2010: Layton reviews a year of achievements

New Democrat team took on Conservatives to help families in tough times

Jack Layton praised New Democrats for putting practical results ahead of reckless political games in 2010. Layton highlighted NDP achievements that included successful motions in the House on protecting jobs from predatory foreign takeovers and New Democrats’ ongoing efforts to get the federal sales tax taken off Canadians’ home heating bills.

“If Stephen Harper thinks soaring bank profits mean we’re out of the woods, then he needs to get out more in 2011,” said Layton. “Every day I talk to more Canadians who are still losing sleep over their jobs, their savings, their unpaid bills. I’m proud of the way New Democrats kept their eye on the ball this year, working to make life a little easier for people in tough economic times.”

This year, in the middle of a recession, the Harper government hiked payroll taxes and imposed the HST on BC and Ontario. Layton contrasted Harper’s out-of-touch policies with his team’s efforts to make life more affordable. Alongside the home heating campaign, New Democrats moved key legislation further through the House, including bills to improve Employment Insurance, launch a national housing strategy, and protect workplace pensions.

“New Democrats are proposing solutions, and we’re getting results by keeping pressure on Stephen Harper. Without New Democrats pushing every day, this government wouldn’t be extending the stimulus deadline by six months. They wouldn’t be stopping the Potash Corp sellout. They wouldn’t even be talking about enriching the Canada Pension Plan.”

Layton also praised his team’s ability to work with other parties and pass all five of their Opposition Day motions in 2010. Those included motions calling for tighter rules on foreign takeovers, limits on prorogation powers and better safeguards against oil spills.

“This government broke its promise to be different. Instead they rubberstamped more foreign takeovers, directed their unelected Senators to kill vital climate change legislation and built a cone of silence around the Afghan detainee scandal. That’s not acceptable,” declared Layton.

“My team and I will continue to show leadership by holding Stephen Harper to account every step of the way. In the New Year we’ll put forward more practical ideas and deliver more results for Canadians—proving once again in 2011 that New Democrats are the only real alternative to Stephen Harper.”

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