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Accountability & Democratic Renewal

Statement by Liberal candidates Bob Rae and Ujjal Dosanjh

Posted on April 26, 2011

“As former leaders of NDP governments at the provincial level, we are today proud supporters of Michael Ignatieff and the progressive Liberal platform that he is presenting to the Canadian people in this election.

“We have taken a hard look at the other two platforms, and neither Mr. Harper’s nor Mr. Layton’s pass basic tests.  The Conservatives are not coming clean on the cost of important promises, like wholesale changes to the Criminal Code, new prison costs, the untendered fighter jet commitment, the unnecessary (and expensive) corporate tax giveaways, and the $11-billion budget hole that will inevitably mean deep cuts to federal programs like health care.

“The NDP program has largely gone unscrutinized, but this now needs to happen. Their election platform is full of ‘rubber dollars’ and promises that simply can’t be kept. The NDP has already backed away from setting up a cap-and-trade system, which would have taken years to implement. This leaves a $3.6-billion hole in their platform that will come at the expense of fiscal prudence or lead to the shelving of all their green programs.

“The NDP promises to abolish the Senate, which it can’t do, and to lower tuition fees, which lie exclusively within provincial jurisdiction.  The NDP has also promised to hire thousands of doctors and nurses for a mere $25 million within 100 days. What is being put forward is not a realistic basis for a government agenda.  It is a series of sweeping promises that do not reflect any sense of what it actually takes to govern, what will make for a productive, sustainable economy and a just society.

“We both decided to return to federal politics as Liberals because the party’s practical idealism is what the country needs.  Theories and ideologies, however well intentioned, will lead the country down paths that will be profoundly unproductive for Canadians.

“We urge Canadians who share our vision of a compassionate and productive country to keep working and voting for the Liberal Party. Great programs like Medicare, the Canada Pension Plan, our strong partnerships with businesses large and small, our concern for a more sustainable economy – all of these will need renewal and support from a Liberal government and the provinces. We are proud to be running as Liberals and ask Canadians who have supported these critical efforts to do so once again by voting Liberal on Monday.”