June 16, 2019 11:04 am
Updated: June 22, 2019 4:33 am

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh unveils platform ahead of 2019 federal election

WATCH ABOVE: The plan, dubbed NDP for short, makes some big promises to expand Canada's universal healthcare system. But with the party sagging in the polls, as Mike Le Couteur explains, the platform may not be enough to bring in the votes.

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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh unveiled his party’s platform ahead of the 2019 federal election at the NDP convention in Hamilton on Sunday.

The party released a 109-page document titled ‘A New Deal for People’ on Sunday, which sets out the NDP’s vision for Canada.

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The document outlines the party’s plan to expand the health-care system with a “comprehensive, universal and public” pharmacare program. Singh says this will save families more than $550 a year.

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The party says it plans to expand Canada’s health-care system and will develop a “long-term roadmap” include dental care, eye care, hearing care, mental-health care, seniors care and more in the Canada Health Act.

Singh says the NDP will work with health-care workers, provincial and territorial governments and with Indigenous communities to develop the plan.

“We believe that we need to work towards a health-care system that covers us from head to toe,” Singh said. “Under our plan, Canadians will see a historic expansion of the services covered under our national health-care system for the 21st century.”

WATCH: Singh talks about universal pharmacare plan

If elected this fall, Singh says the federal NDP will start by fast-tracking a universal drug plan to ensure a late 2020 start date.

Singh says if his party forms government after the October federal election, it will inject $10 billion annually into a national pharmacare program.

“We have a crisis in health care. It’s time that changed,” Singh said. “It’s time for the party that brought Medicare to Canada, to take another major step forward.”

The NDP proposal would see the pharmacare program start sooner than an expert panel recently recommended.

Singh said the expert panel’s recommendations were “overly cautious.”

WATCH: Singh says NDP will bring in ‘head to toe’ health care plan

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The panel said a national list of prescription drugs for pharmacare should be established by Jan. 1, 2022, and be expanded no later than Jan. 1, 2027.

According to Singh, if elected, the federal NDP will also declare the opioid overdose crisis a public health emergency.

The 109-page document also contains commitments from the NDP to create 500,000 more affordable housing units, expand grant programs for post-secondary education and address the cost of cellphone service and high-speed broadband by putting a ‘price cap’ in place.

WATCH: Singh says the will declare health emergency over opioid crisis if elected

The party has also outlined promises to spend a billion dollars in 2020 to expand child care, and will implement a ‘foreign buyer’s tax’ on the sale of homes to non-Canadian citizens.

The document also includes the NDP commitment to “invest in making life better for all Canadians,” by having the richest of the top one per cent pay one per cent more.

“We’re going to ask the people at the very top to contribute a little more,” Singh said. “I’m announcing the first measure today, the measure is a one per cent wealth tax, on the richest of the one per cent, those who have fortunes of $20 million or more.”

The party would roll back corporate tax cuts provided by previous governments to 2010 levels, an increase from the current 15 to 18 per cent, generating billions more for government coffers a year.

“The liberals and conservatives have been working for the people at the very top instead of working for you,” Singh said. “We are going to change that, because we are stronger together.”

Though the writ has not been dropped, the federal election is expected to take place in October.

-With files from the Canadian Press

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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