Sudbury

NDP promises to make life more affordable for northern Ontarians

The federal New Democratic Party is promising to make life more affordable in northern Ontario if elected.

Northern-specific platform includes investment in transportation and raising the minimum wage

Federal NDP candidates gathered in Sudbury on Monday to announce the party's plan for northern Ontario. From left to right are Nipissing-Timiskaming candidate Rob Broulet, Nickel Belt provincial member of parliament France Gelinas, Nickel Belt candidate Stef Paquette, Timmins-James Bay candidate Charlie Angus, Sudbury candidate Beth Mairs and Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing candidate Carol Hughes. (Martha Dillman/CBC)

The federal New Democratic Party is promising to make life more affordable in northern Ontario if elected.

On Monday, northern Ontario candidates released the party's plan called A New Deal for Northern Ontario.

"We want to give kids hope to stay up north," Stef Paquette, the NDP candidate for the Nickel Belt riding said. "We need better jobs up here."

The party says it plans to boost the economy and keep youth in a number of ways, including launching programs to retain post-secondary graduates in the region, investing in forestry innovation, create a permanent mineral exploration tax credit and making FedNor a stand-alone agency.

Sudbury candidate Beth Mairs says a proposed retrofit program would not only help the economy but the environment as well.

"What we would be doing is have an aggressive plan in order to increase the energy efficiency of every home in the north," she said. 

"That would create a variety of jobs but also save people $900 per annum out there in their pocketbook."

The plan also includes promises to extend university prescription drug coverage, increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour and protect pensions by "strengthening corporate bankruptcy laws."

An investment in transportation is also highlighted, as the party says it will restore the Northlander passenger train service between Toronto and Cochrane and also support the Mask-Wa Oo-Ta-Ban Bear Train between Hearst and Sault Ste. Marie.

The northern platform also includes an Indigenous section as the party says northern Ontario is home "to many diverse Indigenous communities covering multiple treaty territories, cultures and languages."

On Monday, candidates with the NDP released the party's northern Ontario specific platform. (Martha Dillman/CBC)

Charlie Angus, whose riding includes many Indigenous communities in Ontario's Far North is the candidate for Timmins-James Bay.

"The communities we represent are dealing with a horrific suicide crisis," he said. "We will establish a national suicide action plan to help these communities."

The plan also includes promises to work with Indigenous groups to co-develop a National Action Plan for Reconciliation, invest in Indigenous languages through new legislation, co-develop a First Nations housing strategy and lift all drinking water advisories by 2021.

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