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EDITORIAL: Out in left field with the federal NDP fringe

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh's goal to tip the balance of power in Parliament to push measures that 'support people' could see him backing the Trudeau government for another three years.
Jagmeet Singh is the leader of the federal NDP. — Reuters file photo

Just to be fair here, a few weeks ago much was made in the media about policy platform positions proposed for the federal Conservatives, especially some of the more outlandish ones from social conservative party members. The proposals were, as the argument went, a sign of the party’s potential move further to the right.

Well, this week, as the NDP is having its annual convention, its members are also looking at a variety of options.

Just as the media carefully watched the more outlandish social conservative resolutions proposed for consideration by the Conservatives, it’s only reasonable to highlight some of the more out-there NDP resolutions. In the end, 450 proposed resolutions will be winnowed down to just 70.


… No party, left or right, has a monopoly on fringe members or ideas.


Many of the resolutions are exactly what you’d expect: increases in minimum wage, better support for unionization, stopping the use of replacement workers, bringing in paid sick days, higher standards for long-term care homes, a guaranteed basic annual income, along with universal pharmacare, dental care and mental health care.

But here are some other items on the table now:

  • Abolish billionaires. “Whereas every billionaire is a policy failure… Therefore be it resolved that the NDP add the following clause to Section 1.7 of the Policy Book: ‘All gross wealth above $1 billion to be taxed at 100 per cent.’”
  • National phone service. “Whereas telecom giants abuse their monopoly power to deliver shoddy customer service, inflict deceptive marketing and provide poor service coverage, specifically in rural and Indigenous communities; be it resolved that an NDP government will develop publicly owned telecoms.”
  • Halting bank fees. “Whereas predatory fees are an overreach of the banking sector in its pursuit of immense profit. Whereas working people are overwhelmingly targeted and kept poor by predatory bank fees. Whereas elimination thereof would help the NDP in an election campaign. Be it resolved that: the NDP eliminate withdrawal, overdraft, inactivity, ATM and cash deposit fees.”
  • "An NDP government (would) place all public enterprises under democratic control by their workers, instituting direct election of plant managers and enterprise directors, with the right of recall by their electors, and have meaningful participation in decision-making by consumers, environmental groups and local communities.”
  • “Be it resolved that an NDP government will commit to phasing out the Canadian Armed Forces.” The same resolution would retrain Armed Forces personnel into federal civil service jobs, with training paid for by the taxpayer and the former Armed Forces personnel receiving full pay and benefits.
  • There’s also “Gradually defunding the RCMP with the eventual goal of abolition.”

In other words, no party, left or right, has a monopoly on fringe members or ideas. And the fringe doesn’t necessarily define them, either.


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