Thursday, April 28, 2011

Very Excited About Recent Events... And No Need For Merger

No, really.

I hate Harper and the Reformers like pretty much all Liberals, and definitely like all the NDP do. This recent turn of events is a GIANT "f you" to Harper from the 65% of Canadians who never liked his politics - or his personality (or lack of it).

While some Liberals (not too many, I'm not surprised) are worried and talking merger, most of us are talking about a potential rebuild - depending on E-day results. The kind we never truthfully got after Chretien's majorities. We always ran from the left and governed on the right/center. We forgot that for a few years, not putting forth any eye-catching left-wing policies (the Green-shift was not well-thought out). In doing so, we failed to grow in Quebec - on issues which help federalists there. All we did in Quebec was the "nation" discussion.

So forget any talk of "merger". We WILL cooperate with Jack - of course we will. He is more like us than Harper ever was. Why no merger?

Here are a couple of possibilities with a merger:

1) We merge, and the Canadian political scene becomes polarized like the US - continuously swinging from left to right - and with media private ownership and influence, and corporate influence, MORE often to the right. I don't think we want that... To allow the Cons to be the "natural governing party" like the Republicans in the US. Harper would be happy though - this is exactly what he wants.

Sure, Canada has had only a couple of options for brief periods in our history, but typically there has always been a 3rd party. Usually this party was one which represented Western protest - and typically born on the Prairies. This won't change - and indeed, we can get this scenario back.

2) We merge, and the "left" of the NDP splits off to join the Greens, literally re-forming the "NDP" in their more true sense. While this would maintain the status quo under new names, it is probably unlikely (as favorable as it seems). Some Liberals would split away to join the Conservatives - but not nearly as many as would if the Conservatives were the "Progressive" Conservatives and not these "regressive" ones. More NDPers would split away to the Greens.

The hassle of destroying a party and it's infrastructure (and new intelligence software that is JUST getting itself started) and loyalties, for the giant question mark of doubt, only to see things re-evolve back to the current 3-party situation just doesn't help. It would be like treading water.

What is the best solution? Here's how I see it:

Layton is hell-bent on being PM. Let him. We can support him case-by-case. As a Liberal I really didn't want to see our party governing over the next two years. I see a US economic "double-dip", a Canadian housing collapse, rampant inflation, $2 gas, and general economic troubles in the very near future. No party wants to wear that. Harper created it - let him wear it. Give him a few months (or less), then pull the plug, and let PM Jack deal with it. He may get it right (EU-style, Romanow/Blakeney style) and that would change Canadians' thought patterns on the efficacies of left-of-center economic solutions. He may (more likely) fail, based on current Western World economic situations.

The key is that meanwhile Harper is done. The Conservative Party would be in a gut-wrenching leadership battle. They may even split up. If they are lucky, they will elect a Lord/McKay type and come back with a Mulroney-esque majority - in the PROGRESSIVE vein.

That gives OUR party anywhere from 6-8 years to completely rebuild, set a solid set of platform goals, and come back at them from the left (then govern from the center). The NDP would still be stuck with a very old Jack, while we come back with a dynamic, young, populist leader. I think this would lead to moderate-centrist majorities again. The beauty is the Quebec situation. The Bloc may be dead - and we have much upside there IF (IF) we present a series of ideas that appeal to the economic and social needs of Quebecers, and we outright tell them that it is what we are concerned with.

The NDP won't hold the Quebec vote forever, and our selecting a dynamic Quebec leader would build the groundwork for another "grand coalition" to govern. Don't look to Chretien as an example - he benefited from a split on the right. Rather, pursue the Trudeau or Pearson way.

We should also create a new "urban populism" to take advantage of urban-rural splits. The Canadian population is largely urban, and WE ARE the party of urban Canada. Let's grow on that new reality. We need to talk about "urban-rural synergies" in the urban corridors around cities. We need to celebrate the farms which provide for the cities, but the conversation has to be about the cities and towns where 80% of the population lives. The future of Canada: green, technically-forward, socially correct - is all centered around urban Canada. Martin had it right when he started the "Urban agenda".

