Canada’s leader for the New Democratic Party, Tom Mulcair’s message is very clear: to strengthen the middle class.
His campaign boasts about his promise to provide good, full-time jobs for middle class citizens which in turn will allow families to get ahead. On his website, he references that after ten years of the Conservatives being in power, 1.3 million Canadians are unemployed which is 200,000 more than before the recession.
Mulcair wishes to reward small businesses by lowering the tax rate from 11 to 9%. He also wants to create good-paying manufacturing jobs for the next generation by investing in innovation and clean technologies.
Mulcair’s focus is also on finding affordable childcare for families. He cites that bills for childcare can be as much as $2,000 per month leaving parents struggling.
His goal is to strengthen these families by ensuring that Canadians have quality, affordable childcare.
Tom Mulcair has a concrete plan to strengthen the middle class and help families get ahead by ensuring quality childcare is affordable for every Canadian family. His desire is to create a million childcare spaces and cap fees for parents of no more than $15 per day.
In addition, Mulcair wishes to tackle the deteriorating infrastructure, overcrowding in transit, and generate affordable housing. He intends on helping communities fix roads and bridges by transferring an extra cent of the gas tax to municipalities. Commute times will be shortened by partnering with cities on a Better Transit Plan thereby creating 31,000 jobs.
The NDP is also looking to reduce retirement age back down to 65 and strengthen the Canadian Pension Plan and also to increase funding to healthcare so that Canadians can find doctors. They also commit to $165 million in hiring more doctors and nurses. They wish to repatriate Canadian health care workers working abroad and to fix credentials for foreign doctors.
On the subject of obesity, they are looking to create an initiative to provide healthy food in schools, and provide a Canadian Food Strategy to encourage healthier eating.
Our Two Cents:
Mulcair’s focus is clearly on the middle class, which is where the majority of Canadians fall. However, with the rising costs of caring for your family, high gas prices, high housing costs, high cost of food, plus the fact that most families carry a heavy debt load, we are seeing more and more Canadians unable to keep up.
Wages have not increased with the increases in costs leaving most Canadians struggling just to survive. We have a growing obesity problem not necessarily due to poor food choices and lack of education regarding health, but simply because most families cannot afford to feed their children a nutritious meal.
Mulcair cites an increase in jobs in the manufacturing, childcare, and areas of infrastructure. However, where is more employment coming from? The answers are not simple.
Taxing the wealthy doesn’t work as they have accountants that are knowledgeable about tax breaks, and any true decrease in the corporate business sector would result in job layoffs as there is a huge cost to running large businesses. Businesses need to run a profit in order to survive, and with rising costs, profit margins are becoming slimmer.
Not to mention the fact that we need to remain competitive.
As a small business owner, tax cuts sound great, but it doesn’t help me out a whole lot throughout the year especially when it’s a decrease of 2%. My operating expenses have gone up dramatically each year which have eaten up most of the revenue that we receive. Funding is also difficult in a “religious” sector as most places that offer funding will not give you a grant on the basis of religion. There is simply too much conflict.
In addition, most small businesses have an online presence which means that you deal in both Canadian and U.S. dollars. With the weak Canadian dollar, the costs that I inevitably occur I am spending way too much money on with the exchange. Most businesses purchase supplies in the U.S. and the rate of exchange is costing Canadian companies more money in services and supplies. Tax cuts cannot even cover the loss in the exchange rate which, in turn, can drive up prices for many small businesses in an attempt to survive.
As for healthcare, with the baby boomers, we have an aging population. It’s just a given demographically, not a surprise. Also, tuition is expensive, and really expensive if you are pursuing a professional degree.
The larger question is not what the NDP will do for Canada, but the how, and to who’s expense. Programs and initiatives need funding, and taxpayers fund social programs. Our middle class is hedging closer to poverty-like status and obesity as wages can’t keep up with the rising expenses when it comes to the necessities of life. Most people simply cannot afford even good food so we end up resorting to processed foods. Even the “good food” is treated with hormones to keep up with mass consumption that people are now seeing the result of these changes.
I think the problems are bigger and more complex than the NDP think, but as a voter, I’m more concerned with the how and who, ultimately, is going to be paying for the proposed changes. Cuts have to come from somewhere, and if they don’t, then raising funds will have to be incorporated. Either way, it costs Canadians in some way, shape or form.
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