Recession not over until the middle class is back to work

New Democrat Leader Jack Layton yesterday blasted Stephen Harper for ignoring middle class economic struggles, and vowed to make a true middle class recovery his top priority when Parliament resumes next week. 

“Stephen Harper points to soaring bank profits and declares the recession over,” Layton said. “He thinks that when the banks are out of recession, everyone is out of recession. New Democrats know that there is no economic recovery without the middle class.”  

Speaking in Regina at the New Democrat caucus strategy session, Layton’s comments come less than a week after Canada’s jobless rate grew to 8.1%. They also come a day after the Canadian Payroll Association found that 6 out of every 10 Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque. 

“Across the country, people have told us they are still worried—worried because they can’t find a job or get EI; worried because they are going into debt; worried because they’ve lost their pensions and have no savings for retirement,” he said. 

Layton outlined the New Democrat plan for an economic recovery that he says would leave no one behind. The plan includes: 

  • maintaining Canada’s stimulus commitments;
  • protecting well-paying Canadian jobs;
  • making life more affordable for families;
  • bringing retirement security to all Canadians.

Layton also promised to bring accountability and trust back to government, which he said Mr. Harper has failed to do.  

“For four years, Mr. Harper has divided Canadians and abandoned Canadians,” Layton said. “New Democrats think it’s time for a different kind of leadership, one that actually puts Canadians first.”

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