By: Sarah Crosby

On October 9th, the New Democratic Party released a 72-­page report, outlining the plans and promises they would put into action should they be elected on October 19th. It goes into great detail over all aspects of their platform, including taxation, benefits for post­secondary students, healthcare, and infrastructure to name only a few. While advanced polls are now closed, it’s not too late to cast your ballot on the 19th. In the second installment of our electoral guide series,we’ve taken the time here at The Cadre to pour over the document and breakdown some of the issues that will help you make your decisions at the polls on Monday!

Post-­Secondary: ­

The NDP have promised Canadian students that they will phase out interest on student loans over the next seven years, saving them over 4,000 dollars compared to the current interest rates. In this period, they’ve also pledged 250 million dollars to the Canadian Student Grant Program, which provides grants to low­income post­secondary students and those living with disabilities. This program would also ensure equal support for indigenous students. ­

The New Democrats promise more job opportunities for students, hoping to create over 40,000 jobs, co­-ops and internships by working with the private sector. They also promise to eradicate federal unpaid internships, and guarantee that all employment contracts offer equal protection for young workers.

Taxes: ­

The New Democrats say they’ll increase opportunities for the middle class by stopping the expansion of income splitting for high income families, while still allowing pension splitting for seniors. ­

They’ve also promised to look out for the most disadvantaged by creating an act to eliminate poverty in Canada. They would hold provinces, territories and municipalities responsible for sending regular reports to parliament with their progress towards the Act’s goals. In addition, they would create a national council for eliminating poverty, which would rely on the experiences of Canadians in finding lasting solutions to poverty.

Economy/Jobs: ­

The NDP has promised to cut small business taxes and aid their access to government export services, making it easier for them to break into foreign markets.

They’ve also pledged to protect middle class jobs in the automotive, aerospace and farming sectors, as well as reinvesting in the Canadian Space Agency. ­

They would create jobs by using Canada’s natural resources in a sustainable manner, in industries like mining, tourism and rural farming. ­

They will raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour for federal employees. They’ve also said they will repeal bills that make it difficult for workers to join a union. ­

For Employment Insurance, they’ve promised to freeze premiums for high risk and seasonal workers, as well as new parents. ­ In addition, they promise to create 54,000 jobs to support their infrastructure improvement projects.

Infrastructure: ­

They’ve promised to retrofit 50,000 houses and apartment buildings with their green home energy program. This program aims to lower homes’ gas emissions and improve energy efficiency, therefore lowering housing costs. They also promise to build 10,000 affordable homes and rental units for Canadians. ­

They promise 1.3 million dollars towards reducing commute times and improving public transportation, as well as 1.5 billion per year to municipalities so they may improve roads, bridges, and transit.

Healthcare: ­

The NDP have promised to invest over 5 billion dollars in healthcare over the next four years. They plan to use this money to build 200 new medical clinics and provide funding to the provinces to hire 7,000 new health care professionals. ­

They also plan on making prescriptions more affordable and to eventually secure universal coverage for all Canadians. ­ They have also promised to use specific funding to improve health and promote healthy lifestyles for various groups, with a specific portion of spending going to the indigenous population. They will also provide grants for communities to create healthy living education programs, to improve the health of families. ­

For mental health, they plan to create a specific fund to reduce mental health risks for children and youth, and improve access to mental care.