Champlain Bridge toll would cause traffic chaos

The Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) has confirmed the Champlain Bridge toll would cause traffic trouble in the region. Meanwhile, the NDP continues to urge the Conservatives to find a better solution.

“The last thing the greater Montreal area needs is more traffic congestion. Instead of working with the province and municipalities to find a practical solution, the Conservatives continue to ignore Quebecers’ concerns,” said NDP Transport critic Hoang Mai (Brossard—La Prairie).

The PBO study also revealed that a toll on the Champlain Bridge would primarily affect lower-income families and workers, who would be forced to use other roads and bridges.

“The Conservatives’ so-called solution is a new kind of tax. Montrealers and South-Shore residents deserve better,” added Mai.

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What’s up with Justin Trudeau and Iraq?

Justin Trudeau has sent some contradictory messages on Canada’s role in Iraq:

“Ten years ago, Mr. Harper was eager to send us into a combat role in Iraq, and we managed to avoid that. I think it would be a mistake to escalate our support.”
Justin Trudeau, September 11, 2014

But as the Globe and Mail also noted:

“Mr. Trudeau, however, did not completely rule out sending jet fighters in the future”
September 11, 2014

Last night, the House of Commons debated Canada’s deployment of soldiers to Iraq. Neither Stephen Harper or Justin Trudeau showed up, but Tom Mulcair did.

Earlier today when asked by a journalist about Tom Mulcair and the NDP’s position on the Iraq deployment, he replied:

“I think Mr. Mulcair is, you know — from what I hear, has a lot more questions about Canada’s involvement”
Justin Trudeau, September 17, 2014

There you have it. When it comes to finding out what Canada is doing in Iraq, Justin Trudeau defers to the NDP.

That’s on his record.

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Conservatives fail Canadian steel workers, retirees

The NDP blasted the federal Conservatives today for leaving former Stelco workers and retirees – as well as their families and communities – unprotected in the wake of US Steel Canada filing for bankruptcy protection.

“The Conservatives have failed to stand up for workers and communities in the wake of the foreign takeover of Stelco,” said NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. “The Conservatives haven’t held the company to account to maintain employment. And now, over 2200 more jobs are in jeopardy.”

New Democrats have long called for changes to the Investment Canada Act to ensure promises made by foreign buyers are made public and are strictly enforced. US Steel Canada has repeatedly locked out workers and cut jobs since the 2007 takeover of Stelco.

“Our hearts go out to the thousands of families in Hamilton and Nanticoke impacted by this bankruptcy,” said Mulcair. “For years the NDP has been calling for bankruptcy protection for workers’ pensions. But the Conservatives, like the Liberals before them, have refused to listen. Now 9,000 retirees are facing potentially devastating financial situations.”

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Liberals give up on first economic proposal of the new session – and it’s only Wednesday

On Monday, Justin Trudeau botched his first ever economic policy announcement–an ill-thought-out response to Stephen Harper on Employment Insurance.

Liberals responded, as they often do, by attacking the New Democrats for pointing out their mistakes, but even while doing so, they were simultaneously backing off their original, error-ridden claims.

The Liberals abandoned the promise that their plan “could produce over 176,000 ‎new jobs”, instead saying it would “help” contribute to overall job growth–effectively admitting that they confused total net job growth with jobs created by this specific program.

That leaves the matter of the Liberals’ costing for their proposal, which still vastly understates the price tag for the type of EI premium exemption Mr. Trudeau has described, as we noted here.

Having been caught vastly overestimating their job creation numbers, and vastly underestimating the cost of their plan, Justin Trudeau has chosen to double-down – a mistake of Hudakian proportions.

The fact is, Justin Trudeau’s first economic policy announcement has already shown he and his brain trust just aren’t ready.

That’s on his record.

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Conservatives must support Ukraine with more than rhetoric

With the Ukrainian President visiting Canada, the NDP is urging the Conservatives to put rhetoric aside and make concrete commitments to assist Ukrainians with the ongoing crisis in their country.

“Ukraine has been anxious to receive $200 million in desperately needed financial aid that the Conservatives promised over six months ago,” said NDP Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre). “This financial package is key to restoring economic and political stability to Ukraine. The United States and the European Union have already delivered, why are the Conservatives dragging their feet?”

New Democrats also continue to call on the Conservatives to ensure that Russian business leaders with close ties to President Vladimir Putin do not escape sanctions. At least two businessmen with significant investments in Canada, blacklisted by the US and other allies, have not faced any Canadian restrictions.

“The Prime Minister promised not to let business interests affect Canadian foreign policy,” said Dewar. “If he’s serious about taking on the Russians, it’s time for him to close the loopholes in Canadian sanctions. Ukrainians deserve nothing less.”

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