7 New Democratic Party Platform

Today I am reviewing the NDP platform. You can view the PC party platform from yesterday here.

The NDP platform is called the Plan for Affordable Change and it outlines making life affordable, jobs and health care. They also have an Affordable Green Choices Plan, and a Change that Works for Rural Ontario Plan.

I interviewed 2 candidates from the NDP Party. Nik Spohr from the Halton riding and Karen Gventer from the Dufferin-Caledon riding. Their answers are below and offer additional explanation of the NDP party platform.

     * Ensure the burden of the cost of recycling/disposal is on the manufacturer
     * Develop a cap and trade plan with revenues going to reducing carbon emissions
     * Strengthen regulations to reduce over packaging

What programs/incentives/penalties will be available to corporations to ensure that Ontario resources are kept in Ontario?
According to Nik the NDP party will ensure that the government is purchasing local products to build Ontario transportation, construction, local food processing, and other services. They want the government to always try to “Buy Ontario” first, and only go out of province if they can’t find that resource or product in the province.
     * Merge the 3 Agencies to reduce duplication and cost in the power sector
     * Fund large scale, publicly owned green energy projects (10,700 MW by 2018, 5000 by 2030)
     * Target 5000 MW of combined heat and power by 2021
     * Phase out coal powered electricity by 2014
     * Will not proceed with plans to build any nuclear plants

What incentives do you propose for individuals choosing the more sustainable products or services? 
Karen explains that the NDP party will help people who want to make their homes more energy efficient. We will offer rebates of up to $5,000 for people who want to retrofit their homes. As well, by making life more affordable for everyone, it will be easier for individuals to make more sustainable choices.

     * Require Ontario government to spend more money on local produce
     * Assist farmers to market/promote their local food.
     * Increase Ontario grape content in 'cellared in Canada' wines
     * Expand risk management program for meat and honey

Your platforms says you will ban junk food advertising that is aimed at children. Does this include fast food restaurants like McDonalds?
Nik explains that the NDP want to amend the Consumer Protection Act to prohibit commercial advertising of “unhealthy food and drink” targeting children under the age of 13. The key word here is “targeting”- so we wouldn’t be banning advertising for unhealthy food and drink outright- only the advertising aimed at children, who are in an early-developmental state and highly susceptible to the addictive nature of these products. Both Nik and Karen agree that this would indeed include advertising by companies like McDonalds.

     * Freeze transit fares at current levels for 4 years
     * Invest in new transit projects
     * Create cycling infrastructure (bike lanes, storage and bike tourism)

What improvements in transportation systems can Ontarians expect from the NDP party?
Nik outlines the NDP platform for transportation as a transit fare freeze over four years in exchange for a 50-50 budget funding model between municipalities and the province; making sure that transit models work for the community, and not profits, first; and support a comprehensive strategy that makes roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Karen explains that they would support an active transport strategy to make roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians.  An important principle of the NDP is to provide municipalities with more input into decisions; the NDP would work with municipalities to build public transit that makes sense for the community.

Health Care
     * Cut ER wait times in half
     * Scrap the LHIN's and replace with local decision making
     * Forgive student debt of new doctors who practice in under serviced communities
     * Fund 50 new 24 hour health care clinics by 2015

What programs can we expect to support new moms?
Nik explains that the NDP party will cancel the recent cuts to the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program. They will invest in the development of a provincial breast feeding strategy and pilot 4 birthing centers that will be run by Midwives. Their plan will cost $5 million but if they cap executive salaries at $300,000 then $80 million could be diverted to programs like these to help new mothers.

Do you plan to support other health professionals? (doulas, midwives, naturopaths etc)
Karen explains that in addition to what Nik outlined above for creating birthing centers for Midwives the NDP's plan to support prescribing authority to Naturopaths as it is necessary for them to maintain access to natural or botanical substances.

Additional Commitments include:
     * Removing the HST from daily essentials (hydro, gas for heating, gas for cars)
     * Will set gas price ceilings at the pump each week 
     * Develop an Ontario Retirement Plan 
     * Create a 10% tax credit for companies who invest in equipment and buildings in Ontario
     * Amend Mining Act so that minerals mined in Ontario are processed in Ontario

What do you think about the NDP platform? Have their 3 plans? What are your thoughts?

You can follow Nik and Karen on their Twitter accounts.


  1. I asked Nik what his top 2 priorities are if elected by the residents of the Halton region. This is his response: strengthening of our already robust childcare policy, and further advances in issues concerning individuals with disabilities. The New Democrats are by far the frontrunners on both of these issues, but I want to make sure that we continue to progress on these issues even further.

  2. I asked Karen what her top priority is if elected by the residents of the Dufferin-Caledon region. This is her response: One priority in Dufferin-Caledon is the concern about the mega-quarry in Melancthon Township; I would do everything in my power to diminish the negative effects of the quarry (including stopping the digging of the mega-quarry, if that is within my power.)

  3. Okay so there is a lot about this platform that I like. 1. Their approach to scrapping the HST is laid out. They explain that doing it over night will cause more problems than it solves so they will do a phase out approach. First hydro and natural gas and then removing it from gas by 1% a year.

    I like that they explain that they will take the money that was going to be spent building nuclear plants on put it into comprehensive energy efficiency programs that will benefit you and me.

    They will phase out coal plants and look into reusing them for biomass. As part of this they will also retrain those employees who work at the coal plants.

  4. Thanks so much for doing this, Jen! Nik Spohr is my local NDP candidate, and I really like that he took the time to answer your questions.

  5. No problem Janet! He had some great answers to my questions! On Sunday you will be able to see his answer to another question that I asked all the candidates 'what have you done to reduce the environmental impact of your campaign'

  6. Far better explanation from the NDP about what they plan to do with there promises...still a lot of questions about funding there promises (but that's always the case with every party)...also a question for them would be if they are going to be making changes to the HST or in fact actually scraping it how do they plan to deal with the Federal Gov't in repayment of stimulus money that was given to Ontario in exchange for implementing the HST...in case you didn't know the Federal Conservates only agreed to give Provinces Stimulus money if they agreed to put the HST in place...BC is now being forced to repay this money to the Feds now that they have repealed the HST

    Glad to see our Halton guy is nice enough to chat it up with a no press person:-)

  7. I found that they explained where the money would come from in a much clearer manner than the PC's. Like the money for birthing centers will come from capping executive salaries at $300K which will free up about $80 million (only $5 million of which is needed for programs for new mom's).

    For HST they say they will start with essential services but if the Harper government doesn't let them do this they will scrap it all together. So no they don't really clearly say how they will pay Harper back if they do scrap it.