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article imageJack Layton blames Canadian PM over NDP candidates' vacations

By Andrew Moran     Apr 28, 2011 in Politics
Montreal - New Democratic Party candidates are taking mid-campaign vacations in sunny destinations, which have received criticism. But whose fault is it? NDP Leader Jack Layton blames Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
It was reported Wednesday that NDP candidate for the Quebec riding of Berthier-Maskinonge, Ruth Ellen Brosseau, and NDP candidate for Ontario’s riding of Ajax-Pickering, Jim Koppens, are taking vacations with their family. Brosseau is in Las Vegas, while Koppens travelled to the Caribbean earlier this month.
Although this has prompted some to criticize Jack Layton’s New Democrats, the leader who is gaining serious momentum ahead of next week’s federal election is blaming the Prime Minister for his lack of fixed election dates, according to the Globe and Mail.
After winning a minority Conservative government in 2006, Stephen Harper’s first act in government was to implement a law for fixed election dates, which was set for every four years. However, two years later, the Prime Minister broke his own law and called an election.
“A lot of families make plans and if we had fixed election dates that were being properly honoured — we know Stephen Harper broke that law himself — then it would be a lot easier for candidates to be able to make the plans to participate,” said Layton, reports the Canadian Press. “But we think that our team is ready to work hard and demonstrates that each and every day as they're campaigning across the country.”
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaking at an election event in the Greater Toronto Area.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaking at an election event in the Greater Toronto Area.
Before the election was called, Brousseau booked a vacation after working full-time at the student bar at Ottawa’s Carleton University, notes the Vancouver Sun.
“Ruth Ellen Brosseau had booked her vacation before the election was called. She couldn't cancel her vacation at the last minute, she's a single mother who booked an inexpensive fare,” said NDP press secretary Karl Belanger in an e-mail.
One reporter asked Layton about Quebec NDP candidates not hitting the pavement, despite the number of NDP lawn signs in the province’s riding. Layton, who had a difficult time naming his Quebec candidates, said he was “proud” of the field of candidates who come “from all backgrounds.”
“We have a rainbow of candidates and it’s normal sometimes when we have an election that was not necessarily foreseen that some will have problems to arrange their schedules. It’s not that complicated,” said Layton, reports the Toronto Star.
According to CTV News, the latest Nanos poll shows Harper’s Conservatives are in first with 36.6 percent, while Latyon’s New Democrats have soared to second place with 30.4 percent. Meanwhile, Michael Ignatieff’s Liberal Party now sits at third with 21.9 percent. The Bloc Quebecois and the Green Party round out the poll with six and four percent.
More about Canada Election 2011, Jack Layton, Stephen Harper, New democratic party, Quebec
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