Either way, our party is needed to prevent a USA scenario. I'm not even dreaming of giving up on a centrist alternative/big-tent party. I don't think anyone else should.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

South Asian Senior Attacked In Abbotsford Last Night

A 65 year-old South Asian senior citizen was attacked in Abbotsford last night, by a white 20-ish male. The youth hurled racial epithets at a group of 4 South Asian seniors sitting on a park bench, then struck one in the head with an alcohol battle.

Racial attacks in one of the most Conservative ridings in the country - while Conservatives like to sit back and say, "there's no racism anymore".


Wanna be "tough on crime" Harper? Why not start by educating the ignorance out of some of our population?

Hate crime exists in Canada - and the Conservatives don't have an answer for that. In fact, they don't really care. To Conservatives racial attacks are probably just "freedom of speech" or "freedom of expression". Complaints are just more whining by "pinko" "lefties".

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Strategic Voting Time For Conservatives???

So here's a quandary.

You're a fiscal conservative. You may have even been a Paul Martin (or even Chretien) Liberal, who happened to decide the Harper band-wagon was better for your personal interests (maybe you wanted to increase your debt with a new home purchase, or perhaps you needed more temp foreign workers for your plant). At any rate, you're more center than right. You still have a social conscience.

Today, as you look at polls, you see Harper's projected seat count and raw vote drop like a lead weight, and that Jack Layton could win up to 100 seats - perhaps more if his momentum holds.

After the "holy crap!", just what do you do?

If you hold your vote for the robotic Harper drone, you may see the Harper seat count fall to 130 or less, while the NDP holds 100. That translates to...

... Prime Minister Layton...

If you look carefully at the numbers, Layton - with that many seats - could easily lead the charge for a coalition. And he could do it - or he could even defeat the government and ask the GG if he could govern on a vote-by-vote basis agreement with the other parties (Liberals, Bloc, Greens). He may not need either the Libs or the Bloc. Imagine a cabinet dominated by Dippers like Libby Davies, or Thomas Mulcair.

Think about it.

Now we're talking about a potential government headed by Jack Layton. You know... the guy that bikes to work with his wife. How does THAT square with your SUV-driving, gas-guzzling, Timmy's, hockey-arena lifestyle?

Do you not think a vote strategically placed - for the Liberals - would ensure that scenario doesn't occur? Your guy would probably still be on top (although his declining poll numbers say the opposite), but at least you'll have a more fiscally conservative PM - not Jack.

It's time for center-right Conservatives to seriously consider a strategic ballot. It ain't about party lines anymore. It's about your ideals. While centrists like me are just fine with a Layton PMO, it doesn't seem to by your piece of pie - no matter how nice you guys have been to each other the past few years.

A strategic vote FOR Ignatieff will help ensure that any defeated Harper Conservative government is replaced by a fiscally conservative-led one - not by that granola-munching, birkenstock-wearing radical you guys love to make fun of.

Ralph Goodale as Finance Minister would make a lot more sense, wouldn't it (not to mention an upgrade from that spendthrift, Flaherty)?

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

This Is The Conservative Crap We Just Can't Stand (Among Other Crap)


"An On Easter too. I guess Khalsa Day celebrations are more important than the major Christian Holiday. We see where Liberals and NDP priorities are."

... is the kind of comment from Conservatives and their supporters that I have just about had enough of... That I think most people of "visible minority" status are sick and tired of hearing.

It is a shame that these bigots and their silent cheerleaders are so close to a majority.

Don't give up the fight Canada! We are still 2/3's to 1/3 in favor of tossing these haters out. Let's just make sure we ID and PULL all next week! Vote strategically. Don't let Liberal votes split to the Cons in a seat where the NDP could win - and DON'T let NDP votes split in favor of Cons in seats that are Liberal, or Liberal winnable.

