The NDP Socialist Caucus Federal Conference on December 2 adopted the following resolutions for the NDP Convention to be held in Ottawa, February 16-18, 2018. Please widely circulate the SC resolutions. Propose them for adoption at meetings of NDP District Associations, ND Youth clubs and affiliated Unions, for the purpose of submission to the Federal NDP Convention, for debate and vote there. The deadline for submission to the NDP federal office is December 16, 2017. Please let us know when any of our resolutions is adopted, in whole or in part, by any organization.
1. End Paradise Tax Evasion
Whereas the federal government is losing about $10-15 Billion a year in revenue from offshore tax havens alone, not to mention billions more lost due to tax loopholes and gifts to the rich;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign for the imposition of severe penalties against tax evasion to include confiscation of untaxed profits, seizure of assets of equivalent value held by tax outlaws, along with jail time for the culprits and their accomplices.
And Be It Further Resolved that the NDP actively campaign for a progressively steep increase in taxation of personal incomes above $250,000 a year, corporate profits above $1 million a year, personal inheritances above $1 million, and all stock market financial transactions, while phasing out exemptions for capital gains and regressive taxes like the HST.
2. For Rapid Conversion to Renewable, Green Energy. No New Pipelines.
Whereas the big drop in the price of oil presents a golden opportunity to oppose pipeline construction, to re-tool, and to go for green energy conversion (wind, hydro, wave energy, solar, geothermal and biomass);
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign in opposition to all new pipeline construction, and for a rapid conversion to renewable, green energy systems, recognizing that in order to fund such a gigantic energy shift it will be necessary to conscript the enormous accumulated wealth of the resource corporations by nationalizing Big Oil and Gas under workers’ and community democratic control, while fully respecting indigenous peoples’ rights.
3. For Pharmacare Fully Integrated into Medicare
Whereas a national drug plan will save Canadians over $7 billion, and is urgently needed to improve public health, especially of seniors and the poor;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign for a national drug plan that would be an integral part of public medicare for all residents of Canada – not just making the federal government a central bulk purchaser of pharmaceuticals, but also a producer of generic drugs through a publicly-owned corporation, and making free provision of medication a feature of public health care and a matter of right for all patients.
4. Solidarity with Palestine
Whereas millions of Palestinians face indignities and injustice by the State of Israel every day;
And whereas Benjamin Netanyahu and his racist Likhud coalition were re-elected after promising there will never be a Palestinian state;
And whereas the two-state solution is dead and the only alternative is a one-person, one-vote, democratic secular Palestine;
And whereas, when the 2015 NDP federal election campaign blocked or removed NDP candidates who simply mentioned Israeli state crimes against Palestinians, it was a gross disservice to social justice;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign in support of the demand of Palestinian unions, civil society and unions across Canada and around the world which call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Israeli state until it dismantles the apartheid wall, allows refugees to return home, ends its demolition of Palestinian homes and olive groves, lifts the siege of Gaza, ends its occupation of Palestinian lands, and terminates its apartheid practices.
5. Campaign against CETA and TPPA
Whereas the latest proposed so-called ‘free trade’ deals, like their predecessors, would privatize and de-regulate the economy, worsen labour conditions, empower corporations to sue and obtain compensation from Canadian governments that ‘interfere’ in their ability to maximize profits, and would place more obstacles in the path of social ownership and public spending;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign against the Canada-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
6. Eliminate Tuition and Student Debt
Whereas the cost of post-secondary tuition has skyrocketed in recent years;
And whereas many students are now graduating from post-secondary institutions with student-debt of over $60,000 each.
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign for the cancellation of student debt and post-secondary education fees, and vigorously support student campaigns and protests to rapidly reduce and abolish fees, following the inspiring example of the massive student strike in Quebec in 2012.
Therefore Be it resolved that the NDP actively campaign to ensure that federal funding for education imposes requirements on the provinces to immediately freeze tuition, and through annual reductions, eliminate tuition completely within five years. In the meantime, students can turn to debt settlement companies like creditassociates.com to help with any debt they have accrued over time and see how they can be helped.
