NDP angling to put progressive policy on the agenda as the House resumes
OTTAWA – With just seven weeks left before Parliament adjourns ahead of the fall federal election, NDP Leader and Burnaby South MP Jagmeet Singh is angling to put a trio of progressive policies on the federal agenda.
In an interview on CTV's Question Period, Singh said that his three focuses will be housing, pharmacare, and spelling out his Canadian version of the "Green New Deal" put forward by U.S. lawmakers.
"We need more housing. Canadians are struggling with it; I've heard so many stories. Pharmacare for all. I really want a plan that lifts up everyone, that covers everyone in Canada. And finally, a Canadian version of a Green New Deal. We need to really take action on climate change," Singh said.
Since winning his seat in the House in late February, Singh has regularly brought up these issues in an effort to contrast his party's approach to that of the current Liberal government's, but with the SNC-Lavalin scandal dominating the majority of the political discourse over the last two months, any issue other than that chapter of alleged political interference wasn’t able to gain much traction.
Now, with talk of the Green party gaining momentum, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's brand damaged in the eyes of some progressive voters, and the countdown to the campaign already on, Singh is promising more details on his party’s “bold” policy propositions in the coming weeks.
Among them, his own take on a Green New Deal.
"What I want to do is move towards full investments in green energy, ending all investments at the federal stage, immediately ending all subsidies to fossil fuel sectors, and moving towards investments in renewable energy," Singh said.
Monday will be an opposition motion day in the Commons. It's the New Democrats' turn to set the agenda and put forward a motion for discussion, as of deadline the specific topic had yet to be determined.
Singh also discussed his newly-released memoir Love & Courage, in which he chronicles his experiences growing up Sikh and the bullying and racism he faced as a result, his relationship with his father, his family’s economic and housing struggles, and the sexual abuse he faced at the hands of a taekwondo instructor.
He said that his experiences have informed his approach to policy, and politics.
"We're all connected and that’s why I believe in justice for all, I believe in equality, I believe that I’ve got to defend the rights of others, even if I don't agree with them," Singh said.
"That's why I approach everything with this limitless love, this idea that unconditional love and support for our fellow human beings is how we move forward. I come from a place where I've understood a little bit of struggles that Canadians face, financial insecurity, feeling like you don't belong, abuse, vulnerability, I understand a bit of what Canadians go through."