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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 23, 2021.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh unveiled his party’s jobs plan on Wednesday, with an aim to create one million new jobs, raise wages and implement a wealth tax.

The announcement in Windsor is likely to be a part of the party’s platform should there be an election in the fall.

Mr. Singh pledged that the party would create more than one million new Canadian jobs and improved workplaces. The plan also promises good wages and stable employment.

“We can’t just create jobs without ensuring that they’re better work and workers are supported,” Mr. Singh said.

The Liberals and Conservatives have previously made their own pledges around the creation or recovery of one million Canadian jobs.

The NDP’s jobs plan covers several broad categories, including encouraging more domestic manufacturing and supporting collective bargaining, but the party offered few specifics in terms of which sectors of the economy would create these new positions.

Mr. Singh also said that a wealth tax would be an important aspect of the party’s plan, as well as “closing the loopholes” that allow corporations to make money in Canada without paying taxes.

“We don’t want to put the burden on those that have sacrificed so much,” he said. “So what we’re calling on is significant increases to ask the ultra-rich to pay their fair share.”

The NDP plan promises that every Canadian would have 10 days of paid sick leave no matter their job, and includes a commitment to a public pharmacare program, as well as dental care for anyone who needs it.

The party wants to raise the minimum wage, remove barriers to forming unions, and increase opportunities for job training and retraining. In addition, the party aims to make zero-emissions buses and electric trains the norm for public transit, and support Canadian manufacturers of alternative fuels.

However, the plan is short on details when it comes to which sectors the million jobs would be created in, and doesn’t provide a timeline.

The Liberal government has also pledged to create one million new jobs, and this year’s budget outlined a plan to do so by the end of the year. The Conservatives have promised to recover one million jobs lost during the pandemic.

Wednesday’s announcement in Windsor comes as election speculation builds, and Mr. Singh begins a summer of travelling across the country. Later this week he will be in Calgary and Edmonton speaking again about job creation.

“We are in election mode readiness,” said Mélanie Richer, a spokesperson for the NDP, in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “We are seeing all of the signs, so we will do everything that we can on our end to make sure that we’re ready to go.”

Mr. Singh was joined at the job announcement by two candidates running in local ridings: Cheryl Hardcastle, who will be running in Windsor-Tecumseh, and Tracy Ramsey in Essex.

The Windsor-Tecumseh riding is one that the NDP is hoping to win back during the next election. Liberal Irek Kusmierczyk currently holds the seat, but before his win in 2019, the NDP had the Windsor-Tecumseh riding, and the previous Windsor-St. Clair riding, for nearly 20 years.

Essex is currently held by the Conservatives and has been consistently blue since the mid-2000s, except when Ms. Ramsey won the seat in 2015.

An Abacus Data poll released this week shows that Mr. Singh is relatively popular amongst the Canadian public, with 38 per cent of those polled saying they have a positive view of him, and 26 per cent saying they have a negative view. Mr. Singh is most popular among women, younger voters, and those with post-secondary education.

In contrast, only 20 per cent of those surveyed have a positive view of Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, with 40 per cent saying they have a negative view of him. The same poll found that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a 40 per cent positive rating, but also a 39 per cent negative one.

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