B.C. should be concerned about the NDP’s Leap Manifesto

Jim Shepard

Guest Comment

The NDP’s Leap Manifesto – accepted by New Democrats across B.C. and Canada as a guide for our future – sets out a sweeping plan to re-engineer our economy and lives. It seeks to end the use of gasoline and all fossil fuels. It will stop construction of pipelines and new highways. The idea that government needs to control expenditure to keep taxes low will be abandoned.

The NDP Leap Manifesto also proposes to phase out the entire resource sector while it raises taxes to support a country-wide minimum income. That means the government will pay everyone a salary for life whether they work or not.

This raises an important question. Exactly where does NDP Leader John Horgan stand on the NDP Leap Manifesto?

Asked that very question nine months ago, Horgan responded:

“There are elements in the document that make sense and there are elements that make no sense for British Columbia. So, we won’t proceed under any kind of manifesto in the next 12 months under my leadership.”

As we approach the May 9 provincial election, British Columbians need a more specific answer from someone who wants to be Premier.

What parts of the NDP Leap Manifesto does Horgan support?

The end of use of gasoline and other fossil fuels?

A ban on all pipeline construction.

The end of our resource economy.

Taxpayers funding a minimum salary for all including those who do not work.

And does Horgan agree with the Leap Manifesto’s plan to scuttle future LNG projects and phase out the mining industry as many in the NDP demand.

Does he agree with the Leap Manifesto’s scheme of hiring of more civil servants to make up for the jobs lost in the resource sector?

The truth is, we simply don’t know where John Horgan stands on the NDP Leap Manifesto. It is a very interesting and important document. It is endorsed by many of the most outstanding artists in the music and film industry in Canada. It can be read by googling Leap Manifesto.

Written by Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis, the Leap Manifesto is designed to shape the governing policies of future NDP governments. It has won the support of many in the NDP as well as the aforementioned leaders in the performing arts. Today, inside the B.C. NDP, it is actively being looked at as a guide to future policy for British Columbia.

Before we go to the polls on May 9, it is essential that all British Columbians fully understand the NDP’s Leap Manifesto. They also deserve to know what parts of the NDP Leap Manifesto John Horgan supports or rejects.

In the weeks ahead, CC4BC – a not-for-profit group representing citizens who share a deep concern for the future prosperity of B.C. – intends to hold a provincewide, public interest conversation on the NDP’s Leap Manifesto and what it means.

•••

Jim Shepard is a director of Concerned Citizens 4 British Columbia 2017.

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