BRANTFORD – NDP leader Tom Mulcair paid his seventh visit to Brantford, his second within weeks, to throw the party’s support behind Brant-Brantford NDP candidate Marc Laferriere, on Sunday morning outside his constituency headquarters on Erie Ave.
About 300 party faithful got up early to welcome Mulcair back to Brantford and to show their support for the NDP in advance of the Oct. 19th federal election.
Laferriere was excited that the national party has taken such an interest in his campaign.
“It’s really important that we hit the ground running right after the election,” he told the Two Row Times regarding his party’s commitment to First Nations land claims and funding issues. “Every single election, Phil McColeman has said land claims is his top priority. If that’s his top priority I wouldn’t like to see what his second, third and fourth are.”
Both he and Mulcair said that Stephen Harper’s economic policies have cost Canadians 400,000 jobs. The party has also been highly critical of the Harper government’s Bill C–51, which has been seen as an attack on the civil rights of Canadians and First Nations in particular. The NDP was the only party to openly oppose Bill C–51.
Mulcair also said he would return eligibility for Old Age Security to age 65, from 67 and start a pharmacare program.
It was the first stop of Mulcair’s whirlwind whistle-stop tour of southern Ontario, which also included stops at Essex, Waterloo, Stratford, London, Sarnia and Windsor.
He outlined his party’s concerns about what he called the “secret meetings” taking place in Atlanta regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which he believes will negatively affect Canadian dairy farmers and the auto industry.
Some Liberals, meanwhile, have left the door open to join the Conservatives in endorsing and implementing the agreement, however, Trudeau has been coy about giving a definitive answer to the question saying he will not comment on an agreement he knows little about since he has not seen it.
“The NDP, when we form government on Oct. 19, will not be bound by this secret agreement (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) that Mr. Harper has been negotiating,” Mulcair said.
He is offering Canadians a fresh start.
“Getting tired of the Liberals and the sponsorship scandal? No problem, you’re supposed to go back to the Conservatives,” The NDP leader told the gathering before getting back on the bus for the next stop.
“When you’re tired of Stephen Harper’s unblemished record of continuous corruption and a revolving door of favoritism and $90,000 cheques in the Prime Minister’s Office? No problem, you’re supposed to go back to the Liberals,” he said. “Hold on. This time, for the first time in our history, there’s hope. We can get real change.”
Statistics show that while Harper is pointing fingers at the lost jobs that anything other than a Conservative government would hasten, there have been 400,000 lost manufacturing jobs since the recession in 2008, including 43,000 in Canada’s auto industry.
The Canadian Labour Congress as well as the United Steelworkers, Unifor and several other unions have openly joined the ranks of those wishing to see Harper gone after Oct. 19th.
Before leaving, Mulcair challenged all present to give a few hours to help the cause by joining Laferriere’s campaign team by making phone calls and helping drive voters to the polls on election night as well as to the advance poles.