My friends, five years ago, Stephen Harper was elected on a promise that he’d do things differently. He promised to work with others to fix what was wrong in Ottawa.
He said he’d make your life more affordable. He made it more expensive.
He said he’d make your healthcare a priority. He’s ignored it for five years.
He promised he’d finally clean up Liberal-style scandals. Instead, just created new scandals of his own.
After five years, Stephen Harper has failed to fix what’s wrong in Ottawa. In fact, he’s made it worse.
You’re working harder than ever. Your household debt is at an all-time high. Your retirement is less secure. And nothing’s being done for you.
What does all this mean?
Ottawa is broken. And it’s time for us to fix it.
It’s time to fix it for Janet, who I spoke with in Edmonton. She’s caring for her mother with Alzheimer’s at home, and is drawing money from her hard-earned retirement fund just to get by.
It’s time to fix it for Tanya in Saskatoon who is no longer able to keep up with the cost of housing, daycare and groceries. She’s working harder than ever but still relies on a food bank to feed her family.
It’s time to fix it for the hard-working employees of Electrolux, a company that took Mr. Harper’s corporate tax giveaway – and then announced they were shipping 1300 jobs from Canada to Memphis.
My friends, we’ve got to do better.
In this election, you can elect a Prime Minister you can count on.
A Prime Minister who will help your family get ahead. Someone who will put aside political games and work with others to get things done.
I’m running to be that Prime Minister.
Because I want to bring some Canadian leadership to Ottawa.
The leadership I saw in my Dad. He was a Progressive Conservative cabinet minister, and he taught me the value of bringing people together, of seeing the good in everyone. Of building a better country for our children and grandchildren.
My Dad and my Mom committed to leaving this country better off for their kids.
That’s a value I share. It’s a value that so many Canadians share.
I’m joined today by my daughter Sarah and my granddaughter Beatrice.
And it’s my commitment to all our children and grandchildren that drives me each and every day.
That work starts in this election – one practical step at a time.
First, I’ll give your family a break – not just the well-connected, like Mr. Harper has done.
Throughout this recession, you’ve worked hard to keep your family from falling behind. You’re paying more for everyday essentials like home heating, gas and groceries.
And on top of it all, Stephen Harper made tougher for you and your family – raising sales taxes during some pretty tough times.
In this election, I will put forward concrete proposals to take the strain off your family budget and make everyday essentials less expensive. And I’ll help those who have been completely left behind by Mr. Harper – seniors and children living in poverty.
Second, I’ll reward the job creators in our economy – not those shipping jobs overseas, as Mr. Harper has done.
New Democrats will give small businesses a boost, and target investments to those creating jobs right here at home. I’ll stop the subsidies to the big polluters and invest that money to foster the new energy economy.
Third, I’ll focus on families that are simultaneously caring for their aging parents and working to build a future for their children – the ever-increasing sandwich generation.
New Democrats will take affordable steps to strengthen the pensions and retirement savings that Canadians rely on. We’ll put forward a do-able plan to ensure families have access to child-care and education. And we’ll give working families the flexibility to care for a sick or aging relative.
Finally, I will put forward practical solutions that will improve your front line health services.
I never thought I’d see the day where a Canadian hospital would have to use their coffee shop as an emergency room. Well it’s happened.
Under Stephen Harper, we’ve seen hospital hallway medicine graduate to Tim Horton’s healthcare.
We need Canadian leadership on health care – right now.
The Prime Minister you elect on May 2 will negotiate the next health care accord with the provinces and territories. With something as important as your family’s health at stake, I’ll be asking you – who do you trust to lead those discussions? Who do you trust to improve your health care services?
When it comes to strengthening health care, I won’t stop until the job’s done.
My friends, I’m ready to serve as your Prime Minister. And my team is ready too.
New Democrats have grown as the needs and priorities of Canadians have grown. Today’s New Democrats are focused on middle-class families and ready to work for you – in parliament and in cabinet.
And so I’m asking Canadians to join with me to defeat Stephen Harper – regardless of who you’ve voted for in the past.
If you’ve voted Liberal before but have some doubt about the latest leader, Michael Ignatieff – you’re not alone.
Mr. Ignatieff’s words don’t match his actions. And he’s betting you don’t notice. He’s betting you don’t care. Mr. Ignatieff, saying one thing after doing another is not Canadian leadership.
If you’ve voted Bloc in the past, I invite you to help me replace this Conservative government.
The last two elections have shown a vote for the Bloc can’t stop Stephen Harper from becoming Prime Minister. It can’t stop him from implementing an agenda that most Quebecers are against.
This time, we have to do something different. This time, it’s not enough to keep Stephen Harper from his majority. This time we have to replace him.
I know that Canadians want someone in Ottawa who’ll work with others and get things done.
I’m proud of what New Democrats have been able to accomplish by working together. These accomplishments are the cornerstone of the leadership I’m offering in this election.
I’m asking for a mandate to lead the next government. And if that’s a minority Parliament, as Prime Minister you can count on me to reach out to all Members of Parliament who believe in building a better Canada.
Together we will provide an alternative to a Harper-led government. Whether it’s on a case-by-case basis, as been done over the past 5 years or more stable arrangements, I will work with the mandate you give me.
This is a key difference between Stephen Harper and me.
Stephen Harper sees co-operation as a weakness.
I view it as a very Canadian strength.
And while Stephen Harper helped insiders and the well-connected through this recession.
I say now it’s your turn.
And so I’ll stop the divisive political games, and bring your Members of Parliament together to deliver results for you.
My friends, in this election we’re going to fix what’s broken in Ottawa. And we’re going to do it the way that only New Democrats can – by defeating Conservatives right across Canada.
And I can tell you that I’m ready to take this fight direct to the Conservative heartland. Starting tonight in Edmonton – where we’ve shown that only New Democrats are strong enough to defeat the Conservatives.
In British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba – where only New Democrats defeat Conservatives.
And throughout Ontario and Atlantic Canada – there is a new alternative to Stephen Harper’s Conservatives.
In Quebec we will invite those who have voted Bloc to stop Stephen Harper to vote for me to replace him.
Together, my friends, we can get down to work to build the Canada we want.
A Canada where we help each other through tough times, where families come first, where nobody is left behind.
We’re all in this together.
It’s time to roll up our sleeves to make it happen – because that’s Canadian leadership.