Sunday, November 25

Release Date: November 24, 2007 For Release: Immediate

Statement by the Honourable St├ęphane Dion, Leader of the Opposition, on the election of Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister of Australia

On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and its parliamentary caucus, I would like to offer my congratulations to Labour Party of Australia Leader Kevin Rudd for his victory in today's parliamentary elections.

By electing Mr. Rudd and the Labour Party, Australians have embraced a progressive program of economic competitiveness, tax reduction, enhanced health care, and environmental sustainability. I salute their choice, and I particularly wish to applaud Mr. Rudd for his determination to restore Australia's commitment to the Kyoto Protocol.

Like Mr. Rudd and the Labour Party of Australia, the Liberal Party of Canada believes that only by working in concert with our international partners can we find a lasting solution to the problem of global warming and climate change.

We join all those Canadians who, in their determination to restore Canada's leadership in the global fight against climate change, will today celebrate Mr. Rudd's victory, and Australia's renewed commitment to environmental protection.

Contact:

Press Office
Office of the Leader of the Opposition

Saturday, November 24

Harper gov't blocks binding commitment on climate

Thought you might be interested in this latest image or our country projected by Mr. Harper.

Harper gov't blocks binding commitment on climate
Mike Blanchfield, CanWest News Service
Published: Saturday, November 24, 2007
KAMPALA, Uganda - Prime Minister Stephen Harper has "embarrassed Canada on the world stage" by blocking a consensus among more than 50 Commonwealth countries to endorse binding commitments on industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Liberal Leader Stephane Dion charged Saturday. ...

... But Harper successfully pressed for the deletion of key wording in a climate change statement that would have called for a "binding commitment" on developed countries to reduce emissions by specific targets. ...

... But Dion, a former environment minister, said it is precisely because of Canada's economic strength as a major industrialized power that it must take the lead in cutting greenhouse emissions, rather than waiting for other nations to address the "worst ecological threat of the century."

Australia was the only other country to share Canada's position. But, with the defeat of John Howard's government Saturday, the new Labour government was poised to ratify the Kyoto climate change accord, leaving Canada as the only Commonwealth country to oppose binding targets on developed countries. ...

... Canada's Commonwealth partners, especially Britain and Malta, were also unhappy with the Harper government's hard line. But the "consensus" they eventually found amounted to a watering down of their call for binding targets and timetables, and represented a major setback for the rest of the Commonwealth's 52 countries, all of which opposed Canada's position.

The full details may be read in the Ottawa Citizen. Check in on -
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=80e98153-a2ed-4e33-a62d-295ea002607a&k=4574

Michael

Tuesday, November 20

Keeping in Touch

On a windy Saturday, November 17, under sunny skies, I did some pre-election campaigning in Cardston with the help of Russ Whittaker and Lorne McGlynn, my Campaign Manager and his assistant respectfully. Kay D refreshed us at her restaurant before we commenced door-to-door. As usual many were not home and some expressed surprise that we were there, asking if an election that they had not heard about was called. People were nice, some indicated support, giving an indication of disenchantment with the current situation, while a few indicated they were quite happy with the present government, but it appeared that an equal number were hesitant suggesting a need for change and a few indicated concern about the exorbitant expense of an election. Most were politely pleasant. There was one man who appeared to have strong feelings about gun-control being a waste of money. In summary the general mood appeared to reflect what obviously the polls tell us. Despite the fact we have no indication when an election might be called we need to be ready like the good scout, because according to the way things are going on Parliament Hill an election could be called at anytime.

Also, I want to remind you that I may be contacted by responding to this or calling me at 381-7635 if you have concerns or suggestions.
Michael

Friday, November 9

What Childcare? Canadians want a Child Development Program.

Recently, in newspapers across the country, Human Resources and Social Development Minister Monte Solberg has launched an aggressive editorial campaign promoting his government's actions on childcare and ridiculing those of the previous Liberal government.

If you identify with the Liberal Proposal for A Child Development Program which includes care and wish to use this as a letter or the framework for one please feel free to use it to let Minister Monte Solberg know your feelings.

In response to Human Resources and Social Development Minister Solberg’s letter,
“Investing More” we would like to point out that Minister Solberg’s "choice in child care" rhetoric may have an alluring ring for some, but the fact is the Conservative government has taken a hard right turn on child care policies, and communities and families are paying a price.

The Minister refers to his government’s investments in child care, but fails to note that the last Conservative budget actually slashed $1.2 billion in transfers to the provinces and territories for this year, money that could have increased access to child care spaces. As a result, families have lost out on thousands of new spaces and new investments for early learning and child care. The unprecedented cuts go deeper as the provinces and territories will lose another $1.2 billion in each of the next two years.

In place of funding for expanded early learning and child care services, the Conservatives are providing families a taxable monthly cheque of $100 for each child under six. The Minister wrongly equates this meagre income support with access to child care. It’s not enough for families and it hasn’t made it any easier for families to find child care.

