Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal Party of Canada struck a support agreement with Jagmeet Singh’s New Democratic Party on Tuesday, a deal that will see the NDP keep the Liberal minority in power through the end of its current mandate in 2025.
Under the terms of the deal, the NDP will support the government on budget and confidence votes in exchange for agreeing to pursue wide-ranging policy objectives ranging from climate initiatives to stronger medical supports.
Here’s seven things you need to know about the support agreement reached between the Liberals and NDP:
1. New taxes on the big banks and insurers
The two parties seem intent on pushing through Trudeau’s campaign promise to hike taxes on the big banks and insurers. That proposal would boost taxes on bank and insurance profits above $1 billion a year to 18 per cent from 15 per cent, a move Ottawa said would generate $2.5 billion for the government over the next four years. When announced, the measure was met with pushback from the Canadian Bankers Association, which took umbrage with the banking industry being singled out.
2. Crack down on money laundering and tax evasion
The parties are also pledging to implement a publicly accessible beneficial ownership registry – essentially a database of who ultimately owns and controls private corporations – by the end of 2023. That would make good on a promise made in last year’s federal budget to implement tools to identify who controls the bevy of numbered corporations across Canada, though the feds initially targeted a 2025 implementation date.
3. Tackling the ‘financialization’ of housing
As affordability spirals out of control in not only the nation’s major urban centres but in outlying communities as well, the two parties said they would be “tackling the financialization of the housing market” by the end of next year. However, they did not outline what measures would be put in place or who would be targeted, be it housing speculators or corporate entities snapping up supply.
4. Addressing housing affordability
Part of the proposal calls for an extension of the Rapid Housing Initiative – a pandemic-era plan to help create affordable housing units and new rentals – for another year, past the sunset date of Mar. 31, 2022. The parties also pledged to implement a Homebuyer’s Bill of Rights and offer a one-time $500 top-up of the Canada Housing Benefit.
5. Outlawing crossing the picket line
The parties announced plans to introduce legislation to prohibit the use of replacement workers – or “scabs” – when an employer in a federally regulated industry like the railroads has locked out employees or the union has gone on strike.
6. National pharmacare, finally
The pledges include passing a Canada Pharmacare Act by the end of next year, which would make good on a Trudeau election promise dating back to the 2019 campaign. The parties would then task the National Drug Agency with putting together a bulk drug purchasing plan and determining essential medicines for the program.
7. Bolstering paid sick leave
Under the terms of the deal, the two parties promise to ensure all federally-regulated workers will receive 10 days of paid sick leave “as soon as possible” in 2022. The issue of paid leave took on greater prominence over the course of the pandemic as COVID-19 disrupted businesses far and wide.
Source: BNN Bloomberg