The NDP Socialist Caucus Federal Conference on December 13, 2020 adopted the following resolutions (allowing for necessary editing, and with the approval of the SC steering committee) in preparation for the NDP Convention, April 9-11, 2021. Please widely circulate these resolutions.
Propose them for adoption at meetings of NDP district associations, NDYouth 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 February 8, 2021. Please let us know when any of our resolutions is adopted, in whole or in part, by any organization.
1. De-fund, Disarm and Disband Police Forces in Canada
Whereas police protect capitalists from violence caused by capitalism (poverty, mental illness, discrimination, etc.), break strikes and attack social protests, fight minor crime instead of major corporate crime, escalate mental health incidents, and disproportionately kill racialized people, and
Whereas reform attempts have not reduced victim injuries and deaths or held offending police accountable,
Therefore, Be It Resolved that the NDP advocate the following: The rapid de-funding of police forces in Canada by 50%, transferring the funds to necessary social services including but not limited to housing, mental health, and addictions treatment; The disarming of police beginning with the removal of all military hardware, gas, pepper and other sprays and guns; The permanent removal of all non-indigenous police forces from indigenous lands; and ultimately, the disbanding of armed, uniformed police forces to be replaced by community-controlled peace services.
2. New Protocols to Manage Pandemics
Whereas the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated insufficient government preparedness, private senior care residences experienced 4 times the deaths of public residences, inconsistent workplace lockdowns caused excess deaths, and workers’ wages were insufficiently subsidized during necessary lockdowns, and there was profiteering on personal protective equipment, vaccine research, respirators, and essential supplies.
Therefore, Be It Resolved that the NDP advocate mandatory public protocols to manage pandemics to save lives, reduce suffering, and eliminate profiteering, nationalize all senior care residences, stockpile necessary supplies and equipment, create public laboratories to monitor diseases and mass produce antivirals and medications on a cost recovery basis, and address overcrowding, poverty and disabilities to reduce vulnerability and exposure to deadly pathogens, and
Be It Further Resolved that such protocols will give workers the absolute right to refuse unsafe work with no loss in pay or benefits, never prioritize corporate profit over public safety, and will appropriately penalize violators.
3. Provide permanent operating and maintenance funding for inter-city and intra-city public transit agencies in Canada
Whereas intra-city public transit agencies rely heavily on fares for operating revenue while fares are regressive costs, and ridership has steeply declined during Covid-19; and
Whereas the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund provides only capital funding; and
Whereas public transit equitably connects people to jobs and recreation, and reduces emissions;
Be It Resolved that the NDP advocate for permanent funding to restore all previously existing Via rail passenger services and expand all routes to at least daily service, with additional service where required, and that publicly-owned inter-city bus services be re-established across Canada, connecting to intra-city services in major cities and small towns, and
Be It Further Resolved that adequate permanent funding be provided to all intra-city public transit agencies within Canada, sufficient to provide frequent, reliable service as recommended by planning professionals, eventually replacing all farebox revenue and providing fare-free transit service.
4. Re-establish Connaught Labs as a Crown Corporation for domestic pharmaceutical production
Whereas private-sector patented medical products exploit publicly funded medical research without cost recovery, constituting rent-seeking and theft of public funds; and
Whereas Covid-19 has reinforced the need for domestic, public pharmaceutical manufacturing; and Connaught Labs produced inexpensive necessary medicines in Canada while publicly owned, including insulin and diphtheria vaccine;
Therefore, be it resolved that: The NDP actively advocate and work to establish and maintain a Crown Corporation under the name of Connaught Labs to manufacture vaccines, pharmaceuticals and medical devices; and
Be It Further Resolved that Connaught Labs sell or license its products on a cost-recovery basis.
5. For Pharmacare Fully Integrated into Medicare
Whereas a national drug plan will save Canadians over $7 billion annually, 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 pharma care plan integrated into public medicare for all Canadian residents, making the federal government a central bulk purchaser of pharmaceuticals, and also a producer of generic drugs through a publicly-owned corporation, and making free provision of medication a right for all patients.
6. End Paradise Tax Evasion
Whereas the federal government is losing billions a year in revenue from offshore tax havens and losses due to tax loopholes and gifts to the rich;
Therefore, Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign for imposing severe penalties against tax evasion including 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 $2 million a year, personal inheritances above $1 million, and all stock market financial transactions, while eliminating other tax credits and regressive taxes like the HST.
7. 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 of 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.
