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article imageNDP Leader Jack Layton tells Harper he's ready to debate Special

By Andrew Moran     Mar 31, 2011 in Politics
Toronto - New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton continued his election campaign Wednesday when he spoke to a large crowd at a Toronto rally. Layton took jabs at the Conservatives and Liberals and made several election promises.
On the fifth day of the Canadian federal election campaign trail, New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton brought his battle to Ontario, including Oshawa and Brampton, where he introduced new NDP policies and took jabs at the Conservatives and Liberals.
Speaking in Oshawa Wednesday morning, Layton announced the party’s plan that would cut the small business tax rate by two percent and introduce a job creation tax credit, which would give small businesses $4,500 per hire, according to an NDP press release. Layton would also increase the corporate tax rate to 19.5 percent from 16.5 percent.
Jack Layton thanking the crowd after his speech.
Jack Layton thanking the crowd after his speech.
The corporate tax rate hike is expected to bring in approximately $5.9 billion, reports the Toronto Sun. The small business tax credit would cost the government an estimated $2 billion per year.
By the end of Wednesday, Layton spoke to an excited and invigorated crowd at the Artscape Wychwood Barn in uptown Toronto where he promoted some of his platforms and promised to “help your family balance the budget.”
Before Layton delivered his speech, Andrew Cash, Davenport Member of Parliament candidate, and Peggy Nash, Parkdale-High Park federal nominee, welcomed the hundreds of New Democrats and stated that they were “very, very proud to be part of this.”
NDP federal nominee Peggy Nash
NDP federal nominee Peggy Nash
“I am running in this election, I am running for Team Layton here in Toronto,” said Nash. “I am running because after five long years of Stephen Harper in Ottawa, it is time for real leadership. It is time for families first. And we won’t take you and your family for granted. Isn’t it time for the leadership to bring us together that we can trust?”
Nash concluded her speech by stating that there is only one person that can bring leadership, fix Ottawa and defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper and that is, said Nash, is Jack Layton.
To a roaring ovation, Layton went to the podium and delivered a big hello to the Toronto residents. “Haven’t we got one heck of a strong beat here?”
Jack Layton shaking hands with supporters.
Jack Layton shaking hands with supporters.
Throughout his address to attendees and voters throughout Canada – the rally was broadcasted online live – Layton pledged to cap credit card interest rates, help out families instead of the major corporations, bring Canadian troops home from Afghanistan, assist in balancing families’ budget and to bring the political parties together in the House of Commons.
“I have a feeling at the end of this election, many of these faces are going to be seen standing up for Toronto in Parliament when we get out there and vote,” stated Layton, referring to many NDP candidates standing in the crowd.
“Five years ago, Stephen Harper was elected with a promise that he was going to do things differently. Remember that? He promised he’d work with others and fix what was wrong with others and make your life more affordable – except he made it more expensive. He said he was going to make healthcare a priority with a wait time guarantee, but he has ignored the whole issue for five years.”
From left to right: Peggy Nash  NDP federal candidate  NDP leader Jack Layton  NDP Member of Parliam...
From left to right: Peggy Nash, NDP federal candidate, NDP leader Jack Layton, NDP Member of Parliament Olivia Chow and NDP candidate Andrew Cash.
The NDP leader added that Harper said he was going to clean up all of the alleged Liberal scandals, but instead he has created a whole set of new Conservative scandals. “After five years, Stephen Harper has failed to fix what is wrong with Ottawa.”
Layton noted that NDP candidate Linda Duncan defeated a Tory in Edmonton – considered a huge base for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives – but Layton feels this is just one more step to “kick every Conservative MP out of Edmonton.”
For the first time on the campaign trail, Layton took aim at Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and his party.
Are the Liberals taking Toronto for Granted? Layton thinks so because the Ignatieff Liberals have failed to make the Conservatives accountable and have been complicit with the ruling party on many of the issues.
NDP cross-country tour bus.
NDP cross-country tour bus.
It was reported earlier this week by CBC News that Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May will not be participating in the Apr. 12 and Apr. 14 Ottawa debates. The major networks in charge of the debates made the decision based on the fact that the Green Party has never elected anyone to Parliament.
Ignatieff posted a message directed at Harper on his Twitter account stating: “A one-on-one debate? Any time, any place.” Harper replied on his Twitter account: “Curiously, my team proposed 1:1 to TV consortium today; however, your team did not speak up.”
“Right now, Mr. Harper, I’m ready to debate you one-on-one, anywhere, anytime,” exclaimed Layton in his speech.
Layton continues his NDP campaign Thursday by making more stops to target Tory ridings that had tight races from elections past.
More about Jack Layton, Canada Election 2011, Toronto rally, Stephen Harper
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