Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to our latest online chat. Hope you had a great weekend! We're joined today by Lorne Bruce, NDP candidate for Kitchener-Conestoga. Lorne, thanks for stopping by. Are you ready to take some questions?
Thanks, Mike. And good afternoon, everyone. I'm very happy to be here today.
Thanks for participating in our chat today, Zack. Yes, I absolutely support the role of unions in our society. I participate daily at different levels, including on the floor, at the executive level, and at the regional level.
Jake, that's a very important question. I can assure you that everything in the NDP platform is completely costed out. Also, if you look historically, the NDP has the best track record fiscally at the provincial level.
Yes, Kate, this issue demonstrates a clear need to develop alternatives to fossil fuel dependency. As we have two thirds of Canadians living pay cheque to pay cheque, they are directly affected by the volatility of the market.
Having met Jack, I can assure you that I trust his decision on being able to fulfill his duties. I will be challenged to keep up with his energy!
During my 25 years in this region, I have represented people with honesty and integrity within many roles, be they from a managerial position or on a negotiating committee. Being a member of Parliament will afford me the opportunity to continue down the path of helping those I represent.
Brian, your concerns are at the heart of our job creation strategy. Small to medium sized businesses are responsible for half of all jobs. Therefore, we are targetting that sector with a 2 percentage point tax cut, we will introduce a Job Creation Tax Credit (up to $4500 per new hire), and an additional tax credit of $1000 if that employee remains with the organization for 12 months.
We will also end unfair bank and credit card transaction charges for both consumers and small businesses.
Nancy, the biggest issue facing our healthcare system is the shortage of doctors and nurses. The NDP will not wait for the next federal-provincial accord to be negotiated but will begin work immediately by training 1200 new doctors over the next 10 years and adding 6000 new training spaces for nurses.
Some good questions so far. Lorne has followed our "less is more" mantra in an effort to get to them all. If your question has not been answered yet, be patient! Lorne will get to it. And by all means keep the questions coming! Our next question comes from Marky.
Marky, long before I accepted the nomination I was working with the Canadian Labour Congress and others to lobby the federal government on pension issues. We had the support of 7 of the 10 provinces and the federal Finance Minister publicly supported pension improvement. However, Prime Minister Harper stood up in the House of Commons in December and declared now is not a good time. The NDP will introduce measures to work with the provinces to eventually double the CPP and, in the first budget, we will increase the GIS to lift every senior out of poverty immediately. We will also amend federal bankruptcy legislation to move pensioners and longterm disability recipients from the back of the line to the front of the line.
Good day, Bob. I'm not sure which Zehrs store you're talking about as I've worked in many and I've talked to many university students struggling financially. The NDP will make post-secondary education more affordable by directly attacking skyrocketing tuition costs with a designated $800 million transfer to the provinces and territories to lower tuition fees, as per the NDP's Post Secondary Education Act. We will increase the funding in the Canada Student Grants Program by $200 million a year and we will raise the education tax credit from $4800 per year to $5760 per year to help with increasing education costs.
Carole, unfortunately during the last session, the Conservatives ignored a parliamentary committee's report on poverty. It had 53 recommendations that they chose not to act upon. We are proposing a national affordable housing strategy and a national poverty reduction strategy. These initiatives will set goals and targets in consultation with provincial, territorial, municipal and aboriginal governments and non-governmental organizations.
We're moving along quite nicely for a Monday. We still have about 20 minutes remaining to have your question answered so please don't hesitate to ask!
Thanks Mia. I don't particularly pay attention to polls. I focus instead on what's on the minds of the good folks of Kitchener-Conestoga. Whether you describe me as being on the left or on the right, I just want to bring your concerns to the table.
Thanks, Vince. Great to hear from someone engaged in the issues. People ask me often about my labour background and I respond simply that I work with those organizations or political parties that let voices be heard. It is your issues that are the most important.
If you decide to hire me on May 2nd, I hope you will have considered my 25 years of practical experience in representing others. This experience has taught me the importance of consensus-building, focusing on the issues and working to resolve them.
We've run into our 10-minute warning as our time with Lorne winds down. Still time to share a final thought before we say goodbye!
Karen, I'm honestly not sure of any legal path to try and get your money back. I do think it's important for Canadians to remember past Liberal governments, current Conservative governments and compare to Jack Layton and the New Democratic Party of Canada.
Brian, at this point in time, I do not believe the Tax Credit would include summer students.
Thanks for all of the great questions today, everyone. We've run short of time and I'd like to ask Lorne for some final thoughts before letting him get away. Lorne, any parting comments today?
Thanks to 570 News and Mike Farwell for giving me the opportunity to interact with the good folks of Kitchener-Conestoga. It's an important tool given the size and scope of the riding, although I am still hoping to talk to you in your neighbourhood. I hope I was able to answer your questions directly and give you a better sense of who I am and where I'm coming from. So on May 2nd, I look forward to your decision on hiring me to be your Member of Parliament.
That's it for today, folks. Thanks again for participating and please be sure to come back tomorrow when Harold Albrecht, another candidate from Kitchener-Conestoga, joins us. Harold represents the Conservative Party.