What is in the Leap Manifesto?

Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis unveiled their plan for restructuring the economy last September during the election campaign

Author Naomi Klein (3rd R) speaks during a news conference to launch the "Leap Manifesto: A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another " in Toronto, September 15, 2015. The Leap Manifesto is a group consisting of activists, artists, and celebrities that call for strong environmental policy changes and initiatives. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Author Naomi Klein (third right)  during a news conference to launch the Leap Manifesto: A Call for a Canada Based on Caring for the Earth and One Another  in Toronto, September 15, 2015.  (Mark Blinch, Reuters)



EDMONTON — The federal NDP adopted a motion Sunday to debate the ideas contained within a radical manifesto just ahead of Tom Mulcair’s critical leadership review.

Some 1,700 delegates at the NDP convention in Edmonton will decide later today whether Mulcair will stay or go and much rests on a speech he is set to deliver.

They must decide if Mulcair is the right frontman to revive the party from its low standing in the polls and help the NDP redefine itself after a serious setback in last fall’s election.

Support for the Leap Manifesto came after rousing addresses Saturday from Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and party elder Stephen Lewis that presented starkly divergent views on how the party should deal with climate change.

The manifesto, spearheaded by Lewis’ son, Avi, calls for an overhaul of the capitalist economy to wean the country quickly off fossil fuels. Among other things, it calls for no new pipelines, which Notley told delegates are crucial to revive Alberta’s resource-based economy.

To great applause, Notley told New Democrats they can stage a revival, pointing to her own experience leading the provincial party out of the doldrums and into power in a province few dared to predict would ever turn orange.

But she also pleaded with NDPers outside of Alberta to understand that thousands of families in her province depend on natural resources for their living, and need a pipeline and support for the oil and gas sector to maintain their quality of life _ even while working to improve the environment.

Lewis, to equally raucous applause, presented a different vision _ he stressed the importance of the discussion around the manifesto and suggested the dialogue could breathe life into the beleaguered party.

“Simply let the leap be the entry point to one of the great philosophic and pragmatic debates that engages democratic socialists in Canada,” he said, while also recognizing the tension that will exist with Mulcair’s leadership review.

The resolution passed by delegates endorsed the principles of the Leap Manifesto, enabling debate by grassroots New Democrats over the next two years on the policies that should flow from that.

Many New Democrats now find themselves struggling with the question of whether Mulcair can find a way to convey an impassioned message of his own — something many felt he failed to do during the course of the campaign.

“There was no coherent message, no optimism, no passion,” former MP Peggy Nash wrote last week in the Huffington Post.

Are enough members willing to give him a second chance?

The leadership review will take place after an intense morning. Delegates will first vote on a joint resolution calling for a debate on the policies that could flow from the leap manifesto. Then, Mulcair will make his final pitch before delegates vote mid-afternoon.

The joint resolution urges the NDP to recognize and support the leap document as a high-level statement of principles that speaks to the aspirations, history, and values of the party.

It also calls for specific policies in the manifesto to be debated and modified on their own merits and according to the needs of communities and all parts of the country.

NDP President Rebecca Blaikie has suggested Mulcair will need about 70 per cent support from delegates to stay on as leader, although the party’s constitution states that a leadership race only needs to be called if the leader receives less than 50 per cent.

Mulcair has refused to say what level of support would prompt him to resign.

Here’s what the manifesto calls for:

— Shift swiftly away from fossil fuels so that Canada gets 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable resources within 20 years and is entirely weaned off fossil fuels by 2050.

— No new infrastructure projects aimed at increasing extraction of non-renewable resources, including pipelines.

— “Energy democracy,” in which energy sources are collectively controlled by communities instead of “profit-gouging” private companies.

— An end to all trade deals “that interfere with our attempts to rebuild local economies, regulate corporations and stop damaging extractive projects.”

— Expand low-carbon sectors of the economy, such as caregiving, teaching, social work, the arts and public-interest media.

— Vigorous debate on the idea of introducing a universal guaranteed minimum income.

— Declare that “austerity — which has systematically attacked low-carbon sectors like education and health care while starving public transit and forcing reckless energy privatizations — is a fossilized form of thinking that has become a threat to life on earth.”

— Pay for it all by ending fossil fuel subsidies, imposing financial transaction taxes, increasing resource royalties, hiking taxes on corporations and the wealthy, introducing a progressive carbon tax, and cutting military spending.


What is in the Leap Manifesto?

  1. There should also be a clause calling for vigorous support for businesses within the overall manifesto framework.

  2. Reading this makes me want to reach out to a Panamanian law firm.

  3. Thank you, NO

    I do not want to go back to the feudal era or even the cave.

    • This is the kind of document that could only be created by far-left flakes and kooks who have no grasp of reality.

