The brand new NDP leader also offers really seriously green policy options.
Canada's New Democratic Party has historically been the left-leaning progressive party and almost always ran behind the centrist Liberals and right-wing Conservatives. To many (like this TreeHugger) they seemed to have lost their way over the last few years, but may have found a new focus with the election yesterday of Jagmeet Singh as their new leader. He will likely get some of the bike vote, having said:
It's no secret that I love to cycle. I believe that it's time for Canada to have a National Cycling Strategy that works to advance cycle infrastructure, safety and accessibility in cities and regions across Canada.
He is the proud owner of a Brompton, which is a pretty serious commitment to two wheels. However he is also a strong advocate of public transit, and will implement a National Public Transit Strategy that will provide the long term and predictable funding for public transit that cities and communities across the country are seeking.
He wants to promote electric cars by taxing high emission vehicles while offering rebates on Zero Emission Vehicles, and make new investments in charging station infrastructure. He has some solid proposals for green building:
Jagmeet will introduce a new green building compact between the federal and provincial governments including a packaged suite of federal energy efficiency policies, a revamp of building codes and standards, and a national building retrofit program and renewable heating program.
He promises also to eliminate subsidies to the fossil fuel industries and promote renewable energy and sustainable technologies, as well as building a renewable energy super grid.
Canada is a hydro-electricity superpower and is rapidly increasing other renewable sources. There is immense potential to utilize our low-carbon renewable electricity while simultaneously electrifying other sectors of our economy like transportation, oil and gas exploration, and mining.
It’s really a TreeHugger’s dream of a green economy and climate agenda. Many NDP voters have been charmed by Justin Trudeau, but Jasmeet Singh (and such clear green policies) might bring us back.
He has some challenges ahead, given that he is the first non-white leader of a national political party in Canada. Some are already complaining; one Twitter comment on having a Sikh as federal NDP leader: 'He'll enact Shania's Law!' But we like Shania in Canada, even naming streets after her, so that will be fine.