NDP goes local with Toronto-focused platform

by | Oct 2, 2015 | News

Corey Brehaut

Image courtesy Wikimedia.

Image courtesy Wikimedia.

The NDP unveiled a Toronto specific version of their national platform but revealed little that hasn’t already been said.

The party’s Toronto platform focuses on investing in housing, infrastructure and transit as well as repealing the controversial Bill C-51.

“Bill C-51 is something that Torontonians know about, remember, and do not want to continue on the books and we are the only party that will repeal it,” NDP federal election candidate Craig Scott said.

The event was held at the Centre for Social Innovation – Annex on Bathurst St. in Toronto on Friday morning. Candidates Oliva Chow, Peggy Nash, Jennifer Hollett and Andrew Cash also attended.

“There are elements that are specifically drawn out to make sure people understand how our general platform commitment will play out in Toronto,” Scott said.

The Platform in Brief

  • Increasing corporate tax to 17 per cent from 15 and cutting small business taxes to 9 per cent from 11.
  • Restoring the CBC’s funding, investing in the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada and the National Film Board.
  • Investing $750 into job creation.
  • Eliminating unpaid internships in federal jurisdiction workplaces.
  • Developing a National Transit Strategy.
  • Supporting waterfront renewal and maintaining the ban on jets at the Island Airport.
  • Introducing a universal childcare program for at most $15 a day.
  • Restoring funding for public health care and creating a Mental Health Innovation Fund for Children and Youth to improve access to care.
  • Working with the provinces to increase benefits through the Canada Pension Plan and returning the age of retirement to 65 from 67.
  • Investing $2.7 billion into the Affordable Housing Act.
  • Maintaining Canada Post home delivery and restoring service where it has already been cut.
  • Introducing a pan-Canadian cap-and-trade system on carbon emissions.
  • Restoring environmental protection to the Humber, Don, Rouge and other rivers.
  • Reinstating the federal minimum wage and raising it to $15 an hour.
  • Investing $250 million into federal student grants and phasing out student loan interest.
  • Streamlining immigration and refugee processes.
  • Repealing Bill C-51 and improving CSIS oversight.

Nothing New Here

“Most of what they were saying is what they’ve already been saying. The student loan- getting rid of the interest off that because the government shouldn’t be cashing in, which they’ve already stated,” Geoff Doner, a member of the events staff at the Centre for Social Innovation, said.

“They’re going to kill Bill C-51, which is another thing that’s kind of already out there,” he added.

“This is in no way the national platform with a Toronto label on it, it’s a distillation of things that perhaps matter most to Torontonians even though there’s tons of other things that we’ll be talking about when the big platform gets released in the next couple days,” Scott said.

The Liberals, Conservative and Green parties were unavailable for comment on whether they will produce similar Toronto platforms.