The NDP offered a bold and progressive roadmap for the province on the first full day of campaigning in the Nova Scotia general election.
The party published a 62-page “vision document” yesterday that addresses people’s most urgent social and economic needs, while also casting an eye to a more equitable and environmentally sustainable future.
“We can do things differently so that the wealth we produce can provide access to health care, a place to live, and opportunities for everyone,” the document says.
The NDP proposes a number of measures that will appeal to left-of-centre voters. These include:
- Eliminating ambulance fees
- A $15 minimum wage
- Getting the profit motive out of long-term care
- Permanent rent control and strengthened tenants’ rights
- Legislated paid sick days
- Exploring public auto insurance
- Implementing a Green New Deal
- Eliminating tuition fees
- Studying public ownership of Nova Scotia Power
- Looking closely at proportional representation
- Establishing public transit across the province
- Making Nova Scotia the first jurisdiction in North America to eliminate poverty
These are just some of the many ideas outlined in the vision document, which will be followed by a more practical, nuts-and-bolts campaign platform.
But while it touches many bases, it does not cover them all.
Anti-scab legislation, for example, does not appear to be an NDP priority even though it should be a bedrock belief for any leftist party.
Veterans, of whom there are so many in Nova Scotia, are not mentioned. This is a demographic the party would be wise to start cultivating.
Volunteer firefighters, who sacrifice so much to keep rural communities safe across the province, are likewise ignored. In fact, there are no measures to boost or recognize any form of volunteerism.
Plenty of consideration is given, though, to the liberal wokery that too often passes as leftism these days.
Some of it seems destined to befuddle working-class Nova Scotians and provide fodder to right-wing meme merchants.
For example, “mothers” and “women” no longer get pregnant or have babies. “People” do. This being the case, the NDP is committed to “removing gendered language” from the birth registration process.
In a similar vein, “criminals” no longer exist. Rather, we have “people experiencing criminalization.”
These criticisms aside, the NDP has produced an inspiring, progressive, and noteworthy vision document. If enough voters take the time to read it, the party might surprise pundits and pollsters on election day.