REPORT: NDP Leadership Candidate Guy Caron To Unveil “Workers First” Plan

Caron admits NDP is seen as weak on the economy.

According to a report by the Toronto Star, the plan will increase infrastructure spending by $90 billion over the next 10 years. Additionally, he will implement a $15-an-hour minimum wage and seven-hour workday for workers in areas of federal jurisdiction.

Caron admits to the Toronto Star that the NDP is seen poorly on handling the economy. “We’re just seen on the economy as being tax-and-spend and we don’t know how to manage. The NDP will have to demonstrate that we understand the challenges of the future, and that we will be in a position to manage this economy towards the changes that are expected,” said Caron.

Caron’s “Workers First” plan has four key areas of focus:

  • Transition to a green economy
  • Increasing machine and computer automation
  • Precarious work
  • Trade agreements

The biggest part of Caron’s plan is $90 billion in infrastructure spending in the upcoming decade. The Star says the plan includes “$32 billion for renewable energy production, $30 billion to make buildings more energy efficient, $18 billion for public transit and $10 billion for high-speed rail.”

Caron’s plan also includes “paid sick leave, fair scheduling and full-time work.”

Some good ideas, but a mistaken approach

Those ideas above – particularly the increase in infrastructure spending – are a step in the right direction. While I would prioritize the expansion of oil & gas energy infrastructure, roads, bridges, addressing the infrastructure deficit, and military infrastructure more than Caron does in his plan, he does deserve credit for bring forth some interesting ideas. He also deserves credit for seeking to fund infrastructure in a way that doesn’t sell us out to foreign banks – rather than Trudeau’s dangerous infrastructure bank.

Unfortunately, Caron still takes a mistaken, big-government approach.

For example, his budget would increase infrastructure spending by $9 billion a year, but would pay for it through increasing business taxes and implementing what he calls a “robust carbon tax.”

Additionally, he calls oil and gas a “declining industry,” which means he seems to be travelling down the same path of Trudeau in weakening the sector, rather than strengthening it.

As well, Caron is proposing a basic minimum income in his plan – with details yet to be revealed. While a basic income is an interesting policy, and is something I once agreed with myself, the problem is that it is incredibly expensive, and it is a serious moral problem to use money taken from people who are working to pay a large amount to able-bodied people who aren’t working.

Caron also says his plan could include “some deficit” spending, meaning even more debt and deficits – which makes our economy more fragile and vulnerable.

More infrastructure spending, less regulation, smaller government

Caron is right about the need to increase infrastructure spending. And he’s right about the need to look at trade agreements. He also points out that “No one can tell us we’re better off now than we were in the past. We need to change tack.”

All correct.

However, Caron’s approach would increase the budget deficit, hurt the energy industry, burden consumers with higher taxes, reduce business investment, and make the bureaucracy bigger.

Not good.

Instead, the government bureaucracy should be dramatically cut, and that money redirected toward big tax cuts for low income and middle-class Canadians, and increased spending on tangible infrastructure. That would help create sustained economic growth and good jobs, while getting us to a closer to a balanced budget.

This is something the Conservative Party should keep in mind. While many people have growing doubts about Trudeau, there is no guarantee they will go towards the Conservatives. If the NDP is offering tangible ideas – even if those ideas are not economically sustainable in the long-run – they will find support from Canadians who want to see more support for Canadian workers and more real infrastructure built.

The Conservatives cannot simply run on budget cuts and expect to win enough votes to take power. There needs to a clear discussion of shifting the role of government from a bloated system that supports a massive Ottawa-centered bureaucracy to a lean and efficient system that focus on key priorities such as building real physical infrastructure that creates jobs and growth – and provides the foundation for strong private sector growth.

Canada needs a fiscally affordable economic patriotism – focused only on what’s best for Canadian workers, Canadian businesses, and Canadian consumers, rather than the globalist agenda of so-called “free trade” and global corporate interests. If the Conservatives abandon that territory and leave the NDP to call themselves the party of Canadian Workers, they will pay a big price at the polls.

Spencer Fernando

***

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Lenjack grandvilleRuth Walker Ph DRuth Walker Ph D Recent comment authors
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Ruth Walker Ph D
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Ruth Walker Ph D

Difficult to find modern day research that supports reductions in taxes spur economic growth significantly.
Percentage of taxes collected over past 50 years has declined as percent of GDP while GDP has grown due to automation, improved cost efficiencies and other non tax reduction factors.

Ruth Walker Ph D
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Ruth Walker Ph D

Difficult to find substantive research that supports tax cuts as a driver of the economic growth.
Tax reductions of the past 50 years have not stimulated GDP growth as much as have innovation, automation, growth in demand, increase in salaries and wages and other non tax related measures,

jack grandville
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Same old – same old – same old. I did not like nor appreciate this type of approach before — and from what see in certain areas of the country today — and I most certainly, as long as I am sane, would never, ever, support such an approach to ‘running the country.’

Len
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Len

Jack … I think the approach he’s proposing would be more in line with “ruining the country” …