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Canadians seek a Coalition for Change-Jack Layton

Jack Layton, NDP leader.

We are at a crossroads in our collective history. Canada must have a strong and effective government that holds the confidence of Parliament. Today, we do not.

When Canadians looked to Ottawa for leadership, Mr Harper failed them. Families facing their last paycheque needed hope. Economists and businesses leaders advised strong action. From Japan to Australia, the United States to the UK – world leaders have acted boldly to stimulate their economies.

But in his Economic Update, Stephen Harper showed Canadians he is not serious about this economic crisis. He doesn’t get it. Waiting for months is not an option because families are paying the price today.

Faced with the worst economic crisis in a generation, Mr Harper misled Canadians about the country’s balance sheet and offered no economic stimulus. Instead, he delivered an ideological plan to sell off public buildings, kill off opposition parties and roll back workers’ rights.

As a result of Prime Minister Harper’s failure to act, his government has lost the confidence of Parliament. In our democracy, that means Mr. Harper is no longer able to govern. The just and democratic next step is to ask if the opposition is able to form government.

The New Democrats and the Liberal Party, with the support of the Bloc Quebecois, have reached an accord and are ready to govern in coalition. For the first time in memory, the majority of the people’s representatives set aside its differences for the good of Canada.

We all made compromises. From New Democrats accepting corporate tax cuts to the Liberals scrapping the Green Shift to the Bloc not getting an agenda for Quebec alone. Each party placed Canada’s economic future above all.

The Coalition have agreed to the prudent, responsible and effective steps necessary to meet the economic and fiscal challenges we face. We’ll bring stability to government and deliver the economic stimulus we need to kick-start the economy, create jobs and boost consumer confidence.

We’ll protect good jobs by supporting key industry sectors. The auto sector will get credit guarantees and low-interest loans, tied to producing low-emission vehicles Canadians want. Forestry companies with good business plans and a viable future will qualify for credit guarantees.

We’ll create jobs straight away. Ready-to-go infrastructure projects will be fast-tracked. Retrofitting homes and building affordable housing can begin right away. Then there are jobs in renewable energy and expanded public transit.

We’ll invest in families through EI reform, skills training, and help for older workers moving to retirement. And we’ll help seniors through pension protection, reform to mandatory RRIF withdrawals and increased Old Age Security.

We’ll work closely with the new Obama administration in the U.S., on fighting climate change with a cap-and-trade system. And we’ll work for fairer trade to make sure there are healthy markets for Canadian goods.

This stimulus package must be implemented as soon as possible. Prime Minister Harper has irreparably lost the confidence of Parliament. His recent actions – reversing his promises and scrambling for solutions – will not repair that confidence.

I had asked the Prime Minister to respect the will of the people’s House and resign gracefully. I repeat that call today. The Prime Minister must put Canada first, take up his role in opposition and allow the Coalition to deliver stability and decisive economic action. [Source:The Canadian]

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