Each of us can help build a sustainable future

NDP Environment critic Megan Leslie (Halifax) made the following statement on Earth Hour:

“Each of us can make simple changes to reduce our energy use and help build a sustainable future.

“Tonight New Democrats will join millions of people around the world to mark Earth Hour. In over 120 countries, 24 time zones and on six continents, people will come together as a global community to raise awareness about climate change through the individual action of turning the lights off for one hour.

“Like many Canadians, New Democrats understand that climate change threatens both our environment and our economy.

“Tom Mulcair’s NDP is the only party with a plan to protect the environment and grow the economy. We are the only party with strong, effective legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

On three separate occasions we introduced The Climate Change Accountability Act, which sets out real action to reduce emissions and combat climate change.  Although it was killed by a surprise election, then by the unelected Conservative-dominated Senate, we re-introduced this legislation just last month to continue to tackle climate change.

“It’s our turn to choose the legacy we want to leave for future generations and it’s clear that Canadians are engaged. By turning out the lights and holding Earth Hour events we are choosing hope and taking action for a cleaner, greener, more sustainable energy future.”

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Conservatives and Liberals: Divided and confused – Overheard This Week

While Tom Mulcair and the NDP focus on solutions to grow the middle class and stop Stephen Harper’s war, Conservatives and Liberals were divided and confused this week. 

Stephen Harper’s attack on our rights is loosing support – even among Conservatives:

“Bill C-51 was supposed to unite conservatives in the latest round of the War on Terror™. Instead, it’s dividing them — both on and off Parliament Hill … The closer your supporters look at C-51, the less they seem to like it. If the Tories are planning on campaigning on this bill at election time, they’d better make some changes — or risk the wrath of their own people.” 

Tasha Kheiriddin, iPolitics, March 27, 2015

“I … believe we need greater oversight of Canadian security and intelligence agencies by a parliamentary committee of elected MPs, who are directly and democratically accountable to Canadians. That greater oversight is even more important as we give these agencies new powers to combat terrorism.” 

Conservative MP Michael Chong, iPolitics, March 27, 2015

Meanwhile, the Trudeau Liberals seem confused over their position – again.  

After the Liberals voted for Stephen Harper’s overreaching new security law, Justin Trudeau’s candidate in Davenport said: As a candidate, and future Member of Parliament, I stand against Bill C-51.”

Moments after Trudeau finished his speech in Parliament denouncing Harper’s war in Iraq and now Syria, the Liberal Defense Critic admitted they have “no plan” to pull Canadian troops out.

All this confusion led the National Post’s Kelly McParland to say:

“Justin Trudeau sticks to his firm position on both sides of the Iraq mission … It’s also clear where the Official Opposition stands: New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair accused the Prime Minister of putting the lives of Canadian troops at risk for political reasons and pledged to oppose Tuesday’s request.

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NDP standing up for the CBC

The new cuts announced at the CBC – of which half will affect rural communities – reaffirm the urgent need to cancel the Conservatives’ devastating cuts to this Crown corporation, as well as the importance of ensuring stable, long-term, predictable financing to protect the CBC.

“The CBC and Radio-Canada are at the heart of Canada’s culture and identity. We absolutely need to give our public broadcaster the means to continue its work – in both urban and rural communities across the country. That’s why the NDP has committed to cancelling the $115 million cut if it forms government, as well as providing multi-year, stable financing and an independent board of directors to run the CBC,” said NDP Heritage critic Pierre Nantel (Longueuil – Pierre-Boucher).

The new cuts, which will affect local newscasts in particular, will push the total number of layoffs for 2015 to 750 staff. This represents more than half of the cuts that the Conservatives set for this year in 2012.

“We need to provide the CBC with the means to carry out its work and pursue its digital transition. The NDP will always defend the CBC and work to ensure its survival.”

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Time to renew Canada’s commitment to eliminate child poverty

An NDP Government will eliminate the stock options tax loophole

Speaking to a packed house at the Broadbent Institute Progress Summit, Official Opposition leader Tom Mulcair announced that an NDP government will commit to reducing income inequality and will renew Canada’s commitment to eliminate child poverty.

Just over twenty-five years ago, Ed Broadbent led a motion through the House of Commons that committed Canada to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000.

“Despite Liberals and Conservatives voting for Ed’s motion – when they formed subsequent governments, they failed to take the necessary action to get the job done,” said Mulcair. “Not only was the goal not achieved, there are more children living in poverty today than in 1989.”

To support achieving these goals, an NDP government will close the tax loophole currently enjoyed by CEOs on stock options. Those funds would be re-directed to low-income families through an enhanced Working Income Tax Benefit and an enhanced National Child Benefit Supplement.

“This will be a dollar-for-dollar transfer in benefits from those who need it the least – to those who need it the most,” added NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. “Helping families out of poverty and into the middle class is good for our social fabric, as well as supporting a vibrant economy – and that’s good for Canada.”

This move will be a meaningful step towards reducing income inequality in Canada and will contribute towards getting families and children out of poverty and into the middle class.

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Decision to end home delivery of mail a sham

An analysis of Canada Post’s finances has revealed that ending the home delivery of mail was completely unnecessary.

“Canada Post has been doing profitable business; ending home delivery of mail was an ideological decision, not a financial one. Today, we received unequivocal proof, after it was revealed that they made nearly $200 million in profits this past year,” said NPD Canada Post critic, Alexandre Boulerice (Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie).

As part of a vast overhaul of its services and organization, the Crown corporation increased the price of stamps, privatized post offices, cut back business hours and announced that it would cut 6,000 to 8,000 positions. To add to this, they ended home mail delivery for some 5 million Canadian citizens.

“With the Conservatives’ support, Canada Post management increased prices and cut services to citizens. Of course, the most vulnerable Canadians are taking the hit. The NDP is urging Stephen Harper to put away the axe and restore home delivery of mail,” added Boulerice.

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