One Way Forward

Canada. Canada has survived and thrived over the past 144 years thanks to good leadership, determination, and vision. A vision of a nation designed to provide the most essential human rights we all deserve, while providing the opportunity for people to define their own destiny. But that ability is being threatened. Threatened the powers that be who are willing to stifle our democracy, continue to widen the gap between the rich and the poor, and put additional tax burden on your daily lives. Taxes, both literal and figurative, that will come in the form of higher levies on blank CDs and DVDs, a stifling of innovation by the absolute demolishing of fair use laws, an inability to get the country connected to high speed internet, so-called “support” for students that only aggravates the problem many students already have paying back student loans, allowing more and more seniors to fall below the poverty line, superprisons for unreported crime, and funding cuts for organizations that support the victims of crime. And all this leaving the sandwich generation with less time and money to help their kids or look after their ill and aging parents.

It’s a dismal state that must be corrected.

Canadians need choice. Canadians need freedom. Canadians need security. And most of all, when things get rough, Canadians need support. What they don’t need is a government that is so eager to put them in prison that they’re going to spend billions of dollars on new American-style superprisons. What Canadians don’t need is a government that seems hellbent on turning us into a warmongering nation, spending billions of dollars on jets without engines, and forgoing our previously well-known reputation for being peacekeepers. What Canada doesn’t need, or want, is to leave our neighbours and families out in the cold when they need our help the most.

It’s high time we stood up for the country we live in. Now is the time where we must look to the future and decide what we want this country to look like, to act like at home and around the world, and how we want to be seen amongst our peers. We have a very serious choice to make, and it can make or break this country.

In order to survive and thrive in the next 144 years, this nation has but one way forward. We need to invest in ourselves, in our communities,  and in the way of life we hold dear. That means making decisive, wise choices in how we spend our money, how we treat the future leaders of this land, and how we treat those that are suffering.

We need to invest in our children and grandchildren. Students need genuine help getting to and through school, and that’s why the Liberal Party’s platform introduced the Learning Passport, providing up to $1500 per year for students that get the grades, and deserve to get a post-secondary education.

That’s why the Liberal Party platform brings back the deal it signed with the provinces, that was killed by Stephen Harper and the Conservatives, ensuring each province has the ability to get the funding they need in order to train new early childhood educators, create more childcare spaces, and help parents out in the way they need to most.

Canadians should have the right to take the time off work you need to look after your parents without being penalized for it. That’s why they want to create a new Family Care Employment Insurance Benefit, so that caregivers take six months off work to care for gravely ill family members at home; and on top of that a new Family Care Tax Benefit worth up to $1,350 annually, to help low- and middle-income family caregivers manage the costs associated with looking after their parents.

And, of course, those who need the healthcare system should feel comfortable knowing that it will be there to take care of them thoroughly, efficiently, with the best care possible. The federal government has to continue to work with the provinces to make that a priority now and in the future.

We need to expand and enhance the Canada Pension Plan, before it starts having the same problems the U.S. Social Security Plan has. Canadians need to know the CPP will be there for them, and will make a meaningful impact on their retirement lifestyles. Canadians have also been clear that existing retirement saving methods aren’t enough. That’s why the Liberal Party has proposed a Secure Retirement Option – an enhancement to the CPP that’s voluntary, leaving you with the choice to participate or not, and not run by the banks.

We need to ensure that affordable housing is available, that we leave this country and planet cleaner than it was when we came into it, where service to your community is recognized and rewarded, and where the arts get just as much respect as our office workers, construction workers, and doctors do. Canadians need to know that the food on their table not only tastes great, but is good for them and won’t make them sick. And rural Canada, in all its forms, finally get the respect it deserves from the cities it feeds.

That’s the Canada you deserve. That’s the Canada I want to live in. Anything less is unacceptable.

And when we can afford it, we will reduce taxes. We will reduce personal income taxes. We will reduce business taxes. But we can’t go on running the country as if printing more money is the answer. This all has to be done responsibly and with a level head recognizing the situation for what it is, and the implications of where money comes from, and how it’s spent.

So join me in voting for a Canada we can all be proud of. Vote for your local Liberal candidate, and give them the mandate to turn this country around and into one that all Canadians can be proud of, and is once again respected on the world stage. Our livelihoods depend on it.