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Parm Gill - Conservative Candidate (According to translation) Calls Edmonton Area Residents "Rednecks"

Interesting indeed:

Conservative Candidate Parm Gill spoke on the "Sardari" TV program on Vision TV today. In his interview - in attempting to explain how Tim Uppal got the MP-ship in Edmonton East, the translation of the program clearly indicates he called the locals "rednecks" and called it a "most redneck area".

Very interesting.

Wonder if Conservative HQ knows about this? Wonder what the "base" thinks?

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Voting Attendance In Parliament... Just the Facts

So when is someone in the media (or perhaps the LPC) going to stand up and call "bullshit" on this entire "vote attendance" issue?

Attendance to votes in the House is a VERY small portion of an MP's role. MPs spend most of their time in committee, meeting with constituents, or attending events they are required to go to by way of invitation. Question Period is just a "show" put on for the benefit of the public. More to the point, many times MPs abstain from votes or don't show up for votes to make a political point - and to confirm their "neutral" stand on the issue - something more apt for Liberals, being in the center, than the left-wing issue centric NDP, or the right-wing issue centric Conservative Party.

The media was following Ignatieff on his Canada-wide tours since he became leader - meeting the Canadian public. He wasn't exactly standing around picking his bum (unlike many backbench MPs who were in the House). Is it just "election hypocrisy"?

Jack's playing a dirty game here (not complaining)... which may play right into Harper's hands. If Harper does get a majority (a big if), we have Layton to blame. While he decries Liberal policy, his own policy is NOTHING like the policy of Broadbent or the NDP of old..

Maybe Jack IS part of a "coalition", but its a "deal" with Harper that he has:

The NDP had plotted WITH Harper to topple the Martin Gov't (that's one act of cooperation). The NDP did vote within the CPC last year to prop up Harper (remember THAT?)... The NDP almost helped destroy the long-gun registry (anyone recall that?). The NDP did help bury the committee reports.

I do believe we need a strong left - or the discussion keeps moving further and further right... But the NDP should do it on their own merit. So far Layton hasn't been doing that. Too afraid to put forward a REAL NDP platform, with strong socialist values, he has been rimming the center - which is a MAJOR reason young voters are turned off. If the NDP was staunchly on the left on things like marijuana legalization, affirmative action, etc., they would grow quite strong in the student and immigrant sectors. A GREEN plan would help shore up defectors to the Green Party. Where is the NDP's Green voice? A mirror of the Liberals? Pretty much - or shades of grey. In BC the NDP is to the RIGHT of the Liberal gov't in their opposition to the carbon tax. Also their BC opposition to the HST? Instead of expounding the virtues of a solid tax base in Canada, this NDP is speaking out over it? How the hell do they propose paying for all their social programs... or have they given up on those too?

We need a strong left voice - to keep Canada a strong center nation - a true liberal democracy. If not, we continue to inch further and further right - that's the Harper plan. And if we have a see-saw between left and right (like the USA), we'll continue to more right, as all the corporate media continue to fawn over the right... Plus we'll never have a sustained period of moderate gov't to bring about the changes we love in Canada (how we are more forward on abortion, capital punishment, same-sex marriage, medicare).

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Inflation: 3 Letters To A Perfect Solution

Canadians are up in arms about ridiculous gas prices. It becomes a major ballot issue. What can we do to fix this? What wedge issue do we have in our hip pockets that could REALLY hit home with Canadians?

How about some sort of National Energy Policy that would see a "Canadians First" price distribution system for oil/gas???

In Saudi (which some say has less oil reserves than Canada) they pay WAY less for a liter of oil. Same is the case in most OPEC countries. So... why are we allowing oil companies to screw Canadians?

Who exactly would we piss off with this type of policy? Some Alberta oil robber barons? Some big multi-national oil companies? What's the upside? Millions of Canadians grateful that someone actually DID something.

So... who wants to run with this very valid issue? Who wants to guarantee lower gas prices to Canadians to help take a bite out of inflation and put something back into Canadians' pocketbooks?

Anyone with the cajones? Anyone want to WIN this election tomorrow? Unite East and West (well, maybe not all of Alberta)?

