April 2, 2011

Wrong way

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Ronna- Rae Leonard NDP Campaign

April 2, 2011

Campaign Offices
1-877-338-1033

493B Puntledge Road, Courtenay
250-871-7172

1070A Shoppers Row, Campbell River
250-914-2520

1695 Beach Drive, Port McNeill

Jack Layton’s Reaction to Harper Budget

March 22, 2011

Budget fails to make life better for Canadians

March 22, 2011

Harper chooses provoking an election over helping Canadian families and seniors

With today’s budget, Stephen Harper missed the opportunity to make life more affordable and help Canadian families still recovering from the effects of the recession.

“The budget is a great disappointment for Canadians looking for the Conservatives to stop playing political games and get something done for them,” said New Democrat Leader Jack Layton. “Stephen Harper had an opportunity to address the needs of the hard working middle class families – sadly he chose to provoke an election, instead.”

In an effort to make Parliament work, Layton met with Prime Minister Harper and put forward a set of affordable measures to help Canadians. Unfortunately, the Conservative’s budget did not address New Democrats’ reasonable proposals.

“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.”

New Democrat TV ad- Where do we start?

March 17, 2011

New Democrat TV ad – What is Canadian leadership?

March 17, 2011

Canada’s Economic Action Plan

March 16, 2011

Statement by New Democrat leader Jack Layton on the earthquake in Japan and the Tsunami in the Pacific

March 11, 2011

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan, and to Canadians who are still trying to reach their loved ones in that country.

As the Tsunami makes its way across the Pacific, our thoughts are also on the safety of those living along coastal areas, including Canada’s Pacific Coast.

It will be days before we understand the full effects of this disaster, but we know Canadians stand ready and willing to help in the days ahead.

We will strongly support efforts by the government to provide aid and relief to those affected and do what we can, in their time of great need.

For those with family in Japan, Foreign Affairs has released two phone numbers you can call to get more information, 613-943-1055 or toll free at 1-800-387-3124.

Chorus louder over MP’s silence

March 10, 2011

By Dan MacLennan, Courier-Islander March 2, 2011

North Island MLA Claire Trevena is the latest to rip into MP John Duncan for his silence on the Point Race replacement issue.

“I’m shocked that John Duncan isn’t fighting tooth and nail to keep the Point Race,” Trevena told the Courier-Islander Monday. “We really have to be out there and doing everything what we can to make sure that we keep that Coast Guard vessel.”

As an opposition MP from Vancouver Island North, Duncan fought past federal efforts to replace the Campbell River-based Coast Guard cutter Point Race “with less capable 47-foot motor lifeboats”. But John Duncan, Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, has had very little to say about the current plan to retire the Point Race and Prince Rupert’s Point Henry in favor of 47-foot motor lifeboats. So far his office has suggested inquiries should be directed to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. He’s also released a statement saying “fleet renewal and standardization is a national imperative of the Coast Guard.”

Point Race supporters are once again rallying to fight the replacement plan, repeating the refrain that Duncan once carried. They say the Point Race is the perfect boat for the area’s sometimes treacherous mix of fierce winds, tides, waves and narrow passages.

Trevena said it’s ridiculous to consider getting rid of the Point Race.

“This is the Coast Guard vessel for our area,” she said. “There’s no question, whether it’s dealing with the seas that we have or the capacity that it has.”

Last week federal New Democrat MP Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) hammered Duncan’s stance, saying Vancouver Island North constituents somehow have less influence in Ottawa “even though they have a minister sitting at the cabinet table.”

“This is offensive,” Cullen said. “It’s a serious downgrade and the silence from the minister is deafening. He understands this issue. He can’t plead ignorance and this is a decision that’s going to put more lives at risk.”

Trevena agreed. She said Duncan has a duty to speak out against the Point Race replacement and a duty to use his influence in cabinet, particularly with Fisheries Minister Gail Shea.

“He sits across the cabinet table from her,” Trevena said. “He can say ‘hey look Minister, we’ve got this issue in my constituency, can you help me out?’ That’s what people in this constituency expect and I think that it’s really appalling that he’s not doing that for us.”

The Courier-Islander asked Duncan for comment again this week. There was no response from the minister at press time.

© Copyright (c) Postmedia News

New Democrats demand federal action on rising food prices

March 10, 2011

Canada needs food strategy now

As Canadians brace themselves for another round of rising food prices New Democrats are calling on the Conservative Government to help Canadians get food they need at an affordable price. Sky-rocketing oil prices brought on by Middle East unrest and the global economic crisis is impacting every link in the food production chain.

“There has been a nine percent increase in food bank use since 2009, 38% of these are children, 11% are working poor, 15% are on some form of disability income support, 7% are seniors, and 12% are aboriginal,” said Tony Martin New Democrat poverty critic. “Even so, most of the government’s largesse is going to the wealthiest among us.”

Food Banks Canada reports in its HungerCount2010 that “867, 948 Canadians walked through the front door of a food bank in March 2010 asking for help. That’s the highest level of food bank use on record.”

“Conservatives keep looking to trade deals which only serve to make our food system dangerously vulnerable to the price of oil,” said Atamanenko. “It is time we look at ways to strengthen our domestic markets and local economies as a way to reduce our dependence on imported food so that we become less vulnerable to the energy hikes and other economic shocks that lie ahead.”

New Democrats believe there is an urgent need for the Federal government to develop a national food strategy that will:

•Ensure all Canadians have access to adequate amounts of healthy food;
•Empower farmers to earn a decent living producing quality food for Canadians
•Establish a stable and sustainable agriculture sector for future generations.
“Given the high cost of fuel, crop failures and inflation, this government cannot continue to sit idly by as vulnerable Canadians fork out more for their basic food needs” said NDP MP Fin Donnelly. “This country needs a national food security plan and they need it now.”