, following the example of SaskTel in Saskatchewan.
Propose a national strategy for broadband Internet services.
Housing resolutions include demands for:
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.
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.
These are just some of the highligh .