Candidate for NDP leadership swings north to share platform

The private sector and environment can have a positive working relationship according to Martin Singh,

  • Feb. 29, 2012 5:00 p.m.

Martin Singh stopped in at Books and Co. in Prince George to share his views as he campaigns for the leadership of the federal NDP.

DeLynda Pilon

Prince George Free Press

The private sector and environment can have a positive working relationship according to Martin Singh, a declared candidate for the leadership of the federal New Democratic Party.

Singh visited Prince George last week, stopping in at Books and Company to discuss his platform.

“I believe huge opportunities are being missed,” Singh, president of the NDP’s Faith and Social Justice commission and president of the Sackville – Eastern Shore NDP riding association, said.

The adversarial relationship is unnecessary, he said, since environmentalists know the problems out there very well while the solution to those problems often lie in the private sector. Singh, who has a background as a businessman in both urban and rural settings, said he wants to broaden the conversation between those two groups.

He added he has three main goals within the party. The first is the environment. Besides focusing on opportunities between the private sector and environmentalists, he said he has deep concerns about the Enbridge pipeline project.

“The whole process concerns me,” he said.

He added the NDP wants to make sure the process of consultation remains fair and transparent while the Conservatives seem to want to marginalize different groups.

“In a society of free speech, you are supposed to have free speech,” he said.

Singh also said job creation, particularly entrepreneurship, is important.

“The Conservative party is currently lowering corporate taxes. I have two issues with that. First, we will see it reach a point of diminishing returns.”

Secondly, it is an insufficient business policy, he said, especially when it comes to encouraging entrepreneurs who will likely have to wait a few years before seeing profits.

“So we neglect other areas of need,” he said.

Providing financing and training for both employees and employers, especially when it comes to financial literacy, would be more beneficial, he said. The national Pharmacare plan is another area Singh wants to focus on. Instead of doing another study, Singh said it’s time to look at the studies already completed, evaluate them then take action.

“We need to find out the impact and time line of implementation,” he said. “We need to look at where we are, where we need to go and the steps in between.”

Affordable pharmaceutical care is important to all sectors of the population, he said. Singh said he was scheduled to visit Prince George earlier in the campaign, however he couldn’t so when another opportunity came up, he jumped at it.

“I am making an effort to reach as many different areas of the country as possible,” he said.

 

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