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

How Will Harper Deal With Quebec?


Many claim that Harper will actually act like a "unifying federalist" regarding Quebec. That he will cede much to Quebec to try to be a federalist. Why would he do that? What does Harper have to gain from keeping in Canada the most progressive, most "liberal" (in the true sense of the word) group of Canadians ever? Would the Harper party be willing to fight for the "Canadian-ness" of "artsy-fartsy", "socialist" Quebecers? Would he promise all sorts of things to make that happen? Harper content with giving away the store? He's up to much more than that.

Growing up in the Prairies - and having a Reform MP for a Godfather (yes)... I know what these guys have been saying since day one: they have always hated Quebec, and want Quebec to separate from Canada. Ask any foaming-at-the-mouth Reform-a-Tory and they'll tell you what they think of Quebec. Many of their "base" in AB, SK, and Manitoba are still raging over French being "forced" on them. Their angry bile of NEP, gun registry, Kyoto, the Canadian Wheat Board, and "French" are real. Some of those hates go back to the 70s and cross generations.

Harper will surprise us on the Quebec situation. He won't cede anything... He'll just say goodbye to the Province which hasn't liked him from day one. He will do this to tilt the Parliamentary numbers massively in his favor... destroying Canada's progressive nature - for so much of that is based in the very strong and vibrant Quebec culture.

Harper has no interest in Quebec. He knows he's guaranteed a massive tilt in political culture without Quebec in Confederation. He also knows that it will help him sink further daggers into his blood-enemy - the Liberal Party of Canada. His followers are united in a blood-hate of Quebec and French culture.

How can any sane observers even consider Harper to be a "federalist"? The Sovereignist forces are his best friends. Mark my words... The day may come.

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Friday, April 15, 2011

BC Conservative MP Says Conservatives Look To Take Guns Away

Conservative MP Nina Grewal - of Conservative backbench fame doesn't seem to know Conservative gun control/gun registry policy...

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Was This a Conservative Attempt (Again) At Election Fraud?

Guelph students vindicated, as Harper thugs fail to shut down voting!

My God! Am I reporting on events in Libya or Iraq? No... Sadly, this story comes from right here in Canada.

Is there something wrong with the electorate when they don't slap down a government that had made abuse of power such an art form? There are so many Conservative scandals to talk about today, but THIS really takes the cake - and speaks to fundamental attempts to thwart our democracy.

Time for students across Canada to rise up and VOTE this dictator out!

Like the typical hostage syndrome Canadian voters have been dulled to the sense of outrage at Harper's attempts to dismantle our democracy. It's what a $20 Million spin machine can do for you - particularly if much of the private media is already bought and paid for (perhaps even sitting with peachy appointments now).

This latest act will be blamed - by Harper - on "overzealous party workers", and he will distance himself, as he always does. But... BUT... if this was a random act by low level Conservative peons, why was a Conservative Party attorney present? Obviously official sanction was had.

So... who in PMO gave the order to shut down student voting at Guelph???

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Conservative Operatives Try To Grab Ballot Box At U. of Guelph?

Reports from Guelph U. indicate an incident which may have seen an attempt to grab a ballot box (according to witnesses on site), and an attempt by the Conservative Party to disenfranchise student voters at a "special ballot" polling location on campus.

I'm sure we'll hear more about this tomorrow morning (between info on the Guergis affair - Harper smear).

Trying to keep young Canadians from voting! Shame on the Conservatives!

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Harper Not Rushing To Rescue (Yet)

Will Stephen Harper make a splashy landing in flood-ravaged Manitoba, Sask, and AB to bail out the people in the disaster zone?

Will he do it after he mulls over the idea of "appearing to dump more money on Conservative-held ridings"? Everything has to pass the optics test, you know... even if people suffer in the meantime.

Will his party "brain trust" decide that they don't care to support those suffering because most of them are on First Nations Reservations? (quite likely with this Harper bunch)

Will he have any money to do it? Okay... He does NOT have any money (or should we say "we" the taxpayers don't). He squandered it all on the Harper Structural Deficit (you know, the one where he squandered a $13 Billion surplus handed to him by the Martin/Goodale Liberals and turned it into a $12 Billion DEFICIT in less than a year - BEFORE the G8 economic downturn)?

