Monday, October 13

Summary of week's activities and platform

Hi again!

Time flies and we’ve covered a lot of ground since last communication and alot has happened including a BBQ for the staff on October 5. In all we had about 7 or 8 forums, open houses, preparation for interviews and in between we fitted in visits to most of the key communities in the Riding. It was nice meeting so many nice people including mayors, reeves, school principles and senior. Several people expressed amazement at seeing a politician noting they have never heard of one visiting their area. Most of the usual issues are mentioned and some noted the possible need for assistance with upgrading historical homes and/or stores and the main issue with farmers appears to be the high cost of inputs for farming including oil and fertilizer. Many farmers emphasized that they want to have the right to choice with respect to marketing their crops but do not want the CWB disbanded. It was great to be able to discuss and share ideas on the issues as well as our platform. Of course, we all noted the major issue that is on many minds since last note is the economy. Some people remarked how it was nice to see Mr. Harper appearing “like a deer caught in the headlights instead of Mr. Dion being projected thus by the Conservatives and many noted how well Stephane Dion did in the national Debates and hope people don’t feel too sorry for Mr. Harper suggesting it was nice he get a dose of his own medicine. As I have said more than once we all need to be careful since “birds tend to come home to roost”. It would also serve well that we remember which governments have tended to have the country near debt I,e, Mr. Mulroney and the Conservatives owed 42 billion in 1993. It took the Liberals to clean it up and it looks very like we may have to do so again since even Mr. Harper this week reluctantly admitted that our economy is in a perilous state it being noted that they got rid of the 3 billion contingency the Liberal government left them on change of watch almost 3 years ago. Given such history I ask; how could anyone think the Conservatives could be trusted to manage an guide the economy through the obvious rough times they expect ahead.

The following speech is a good summary of our platform.
The Liberal Party platform for families and businesses

The Liberal Party's platform will help strengthen Canadian families and businesses by providing lower taxes and investing in the Canadian economy, said Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion.

"A Liberal government will get the fundamentals of the economy right," said Mr. Dion. "We will build a richer Canada by cutting taxes for all Canadian families and businesses, making them more competitive; we will build a fairer Canada by directing significant tax benefits to families with children, increasing benefits to the disabled, seniors and families struggling to achieve success; and we will build a greener Canada by targeting tax cuts to Canadians and businesses to invest in renewable, energy efficient technologies."

A Liberal government will build a richer Canada by:
.leaving more in the pockets of Canadians by lowering the lowest- and middle-income tax rates. Lowering income taxes as much as 10 per cent for many Canadians;

.increasing the competitiveness of Canadian small businesses by lowering the small business tax rate to 10 per cent from 11 per cent. This represents a nine per cent cut in small business taxes;

.lowering the corporate tax rate to 14 per cent by 2013, making Canada one of the most competitive business jurisdictions in the world, driving the Canadian economy and creating jobs; and

.investing in the future and simplifying the tax system for post-secondary students providing most students approximately $1000 each year, and extending the $400 per month education tax credit to apprentices.

A Liberal government will build a fairer Canada by:

.introducing a new $350 refundable child tax credit that will benefit all families;
. increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors by $600 a year for low-income seniors even if they don't earn enough to pay taxes, and by $800 a year for low-income senior couples;

.improving the employment credit for low and middle-income Canadians and putting up to $250 more into their pockets;

.making the Disability Tax Credit refundable, significantly improving the incomes of disabled Canadians with low incomes;

.finally indexing the Northern Residents Deduction so the tax benefit addresses the changing costs of Northern Canadians;

.improving the Working Income Tax Credit for low-income Canadians and help them get over the welfare wall; and
. creating a new Guaranteed Family Supplement for the poorest families with children, worth $1,225 a year more per family.

A Liberal government will build a greener Canada by:
. providing up to $10,000 in refundable tax benefits to Canadian families for investments in energy-saving retrofits to their homes. This will improve energy efficiency, contribute to the fight against climate change and save Canadians money;

. implementing an Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance rates, which will provide new tax benefits to Canadian businesses that invest in green technologies. As the price of fossil fuels rises, this tax benefit will accelerate the investment in the technologies that will improve the competitiveness of Canadian companies; and

. improving the Science, Research & Experimental Development tax credit, giving tax benefits to Canadians that innovate and build the solutions of the future.

"The Conservatives have not invested in Canadians, have not lowered income taxes or invested in innovation. That is why Canada has had the lowest growth and productivity since 1990," said Mr. Dion.

"The Liberal Party is the only party that will lower taxes for Canadians in a progressive and effective way. Only a Liberal government will get the fundamentals right and build the economy for all Canadians."

In brief and in summary:
The theme of our platform is “A Richer, Fairer, Greener Canada and we propose that a Liberal Government will tax what we burn, waste or pollute and we will cut taxes on income, investment and innovation. All tax collected on carbon will be returned in amount of $15.1 billion contrary to what the Conservatives push. We plan to cut the rate of tax on the lowest three levels of income-tax by 1.5 % for the lowest and 1% for the next two levels as well as to cut a percentage point from business tax over four years. Also, we have planned several flexibility funds to help business green-up as well as accelerate the speed of return of investment costs. Likewise we propose an increase of $350 in addition to the $1,200 being given for each child as well as increase the GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) as well as many other benefits. Our plan has been fully costed and is hailed by all kinds of experts and organizations as the best and most appropriate way to stimulate the economy as it splutters more than Mr. Harper wanted to admit until this week. Among them are the Conference Board of Canada, the Conference of Chief Executives, David Suzuki, numerous professors, a Laureate and even the renowned and conservative think tank, the CD Howe Institute. So how could anyone think the Conservatives would be the best to manage the economy. Likewise; I ask, who was the party and so-called leader that made all the boo boos, not Stephane Dion or the Liberals? So, let’s get on with the job of governing and get the country back on its feet again so we can be the leader the rest of the world expects us to be. Let’s ‘Vote Liberal’ … ‘Vote Michael Cormican’.

Check or See re costs and benefits of GSP.
Michael Cormican, Liberal Candidate

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