THUNDER BAY – “As the Michael Ignatieff-led Coalition with the NDP and Bloc Quebecois united once again”, according to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Conservative leader has vowed “to provide the stable national government that Canada needs to complete the economic recovery and keep taxes low”.
“By forcing an unnecessary election in this time of fragile economic recovery, Michael Ignatieff and his coalition partners are irresponsibly and recklessly putting at risk Canadians’ jobs, our economy and stable government.” said Harper.
The Prime Minister emphasized that he remains focused on strengthening the financial security of hardworking Canadians and their families. “The budget tabled this week – the next phase of Canada’s Economic Action Plan – is critically important. It is a low-tax plan for jobs and growth,” said the Prime Minister. “A plan to strengthen the financial security of Canadian families. A plan to protect and create jobs. Implementing our low-tax plan is my priority, to complete our economic recovery and ensure stability and certainty for Canadians in what remain extremely challenging global circumstances.”
“This government is out of control and out of touch,” said Michael Ignatieff speaking in the House of Commons. “They have no credible plan to tackle the deficit, no numbers we can believe in, no vision of how to sustain our health care system – just bad choices for our families and our economy by spending billions on jets, jails, and giveaways to oil companies, insurance companies, and banks.
“It’s time for a change. It’s time for Canadians to choose a new Liberal government that will focus scarce resources where they really matter: early learning and child care, college and university education for all, family care for our loved ones, and security and dignity in retirement.”
“This budget fails to strengthen CPP, provides no relief for heating bills, and still leaves millions of Canadians without access to a family doctor,” said Layton. “And the GIS increase is a half-measure, leaving tens of thousands seniors still living in poverty.”
“Nothing in this budget has persuaded me that Stephen Harper has changed his ways and is prepared to work with others in Parliament to give middle-class families a break,” said Layton. “Therefore New Democrats will not support the budget as presented.”
“This Conservative government has proven – repeatedly – that they will not provide the transparent, accountable, and responsible government that they promised to deliver to Canadians five years ago,” charges John Rafferty, the MP for Thunder Bay Rainy River. “In this parliament they have refused to disclose the true costs of the F-35 jet purchase, their new mega-jails and crime agenda and, their corporate tax cuts.”
Aside from the non-confidence motion on transparency and accountability, Rafferty said “The government was also failing to deliver on the key priorities of his constituents. The budget is another example of an opportunity wasted. New Democrats wanted the Conservatives to remove the HST on home heating that would
help make life more affordable for hardworking Northern families, but the government refused.”
“It was with great sadness that I today voted non-confidence in the Government of Canada,” said Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Bruce Hyer after the vote. “I have always believed in cooperation and compromise, and have hoped that Mr. Harper would choose to exhibit those qualities. He was elected by 37 percent of the voters, but has made it more and more clear that he wants and expects 100 percent of the power and control. Anti-democratic behaviour by him and his party has deteriorated into deception and dishonesty. He does not even follow the principles and promises upon which he ran for election.”