Under my leadership, Canada will make smart investments in our communities while increasing productivity, economic efficiency, and global competitiveness.
In the lead-up to the NDP leadership convention scheduled for next March, The Mark has reached out to the various leadership candidates, asking them to offer their visions for their party and for the country. Last week, we featured an article from MP Nathan Cullen. This week, we welcome Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar.
Over the last several weeks, I’ve been travelling the country and talking with Canadians about hope.
What I love about Canadians, even when it comes to hope, is that we’re practical.
When we talk about hope, we talk about a few very specific things: We talk about building a better future and the people we want to build a better future for. We talk about our kids, our loved ones, and the kinds of lives we want to help them build. And we talk about new opportunities, about education, jobs, and about what’s possible if we work hard, together.
It’s these conversations, and these Canadians who are looking for practical reasons to hope, that form the core of my jobs plan.
It’s a plan that’s about hard work, about helping each other take a step up in life, and about responsible steps that create good jobs and a better future for all Canadian families.
I’ve been travelling across Canada to hear from families – some in regions where the downturn in the economy has hit the hardest.
Across Canada, families are noticing fewer quality jobs, and they are not wrong. There is a jobs deficit in Canada. It’s real and it’s affecting families like never before.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper just doesn’t seem to get this. Harper’s been focused on tax breaks for the wealthiest banks and corporations, and protecting offshore tax havens – instead of protecting the things that matter most to Canadians.
Today, there are more than 1.3 million unemployed Canadians – 267,700 more than when Stephen Harper first took office. At an average industrial wage of $48,000 per year, this deficit represents more than $12 billion in lost wages for families.
Canadians deserve better.
My priority is to grow our economy and tackle the jobs deficit.
With the practical, proven plan I announced earlier this month, we will create good jobs and more opportunities for Canadians.
Under my leadership, New Democrats will make smart investments in our key public assets that increase productivity, economic efficiency, and global competitiveness. And along the way, we’ll make life better in our communities.
We will build stronger communities with a permanent national infrastructure program and a reinvigorated national training program. That means we can train and hire more skilled workers and put them to work building the better-quality highways, bridges, universities, and colleges Canadians want and deserve.
We will help small- and medium-sized businesses grow by encouraging them to invest locally. Allowing good jobs to be sent overseas does nothing to help Canadian families. So rather than encouraging businesses to ship jobs overseas, my plan includes incentives to reward businesses that create jobs here, at home, for Canadians.
We will promote renewable energy and take bold steps to conserve energy. This includes re-establishing the EcoEnergy Renewable Power program and the construction of a national east-to-west power grid, both of which will help families keep more money in their wallets, create new skilled jobs in the green-energy economy, and build a stronger, more secure, national energy grid.
We will also say “No” to expanding the HST and “No” to increasing sales taxes. Sales taxes are regressive, target low-income Canadians disproportionately, and make life more expensive for families.
We’ll say “No” to tax havens that encourage tax evasion, and “No” to drastic cuts to public services and the firing of the dedicated people who provide them.
New Democrats today are the true alternative to a Conservative government that does not represent – and never has represented – the majority of Canadians.
Last May, the NDP made an electoral breakthrough that shattered just about everyone’s expectations of what we as a party were capable of (late NDP leader Jack Layton wasn’t surprised, mind you).
Layton took us to new heights. He showed us what is possible if we work hard, if we stay focused, and if we care about one another.
Today, there’s no doubt that the bar has been raised.
But our party is up to the challenge.
By continuing to connect with Canadians, from coast to coast to coast, and by continuing to build on the positive vision for change that Layton inspired in Canadians, we can together build a better Canada.
As a country, I believe we can take better care of each other. And take better care of our environment.
As New Democrats, I believe we can show all Canadians a better future.
As leader of the NDP, I believe I can bring every region of our country together and make our party the party to finally lead Canada for the good of everyone.
Together, with a new generation of leadership, the NDP can change Canada.
I invite you to be a part of it.
Let’s bring people together to build a country that truly reflects the hopes and aspirations of all Canadians.
Visit www.pauldewar.ca to learn more about Paul Dewar’s plan to create jobs.