What issues are important to you?

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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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NDP must focus on the financial HOW of change

I also support major NDP goals including eliminating gross inequality, transitioning to a green economy, providing national day care and pharma-care, etc. Many others do as well but are not convinced that the NDP knows HOW to deliver on this, especially on the financial front. There are strong economic arguments for this change but one rarely hears these from NDP leaders. In the recent first leaders debate, only Guy Caron mentioned the need to explain and promote the HOW. Denouncing Liberal broken promises doesn't cut it. They won in 2015 because their economic plan was more credible than ours, especially given our implausible no-deficit budget plan, while promising increases in government programs after a decade of Harper cuts. Financing proposals that did exist were buried in background documents and inaudible on the campaign trail. The HOW can happen but only if the NDP makes it front-and-centre in their outreach. Thank you!

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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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     Basic Income Idea: Give everyone,employed or not, a monthly cheque that can buy basic food, clothing and shelter unconditionally as a right of citizenship.

     A basic income was shown in the Mincome experiment to be able to solve problems related to poverty and health care outcomes without creating a disincentive to work that is actually the property of the current system. It benefited the working poor most. It also changed attitudes of people toward their neighbours judging by Professor Evelyn Forget's reporting of interviews she conducted with actual subjects in Dauphin. "When we're all the same there is no shame" a handicapped subject told her. You can't get that by increasing a benefit cheque that only a targeted population can receive. Search for Evelyn Forget on Youtube and find some interesting presentations.

     It's high time we recognise that the working class over the last few decades has been robbed not only of services but also cash and we should not be misguided away from something better by an ideological aversion to redistributing income by giving cash or fear of doing something big enough to be meaningful. Some services will still be needed and that is precisely why a party that cares about those left behind should be the one to implement a basic income that does not replace what will still be needed.

     Creating full employment might no longer be possible due to automation and would do no good if the new jobs are part-time, precarious and/or contract/temporary. If the old paradigm will no longer work we need to shift to a new one where people can survive with some dignity without a good job and where men getting acquainted ask what they like rather than what they do.

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Create the sustainable economy and related jobs for now and the future

This is very important for Canada's domestic economy. While other developing countries are moving ahead we are falling behind; too many of the general population are finding job security and retirement security faltering.

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