Harper is in a dilemma today...

Does he fly to First Nations reserves in Manitoba and Sask with flood relief money promises - or does he simply ignore them and continue with his quest for majority - appearances of being an egomaniacal tyrant aside...?

To my friends in Sask and Man - don't expect any help soon (well... until the NDP and Liberals start speaking out about this)...

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Am I Ethnic Enough? - Pt 2 - Exploitation of Minorities

I wonder if my "very ethnic" "costume" is "ethnic" enough for Mr. Harper?

Wonder if I should break out my "very ethnic" pointy, gold-embroidered shoes???

The racial ignorance of the Harper Conservatives sickens me.

Patronizing does not begin to explain the demeaning way in which they are treating Canadians of multiple ethnic backgrounds.

There is something very wrong with a political party which cannot use it's policy to attract non-mainstream voters, and would rather give the impression that they have some sort of community "endorsement" by posing faked images EXPLOITING NEW CANADIANS.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Debate on Democracy and "Being Ganged Up On"

So... there was a point in the debate where there was an exchange on the REASON for this election.

Iggy hammered Harper on this: "The reason we are in an election is your contempt of Parliament..." Layton and Duceppe pounded Harper too (with BOTH making Harper look like a fool and liar regarding the 2004 Harper Coalition agreement).

Thing is... Harper kept lying about how the contempt vote was a result of "being ganged up on" by the other parties.

ALL Iggy, Layton, Duceppe, et al had to say was, "Pierre Trudeau, Joe Clark, and Lester Pearson ALL had minorities, and were NEVER found in contempt when THEY were out-numbered in committee Mr. Harper. Why was YOUR government the first minority government EVER found in contempt in the entire Commonwealth"?

The very DEFINITION of why we are having this election, and the Harper party continues their mantra that they were only found in contempt because they were outvoted in committee. It's NOT an excuse. They are NOT the only gov't ever having a minority, and outvoted in committee.

Missed opportunity.

Oh well. All else considered, besides Harper being on the defensive and having to face his lies, no-one really "lost" this debate...

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Kitchen Table Language For Debates...

One of the biggest issues facing Canada today is the Harper Structural Deficit (HSD). It is, however, a very "dry" issue that would be difficult to explain to most Canadians.

Harper walked into a Paul Martin-Ralph Goodale $13 Billion budget surplus, and even BEFORE the 2008 economic downturn (which Harper indicated would NOT happen - genius "economist" that he is) turned it into the biggest deficits in Canadian history. The ONLY thing that saved Canada was - in part - the spending advocated by the opposition parties on stimulus (and we're NOT talking about park benches in Muskoka). The structural deficit Harper created put us in a situation where we don't have the money to spend on things Canadians need. If you pair that with reckless spending on jets n' jails, you have a government with NO fiscal restraint at all.

How to explain this to Canadians without their eyes "glassing over"? Try this:

Imagine a family sitting at a kitchen table. Imagine they've come across tougher times. Maybe the business isn't doing well, or perhaps they have an elder relative that is ill. This family is looking for ways out of their financial dilemma. The Conservative answer would look like this: Have one of the parents (conservatives always assume a 2 parent household) quit their job.

Then start cutting spending. Hmmm... How wrong is that? Yet, this is what Harper did in 2006/7/8... and continues to do. He slashed government revenue, resulting in the structural deficit, and now will embark on "slash and burn" Reaganomics to cut spending to things he doesn't like (KAIROS, Stats Can, Gun registry, public health care, etc., etc.).

So you're the family at the kitchen table. How do you save money? Does quitting a job, or going back to a part-time role make sense? This is exactly what Harper has done to this government. Will the government be there for Canadians in times of need? Not if Harper has his signatureVICTORY FUND

Damning Auditor General's Report Alleges Conservatives Hid True G8 Cost - Alleges Parliament Was Lied To

Wow... Just when the Bruce Carson story was getting "hot"...

