Marc Garneau: Liberals focus on financial help for home care, supplementary pension plan

Written by  //  January 11, 2011  //  Politics, Public Policy  //  No comments

Marc Garneau: Westmount-Ville-Marie

(Westmount Independent) As your member of parliament, let me begin by wishing Westmount Independent readers the very best for 2011.
Reviewing federal politics in 2010, it is clear to me that none of the federal parties met the expectations of Canadians. Let me be the first to say that my party and I must do a better job of earning your confidence.
Having said that, I believe that the Liberal Party of Canada made important progress in 2010. Our many public round-tables and conferences, the leader’s bus tour and “open mike” sessions allowed us to identify the main concerns of Canadians and to begin crafting policy that addresses those concerns.
Canadians have clearly stated that they are very preoccupied with family issues such as jobs, financial security, the adequacy of retirement savings and pensions and the cost of healthcare. Canadians also care about the environment, our mounting debt and Canada’s reputation abroad.
These are the priorities we must address, and the Liberal Party is proposing a number of measures, such as financial relief for those providing homecare to a loved one, the creation of a Supplementary Canada (Quebec) Pension Plan and incentives to make our businesses more competitive.
I am personally very concerned with the direction Canada is taking. The authority of parliament is being eroded by the arbitrary use of prorogation and the government’s habit of announcing, without proper debate, major policy decisions during the dead of summer when parliament is not sitting.
I am also disappointed that Canada did not win a seat on the United Nations Security Council.
Mourning the long form census
I believe the decision to do away with the compulsory long form census questionnaire was a step backwards for science and common sense – with important consequences.
I believe the decision to build more prisons when the crime rate is decreasing is misguided and will cost us billions of dollars better spent on crime prevention.
I believe the decision to purchase the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and other military equipment without a proper competition or guaranteed industrial benefits is also irresponsible use of the taxpayers’ money.
Again, the impact will be in the billions.
To summarize, it is clear to me that Canada’s political parties have different visions of the future, and that this is reflected in the policies they promote. I therefore believe Canadians will have a clear choice at the ballot box when the next election comes. It will be up to us to choose the Canada we want based on the policies each party articulates.

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