National Newswatch

WINNIPEG — A much higher carbon tax and a limit on foreign-owned housing are among the items being pushed by some Manitoba New Democrats for consideration at the party's annual convention.

The party's Wolseley constituency association in Winnipeg says research shows that a carbon tax of US$240 per tonne would do more to persuade people to reduce consumption of fossil fuels.

That’s about 10 times higher than the tax being brought in by Manitoba's Progressive Conservative government.

Another constituency association wants the government to explore limits on foreign ownership of housing and land to keep prices from rising.

The ideas are among several dozen resolutions on the agenda for the NDP convention that starts May 4.

There is no guarantee the resolutions will be debated, because only a small number make it to the convention floor in the limited time set aside for debate during the three-day meeting.

"In January 2015, scientists at Stanford University indicated a present-day price of US$240 per tonne is more appropriate, demonstrating that the current proposed carbon-tax levels may not be enough," reads the resolution submitted by the Wolseley group.

The resolution calls on the province to look at that study and other research and come up with a plan to restrict or reduce the use of fossil fuels.

The resolution on limiting foreign ownership of homes and land, submitted by members of the Fort Rouge area of Winnipeg, says the province should explore "reasonable limits ... because foreign buyers drive up the cost of land and housing, making them less affordable for Manitobans."

Many of the resolutions call for reversals of Tory government policies. One calls for the restoration of 50 per cent provincial funding for municipal transit.

Resolutions that are debated and passed become party policy, but the Opposition NDP caucus is not required to act on them. Delegates at past conventions regularly voted in favour of a ban on replacement workers during strikes or lockouts. Former premier Gary Doer never adopted the idea.

The lack of follow-through has not gone unnoticed.

A resolution from the Wolseley constituency says the NDP has "lost its way and needs to reconnect with its core values." The group calls on NDP politicians and candidates to be sure to implement party policies and issue progress reports.

Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press

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