We want answers. The NDP Socialist Caucus is posing questions to the registered candidates for federal NDP Leader because we think that party members deserve to know where the candidates stand – beyond vague generalities and very broad slogans.
1. The benefits of robotization and new technologies generally should be shared, not utilized to make the owners super rich and to drive more workers into poverty. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will fight for a reduction in the work week without a loss in pay or benefits?
2. About 235,000 Canadians become homeless every year, with 35,000 sleeping in shelters and on the streets on any given night. 1.7 million are unable to afford adequate, suitable shelter. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will demand the construction of half a million quality social housing units by means of a publicly-owned land assembly and housing construction enterprise?
3. For decades, NDP leaders have gone along with the New Cold War against Russia and China, and backed western military intervention abroad, including the bombing of Libya. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will demand that Canada get out of NATO immediately?
4. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will actively support the worldwide campaign backed by unions and parliamentary bodies to effect Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Zionist apartheid state until its occupation of the West Bank ends?
5. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will demand a steeply progressive tax system, including the following measures:
a) Tax Capital Gains Income at the same rate as employment income, bringing in $8 billion dollars
b) Increase the Corporate Tax rate from 15% to 21%, bringing in $9 billion dollars
c) Eliminate corporate stock options as a benefit, with a net savings of $600 million
d) Cut Justin Trudeau’s “middle class tax cut” and enhance the Guaranteed Income Supplement and Child Benefits, and
e) Increase income tax for earners with income over $200,000 to 40%, and for earners with income over $900,000 to 50%.
6. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will demand greatly expanded public ownership and economic democracy to include Canada’s railway system, major hydro, oil, gas and other energy corporations, the giant telecoms, and at least two of the major banks?
7. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will fight for a Green Industrial Revolution to shift rapidly from carbon and nuclear energy towards safe, clean and renewable energy technologies, and that this rapid transition be funded by conscripting the profits of big oil and gas, and put a high priority on the employment of displaced, indigenous and young workers?
8. For indigenous peoples, it’s time not just for “reconciliation” but restitution. If diamond mining corporations in the north can provide their employees world class housing, food, healthcare and recreation, they should do no less for Canada’s original peoples who deserve to share the wealth that has been plundered, or the resource extraction firms should face expropriation. Do you agree with that, and commit to a policy of No More Pipelines?
9. The NDP should be transformed from a mainly electoral machine into a vast social movement that fosters greater democracy. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will partner with unions and social justice groups, ensure more time for policy debate at its conventions, and make them more accessible rather than use them chiefly as a fund-raising exercise? Do you commit to end the present practice that allows party leaders to ignore adopted policies? Do you commit to increase funding of Electoral District Associations and put an end to top-down interference with local candidate nominations?
10. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will fight for a national Pharmacare and Dental Care programme, and a national $10 a day quality childcare service, to be funded by steeply progressive taxation?