NEWS: CBC - How the Liberal-NDP agreement will work and what it  might mean for Canadians

NEWS: CBC - How the Liberal-NDP agreement will work and what it might mean for Canadians

The "supply-and-confidence" agreement struck between the governing Liberals and the opposition New Democrats could affect the kind of legislation Canadians can expect to see pass through Parliament between now and 2025.

According to the deal, those key policy areas are climate change, health care spending, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, economic growth and efforts to make life more affordable.

IN THE NEWS: Hill Times - Scrap tax exemption ‘loophole’ causing ‘erosion’ of rental affordability: housing advocates

The existing corporate tax exemption makes real estate investment trusts (REITs) especially attractive to investors, said Steve Pomeroy, a housing policy consultant and professor of industry at McMaster University. He said the big-picture result has been the “erosion” of affordable rental units over the years as large corporate landlords have used this “much larger pool of capital” to buy older apartment buildings, renovate vacant units, and raise rents.

NDP MP Jenny Kwan (Vancouver East, B.C.) said whether these measures make it into the budget “remains to be seen, but the NDP is absolutely calling for the government to take action.” She described the corporate tax exemption as “a tax loophole” that benefits investors at the expense of renters.

MEDIA RELEASE - Liberals continue to rubberstamp oil projects, fail to invest in workers or solutions to the worsening climate crisis

Just days ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a scathing report warning people that we cannot continue on our current path if we are going to have any chance of addressing climate change.
The reality we are facing could not be more clear: bolder action is urgently needed.
But today, we learned the Liberals are going ahead with a new fossil fuel project and will continue to hand out billions of dollars to oil and gas companies.

IN THE NEWS: Globe & Mail - Church group halts refugee sponsorship role, calls on Ottawa to provide support

A B.C. church organization that has been instrumental in sponsoring refugees has abruptly suspended its program, as Canada’s private sponsors face frustration and burnout amid a growing humanitarian crisis.

“I regret to inform you that all sponsorship activities under the auspices of the Anglican Diocese of BC are hereby suspended effective immediately,” Tony Davis, the diocese’s sponsorship co-ordinator, told community partners in a March 27 e-mail obtained by The Globe and Mail. “This action is taken with a heavy heart, and I am not certain how long the issues behind this decision will take to be resolved.”

MEDIA RELEASE - We must fight against the spread of fake news for the safety of Canadians

“Canadians want reliable information about public health–especially during this pandemic. Unfortunately, the spread of fake news online has compromised the reliability and quality of the information people are getting. It has also created a space to feed online hate. People expect their government to help fix this problem.
Furthermore, the unfair competition from web giants is decreasing the revenue of media outlets that people depend on. The lack of a level playing field is leading to the closure of many local media outlets and making the spread of fake news a pandemic of its own threatening the safety of people, particularly racialized and Indigenous communities.

MEDIA RELEASE - Migrant workers deserve respect and dignity

People who come here to work deserve dignity and protection. There is no denying that there is a power imbalance in the Temporary Foreign Workers program that has resulted in many migrant workers being exploited, including being subject to wage theft and poor working conditions. We’ve seen the horrors of how TFWs are put in substandard housing, unable to isolate in dense living quarters during the pandemic and unable to speak up until their health was affected. This highlights the ongoing and deep-seated problem with the TFW program.
The findings of a recent damning report by the Auditor General exposed the Liberal government's failure to ensure the health and safety of temporary foreign agricultural workers where Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) provided little assurance that workers were protected during the 2020 and 2021 growing seasons. In fact, even though the Liberals promised they would take action to address this blatant violation of the worker's rights in 2020, the quality of inspections have gotten worse. By adding more TFWs to the system, ESDC will be spread even thinner and struggle even more to ensure the safety of these workers.

MEDIA RELEASE - New Democrats call for bolder action in response to russian war crimes

“The world is watching in horror as reports emerge from Ukraine about the discovery of a mass grave in the city of Bucha,” said McPherson. “300 bodies, many of them women and children, have been found further confirming that crimes against humanity and war crimes are being committed by the Russian federation. In addition to the unconscionable killing of civilians, reports are also emerging about sexual violence against women and children by the Russian military. These heinous acts demand action. Vladimir Putin and the Russian military must not be allowed to get away with this.”
McPherson’s motion calls on Parliament to support increased aid to Ukraine so that Ukrainians can defend themselves against these horrific events, accountability for these actions at the International Criminal Court, as well as increased punitive measures like stronger trade restrictions and economic sanctions.

MEDIA RELEASE - Canadians across the country need affordable Internet services

The pandemic has shown how much people depend on Internet and cellphone services to stay connected, work and study. The reality is that Canadians are tired and frustrated from paying high fees for Internet services that make big, rich telecommunications companies even richer. They feel like they are being ripped off, especially people who are struggling to get by with the cost of groceries, gas for their cars and other bills pilling up.

Today's announcement is a first step, but government eligibility criteria still excludes many low-income families and seniors who depend on Internet services.

Since Justin Trudeau came to power, instead of taking action to reduce internet charges, his government has protected the monopoly and profits of telecom giants at the expense of the people who pay some of the highest fees in the world.

MEDIA RELEASE - Canadians need homes they can afford

A media outlet reported this week that the Liberal's housing strategy isn’t delivering the affordable homes people need despite the worsening housing crisis across the country.
Families aren’t finding homes they can afford in the communities where they live and work because rich investors are hiking up rent to maximize their profits. Nearly all the government​'s funding ​allocation under the Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFI) ends up in the pockets of for-profit developers who often have ​little interest in offering homes people can afford.
This Liberal government has been telling people that they are building more affordable homes, but the reality doesn't match the rhetoric. What the government deems affordable is way over the market price — families just can’t afford it. Currently, for many of the units created under the RCFI initiative, the rent is somewhere between 30 per cent and ​120 per cent above market rent​. ​It's laughable for the Liberals to claim that this is affordable. The NDP has been calling this out for years now and the program needs to change.

MEDIA RELEASE - NDP statement on Papal apology to First Nations, Métis and Inuit delegation

Canada's New Democrats are glad to see Pope Francis issue this apology to the First Nations, Métis and Inuit delegates.
Today's apology comes from years of advocacy from Indigenous people and is a necessary step for the Catholic Church to make on its reconciliation journey.
We are hopeful that the Church will continue on this journey and that Pope Francis’ visit to Canada will continue this work. His apology to all First Nations, Métis and Inuit while visiting with Survivors in Canada will be important.
In addition to issuing a formal apology to survivors, their families, and communities, the Pope should work with survivors and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to ensure all documents related to Indian Residential Schools in possession by the Catholic Church are released. Pope Francis should also use the powers of the Church to ensure that the perpetrators of abuse, including Johannes Rivoire, are held accountable for the crimes they are alleged to have committed.

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