NDP convention: The first six commitments

Tax shelters, unions, EI, supply management, pay equity and VIA Rail
A cameraman waits for the start of the federal New Democratic Party’s weekend national policy convention Friday, April 12, 2013 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

In the first hour of debate this weekend, New Democrats passed six resolutions under the heading “Innovating and Prospering in the New Energy Economy.”

1-01-13 Resolution on Combatting Tax Shelters
Submitted by Hochelaga

WHEREAS, in addition to creating a “parasitic” sector driven by tax evasion, tax shelters serve to hide profits and the very existence of vast fortunes, often obtained by criminal means;

BE IT RESOLVED that a new clause be added to Subsection 1.7 of the Policy Book:

e. Combatting tax shelters and money laundering.

Resolution 1-02-13 Resolution on Attackes on the Trade Union Movement
Submitted by Hamilton Mountain

WHEREAS the Harper government has imposed back to work legislation on numerous unions representing Postal Workers, Air Canada Workers, and Canadian Pacific Workers;

WHEREAS the Harper government’s 2012 federal budget will directly cut 19 000 federal public service jobs over the next three years and;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Federal New Democratic Party reaffirm its commitment to free open scope collective bargaining and will continue to oppose any federal government administrative or legislative measures to impose collective agreements on federal public sector workers and workers in the private sector

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Federal New Democratic Party continue to support the Rand formula and will oppose any initiative or legislation that will undermine the Rand Formula and union security.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a New Democratic Government will revoke Bill C-377 an Act to amend the Income Tax Act (Labour Organizations)

1-53-13 Resolution on Employment Insurance
Submitted by Acadie-Bathurst
WHEREAS seasonal industries comprise a dynamic, essential part of Canada’s identity and economy;

WHEREAS Canadian workers and their employers make EI contributions and are the owners of the program;

BE IT RESOLVED that the NDP move to restore the integrity of Canada’s EI program by amending the Employment Insurance Act to include the following measures:

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Conservative government must hire adequate staff to administer Service Canada programs efficiently and substantially reduce wait times.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the government should change the Working While on Claim regulation so that EI claimants are not dissuaded from working during their benefit period.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NDP lobby the government to overturn the devastating changes made to the EI program which limit access and lower benefits, resulting in lower wages and restricted access and increasingly pushing vulnerable Canadians into poverty and transferring the costs to the provinces.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NDP lobby the government to reinstate the Extended Employment Insurance Benefits Pilot Project (5 additional weeks) to offset the “black hole” of financial insecurity faced by seasonal workers and the regional economies they support.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NDP lobby the government to restore access to the board of referees and the umpire so that all Canadians have access to a fair and equitable appeal system, as was the case prior to the devastating changes made to the Employment Insurance program.

1-17-13 Resolution on Pay Equity
Submitted by London—Fanshawe, London West

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the following clause be added to section 1.6 in the policy book

1.6.e. Implementing the recommendations of the 2004 Pay Equity Task Force and establish a proactive pay equity regime, enshrined in law.

1-03-13 Resolution on Protecting Supply Management
Submitted by Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher, Welland

WHEREAS Supply Management is a longstanding bedrock of our rural communities and agricultural industry, ensuring liveable farm incomes, high product quality, and domestic food security.

BE IT RESOLVED THAT Section 1.9 (g) of the policy book be amended as follows:

New Democrats believe in:

g. maintaining supply managed dairy, eggs, and poultry, and the farm incomes they support. New Democrats will work to ensure that in any new trade agreement, our successful system of supply management is upheld.

1-05-13 Resolution on Strengthening VIA Rail
Submitted by Scarborough Centre

BE IT RESOLVED that the following clause be added to Section 1.3 of the policy book:
(1.3 Physical infrastructure and transportation)

New Democrats believe in:

a) Strengthening VIA Rail with its own legislation guaranteeing it ongoing capital and operating funding