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10 Questions for Peter Julian

We have 10 Questions for the candidates for federal NDP Leader 1.The benefits of robotization and new technologies generally should be shared, not utilized to make the owners super rich and to drive more workers into poverty. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will fight for a reduction in the work week without a loss in pay or benefits? 2. About 235,000 Canadians become homeless every year, with 35,000 sleeping in shelters and on the streets on any given night. 1.7 million are unable to afford adequate, suitable shelter. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will demand the construction of half a million quality social housing units by means of a publicly-owned land assembly and housing construction enterprise? 3. For decades, NDP leaders have gone along with the New Cold War against Russia and China, and backed western military intervention abroad, including the bombing of Libya. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will demand that Canada get out of NATO immediately? 4. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will actively support the worldwide campaign backed by unions and parliamentary bodies to effect Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the Zionist apartheid state until its occupation of the West Bank ends? 5. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will demand a steeply progressive tax system, including the following measures: a) Tax Capital Gains Income at the same rate as employment income, bringing in $8 billion dollars b) Increase the Corporate Tax rate from 15% to 21%, bringing in $9 billion dollars c) Eliminate corporate stock options as a benefit, with a net savings of $600 million d) Cut Justin Trudeau’s “middle class tax cut” and enhance the Guaranteed Income Supplement and Child Benefits, and e) Increase income tax for earners with income over $200,000 to 40%, and for earners with income over $900,000 to 50%. 6. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will demand greatly expanded public ownership and economic democracy to include Canada’s railway system, major hydro, oil, gas and other energy corporations, the giant telecoms, and at least two of the major banks? 7. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will fight for a Green Industrial Revolution to shift rapidly from carbon and nuclear energy towards safe, clean and renewable energy technologies, and that this rapid transition be funded by conscripting the profits of big oil and gas, and put a high priority on the employment of displaced, indigenous and young workers? 8. For indigenous peoples, it’s time not just for “reconciliation” but restitution. If diamond mining corporations in the north can provide their employees world class housing, food, healthcare and recreation, they should do no less for Canada’s original peoples who deserve to share the wealth that has been plundered, or the resource extraction firms should face expropriation. Do you agree with that, and commit to a policy of No More Pipelines? 9. The NDP should be transformed from a mainly electoral machine into a vast social movement that fosters greater democracy. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will partner with unions and social justice groups, ensure more time for policy debate at its conventions, and make them more accessible rather than use them chiefly as a fund-raising exercise? Do you commit to end the present practice that allows party leaders to ignore adopted policies? Do you commit to increase funding of Electoral District Associations and put an end to top-down interference with local candidate nominations? 10. Do you commit that under your leadership the NDP will fight for a national Pharmacare and Dental Care programme, and a national $10 a day quality childcare service, to be funded by steeply progressive taxation? We want answers. The NDP Socialist Caucus is posing questions to the registered candidates for federal NDP Leader because we think that party members deserve to know where the candidates stand – beyond vague generalities and broad slogans. Do you agree? Would you like to help? See the SC’s 17-point platform for socialist leadership at: www.ndpsocialists.ca Call us at: 647-986-1917.

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Affordable housing

It's not just Vancouver and Toronto. In the last 5years we have paid $65000 in rent. CMHC has made it impossible for people like us to buy a home. Make it easier to qualify for a mortgage.

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Affordable Phone Plans and Internet Packages

Canadians have to deal with some of the most expensive phone and internet plans in the world, and it should not be this way. Why are big telecom companies allowed to gouge us for an essential service such as internet? Recently, the CRTC ruled in favor of Rogers and eliminated any chance of the startup, Sugar Mobile, from providing Canadians with a cheaper alternative to the large telecom providers. While I agree with the ruling, based solely on the current CRTC policies in place, I believe that the CRTC has been ineffective at protecting Canadians from greedy business practices of the larger ISPs. The CRTC should have put in place policies to require ISPs to provide wholesale rates to companies such as Sugar Mobile. Sugar Mobile should have never had to operate underhandedly (by taking advantage of roaming deals with Rogers). But this issue is rarely brought up in Canadian politics (for some reason). While I understand it is not the most critical issue to address, it is an issue that we as Canadians face regardless of our political affiliation. Something as common sense as tackling internet/wireless rates should be on the platform of any candidate who truly cares about their constituents (even if it is a small part of that platform).

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A moderate foreign affairs policy, particularly in the Middle East

Canada has long struggled with an international policy that both respects the independence and rights of individual nations, while being realistic about the existence of threats to international security. In my opinion, it is both short-sighted and unwise to ignore the threat of global terrorism ever-present in the world these days, however Canada must set an example as a moderate voice for co-operation, peace and compromise. Therefore, as NDP leader I would like Peter to champion an international policy that sees Canada continue to support our allies such as NATO in the defense against this threat; while doing so, we will be in a much better position to have a voice against unnecessary interference and excessive force. In the Middle East, I would like to see Canada continue the good work of Jack Layton and Tom Mulcair in standing up for the sovereignty and security of Israel against constant bomb and rocket attacks, while also encouraging both Israeli and Palestinian interests to come to the table and forge a path toward independence and human rights being protected on both sides. An independent Palestinian state must be the goal of our position in this region, however independence can only come when the Palestinian Authority is prepared to work with Israel and end all terrorist attacks within their borders.

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An evidence based approach to criminal justice

Our national experiment in prisons as the default solution to injustice produces few positive results, despite the average cost to Canadian taxpayers of more than $100,000 per year per prisoner, At the same time, this system does disproportionate harm to racialized and indigenous communities, to low income Canadians, and to Canadians living with addictions. We should be using this money in smarter, evidence based ways in order to promote justice. To that end, I hope to see a shift in federal funding away from prisons and toward other, evidence based solutions that achieve the goals of justice, rehabilitation, etc, as well as a review of all drug prohibitions, mandatory minimum sentences, and disproportionate sentences, Such a review should be conducted with a broad contextual understanding of circumstances of crime, prejudices that inform criminalization, and overall impacts of the criminal justice system, I'm not sure whether a Royal Commission, a Special Committee, or some other task force would be most appropriate for such a sweeping review, However, if the plan is to "be bold", a piecemeal approach might not cut it.

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