Toronto-Danforth prepares for Provincial Convention

by David Orenstein, Federal Policy Co-Chair

On Sunday, September 14, our Toronto-Danforth NDP met for the second time in less than a week at S.T.E.P., on Euston Avenue. This time we were preparing for the November 14-16, 2014, Ontario NDP Convention to be held at the Metro Convention Centre.

We selected most of our 39 delegates, in addition to our ex-officio delegates (seven Provincial Councillors and our elected parliamentarians). We also thoroughly debated many resolutions, passing most of them, that covered a wide range of policy issues and matters of internal party affairs.

The format we used was to deal with everyone's first priority among the resolutions they had submitted and then continue with any second priorities if we had time. As it was, we dealt with all nine first priority resolutions and only one second priority before we ran out of time.

Regarding environmental policy, we supported Peter Tabuns' resolution for a moratorium on any further development of the Deep Geologic Repository for radioactive waste, on Lake Huron, until after a through, competent evaluation. We also decided that a carbon tax was not the way to go to deal with climate change. Socialists should find something better than the wishful thinking of market-based solutions.

One member's innovative and thoroughly researched proposal for privacy protection in the electronic age will be a major advance for NDP policy if we can succeed in getting it adopted in November. It extends such protections into the workplace.

Another had us supporting the NDP Caucus, both at Queen's Park and on Parliament Hill in their determined efforts to push for the establishment of a "National Inquiry into the 1,186 missing and murdered women and girls."

The last policy resolution on education: to restore and enhance the high school math and science curriculum by bring back many fine courses slashed by the Harris Conservative axe, such as a three-year sequence of Environmental Studies courses or the Science and Society course. Innovations included a new Mathematics and Society course and including a Labour perspective in Math and Science.

The next meeting of the policy committee meets tonight to prepare the resolutions for the Ontario NDP Convention in November. To join future policy meetings for lively debate of NDP policies, contact [email protected]


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