8. For Pharmacare, Dental, Vision, Hearing, and Mental Health Fully Integrated into Medicare
Whereas a national drug plan will save Canadians over $7 billion, preventative dental care will reduce emergency visits and improve overall patient health, and vision, hearing, and mental health care will prevent serious longer term health impacts and is urgently needed to improve public health, especially for those most vulnerable;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign for a national drug plan as an integral part of medicare for all residents of Canada via socializing pharmaceutical operations in Canada, through research and production of generic drugs by a publicly-owned corporation, and by the federal government as a central bulk purchaser and distributor of pharmaceuticals to all in need.
Be it further resolved that all basic and recommended dental, visual, and hearing exams and care including any prescribed visual or aural aids and comprehensive mental health care and counselling be covered under medicare for all residents of Canada.
9. Solidarity with Palestine
Whereas millions of Palestinians face indignities and injustice from the State of Israel every day;
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 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.
10. Campaign against CETA and TPPA
Whereas the ‘free trade’ deals serve primarily the interests of global corporations, privatize and de-regulate the economy, worsen labour conditions, empower corporations to sue and obtain compensation from Canadian governments ‘interfering’ in their ability to maximize profits, and places more obstacles in the path of social ownership and public spending;
Therefore, Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign against the deals and declare their intention to withdraw from these deals upon forming a federal government.
11. 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, and many working class students are simply excluded from higher education,
Therefore, Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign for cancellation of student debt and post-secondary education fees, and vigorously support student campaigns and protests to abolish fees, as several capitalist countries have already done;
And Be it Further Resolved that the NDP actively campaign to ensure that federal funding for education imposes requirements on the provinces to abolish student fees for post- secondary education.
12. 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, food/beverage servers, and those who work fewer than 30 hours a week;
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.
And 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.
13. Canada out of NATO
Whereas the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and 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, to remove the NATO nuclear ring around Russian borders, and to disengage Canadian forces from any support role for the U.S. and its client regimes around the world.
14. Hands Off Venezuela.
Whereas the NDP stands for peace, social justice and non-interference in the affairs of other countries;
Therefore, Be It Resolved that the NDP actively oppose foreign interference in Venezuela, defend Venezuela’s right to self-determination, get Canada to quit the Lima Group, and reject alignment with U.S. policy in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and beyond.
15. 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, environmental destruction, pandemics, war and economic chaos;
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.”
16. Nationalize the Auto Industry
Whereas the Big 3 North American auto companies have ignored consumer needs, shown reckless disregard for the environment, squandered enormous wealth, workers’ pension funds and community well-being; while corporate CEOs get billions in government bail out money and huge labour concessions, while maintaining control 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, including electric delivery vehicles for Canada Post, electric fleet vehicles for all levels of government and public agencies, and especially mass transit vehicles designed to meet society’s transportation needs.
17. Nationalize the Big Banks and Insurance companies
Whereas the large banks and insurance monopolies in Canada want to maximize profits; large banks do not serve the banking needs of poor, Indigenous, rural and small town Canadians; and private ownership of banks and insurance companies leads to wasteful advertising, higher transactions costs, and 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) and for the reinstitution of basic personal and small business banking needs delivered through Canada Post branches and online services, 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.
18. For More Policy Discussion at NDP 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. Further that prioritization of resolutions for debate be decided by online full membership voting.
19. For Democracy and for Leadership Accountability
Whereas the NDP hosts a legacy of federal and provincial NDP leaders who violated NDP policies and principles adopted at conventions; and
Whereas it is common for NDP MPs to expect support from the party via time and funds donated by working people – yet without accountability to the party membership;
Therefore, Be It Resolved that adopted policies and priorities are binding on party elected officials and staff for implementation; that NDP leaders be subject to recall and replacement for violation of party principles and for failure to implement policies and priorities adopted by convention or federal council;
Be It Further Resolved that, where active EDAs exist, candidates will be nominated and vetted by the EDA alone: without interference or veto from the top. EDAs will be guided to search for candidates from oppressed and exploited groups including labour, and federal office may assist and advise in candidate searches and vetting.
20. Build 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 unemployed, under-employed, and non-waged workers) and to the social-protest movements that battle the depredations of globalized capitalism;
And whereas NDP links to labour unions proudly distinguish the NDP as the democratic political expression of the workers’ movement;
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.
