Olivia Chow: A coalition ready to govern

Canada has a Coalition for Change that’s ready to govern where Stephen Harper failed. New Democrats and Liberals, with support from the Bloc Quebecois, have signed an accord to form a Coalition government with an action plan to deal with the worst economic storm in a generation. By putting aside our differences, we are working together to put people first.

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Our critical manufacturing and forestry sectors are failing. Stock markets are reeling. Jobs and pensions are under threat. Everyone from families to young professionals to pensioners are making difficult decisions about which bills they can afford to pay.

Last week, Canadians looked to Ottawa for leadership. Canadians need hope and want cooperation between parties. Economists and business leaders advised bold action. But instead of an economic plan, or cooperation, Mr Harper delivered an ideological plan to sell off public buildings, kill off opposition parties and roll back the rights of workers and women.

The UK and Japan, the US and Australia-leaders around the world have acted boldly to stimulate their economies. But not in Canada. Stephen Harper is not serious about helping families weather the storm ahead. That is why he has lost the confidence of Canadians and the Parliament you elected.

The Liberal-NDP Coalition is ready to replace the failed Harper government. The Coalition is ready to step up and deliver the economic stimulus that Canada urgently needs. Our action plan is prompt, prudent and effective.

• We’ll protect quality jobs. The financial sector is being battered and global forces encouraged by the Harper government has caused this Country, and Ontario to bleed quality manufacturing jobs

• We’ll create new jobs. Retrofitting homes and building housing can begin right away. We’ll fast-track infrastructure projects, renew cities, invest in renewable energy and expand public transit with new buses, street cars and subways.

• We’ll ensure income security and support for families with affordable child care. We’ll end unfair waiting periods for Employment Insurance. Seniors will get help with lower minimum RRIF withdrawals and increased Old Age Security.

• To make sure there are healthy markets for Canadian goods, we’ll work with the new Obama administration to make trade fairer. And with the Obama government, we will bring in the cap and trade program to make the polluters pay so there are funds for environmental solutions.

New Democrats are proud of Jack Layton’s leadership role in bringing this coalition together. And all Canadians can be inspired by how all three opposition parties have set aside their differences to move this country forward.

Stephen Harper’s right to govern ends when he loses the confidence of his colleagues in Parliament. He should accept that verdict and not create further instability. He should also remember that 62 per cent of voters rejected his agenda in the last election.

This week, untold thousands of Canadians citizens will gather for town hall meetings across Canada to support the Coalition. I urge you to join them and make your voice heard. This will be your Coalition.

This Saturday, December 6, at noon at Nathan Philips Square, our voices will get louder. Bring your family and friends and join with thousands of progressive Canadians who say I’m part of the 62% majority.

We are at a remarkable crossroads in our shared history as Canadians.

You are the majority. Be part of the change.

Olivia

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