Singh gives sneak peek at NDP's climate pitch for fall election

Calling it a “Canadian New Deal” Jagmeet Singh teased the party’s 2019 election climate plan that the NDP Leader will unveil Friday morning.

NDP plan offers what it calls a 'bold' plan for building retrofits and a climate bank

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh speaks with the media following caucus on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday November 28, 2018. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

With a title that tips its hat to an environmental plan being pushed by some U.S. Democrats, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh today offered an early look at his party's "Canadian New Deal" climate plan for the fall election.

The NDP leader gave the audience gathered at the CUPE Ontario convention in Toronto a sneak peek at the elements of the plan his party is formally unveiling Friday — including a publicly funded national energy retrofit program and green investments to spur economic growth.

It wasn't clear from Singh's speech whether the plan's name is an overt reference to the Green New Deal, an ambitious economic stimulus strategy to combat climate change popularized recently by U.S. Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

If elected, Singh said, the NDP would launch a "bold" energy efficiency retrofit program for every building in Canada by 2050.

Singh said homeowners would be able to buy and install solar panels, new windows and energy-saving appliances with loans from a low-interest federal government fund. Singh said he estimates his plan would save families $900 annually.

An NDP government, he said, would ensure that new structures, older government buildings and older homes comply with low carbon emission standards. Buildings account for a third of greenhouse gas emissions, he said.

Climate bank

Singh said an NDP government led by him would eliminate subsidies for the fossil fuel industry and divert that money to a publicly owned climate investment bank which would invest in renewable technologies and businesses that reduce emissions.

He said the retrofits and infrastructure investments would create jobs and re-employ workers in emissions-intensive industries like the oil and gas sector.

"We cannot leave workers and communities behind," Singh told the labour union convention.

The Green Party of Canada released its climate plan two weeks ago, promising to double Canada's emissions reduction targets.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has said his party will release its climate plan before the House of Commons rises for the summer on June 21.

The CBC's David Thurton can be reached on FacebookTwitter or email him at david.thurton@cbc.ca.

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David Thurton

Senior reporter, Parliamentary Correspondent

David Thurton is a senior reporter in CBC's Parliamentary Bureau. He covers daily politics in the nation’s capital and specializes in environment and energy policy. Born in Canada but raised in Trinidad and Tobago, he’s moved around more times than he can count. He’s worked for CBC in several provinces and territories, including Alberta and the Northwest Territories.