NDP Used Its ‘Power’ to Obtain Concessions in Budget, Says Singh

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The NDP says its deal with the Liberals bore fruit with the budget tabled on April 7 meeting some of their requests, while expressing disappointment that it didn’t go far enough on climate-related policies and healthcare spending.

“Today, the NDP used our power to secure major progress on Dental Care and housing,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh on Twitter on April 7.

“But, we’re disappointed by the Liberal [government’s] failure to tackle the climate crisis and to fund healthcare.”

The NDP took credit in a press release for five specific measures included in the budget, such as the “NDP dental care plan” starting with children under 12; handing out $500 to a million people to help pay rent; $1.5 billion to build affordable housing; $4.3 billion for indigenous housing; and “making highly profitable financial institutions pay a little bit more.”

The budget includes a one-time 15 percent charge on taxable income above $1 billion for the 2021 tax year for big banks and insurance firms, and a permanent 1.5 percent increase on their taxable income, raising their tax rate from 15 to 16.5 percent.

This is lower than the promised 3 percent hike outlined in the Liberal platform.

NDP MP and health care critic Don Davies said in a statement he was pleased to see a “full fiscal commitment to implement the NDP’s dental care plan.”

“This represents the single largest expansion of public healthcare in Canada in over 50 years,” he said in the April 7 release.

Davies’ colleague NDP MP Alistair MacGregor said his party “used our power” to successfully influence some of the budget allocations.

“My NDP colleagues and I used our power to secure Canada’s first ever dental care funding: $5.3 billion over 5 years with $1.7 billion ongoing after. Real financial help for low-income families. Real help for their healthcare needs,” he wrote on Twitter on April 7.

The Liberals and NDP share the same progressive agenda, but the NDP is further left on climate policies and defence.

The NDP is opposed to the recently Liberal government-approved Bay du Nord oil extraction project off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

NDP MP and climate critic Laurel Collins criticized the Minister of Environment Steven Guilbeault on that matter in the House of Commons on April 7.

“If we have any chance of beating the climate crisis, we need to urgently transition away from fossil fuels, invest in green energy and support workers, yet he just approved Bay du Nord, a massive fossil fuel project that will add the equivalent of seven million cars to the road,” Collins said.

The NDP also doesn’t support increasing military spending to meet NATO’s target of 2 percent of the country’s GDP. The NDP and the Greens voted against a Conservative Party motion to meet that target on April 6.

The NDP isn’t against more investments in defence, but it calls the NATO target “arbitrary.”

“We know that the Canadian Armed Forces are being required, or being told to do certain work and they don’t have the equipment to do it,” Singh told CTV News in late March.

“So, they should have the equipment, and that’s going to require filling in a gap where we need to fund them more to be able to have the equipment to do the work that we asked them to do.”

Noé Chartier

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Noé Chartier is an Epoch Times reporter based in Montreal.





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