Peter Julian leads a charge against cuts to jobs, health care and aboriginal communities.
by Samantha Bayard, Straight Goods News staff
January 30, 2012: Federal Caucus Chair for the NDP Peter Julian shared the party's renewed focus based on feedback received from Canadians during the hiatus.
"We come back from these five weeks in our ridings full of energy, united and ready to continue the fight to prevent Stephen Harper from ruining the society that Canadians have put so much effort into building."
He explained the most prevalent issues for families were job cuts, health care and aboriginal poverty.
"The conservatives are asking Canadians to give up essential public services — more than 60, 000 jobs, according to some estimates, could be put on the chopping block. We will strongly condemn these cutbacks, which are harmful to Canadians' quality of life, and we will also inform Canadians of the serious consequences these cutbacks will have," said Julian.
"This is a government that has neglected aboriginal communities, that has neglected the growing housing crisis, that has neglected the chronic poverty that we are seeing."
He described the health care bomb basically blowing up our health care system in only a few years' time.
"Conservatives are abandoning the federal government's central role in the provision of health care to Canadians — we saw that last month in Victoria. They are going to cut transfer payments to the provinces and are refusing to discuss this fundamental issue. We will push for a greater number of doctors and nurses to be made available to citizens, many of whom are sick, elderly and disabled, unable to receive the care to which they are entitled."
He also critiqued Harper's efforts towards Canadians; he feels the Conservatives should make aboriginal communities a stronger priority.
"After six years in power, Stephen Harper is meeting First Nations leaders for the first time. And I must say, it took the NDP sounding the alarm for the Conservatives to pay attention to their situation. The NDP will continue to pressure the government to establish a real dialogue with aboriginal Canadians and take effective measures to help them out of the extreme poverty and despair that is found in many aboriginal communities across the country."
"I think to have the Prime Minister spend one day on aboriginal issues, given the crisis that so many communities across this country are experiencing, that that's the least that he could do. This is a government that has neglected aboriginal communities, that has neglected the growing housing crisis, that has neglected the chronic poverty that we are seeing." He added, "That's paying lip service to what is a fundamental crisis and his government has to take responsibility, has to move forward with an action plan — he can't do that if he just stays for a photo-op and just takes off."