7. Raise the Minimum Wage
Whereas the current minimum wage is far too low to support a single person, let alone a family;
And whereas the current minimum wage unfairly punishes the young, and food/beverage servers;
Therefore Be it Resolved that the NDP actively campaign for, and seek to legislate, the elimination of distinctions in the minimum wage law based on age or occupation.
Be it further resolved that the NDP actively campaign for, and seek to legislate an immediate increase in the minimum wage to $20/hour, and include a permanent, annual cost of living adjustment to keep pace with inflation.
8. Canada out of NATO
Whereas the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a relic of the Cold War and a tool of US aggression in pursuit of corporate interests and militarism;
And whereas Canadian forces in Afghanistan engaged in propping up a US-puppet government of human rights abusers, drug traffickers and warlords, wasting money and lives to further a western agenda of geo-political power and plunder of resources;
Therefore be it resolved that the NDP actively campaign to get Canada out of NATO, to get NATO out of Afghanistan, and to disengage Canadian forces from any support role for the U.S. and its client regimes around the world.
9. Hands Off Venezuela, Remove Helene Laverdiere as NDP Foreign Affairs Critic
Whereas the NDP stands for peace, social justice and non-interference in the affairs of other countries;
And whereas NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Helene Laverdiere attacked the progressive government of Venezuela following its successful Constituent Assembly vote, spoke to the anti-Palestine lobby group American Israel Public Affairs Committee and went on an AIPAC-funded visit to Israel where she participated in a ceremony hosted by the racist Jewish National Fund, supports more sanctions against Moscow and sending more Canadian troops to the Russian border, urges the U.S. to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, and backs the White Helmets, a propaganda tool of the western-backed war against Syria;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively oppose foreign interference in Venezuela, defend Venezuela’s right to self-determination, reject alignment with U.S. policy in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and beyond, and request the immediate removal of MP Helene Laverdiere as NDP Foreign Affairs Critic.
10. Put Socialism Back into the Federal NDP Constitution
Whereas reduction of the term “socialism” in the federal NDP Constitution preamble in 2013 to a mere background reference concerning the roots of the CCF-NDP implies that the party today uncritically embraces the capitalist system, which is characterized by growing inequality, waste, environmental destruction, war and economic chaos;
And whereas the 2015 NDP federal election campaign, which focused on non-mandated policies calling for a balanced budget at all costs, and no major new taxes on corporations and the rich, represented a further shift away from traditional NDP values;
Therefore Be It Resolved that this convention amends the federal NDP Constitution to include in its preamble the following: “Socialism, a cooperative commonwealth in which public ownership and democratic control by working people of the major means of production, distribution and exchange, is the goal of the New Democratic Party.”
11. Nationalize the Auto Industry
Whereas the Big 3 North American auto companies have ignored consumer needs, shown reckless disregard for the environment, and squandered enormous wealth, workers’ pension funds and community well-being;
And whereas corporate CEOs demand, and get, government bail out money in the billions, huge labour concessions, while arrogantly expecting to maintain control, at public expense, of an industry they abused;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign for 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 and mass transit vehicles designed to meet society’s transportation needs
12. Nationalize the Big Banks and Insurance companies
Whereas the giant banks are a central pillar of the failed world capitalist system, substituting lies and manipulation for genuine production, squandering untold wealth, and plunging millions into destitution and misery;
And whereas large banks and insurance monopolies in Canada are preoccupied with maximization of profits and bigger dividends for shareholders at the expense of citizens, small business persons and farmers;
And whereas private ownership of banks and insurance companies generates wasteful advertising, duplication of services, higher transactions costs, and thus higher costs for consumers;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign for nationalization of the big five Canadian banks and major insurance companies (including life, home and auto insurance firms), to be operated under public democratic control, with compensation to the former owners in the form of low-interest, long-term bonds;
Be it further resolved that democratic management be exercised by an elected council of bank workers, consumers, small business folk, family farmers and the labour movement as a whole.
13. For More Policy Discussion at Conventions
Whereas substantially greater democracy and political pluralism are an urgent necessity within the NDP;
Therefore Be It Resolved that this convention mandate and ensure more accessible, more democratic, membership-driven party conventions, with low/minimal registration fees, and with at least 80% of convention time dedicated to debate and voting on resolutions from grassroots organizations.
