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article imageCanadian NDP leader Layton announces '100 days' of 5 priorities Special

By Andrew Moran     Apr 11, 2011 in Politics
Toronto - New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton announced his official campaign platform initiatives during a rally in downtown Toronto. Layton, speaking in front of a capacity crowd, heavily criticized Prime Minister Stephen Harper and promised government help.
Canadian voters head to the polls in three weeks and all of the federal parties have officially announced their campaign platforms. The federal leaders’ debates will take place this week, and federal candidates in each riding will begin their debates the following week.
According to the latest poll from Nanos Research, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives are holding an eight-point lead over Michael Ignatieff and the Liberals. Jack Layton’s New Democratic Party sits at third with nearly 14 percent support. Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Quebecois are polling at eight percent and Elizabeth May’s Green Party is sitting at five percent.
New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton speaking in front of large crowd at Toronto rally.
New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton speaking in front of large crowd at Toronto rally.
On Sunday morning, NDP leader Jack Layton delivered five key priorities in his campaign platform called “Giving Your Family a Break: Practical First Steps.” Speaking in front of a large crowd of NDP supporters in downtown Toronto, Layton promised to deliver on his pledges in the first 100 days of the newly elected Parliament.
“Despite what they say, Stephen Harper and Michael Ignatieff are telling Canadian families to wait at the back of the line. And that's not right,” said Layton, standing in front of a backdrop of a large Canadian flag, federal NDP candidates and NDP supporters. “It all adds up to the fundamental fact that Ottawa is broken when it comes to the needs of most people in this country, and it's time for us to fix it."
Here is a general rundown on the party’s priorities if elected in May:
- Establish a cap on credit card rates at prime +five percent to “help families balance the budget.”
- Double the Canada Pension Plan in order to “take pressure off the sandwich generation.”
New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton giving his grandchild his campaign pledges.
New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton giving his grandchild his campaign pledges.
- Hire more doctors and nurses to improve Canada’s healthcare system. “We can’t wait three more years for the government to hire doctors and nurses for families who need them now.”
- Cut taxes for small businesses by two percent to nine percent “to reward the companies who are hiring instead of rewarding the big corporations to ship our jobs overseas.”
- Work with the other parties in Ottawa to bring the country together. “The Conservatives said they were going to end the Liberal scandals, but the only thing they did was replace Liberal with Conservative.”
“These are my commitments to you,” said Layton. “Practical, affordable leadership that will give your family a break, an alternative to Stephen Harper’s failed policies of rewarding the well connected and a commitment to act on these priorities right away.”
New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton
New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton
Part of his campaign also includes an introduction of a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions. The NDP estimates that this system would generate approximately $3 billion in revenue for the first year and about $7 billion by the fourth year.
Furthermore, the NDP wants to compensate the province of Quebec $2.2 billion for its harmonized sales tax – Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives made a similar promise to Quebec.
This entire platform, notes the NDP leader, will cost $8.9 billion in the first year and would balance the federal budget by 2014-2015.
At the end of the town hall rally, Layton signed his name on the party’s campaign platform booklet. “We can be held to account as a political party to do what we say we are going to do for all Canadians,” said Layton before handing it off to his grandchild.
New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton signing campaign pledges.
New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton signing campaign pledges.
Layton’s opponents
The Prime Minister spent Sunday in Quebec where he said the deficit would be eliminated much quicker than what was originally estimated in its Mar. 22 budget, reports CBC News. Approximately $4 billion, or five percent, will be slashed from its $80 billion operating budget. When asked for specifics, Harper declined to offer details.
According to the Vancouver Sun, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff spoke in Toronto Saturday where he said that he was quite nervous ahead of the debates. The French debate was moved by a day due to hockey game. “I've never done this before. I'm the only one of the leaders who has never done it. So I go in there with, what can I say?”
Green Party leader Elizabeth May campaigned in southern Ontario Sunday where she held two rallies; “Get Out and Vote” rally in Guelph and “Rally for Democracy” in Hamilton. During her stops, she urged the youth to vote on May 2. “People need to feel that there is somebody ethical in politics,” said May, reports CTV News. “There is a reason to vote, there is a reason to hope.”
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Green Party leader Elizabeth May.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Green Party leader Elizabeth May.
More about Canada Election 2011, New democratic party, Jack Layton, Ndp, Election
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