We now have a leaked AG report that indicates some VERY troubling information about how the "Harper Government" allegedly mislead Parliament about the true cost of G8 security.

This is another one of those "ground-shakers", and will be extra ammo going into the debates!

Go Iggy!!!

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Harper Indirectly Vows To "Get Rid Of" Medicare

Ralph Goodale highlights how Harper intends to dismantle medicare...


Two things have always been on Stephen Harper's "hit list", if ever he got a chance to have his way -- the repeal of the Canada Health Act and the termination of the Canada Pension Plan.

The Conservatives continue to ignore the impending pension crisis facing millions of Canadians. But with respect to health care, the Conservative platform in this election is an outright threat.

They are proposing to lavish $75 billion over the next few years on three big and risky spending schemes:

* $30 billion for extra corporate tax cuts for the big banks and companies like Imperial Oil;
* another $30 billion for 65 non-competitive "stealth" warplanes; and
* about $15 billion for US-style mega-jails.

These are the priorities Mr. Harper puts ahead of everything else. Extra corporate tax cuts ahead of better pensions or more affordable housing. Warplanes ahead of family caregivers or early childhood development. Jails ahead of education or crime prevention.

But the real elephant in the room is medicare!

When Liberals were in power, we negotiated a 10-year Canada Health Accord with all the provinces, worth $41 billion and running until 2014. With that end-date rapidly approaching, the whole deal has to be renegotiated very soon. Will the level of federal support set by the Liberals be maintained?

We believe it must be. Otherwise, Canada's health care system will erode.

But in the Harper budget last month and in his election platform this month, there are no guarantees. To use their own words, under a re-elected Conservative regime, federal support for medicare is "subject to change" and not assured for any specific time frame.

This becomes abundantly clear in light of Harper's massive ideological splurge on warplanes, prisons and extra corporate tax cuts. There's simply no room left for healthcare (or anything else for that matter).

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Great Gazoo

Something I said to a Con friend last election... when we joked about Harper on his "I make the rules" ATV... "He'd look like the Great Gazoo if he wore a helmet".

Gentlemen - I present to you, the "Great Gazoo". Now all we need is Donolo on TV with a small model of Gazoo on a toy ATV and we have our "Barney moment".

Nice. Does Harp do anything besides play piano (badly) and ride ATVs? How about "world leader qualities"?

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Liberal Platform - Families Come First

Latest Goodale Report (on the campaign trail)...


The choice in this election is crystal clear.

Who should rank first on the federal government's priority list -- middle-class families or the biggest, wealthiest corporations?

The Harper regime has opted for corporations. They're getting a big Conservative tax cut of $3-billion this year, rising to nearly $6-billion next year and ongoing.
Meanwhile, any tax relief or new benefits for families must wait at least five years.

Take a number and wait in line, Mr. Harper tells families -- these corporations are more important right now.

What businesses does he favour? Certainly not small businesses which generate the most jobs.

No, Conservative largesse is reserved for the biggest and wealthiest 5-percent of businesses. In fact, the main beneficiaries from extra corporate tax cuts are the six big banks (which reported $21-billion in profits last year).

Companies like these have already had their tax rates cut by 35%. They already had the lowest rates in the G-7 (except for the UK), and a 25% advantage over the US.

Both the Finance Department and Statistics Canada say extra tax cuts for these corporations will produce virtually no immediate jobs.

So why would the federal government go borrow another $6-billion per year to cut corporate taxes? (And, borrow this government must, because Mr. Harper is running a massive Conservative deficit!)

By contrast, Liberals will put families first -- ahead of large corporations.

We believe corporate tax rates should remain at the globally-competitive levels of last year. Further rate cuts should await a balanced budget.

The $6 billion saved every year should be used to reduce the deficit AND invest in families.

Access to post-secondary education. Childcare. Family caregiving. Healthcare. Pensions. And retro-fitting homes to save energy.

These are better priorities.

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