Courtesy of the Dewar campaign, here are the other elements of the NDP leadership candidate’s urban agenda.
-Ensure a seat at the table for municipalities in federal/provincial/territorial negotiations dealing with their interests. That means all governments sitting down and working together at the same table when their interests intersect and the problem at hand needs all hands on deck. Jurisdictional sensitivities must not be an excuse for inaction. Canadians expect more.
-Bring all levels of government, Aboriginal communities, and civil society together to develop a National Housing Strategy with timelines, targets, review mechanisms and above all funding to enable Canada to meet its obligation to ensure affordable, adequate housing for all.
-Begin work immediately with its provincial, territorial, and municipal partners to develop a long-term infrastructure investment strategy to replace the Building Canada Plan when it expires in 2014 (there is currently a $123 billion municipal infrastructure deficit).
-Devote, permanently, the equivalent of another cent of the gas tax to predictable, stable funding for urban infrastructure – and adopt a National Transit Strategy to bolster transit investment.
-Support urban workers – contracted, free-lance, part-time and self-employed workers in cities have no pensions, benefits or fallback. We need to make sure federal income support like EI and CPP are geared to the realities of non-traditional work.
-Invest in renewable energy for urban settings, with a focus on supporting community-driven, cooperatively owned small-scale green projects.
-Establish and fund a Canada-wide childcare and early learning program.