This morning, during the August long weekend, Stephen Harper visited Rideau Hall to request that parliament be dissolved. Now we find ourselves at the starting line of an eleven-week election campaign; the longest in over a century and the most expensive ever.
“This early election call comes not at the benefit of Canadians, but for the benefit of Stephen Harper and his Conservatives,” said Terry Sheehan, Federal Liberal Candidate for Sault Ste. Marie.
Since election laws were changed by the Conservatives last year, this lengthy campaign will allow them to spend double the amount in election spending, which means a much larger tax return from Elections Canada at the cost of $337,837 each day to the taxpayer.
“On top of that, it’s going to cost taxpayers $2.8 million dollars each day for every day that Harper has extended the election,” said Sheehan.
Not only that, but disgraced Senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin, and Patrick Brazeau are officially back on the public dime as of this morning.
Stephen Harper has chosen to force an early election because he needs all of the advantage he can get. Harper would have Canadians believe that his “strong” economic record and “fair” policies are reason enough to elect him Prime Minister for another four years. Let’s focus on that for a moment.
Harper’s “strong” economic record includes the Canadian economy currently facing recession and economic hardship that could have been prevented. There have been millions of unspent dollars and spending cuts that have hurt Canadians who need it the most, all for the sake of a balanced budget that he promised for this fiscal year.
Now, we are faced with a projected $1 billion dollar deficit; while Harper has called an early election that will cost taxpayers millions of dollars extra.
“It would appear that this is Harper’s last ditch attempt to further put Canadians in the hole for an election he thinks he can win,” said Sheehan.
Harper’s “fair” policies include those such as income splitting and tax breaks for the wealthy; policies that are implemented on the backs of middle class Canadians and benefit only the richest few. Also, the increased Universal Child Care Benefit that saw a timely arrival in the mailboxes and bank accounts of Canadian families; nothing but an election season attempt to buy the votes of families who will feel a harder pinch during tax time.
His record on the environment? A long history of funding cuts to research and science departments, personnel cuts, muzzling of our Canadian scientists, and complete inaction towards climate change. Even our lakes, mountains, and valleys are experiencing the pain of Stephen Harper’s policies. Another term for Harper means our pristine lands suffer for another four years. It means another four years of shoving climate change under a rug without preparing for its implications.
Canadians want change that will make a real difference in their lives – change that will help families make ends meet, put more money in their pockets, and bring this country together. This election is about our future and Liberals have the plan and the team to make a real, positive difference for all Canadians. We are ready with sound policies and a platform that is fair and benefits all Canadians.
“I am ready with a real plan to represent Sault Ste. Marie in Ottawa to give it the voice it needs to achieve the results it deserves,” said Sheehan.