14. For Democracy and for Leadership Accountability
Whereas the NDP suffers from the legacy of federal and provincial NDP leaders who violated NDP policies and principles adopted at conventions;
And whereas no party convention mandated the “balanced budget” major theme of the 2015 NDP federal election campaign, which had disastrous consequences;
Therefore Be It Resolved that adopted policies and priorities are binding on party elected officials and staff for implementation, and that NDP leaders be subject to recall and replacement for violation of party principles, and for failure to implement policies and priorities democratically adopted by convention or federal council.
15. Building the Party as a Mass Movement of the Working Class and Its Allies
Whereas the NDP must restore and expand its links to the working class, including the unemployed, the under-employed, and the non-waged workers, and to the social protest movements that battle the depredations of globalized capitalism;
And whereas NDP links to labour unions, including its receipt of their financial contributions, proudly distinguish the NDP, like its Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) predecessor, from the parties of big business as the democratic political expression of the workers’ movement in this country;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign to increase union affiliation to the party and invite progressive social movements and groups of activist individuals to form clubs and to affiliate to the party. The party actively promotes the idea of an expanded movement of affiliates which would enjoy direct in-put to conventions and councils of the NDP, and which would constitute an expanded working class and activist base on which to build the party as an instrument for democratic socialist transformation of society.
16. Party Internal Financing
Whereas the NDP cannot carry a progressive message to Canadians unless it is present within the communities;
And whereas party building is a grassroots activity that should focus on creating viable riding associations, especially where we have shown electoral promise but don’t have a strong base;
And whereas too many NDP federal riding associations do not have reasonable and healthy funding to cover the costs of membership newsletters, meetings, and other organizing activities;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the federal party transfer directly to each federal NDP electoral district association, on a basis proportionate to the membership size of each association, for the purpose of building the local organization, not less than twenty-five per cent of the money the NDP raises from all sources.
Be It Further Resolved that this revenue transfer would be in addition to funds that are currently provided from the party centre during federal election campaigns.
17. Democratic Control of the Telecommunications Industry
Whereas the telecommunications industry in Canada is controlled by a small number of corporations who dominate the market, minimize competition and engage in price fixing and profiteering;
Whereas social ownership is a necessary precondition for democratic control of the economy, genuine free expression, full employment and an equitable distribution of income and power;
Be it resolved that the NDP actively campaign to place the telecommunications industry (including telephone and cable companies) under public ownership, with compensation to the former owners in the form of low-interest, long-term bonds;
Be it further resolved that the new publicly-owned industries be democratically controlled by their workers, instituting direct election of managers and enterprise directors, with the right of recall by their electors, and that there be significant and meaningful consumer and community participation in the decision-making process.
18. Hands off Migrant Workers
Whereas half of all people arriving in Canada today are on temporary visas without a path to permanent immigration status, and over half a million others live without any status, and are denied education, health, shelter or food while working and paying taxes;
And whereas Canada uses detentions, deportations, temporary work programmes and US style immigration raids to tear families apart, create fear amongst and against non-status peoples and pit workers against one another;
And whereas Canadian capitalism, including some of the biggest mining companies in the world, are responsible for causing migration by stealing the livelihoods of millions, forcing them off their land, and the Canadian state is occupying Afghanistan and Haiti, and supporting state terrorism in Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Columbia, Palestine and Tamil Eelam which increases the displacement and migration of peoples;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign for an end to raids and deportations targeting migrant workers, fight for equal human and civil rights for migrant workers, demand recognition of the foreign credentials of immigrants and migrants, demand abolition of the ‘live-in’ requirement for domestic workers, demand that the Live-In Caregiver Program and the Temporary Foreign Workers Program be scrapped, and continue to press for a national child care program.
