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Chance For Change: NDP Resolution Breakdown
Here's an overview of what New Democrats will be voting on this weekend at their national convention
During the NDP convention this weekend in Hamilton, ON., party members will have the opportunity to set the policy agenda moving forward. The resolutions are structured into six categories with ten prioritized resolutions under each.
A big caveat to note is that it is exceedingly rare to get through all ten prioritized resolutions. It’s usually the case that only the top four will be voted on, five if you get really lucky with the process. To keep things short for this article, I will only cover the top three resolutions and highlight any other policies that stand out.
Nonetheless, let’s go through each category to see what New Democrats will be focusing on this convention.
Section 1: 'Taking Better Care of Each Other’
Top of the list is a mental healthcare resolution calling for mental healthcare services to be made universal and apart of the existing public healthcare system. This would, ideally, treat mental healthcare as any other part of our existing public healthcare system and allow for folks to access it readily and without paying for it upfront.
The second resolution would require the federal health transfers be used for public healthcare only and exclude any private delivery of healthcare.
Number three is the most interesting here with ‘Creating a Crown Pharmaceutical Corporation’. This resolution would seek to create a publicly owned and operated pharmaceutical company focused on manufacturing domestic vaccines, medical devices, and other pharmaceutical for Canadians.
Other resolutions focus on reproductive rights, dementia care, and higher wages for childcare workers.
Section 2: “Respect For Our Planet & Workers”
True to form, the policy block focused on the economy has eight out of ten policies proposed, and promoted, by one of the major Canadian unions (Steelworkers and UCFW, in particular).
First in this list is a Steelworker resolution that aims to invest in the green economy and more strongly support workers who wish to form and join unions. Naturally, this resolution also implements policies that would ‘prioritize lower-carbon products and resources such as steel, aluminum, cement and wood'.
The second policy involves artificial intelligence, a resolution that was also provided by the Steelworkers union. The policy simply wishes to hold AI-use in the workplace accountable and ensure that any job losses from AI implementation is limited.
And the third resolution is also from the Steelworkers with a focus legislation to generally improve workers rights. This one is particularly vague as it does not provide any concrete policies to implement, more a signal of general support for workers.
One of the only non-union proposals in this list focus around the creation of a Climate Corp which would look to use young workers to restore wetlands, plant trees, and generally protect Canadian wilderness.
Section 3: “Making Life More Affordable”
The number one proposal in this section is the implementation of a wealth tax, noting that a tax of 1%, 2%, and 3% would be implemented on those with total assets of $10, $25, and $50 million, respectively.
Secondly, a move to cap excessive CEO pay. Passing this resolution would mean the NDP would make large companies disclose their CEO-worker pay ratios and increase corporate income tax for companies with large disparities in that ratio. They would also implement regulations to prevent tax avoidance and use of contractors to avoid disclosing their ratio’s.
Thirdly, a policy proposal to build 3.5 million affordable homes in a decade. This is more of a virtue signal as there’s no real policy proposals within the text of the resolution outside of focusing on ‘publicly funded social, non-profit, and coop housing’.
Also interestingly, policy four on this list is the creation of a public telecom corporation, citing the need to allow for affordable internet and phone pricing across the country (Saskatchewan has Sasktel that does this exact job).
There are other policies focused on housing, increasing old age payments, and increasing the corporate tax to 18%.
Section 4: “Indigenous Justice & Human Rights in Canada”
For anyone who paid attention to the recent Manitoba election, you’ll be unsurprised to know that the number one policy resolution in this section is to search the Prairie Green Landfill and the policy is stated as just that.
The second resolution seeks to issue an official proclamation to respond to ongoing violence against indigenous women, girls and LGBT+ individuals. This policy would also reverse the Liberals $150 million cut to women’s shelters and create a ‘Red Dress Alert’ system, for missing indigenous women, girls and LGBT+ individuals.
The third resolution is seeking to endorse and support the 29 recommendations included in a white paper of the status of trans and gender diverse people, which was prepared by MP Randall Garrison.
Other resolutions were focused on LGBT+ issues, ending the genocide of indigenous peoples, and protecting workers experiencing domestic violence.
Section 5: “Strengthening Canada’s Institutions & Canada’s Place In The World”
First and foremost, the NDP want to advocate for increase funding and resources for refugee settlement and assistance programs while eliminating permanent residence fees and streamlining that process overall.
The second policy, supported by a large group of NDP associations, is a citizen assembly on electoral reform. This would amend the existing policy book to ‘prioritize electoral reform based on a citizen’s consensus for change and a transparent parliamentary committee process on electoral reform.’
Thirdly, the NDP are pushing for further solidarity and justice for Ukraine. This would include supporting international court investigations into war crimes against the Ukrainian people, prosecuting Russian leaders for the crime of aggression, funding for the collection of evidence for war crimes, increasing funding for Ukrainian survivors of sexual assault, and helping to rebuild in the region.
Other policies in this section include recognizing the 1984 Sikh Genocide, rejecting unilateral reunification efforts by the People’s Republic of China against Taiwan, targets for international aid, and supporting the Iranian people ‘in their quest for secularism and democracy’.
Section 6: “Constitution”
We won’t bore you with this section as this pertains to the constitution of the NDP. Many of the changes here will be focused on either making it easier for leaders to get the boot, easier to attend convention via remote methods, or strengthening existing internal party structures such as their federal council.
There will be a position for emergency resolutions prior to the convention that will be considered and slotted into various voting blocks. It’s highly suspected that there will be movement on the issue of Palestine and Israel given the very recent flare-up in the region this past week.
Otherwise, the above topics, in the top three of their respective categories, will almost certainly be voted on.
You can also expect a leadership review for Singh, although early estimations are there isn’t much appetite to turf him as leader, but it will be interesting to see how much of the party is still behind the leader after the party has failed to move the needle in the polls amid recent Conservative surges and Liberal plummets.
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