One of the NDP’s longest-serving MPs says the party can survive the controversial Leap Manifesto, and is already at work behind closed doors to bridge its recently very public divides. “Suffice it to say I think we really have some good thinking on this and some really good plans, but they have to involve more people than they have so far,” said BC MP Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley).
The manifesto plunged the party into a fierce internal debate at its convention two weeks ago in Edmonton. Its sweeping program calls for increased funding for health care and public transportation, among many other progressive goals.
It also says Canada must stop relying on natural resources for its economy, declaring, “There is no longer an excuse for building new infrastructure projects that lock us into increased extraction decades into the future.”
The contention directly challenged the party’s Alberta wing, recently its darlings for having toppled the province’s Conservative dynasty last year. In government, the party has been wrestling with reluctant neighbours for pipelines to get its oil to tidewater.
Were Leap’s pipeline prohibition ever implemented, those NDPers say, its ideals would destroy thousands of jobs in Alberta and elsewhere in Canada.