19. Build Social Housing
Whereas homelessness is unacceptable;
And whereas many people are living in marginal housing and are on the verge of becoming homeless;
And whereas homelessness has increased in the last ten years and homeless people are dying on the streets;
And whereas most private developers are not interested in creating affordable housing;
Therefore be it resolved that the NDP in government will take initiatives, with the cooperation of the municipalities and the provincial governments, to create universally affordable and accessible cooperative and social housing through a new public sector construction industry;
Be it further resolved that the NDP demand a moratorium on evictions, mortgage foreclosures, and utility cut-offs due to unemployment,
And be it further resolved that the NDP actively campaign for the demand that the federal government allocate 2% of federal expenditures for cooperative and social housing renovation, maintenance and construction.
20. Repeal the Clarity Act
Whereas the Liberal government’s federal Clarity Act, which arrogates to Parliament the unilateral right to determine, after the fact, whether a future referendum vote for Quebec sovereignty has a sufficient majority, and a sufficiently clear question, and thus constitutes a gross violation of Quebec’s national right to self-determination;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign for repeal of the Clarity Act.
21. Share the Work, Shorten the Work Week
Whereas the Canadian work week is among the longest in the industrialized world, a situation proven to cause increased stress, illness and lower productivity;
And whereas tens of thousands of new jobs would be created if the work week was reduced appropriately;
Therefore be it resolved that the NDP actively campaign to reduce the work week throughout Canada to 32 hours, without loss of pay or benefits to workers, and to outlaw mandatory overtime.
22. Defend and Extend the Right to Strike
Whereas governments increasingly seek to erode, restrict or eliminate workers’ right to strike, falsely arguing that unions and strikes pose a threat to public health and safety, while governments themselves trample human needs by de-regulating capital, privatizing public services, and facilitating growing corporate control over all facets of life;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign for, and seek to legislate the unfettered right to strike for all working people, and that the party respect the integrity and competence of unions to safeguard public health and safety, and provide for the delivery of genuinely essential services during a strike by their members.
23. Solidarity with Cuba
Whereas the United States government continues to enforce its war-like economic embargo of Cuba, causing increased suffering to the population;
And whereas Cuba’s socialized economy, extensive social equity achievements and quality social services ensure that human needs are put first, in stark contrast to rapacious global capitalism;
And whereas the loss of the Cuban socialist project would constitute an historic setback for working people everywhere;
Therefore Be It Resolved That the NDP express its solidarity with Cuba, encourage party members to visit the island, celebrate the release of the anti-terrorist Cuban Five, demand an end to the U.S. embargo, an end to the U.S. occupation of Guantanamo, and an end to U.S.-backed efforts to destabilize and sabotage Cuba’s socialist gains and national sovereignty.
24. Social Ownership and Economic Democracy
Whereas large corporations and financial institutions are undemocratic and hierarchical, seeking profits and power over and above the interests of citizens and the environment;
And whereas social ownership is a necessary precondition for democratic control of the economy, full employment and an equitable distribution of income and power;
And whereas workers’ control would contribute greatly to economic justice, greater efficiencies, and most importantly, improve the quality of life of working people and our allies;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP is committed to actively campaign for and implement social ownership, including but not limited to the following industries: banking, manufacturing, communications, energy, health care, insurance, medical drugs, natural resources, and mass transportation;
Therefore Be It Further Resolved that these industries be democratically controlled and managed by their workers, by instituting direct election of plant managers and enterprise directors, with the right of recall by their electors, and integrate significant and meaningful consumer participation in the decision-making process.
25. Social Ownership of Primary Industries
Whereas Canada’s primary industries such as forestry, mining, and fishing are vital to economic development and job creation, especially in smaller communities;
Whereas many of these industries continue to be controlled by small groupings of powerful shareholders who seek profits and power over and above the interests of citizens, workers and the environment;
Whereas these industries, under private ownership, threaten smaller communities with de-investment and capital flight;
Therefore be it resolved that an NDP government socialize all major primary industries in Canada, with compensation to the former owners in the form of low-interest, long-term bonds;
Be it further resolved that an NDP government 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 significant and meaningful participation in decision-making by consumers, environmental groups and local communities;
And be it further resolved that public enterprises undergo a ‘green screen’ and move towards the use of environmentally friendly forms of energy, the building up of resource capacities and other varieties of sustainable development.
