Sussex Adrenaline is supporting Prostate Cancer Canada's "Plaid for Dad" campaign. Join us, and thousands of Canadians, and wear Plaid for Dad on June 17th in support of Prostate Cancer Canada.
Learn more
Sussex is proud to be both agency of record and a sponsor for World Refugee Day 2016. Find out how you can help us save lives together on June 20th.
Learn more

Ahead of Election Call, New Democratic Party Releases Campaign Platform

Published on
August 13, 2021

It is generally expected that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau intends to visit newly installed Governor General Mary Simon on Sunday morning to seek a dissolution of the 43rd Parliament and request the call of a federal election. In triggering the election, the Prime Minister will seek to regain the majority government status that the Liberals lost in 2019.

In anticipation of this, New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh was in St. John’s, Newfoundland, this week flanked by a team of candidates as well as retiring St. John’s East MP Jack Harris to officially unveil “Ready for Better”, the Party’s 115-page election platform.

In it, the NDP makes large-scale pledges on affordable housing, national pharmacare and dental care, student loan forgiveness, full paid sick leave for workers in federally regulated sectors, and a continuation of pandemic relief programs including a small business recovery package. Singh and the NDP are hoping that their work pushing the Liberals on the pandemic relief programs and increasing popularity among young and Indigenous voters, two blocks crucial to the Prime Minister’s majority in 2015, will allow them to improve upon their fortunes in 2019 when the party fell from 39 seats to 24 and finished behind the Bloc Quebecois in fourth-party status.  

While ambitious in scope, a number of the positions are revamped from the Party’s platform from two years ago, a tactic that will be interesting to see if other parties replicate in the coming weeks.

For your awareness, please find below the key highlights from “Ready for Better.”

Costing and Taxation Measures

Though the plan does not have a full costing attached to it, the document pledges that much of the platform will be paid for through revenue brought in by a series of taxation measures including:

  • Reverting the corporate tax rate to 2010 levels, or 18%, while maintaining the small business tax rate at its current level.
  • On those making over $210,000 the top marginal tax rate would be increased by two points to 35 percent.
  • On those with over $10 million in wealth, referred to in the document as “super-rich multi-millionaires”, a new 1% wealth tax would be applied.
  • Reverting the amount of investment profits subject to capital gains taxation to 75%, the rate that was in place in 2000.

Workforce and Infrastructure

  • Setting the Federal Minimum Wage to $15 and eventually raising is to $20, indexed to the cost of living.
  • A ban on unpaid internships outside of education programs.
  • Creation of the National Automotive Strategy and return of the Automotive Innovation Fund previously folded into the Strategic Innovation Fund in 2016.
  • Mandating the use of Canadian steel and aluminum products on infrastructure projects funded by the Federal Government.
  • Creation of a specific Rural Infrastructure Funding program.

Housing Affordability

In what is sure to become a hot-button issue yet again on the campaign trail, the New Democrats are seeking to differentiate themselves from the governing Liberals by promising:  

  • At least 500,000 units of “quality, affordable” housing over 10 years.
  • Reintroducing 30-year mortgages insured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
  • Stabilizing housing markets by establishing a 20 percent foreign buyers’ tax on home sales.

Energy and Environment

  • Setting a new emissions reduction target of 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.
  • Creation and enshrinement in law of an “Environmental Bill of Rights” that would seek to protect 30% of land, freshwater and oceans by 2030.
  • Establishment of a new Canadian Climate Bank to boost specific investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low carbon technology across the country.
  • Creation of a “Climate Emergency” Cabinet Committee that would be tasked with the oversight and execution of these goals.


The signature pieces of the NDP’s 2019 platform was the promise of National Pharmacare and National Dental Care for Canadians. The 2021 platform makes these commitments and also includes a number of new programs created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic including:

  • A pledge to end private for-profit long term care facilities.
  • Creation of national care standards for home care and long-term care.
  • Expansion of sickness benefits to 50 weeks.
  • Declaration of a Public Health Emergency regarding the Opioid Crisis.

Indigenous Reconciliation

Seeking to distinguish themselves from the governing Liberals on the perceived lack of progress on Indigenous reconciliation, including the lifting of boil-water advisories across the country and the implementation of Jordan’s Principle, the NDP has pledged to:

  • Create a separate Indigenous National Housing Strategy.
  • Create a National Council for Reconciliation to enact the 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Report.
  • Develop a First Nations Justice and Policing Strategy.

Other policies and commitments of note

On democratic rights, the Party once again renews its pledge to work with the provinces in an attempt to abolish the Canadian Senate, a move that would require the buy-in of 7 provinces and population equal to at least 50% of the Canadian population. The NDP also committed to:

  • A commitment to lower the voting age to 16.
  • Restoration of door-to-door mail delivery.
  • Creation of a watchdog agency for fair gasoline prices.
  • Reprised from 2019, the creation of a Telecom Consumer Bill of Rights to help cap cell phone and internet prices.
  • Increase funding for the CBC and Radio Canada as well as “strengthen the Canadian Broadcasting Act” an allusion to the Liberal's attempt to do so earlier this year in Bill C-10.


While many policies have been refurbished from 2019, the document signals that Singh intends to spend the campaign contrasting himself with the Prime Minister on their shared commitment to the implementation of National Pharmacare, the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Report, and Canada’s 2030 climate goals as the “true” progressive party committed to getting the big promises done. While Singh is no doubt hoping to replicate the performance of Jack Layton in 2011 that saw the party leap to serious contention to form government after decades as the third party, even slightly lifting the NDP above 22-25% in the polls could see them contend with the Liberals in enough seats in BC, Manitoba, and Ontario to deny a majority government to the Prime Minister.

Happy to help.

The Sussex Federal Government Relations Team will be analyzing and monitoring the rollout of all campaign platforms for all major parties and will provide updates on key campaign developments as they arise. For more information, including questions on the NDP platform or the pending federal election, please reach out to your Sussex point of contact or a member of the Federal Practice listed below.

Chris Benedetti, Managing Partner

Devin McCarthy, Senior Vice President & Federal Practice Lead

Liam Daly, Senior Associate

Roberto Chavez, Associate

Brett James, Senior Counsel

Paul Pellegrini, Executive Chairman

No items found.