21. Party Internal Financing
Whereas the NDP cannot carry its message unless it is present within communities;
And whereas party building is a grassroots activity reliant on viable riding associations, especially where there is electoral promise yet no strong base;
And whereas many riding associations lack reasonable, healthy funding – covering operating and organizing expenses;
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.
22. Democratic Control of the Telecommunications Industry
Whereas the telecommunications industry is controlled by a few corporations who dominate the market, minimize competition, fix prices, and engage in 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;
Therefore Be It Resolved that the NDP actively campaign to place the telecommunications industry under public ownership: compensating the former owners in the form of low-interest, long-term bonds;
And 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 so to have significant and meaningful consumer-community participation in the decision-making process;
And Be It Further Resolved that internet and mobile connections are an essential service to all residents of Canada and must be made available free of charge.
23. Hands Off Migrant Workers
Whereas the Canadian state occupies nations and supports acts and policies which displace peoples;
Whereas half of all new immigrants to Canada lack paths to permanent status and over half a million others are denied status and necessities of life;
And whereas Canada weaponizes its immigration process against these individuals;
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.
24. Build Social Housing
Whereas homelessness is unacceptable;
And whereas many people live 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 federal government allocating 2% of federal expenditures for cooperative and social housing renovation, maintenance, and construction.
25. 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.
26. Share the Work, Shorten the Work Week
Whereas the Canadian work week is among the longest in the industrialized world and demonstrably causes increased stress, illness, and lower productivity;
And whereas tens of thousands of new jobs would be created if the work week was reduced, and workers would benefit from automation and other increases in productivity;
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.
27. 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: 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.
28. Solidarity with Cuba
Whereas the United States government’s war-like embargo of Cuba begets suffering to the Cuban population;
And whereas Cuba’s socialized economy and social services prioritizes human needs and social equity – antithetical to global capitalism;
And whereas losing 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.
29. Social Ownership of Primary Industries
Whereas Canada’s primary industries, like forestry, mining, and fishing, are vital to economic development and job creation, are controlled by small groups of powerful shareholders who seek profits over the interests of workers and the environment, and threaten small communities with dis-investment and capital flight;
Therefore be it resolved that the NDP actively campaign to 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 meaningful participation in decision-making by consumers, environmental groups and local communities;
And be it further resolved that public enterprises adopt environmentally friendly energy sources and build up resource capacities and other varieties of sustainable development.
30. Ensure that CPP Benefits provide a Decent, Living Income for Retirees
Whereas there are ongoing liquidity and accessibility problems at private company pension plans in Canada;
And whereas most Canadians cannot accumulate sufficient savings through RRSPs for an adequate pension, and the Canada Pension Plan involves the least risk and lowest administration cost of any pension plan;
Therefore, be it resolved that the NDP campaign for:
Immediate doubling of the combined Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement minimum benefit; a 15% increase to the Canada Pension Plan benefit over five years, supported by increases in Employer and Employee Premiums; a new Federal Pension Insurance Fund to guarantee pensioners personal benefit income up to $2,500 monthly; Real cost of living indexing of all benefit pension programmes; Majority working class membership on the Federal Pension Insurance Board, selected by unions and progressive grassroots organizations; and CPP divestment from companies involved in arms production, pollution, or unfair labour practices.
31. Reforming the Bank of Canada Act
Whereas Canada’s national debt, owed primarily to wealthy bondholders, drives austerity and reduced public spending, and is largely attributable to accumulated interest payments on Government issued bonds, instead of spending on public goods and services;
And whereas the Bank of Canada should preferably hold public debt (as done historically);
Therefore, Be It Resolved that an NDP Government immediately amend the Bank of Canada Act as follows, nullifying any opposing international agreements:
The Bank of Canada shall be the buyer of all future Government of Canada Bonds, held interest free,
The Bank of Canada shall offer full service Commercial and Industrial Banking, on the same terms as existing private banks,
Bank of Canada operations shall be hosted in public service buildings, including 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.
32. 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.
33. Provide a Guaranteed Annual Income
Whereas work is increasingly precarious, provides insufficient income for the material necessities of life for many Canadians, 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, indexed to the real cost of living.
34. Creation of a National Registry for Artificial Intelligence Control Devices
Whereas the trend towards the growing use of automation and Artificial Intelligence (“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 manufacturing, service, and communication industries in Canada.
And Be It Further Resolved that this Registry monitor this automation and AI trend and that the data gathered be used to aid in the formulation of future fees and/or taxes on such devices, to benefit displaced workers and future generations that will not be able to work in disappeared jobs, or to require retraining for replacement jobs.