26. Ensure that CPP Benefits provide a Decent, Living Income for Retirees
Whereas ongoing pension problems at Nortel and General Motors are indicative of far reaching problems in both the liquidity and accessibility of many private company pension plans in Canada;
And whereas sufficient savings to ensure an adequate pension through an RRSP is beyond the capacity of most Canadians, and
Whereas the Canada Pension Plan involves the least risk and has the lowest administration cost of any pension plan;
Therefore be it resolved that the NDP actively campaign for: An immediate doubling of the combined Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement minimum benefit; An increase of 15% to the Canada Pension Plan benefit, phased in over five years and supported by an adequate increase in Employer and Employee Premiums; Creation of a Federal Pension Insurance Fund to guarantee pensioners personal benefit income of up to $2,500 per month; Ensuring that all benefit pension programmes be indexed to the real cost of living; Reform of the Federal Pension Insurance Board to ensure that a majority of the Board members are working class people selected by unions and progressive grass roots community organizations; And reform of the Canada Pension Plan Investment regulations leading to divestment from companies that are involved in the arms industry, that pollute the planet, or that are involved in unfair labour practices.
27. Nationalize U.S. Steel
Whereas U.S. Steel locked out Local 1005 of the United Steelworkers and forced steelworkers to accept an inferior Pension Plan for all new hires and to put an end to indexing of pensions for present retirees.
And whereas U.S. Steel reneged on commitments for production and employment levels it made when it took over the former Steel Company of Canada, Stelco, in 2007.
And whereas generations of Hamilton area steelworkers created many of the conditions of prosperity for all of Ontario since 1910, with spill-over jobs in the railway, construction and auto industries, just to name a few.
Therefore Be It Resolved that the Hamilton Works-U.S. Steel Canada be put into public ownership, under workers’ and community democratic control, and that the Canada Pension Plan divest itself of all U.S. Steel shares it holds, and instead serve as the vehicle for this purchase of U.S. Steel at no more than the price of $1.2 Billion for which it was sold in 2007.
28. Reforming the Bank of Canada Act
Whereas Canada’s national debt, owed primarily to wealthy bond holders, is the primary motivator behind austerity and the resistance to public spending to grow the Canadian economy,
And whereas well over 90% of Canada’s public/government debt is attributable to accumulated interest payments on Government issued bonds, interest on which no goods or services were ever consumed by the Canadian public;
And whereas it is both possible and preferable for the Government to use, as it has in the past, the Bank of Canada, to hold its public debt;
Therefore Be It Resolved that a Federal NDP Government, in its very first year, amend the Bank of Canada Act and proceed as follows, nullifying any international agreements that stand in the way:
Use the Bank of Canada as the buyer of all future Government of Canada Bonds and hold them interest free,
Expand the Bank of Canada as a full service Commercial and Industrial Bank that would serve Canadians on the same terms as the existing private banks,
And host in its public service buildings Bank of Canada operations, including in, but not limited to Canada Post Offices, federally regulated airports, and any hospitals under provincial jurisdiction that accept federal monies through the Canada Health Act and corollary agreements.
29. Democratic Policy Prioritization for Convention
Whereas new technologies can be used to enable democratic participation in determining the ranking of policies for debate at convention.
Therefore Be It Resolved that this convention instructs the national director of the party to implement a membership and internet-based policy resolution-ranking process to enable the party membership as a whole to rank the resolutions passed by electoral district associations, affiliated unions and youth clubs for consideration at the next convention.
30. Provide a Guaranteed Annual Income
Whereas work is increasingly precarious, provides insufficient income, and is threatened by automation.
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign for, and seek to legislate, a guaranteed annual income for all residents of Canada.
31. Creation of a National Registry for Artificial Intelligence Control Devices
Whereas the trend towards the growing use of automation and ” AI ” technologies in the workplace is causing human job losses and reduced revenues for government.
Therefore Be it resolved that the NDP actively campaign for the creation of a Federal Registry, with an annual Registration Fee, for all automated devices and AI control units used in the manufacturing, service and communication industries.
And be it further resolved that this Registry monitor this trend and that the data gathered be used to aid in the formulation of future fees and/or taxes on such devises, to benefit displaced workers and future generations that will not be able to work in disappeared jobs.