      This is straight out of ORWELL. The NDP has in effect, just enacted the first step towards the Inner Party telling Winston that his future shows a boot stomping a face into the ground for all eternity.

      Fascism; thy name is the NEW NDP>

      • They might as well scrape what’s left of the Newly Destroyed Party into the garbage bag and put it out at the curb. I’m sure some banana republic will be happy to pick it up.

      • James, Mussolini was a fascist, the NDP are hippies….

        • Both Mussolini and Hitler started out as socialists, then moved on to being fascists.

          • no they didn’t….stop it

          • Daphnis……you are close, but in fact, here is what you should have written:

            Mussolini and HItler started out as socialists; meaning they were already fascists.

            What other ideology demands they have the right to take what you have, and force you to comply with their will using the force of the state against you if you resist.

            Inner Party = New Democratic Party

            If you want to see a real socialist in action, just look to venezuela. Wherever you have socialism (or marxism/communism) like that found in South America, you eventually get mass graves for those who don’t want to live under the jackboot.

        • Emily,

          todays “HIPPIES” in the NDP are not like the hippie in your day. Today’s hippies have “safe spaces” and “free speech” zones.

          they are the jackboots stomping you into submission today. If in doubt, just look at how they behave when someone of a Conservative bent wants to speak at a University.

          • Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production; as well as the political ideologies, theories, and movements that aim at their establishment.

            Fascism, an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization. an extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

          • Emily, provides her definition of socialism with:

            “Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership and democratic control of the means of production”

            Which, when applied to Venezuela, takes a country that was wealthy and well run, and turns it into a basket case inside a couple of short years. the people are now required to ration, go without power, and suffer the fate of much poorer countries. this is the result of socialism. It is a failed ideology and it is a failed economic policy.

            She goes on to describe what she thinks fascism is:

            “Fascism, an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization. an extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.”

            Ok, Emily, so please tell us what to call it if you replace “right wing” with left wing? Because that is what we are talking about here. Fascism is facism, no matter what side tries it on. And today, it is the LEFT WING and PROGRESSIVES who meet the definition of this type of ideology; though from a left wing perspective.

            At the end of the day, it is still just a group of people using the power of the state to crush dissent.

            albeit, in a University, they do if from their “safe spaces”

          • James, those definitions are straight from Google.

            You don’t get to make up your own definitions.

  4. This statement is troubling:

    “Energy democracy,” in which energy sources are collectively controlled by communities instead of “profit-gouging” private companies.

    I’m part of two pioneering wind energy co-ops and two equally pioneering solar power co-ops in Ontario, as I firmly believe this is the best to build community acceptance in renewable energy. I also teach renewables and sustainable energy at the college level. While it is true that private companies control the vast majority of renewable projects in the province, some have shown interest in building engagement in these projects through the introduction of community energy co-ops. Still, there has been little success in large co-op projects coming on-stream.

    I’ve never been approached for input on the many community challenges faced by sustainable professionals by ANYONE from the authors of the LEAP manifesto, despite having several years of defending and organizing support to face opposition to these projects.

    I’m skeptical on this approach – Marxian references also don’t play well here in SWO – and wonder how much community outreach and homework they’ve actually done to arrive at these conclusions.

    • Gary,

      I have never heard of a SINGLE renewable energy company (mainly wind) that has survided without government subsidy. That is certainly the case in Ontario, and it is the case in most of the USA. In fact, many of these “green” businesses have gone down the tubes within weeks of losing their subsidy.

      WInd may be sustainable, but wind companies certainly are not.

  5. If the NDP adopts this, they will be envious of the seats the Green Party gets next election.

    It’s sad that I’m now hoping for the Conservatives. Please pick a good candidate.

  6. It creates a magical world where the laws of nature no longer exist and human beings forget any personal needs or wants so that the elite can continue to enjoy their lifestyle (didn’t Klein wax on about her need for expensive shoes?) while the little people live in hovels trying to keep warm with the power of the sun (hard to do on the Prairies in January at -35C) or the wind (which doesn’t work in no wind or high wind situations). And forget about vacations because that will no longer we allowed (except for the beautiful people who need to fly off to meetings to discuss how the little people should change their lives). Makes me glad that at 60 years old, I probably will not be alive in 20 years to care!

    • Problem of course, is that it will be our kids that have to live with the idiotic decisons made today.

    • Maureen, you must have gone tripping in the 60’s and you haven’t come home

      hovel? LOL

      • Funny, EmilyNone, how your `insults’ directed at others always seem to describe yourself. BTW, how long has it been that you and your cats having been waiting at the window, pining for the android milkman to come by?

        • You still think we have milkmen?

          Tripping with Maureen? Were You?

  7. I can’t decide which acronym they were going for.

    Lenin Engels Action Plan
    Leave Everyone Abject Poverty

    Hopefully Canadians won’t have to find out.

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