At the head of New Democratic Party, Jagmeet Singh kept the candor of his predecessor, Jack Layton, proclaiming he was campaigning for prime minister. With his turbans in resolutely pastel colors, he shot commercials that looked like straight out of a Stromae video; he posted himself on TikTok; he courted the youth vote. The first federal party leader from a visible minority, he does not hesitate to stage his personal experience to illustrate his convictions, having known poverty and racism in particular.
From Jagmeet Singh’s point of view, the two big federal parties are “on the edge of the ultra-rich”. After reneging on his promises, the Prime Minister Justin trudeau is no longer trustworthy to run the country, he argues.
To hear Mr. Singh, only his party, which came third in 2019 with 24 seats, really wants to implement the important social programs the need for which has been demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Neither does he seem particularly afraid of encroaching on provincial jurisdiction, which has earned him the accusation, launched by the Premier of Quebec, Francois Legault, to lead a “centralizing” party.
Since the last election, his party has only one representative in Quebec: the member for Rosemont – La Petite-Patrie, Alexandre Boulerice. Despite polls that put him at the back of the pack in the province, Jagmeet Singh presented a Quebec platform that includes a string of measures traditionally promised by the Bloc, such as more powers in immigration and the application of Bill 101 to federally chartered companies, and even wants to reinstate the province in the Canadian Constitution.
The leader of the left-wing party has repeated from coast to coast his various flagship promises: a dental insurance and universal drug insurance program, subsidies for social housing, sick leave for all, an increase of minimum wage federal government at $ 20 an hour and the end of subsidies to the petroleum industries (except to help them reduce their emissions). The party is resolutely for national standards in long-term care centers, from which it wants to drive out the private sector and its search for profits.
How do you pay for all of this? According to the New Democratic Party’s fiscal framework, these promises would cost $ 214 billion over five years. But thanks to a wealth tax, an increase in corporate taxes and a renewed fight against tax havens and other loopholes, the party promises to rake in $ 166 billion in new revenue for the Canadian state.
To learn more about the 2021 federal election