The Minister’s rhetoric rings especially hollow in light of his government’s failure to create the 125,000 new child care spaces promised through its tax credits for businesses. That promise is now long gone, while waiting lists for child care persist. Canadian families, child care advocacy groups, and organizations have given this government a failing grade when it comes to the issue of early learning and development.

The Conservative government’s right turn on child care was the wrong plan for Canada. It fails to deliver choice to Canada’s families. Canada’s families are waiting for action and real leadership. Canadian families and Canada’s children deserve better.

Submitted by the Liberal Party of Canada and Michael Cormican, Liberal Candidate, Lethbridge Riding

Sunday, November 4

Which record should we feel proud of?

After almost two years, and little if any progress on issues of importance to Canadians, Mr. Harper talks as if he had a majority, and operates as though he’s campaigning instead of providing leadership and good government which Canadians want and deserve. As the saying goes; one can fool some of the people all the time but not all the people all the time. Hopefully Canadians are keeping track of his record; a record of hype, broken promises and misrepresentation etc., and the list goes on.

First: it was claims of success on a Softwood Lumber deal. (it left millions of dollars to the Americans to fund them to fight us further on issues under NAFTA).

Next:

• They refused to follow through on our Kyoto Commitment. All they have come up with is inaction, excuses and misleading targets that will result in our country’s carbon emissions increasing until 2050 or beyond. Their proposals lack any enforcement teeth, thus allowing the situation to worsen; hopefully not past the point of no return.
• In May 2006, two weeks after killing the Kelowna Accord, a government delegation cited the Accord as an example of how well our Indigenous people are treated; yet Mr. Harper’s Government declined to sign the UN declaration on Human Rights for such people, and was subsequently chided by the UN for failure to do so.
• Afghanistan has been a total fiasco, in which to date 72 Canadians have been killed.
• Latest, they’ve attempted to silence General Hillier and we still have no indication when our troops will be replaced.
• The Government continues to defy rulings to make the bidding process for military contracts fair; currently around 140 million dollars are in question.
• Latest, the Auditor General’s Report shows they’ve failed to adequately ensure that Canada’s soldiers enjoy health care services they deserve.

• On a separate issue, the Attorney General recently raised serious concerns over whether the Government has taken adequate action to protect our borders.
• A year ago they precipitated the Income Trust issue which resulted in the loss of billions of dollars of seniors’ hard earned cash meant for retirement.
They made a big noise about access to health services; most of us could have predicted the outcome since it is largely a Provincial Responsibility.
• Currently, the Elections Canada Commissioner is investigating (the Conservatives) for allegedly orchestrating an elaborate money-laundering scheme. It allowed the Party to overspend by more than a million dollars. Conservative candidates apparently claimed nearly $800,000 dollars in rebates for the 2006 Federal election. Instead of cooperating, they’re taking Elections Canada to court.
• The Conservative government never enacted the ‘Law and Order Legislation’ approved by both houses; one can only suspect that this is to provide an issue he can blame us Liberals for when he calls the next election.
• Their so-called tax break amounts to a paltry $10.00 a year to someone with an income of $20,000.00 and not even a couple hundred for the guy making $150,000.00; big deal! The GST cut caused more irritation and cost to business again.
• The Latest: the Conservatives have said they will support the upcoming resolution on Capital Punishment and Mr. Harper said he will not intervene on behalf of citizens to be executed in other countries.

Mr. Harper and his team continue to mislead Canadians, and to misrepresent us to the world. The grandstanding continues and he has provided no information, except secrecy on the Security and Prosperity issue.

Immediately following Mr. Dion’s election, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives saturated the media with the notion that Mr. Harper is a leader and Mr. Dion is not. However, I and many who know Mr. Dion, know he’s a man of integrity. Transparency is evident and what you see is what you get. He’s an unpretentious and deeply committed Canadian. While Mr. Harper was busy trying to break-up the country, even signing the “firewall” manifesto; Mr. Dion was busy establishing the Clarity Act that resulted in great personal risk, to the point he and his family had to be given protection.

It’s clear to me and many who the leader is. The issue on which we lost the 2006 election, and which was resolved by the Gomery Inquiry, sure pales in comparison to the mounting issues and ineptitude of a right-wing government bent on getting their ideology established. Business and Wall Street called their proposal in follow-up to the Income Trust fiasco “stupid” and complimented the Liberal plan. The Liberal Opposition believes Canadians deserve real leadership from a Prime Minister who is honest and accountable. Mr. Harper has not delivered. People want a richer, fairer, greener Canada. This is the Liberal Goal. Let’s get back to governing: to resurrect the child-development program and the Kelowna Accord, to support our farmers and businesses, to make education affordable for our youth and to rescue our planet before it’s too late. I remind you it was you and the Liberals that had Canada lead the G8 and the world with nine of 11 balanced budgets.


Liberals are ready to govern again!


Michael Cormican, Nominated Federal Liberal Candidate, Lethbridge Riding