By resuming the NDP discourse aimed at making the “ultrariches” pay more, Jagmeet Singh on Monday pledged to reimburse CEOs who received emergency wage subsidies during the pandemic.

On the first full day of the election campaign, Monday, Mr. Singh did not specify the terms of this commitment. He argued, however, that he would ensure that any emergency wage subsidies that have been given to business leaders are instead spent on providing services and supporting families in need.

“An NDP government is going to make sure that any company that abuses the system, takes public money and then pays dividends to its shareholders or increases executive compensation, we are going to stop this,” Singh said, campaigning in the Toronto area on Monday. “We are going to make sure that they reimburse it, then that we can reinvest it for the citizens. “

When asked how he would investigate and demand such refunds, Singh said there are a number of tools available to a government.

“At the heart of it all, Canadians see hundreds of great companies taking public money and then paying dividends to their shareholders,” he said. Canadians look at this and say, “Well, we fought. While workers were going through a difficult time, why Justin trudeau does he continue to let the richest companies get away with abusing the system? ”.”

Mr Singh said the money recovered would be spent on top priorities of the New Democratic Party : health care, particularly in mental health, drug insurance and dental coverage. But he did not put a figure on what the party expected to recover from leaders and businesses.

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The NDP leader spoke during a campaign stop in Toronto’s Danforth neighborhood, where he sometimes struggled to be heard amid heckling from a handful of opponents. The riding, once represented by former leader Jack Layton, was conquered by the Liberals in 2015.

Mr. Singh was due to visit a company in Brampton, a suburb of Toronto, where he was once a provincial MP, on Monday. He was later scheduled to fly to Vancouver, where he will campaign on Tuesday.

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