The Leap Manifesto – What it Will Mean for the NDP and Canada

At the Federal NDP Convention in Edmonton in April 2016, delegates passed a resolution in support of the Leap Manifesto, a progressive, forward-looking declaration that calls for greater equality, environmental protection, social justice and building more democracy within the Canadian political system.

Oakville NDP Vice-President Tina Agrell has summerized the main points of the Manifesto below. And please participate in the debate on the Oakville NDP Facebook page.

* Respect the inherent rights and title of the original caretakers of this land, Indigenous communities. Fully implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

* No more new infrastructure projects that lock us into increased extraction decades into the future. The new iron law of energy development must be: if you wouldn’t want it in your backyard, then it doesn’t belong in anyone’s backyard.

* Energy democracy: communities should collectively control these new energy systems.

* Indigenous Peoples should be first to receive public support for their own clean energy projects. So should communities currently dealing with heavy health impacts of polluting industrial activity.

* Design and implement a universal program to build energy efficient homes, and retrofit existing housing, ensuring that the lowest income communities and neighbourhoods will benefit first and receive job training and opportunities that reduce poverty over the long term.

* Develop training and other resources for workers in carbon-intensive jobs, ensuring they are fully able to take part in the clean energy economy. This transition should involve the democratic participation of workers themselves.

* Extend high-speed rail powered by renewables and affordable public transit to unite every community in this country.

* Invest in our decaying public infrastructure so that it can withstand increasingly frequent extreme weather events.

* Move to a far more localized and ecologically-based agricultural system to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, capture carbon in the soil, and absorb sudden shocks in the global supply – as well as produce healthier and more affordable food for everyone.

* Put an end to all trade deals that interfere with our attempts to rebuild local economies and regulate corporations, and stop damaging extractive projects.

* Ensure immigration status and full protection for all workers. Welcome refugees and migrants seeking safety and a better life.

* Expand the sectors of our economy that are already low carbon: caregiving, teaching, social work, the arts and public-interest media.

* Following on Quebec’s lead, create a national childcare program.

* Introduce of a universal basic annual income.

* So-called “austerity” – which has systematically attacked low-carbon sectors like education and healthcare, while starving public transit and forcing reckless energy privatizations – is a fossilized form of thinking that has become a threat to life on earth.

* End fossil fuel subsidies, and increase resource royalties.

* Introduce financial transaction taxes.

* Impose higher income taxes on corporations and wealthy people. Introduce a progressive carbon tax.

* Cut military spending.

* Work swiftly towards a system of proportional representation, in which every vote counts, and remove corporate money from political campaigns.

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