Leader’s Ledger – NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh

Leader's Ledger

Jagmeet Singh
Jagmeet Singh

OTTAWA – POLITICS – I wanted to write and share with you some of the things New Democrat MPs are working on to make life better for you. We’re determined to fight for what matters to you, to make sure your priorities come first.

New Democrats are on your side. You can count on us to take real action on climate change, to reduce cost of living expenses, improve government services, and create good jobs in a clean economy.

Canadians are feeling let down. They have had too many of their hopes pinned on false promises. When so many are feeling uncertain about their futures, the Trudeau Liberals continue to put the interests of the ultra-rich and big corporations first!

But, we know it’s possible to build a Canada where we take care of the environment, create affordable housing, and provide lower drug prices – a Canada that works for everyone not just a few. Together, we can chart a new course for Canada!

Thanks for taking the time to read about our work and please share with us your ideas and comments!

Affordable Housing Now

Canadians are feeling shut out of the housing market. They’re left to fend for themselves while housing prices soar and pay cheques stagnate. And, too many are stuck in rental housing that doesn’t fit their needs.

But, Prime Minister Trudeau is asking Canadians to wait for his housing plan to kick-in – sometime after the next election.

The NDP has a better housing plan for today — one that’ll help struggling families find a home in the communities where they live and work. Our plan calls for the building of 500,000 quality, affordable housing units in ten years, including 250,000 of the units over the next five years. We want to kick-start the construction of co-ops and non-profit housing, remove the GST/HST on the construction of new affordable rental units, and give immediate assistance to low-income renters who spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing.

Retrofits protect your wallet, the planet, and jobs

We’re all worried about the threat of climate change to our lives, communities, and planet. After years of hearing climate change denials in the Harper era, Canadians had high hopes for the Trudeau Liberals. But they were let down when Trudeau bought a leaky pipeline and continued Harper’s practice of giving billions in subsidies to the oil industry.

Canadians are desperate for real leadership on climate change. That’s why New Democrats are leading the way, standing with Canadians and calling for a Declaration of an Environment and Climate Emergency. We want Canada to commit to greater cuts to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and an end to fossil-fuel subsidies.

New Democrats know that we can defend the environment, jobs, and help people’s wallets at the same time. We’re working on a bold climate change plan that includes a commitment to retrofit all housing stock in Canada by 2050. Because buildings are the third largest source of Canada’s GHG emissions every year, it’s critical that we fix this problem. What’s more, our plan will help families save an average of almost $900 a year, lower our emissions, and create good paying jobs.

Pharmacare for All

Canadians are paying some of the highest drug prices in the world, often facing impossible choices — like choosing between paying for rent and a child’s epi-pen, managing a chronic illness and saving for retirement.

I’ll never forget the young kid I met with a chronic illness, more worried about the cost of his medication on his parents than his actual condition.

It shouldn’t be like this.

We think Canadians deserve to have access to the prescriptions they need to stay healthy! But, Trudeau’s Liberal government is sticking to a patchwork plan that puts the interests of their friends in big pharmaceutical and insurance companies ahead of your needs.

That’s why I’m excited to tell you about the NDP’s bold plan to provide pharmacare for all Canadians! Our plan will help Canadian families save more than $500 a year on average – even if they already have insurance – and those businesses providing health insurance save approximately $600 per employee.

What’s more, switching to a universal system means there’s no need to worry about paying deductibles, co-pays, or premiums. It means Canada can negotiate much lower drug prices with bulk buying. We’ll save $4 billion and offer better coverage for all Canadians!

Everyone deserves to go to the dentist

Each year six million Canadians avoid going to a dentist because of the cost. And 32 percent of Canadians have no dental insurance at all.

This is especially true for seniors, many residents in First Nations communities, and young people.

As with prescription medication, the NDP sees dental coverage as both a pressing public health concern and a social justice issue.

That’s why we’re calling for national leadership to make sure dental care is affordable for all Canadians.

Lower cellular fees and better coverage for all Canadians

High-speed internet and cellular services play an important and constant role in the daily lives of Canadian families. But the ever-increasing cost for these services continues to be a major pocketbook concern for many. What’s more, spotty internet connections in rural and remote areas make it harder for rural Canadians to get the services they need and deserve.

There are countless stories of price gouging and questionable sale practices by the big telecommunications companies. But the Trudeau government is failing to rein in these companies and demand they give better service to Canadians. This lack of accountability in the industry discourages economic development, leads to isolating families, and cuts-off communities from the services and supports they deserve.

New Democrats have a solid plan to lower your bill and provide better coverage for all Canadians. We’re calling for cell phone service and internet access to be declared essential, requiring the big telecom companies to adopt a basic plan for internet and cell service to meet the needs of Canadians. We think a Telecom Consumers’ Bill of Rights will help protect Canadian consumers from price gouging and unfair practices. And, we want to save families money by abolishing data caps and mandating unlimited data plans at affordable rates for wireless service. Finally, we propose reinvesting money from the spectrum auction to ensure all Canadians in rural and remote areas have affordable internet access.

Looking ahead

The NDP team is working to deliver our 2019 election platform by the end of June – our vision for a more just and equitable Canada.

As we continue to build on our progressive policies, we’d love to hear your ideas and innovative solutions on how we can make life better for all Canadians.

I look forward to hearing about what matters to you, what will make a difference in your life, and lift up those around you. So go ahead – dream big and demand better for all Canadians!

Best regards,

Jagmeet Singh, M.P. (Burnaby South)
Leader, Canada’s New Democrats