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Marc Laferriere outlined his party’s platform for the riding of Brantford-Brant at a debate hosted by the Homebuilder’s Association. In the first debate of the campaign Laferriere outlined his plan to a non-traditional NDP audience.  Here he discussed the theme of change or status quo.

Responding to pre-submitted questions, Laferriere took the old-line parties to task for a ‘business as usual’ approach to government. “We’ve seen scandal, mismanagement and government excess – $16 orange juice, tampered documents, senate scandals, influence peddling charges, voter fraud, criminal fraud charges, conservatives being sent to jail after each election, the largest cabinet in history, rising inequality, 8 straight deficits, $150 billion dollars in new debt and 2 recessions” said Laferriere.

Acknowledging the makeup of his audience, Laferriere said; “Let’s be frank here – most of the people in this room voted Conservative last time. I respect that, but let’s also be frank about the result, none of you voted for this!”

On the issue of land claims, Laferriere said that his party would take a respectful, Nation to Nation approach to resolving land claims issues. “When he was first elected 7 years ago, Phil McColeman said that land claims were to be his top priority. During several elections Phil hammered former Liberal MP Lloyd St. Amand on his governments inability to reach a deal with Six Nations.  In those 7 years since he has been elected, he has only mentioned land claims once in the House of Commons.  None of the bills introduced by the Member for Brant have touched on land claims issues. If land claims are indeed his first priority, it is clear that he has failed to live up to his own commitments on this issue and bargain in good faith” said Laferriere.

Commenting on the campaign, Laferriere said, “While this is an unnecessarily long election, I am working hard to get my message of positive change out to the people including our plans for quality jobs, support for small businesses, health care and affordability among others. We have been getting unprecedented responses to our message and I am very optimistic our chances.”

In his closing statements Laferriere said the following about his vision for positive change this election:

“I talked about how I was able to take advantage of opportunities here to pull myself out of the government system as a kid and make a success of my life. Today, that is much harder to do as there are many new barriers in the way.  Our priorities aren’t where they should be.

“We have a concrete and practical plan that’s good for the economy and for the people who make up our economy:

  • Helping people train for good jobs
  • Cutting small business taxes and fees
  • Reducing temporary and precarious work
  • Hiring more family doctors and nurses
  • Investing in better senior’s care
  • Bringing back Federal protection to 2.4 million lakes and rivers in Canada including our Grand River
  • $15/day childcare that will get people back to work
  • Ending unfair fees
  • Building more affordable housing
  • A National Food Strategy to keep food affordable and help family farms
  • Protecting veterans while we lift seniors out of poverty

“We want to allow people to participate fully in what this great country has to offer. That’s what I got and more people deserve a real chance to get the same.”

The next debate is being held by the Muslim Association of Brantford. Everyone is welcome to attend the debate, which is being held at the Best Western Plus Brant Park Inn on Wednesday, Sept. 16, beginning at 7:00 PM.  Click here for more information.