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I was recently asked by a reader of this column “How do you plan on making sustainable additions to our community and Brant?”

It’s a fair question.  

I also know that the 7 key areas I have outlined as the focus of this campaign are ambitious.  A nice, young lady who is reporter from the Laurier Brantford newspaper The Sputnik asked me if it was too ambitious.

Another fair question.

I feel I can answer both to the satisfaction of the community.  Let me answer the last question first.

We pay a lot of tax in this country.  I think we should get value for that dollar.  I think those in government need to be ambitious, and not ambitious for themselves but ambitious for their communities.  Ambitious is exactly what we need.  $150.00 a plate dinners are ambitions that only serve to help campaigns and we at the Brant NDP won’t be holding that kind of fundraising.  We won’t make “exclusive” events that ask for heaps of money and set up barriers for those who could not imagine spending that kind of money on one dinner in this economy.

We want to worry about your money when we get to Parliament, not ours.

That’s our ambition.

Now to answer that first question.

What we don’t do is provide tax cuts without strings and not just to big oil and the banks.  We provide fair taxation systems that run across several sectors and encourage the things Canadians want to see. Government is supposed to work with big and small business to get results for both the businesses and the communities.

We apply tax breaks to businesses that help the community and are good corporate citizens in the following ways:

1) Companies that keep jobs here, grow and hire locally when they can.

2) Businesses hat have an innovation fund to keep Canadian jobs moving forward, becoming more productive and greener.

3) Companies that use 5% or less temp workers and that hire permanently from their temp worker pool.  This still allows businesses to have the flexibility they sometimes require while being fairer to Canadians.

4) Companies that make commitments to stay in localities for several years.

5) Business (big or small) that pay a living wage.

6) Companies that coordinate helping programs for their employees and the greater community.

We use the tax system to encourage the things we want that we know will help communities and not a cut and run approach. We help business to help our communities while staying innovative and moving toward greater efficiency in this country, not by moving overseas.

We don’t pay to help companies move away.  We pay to help them put down roots while growing here.