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Here Are The Highlights Of The NDP Election Platform

The second platform to be released by one of the major parties comes just before the long weekend.

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The NDP released its election platform Friday. Here are the highlights, starting with LGBTQ rights.

Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press

The NDP would change Canada’s human rights legislation so that people cannot be discriminated against on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression. They would also suspend the criminal records of those “convicted of outdated and discriminatory offences which are no longer illegal,” and revise the service records for people kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

In addition, an NDP government would officially apologize to public servants fired in the past on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The NDP would also include same-sex couples in its plan to extend parental leave by five weeks per parent.

Women's health and rights.

Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press

The NDP plan lays out a number of measures aimed at improving women's healthcare and rights, including expanding access to shelters, ending pay inequity, and a pledge to create an action plan to end violence against women. The NDP also want to make sure all provinces provide "accessible, reliable abortion services."

The NDP want women to be well-represented in government as well. They say they'll introduce a mandate stating that all appointments to the boards of Crown corporations and agencies must be female, and force "publicly traded, federally regulated companies" to have boards composed of 40% women.

Decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The NDP want to "ensure that police are free to focus on serious crimes" by, in part, immediately decriminalizing the possession of personal amounts of marijuana.

They also want to help communities hire 2,500 new law enforcement officers and adopt recommendations made by Canada's prison watchdog on improving mental health care for offenders.

A national drug plan.

As it stands, each province has a different drug coverage plan. The NDP want to create a national drug plan that they say would help lower prescription costs by 30%. Part of the money saved would come from leveraging the country's bulk buying power, the NDP says.

Another cornerstone of the NDP platform is making sure Canada has 1 million $15-per-day childcare spots — whether by creating new ones or maintaining existing ones. That would cost the federal government $6.2 billion over the next four years.

The NDP would also increase health care funding transfers to the provinces by 6% each year, which the party says would inject an extra $5 billion into the system over four years — but would cost them an extra $2.6 billion over the same period.

Dump C-51.

The NDP would repeal the Conservatives' controversial anti-terror legislation. They'd reinstate the office of the inspector general, which used to oversee the work of Canada's spy agency, but was folded into the Security Intelligence Review Committee.

The NDP would allow SIRC to work with other watchdogs during investigations and create a parliamentary committee that would oversee national security agencies.

Open to a coalition?

Ryan Remiorz / The Canadian Press

The NDP, which have recently seen a huge slide in the polls, seem to be open to forming a coalition with, presumably, the Liberals. "We will work with other federalist parties through informal or appropriate stable arrangements to end Stephen Harper's lost decade," the NDP platform says.

Moreover, the NDP are proposing electoral reform by repealing the Conservatives' Fair Elections Act, abolishing the Senate, and introducing "a system of mixed-member proportional representation." They also want the Speaker of the House of Commons to be able to "break up omnibus bills, like the ones that Stephen Harper used to ram changes through Parliament in order to avoid scrutiny." And under an NDP government, Canada's budget watchdog would become an independent officer of parliament.

Pull out of Iraq and Syria.

The NDP would pull the Canadian Forces out of the combat mission against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, redirecting Canada's effort toward "saving the lives of civilians displaced by the conflict." The NDP would also seek to stop the flow of money and weapons to extremists and create a National Coordinator who would fight radicalization at home.

Military funding would stay the same under the NDP, but they would create a "Defence White Paper" by 2016 to figure out what exactly Canada's military should be doing in the world. Within that document would be a review aimed at deciding which fighter jet would best replace Canada's aging CF-18 fleet.

The NDP would tackle issues surrounding military mental health in part with "deployable mental health teams" that would provide care to soldiers on the ground. They'd also pump $165 million into the treatment of PTSD and other mental health issues.

Like the Liberals, the NDP would focus on "restoring Canada's place in the world" by getting Canada a spot on the United Nations security council and working "towards a two-state solution" with Israel and Palestine.

Cut some taxes, raise others.

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The NDP will raise the corporate tax rate from 15% to 17%, which they say is still below the average of G7 countries. They’ll cut the small business tax to 9% from 11%, and create a tax force to deal with offshore tax havens.

They’ll also roll back the Conservatives’ income splitting, while keeping it as an option for seniors.

A big part of the NDP plan is raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, although that only applies to federally regulated industries, such as banks. Despite that, the NDP say the move will benefit 100,000 people.

The NDP have also committed to balancing the budget.

Emma Loop is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Emma Loop at emma.loop@buzzfeed.com.

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