Housing, environment among NDP leader Singh’s top priorities at Manitoba campaign stop

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh responds to questions during a news conference in a park in Winnipeg, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson. pch

Jagmeet Singh was the third federal leader to campaign in Winnipeg this week, after stopping in the city Thursday to speak in the Winnipeg North riding, and meet with Indigenous leaders at the Forks.

The campaign stop by Singh, who is vying for the job of Prime Minister as leader of the NDP, followed appearances in the Manitoba capital Aug. 20 by Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and the Conservative Party’s Erin O’ Toole.

Singh highlighted NDP plans an for urban housing strategy for Indigenous people, and told 680 CJOB the federal government needs to step in to help all Canadians secure housing.

Read more: ANALYSIS: Jagmeet Singh wouldn’t back Scheer but he could back O’Toole

“We want to make sure that no one has to worry about finding a home that’s in their budget,” he said.

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“We know the housing crisis is touching everyone, from all walks of life… we know people are struggling with homelessness, people have low or no income — everyone is struggling when it comes to housing.

“It’s a serious problem and we’re committed to finding a solution.”

Singh said the federal government “has really stopped participating in housing” since the 1990s, which has caused a number of large co-operative and not-for-profit housing projects to shut down due to lack of federal investment, something he says he’d turn around with an NDP government.

Another priority, he said, is looking at the “revolution” taking place around clean energy, and making better investments to set the country up for success for the future, which could include interprovincial grids.

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Read more: Singh highlights housing pledges alongside Indigenous candidates in Winnipeg

“That’s another place where the federal government can step in and provide the link between Manitoba and other provinces that don’t have that same access,” said Singh.

“Instead of buying electricity, which Ontario often does from the States, (Ontario) should be getting clean energy from Manitoba. So it can be an economic opportunity for Manitoba, and most importantly an opportunity to reduce our emissions.”

When it comes to paying for such ambitious projects, the NDP leader said his counterparts have traditionally focused on cutting help from other sectors, or putting the burden back on Canadians.

His solution: an aggressive third option which makes Canada’s largest polluters and wealthiest people pay their fair share.

“I think there’s significant changes we can make. I think that’s a really big starting point: why don’t we make sure the biggest polluters pay their fair share? It seems to be that if you’re really powerful and really wealthy, and you’re a large corporation… you kind of get a free ride, whether its on pollution or on paying your fair share.

“That shift, I think, is the really seismic shift that’s going to make a big difference.”

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Climate change a likely ballot issue for Manitobans this federal election: pollster

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