Letter to the Editor – Darlene Jalbert NDP Federal Candidate Stormont, Dundas & South Glengarry

Dear Editor,

Michael Ignatieff stunned everyone, with his claim to be able to balance the budget, and pay down the enormous debt we now find ourselves in, without raising taxes.

Some people scoff at the claim, but unfortunately, the Liberals have done it before and they’ll do it again, given the chance.   They might not raise taxes but they’ll certainly cut services, and they’ll do it with a machete rather than a scalpel ! They’ve done it before, to their shame. In 1996, they slashed transfer payments to the provinces, setting up a chain reaction that hasn’t subsided yet.

They cut support to medicare so drastically that the provinces have had to raise taxes at the provincial level to make up the shortfall.   In E.I., they disenfranchised over half of those who lose their jobs, leaving less than 50% able to claim benefits for which they had paid,  and for which they continue to pay, even with no hope of ever accessing the support the program offers.

The savings, in excess of 56 billion to date, simply went into government coffers to pay down the deficit.   Yes, the Liberals can tackle the deficit without raising taxes, but they’ll bankrupt our social programs in so doing, or force lower levels of government to carry the extra responsibility. Ask yourself what gets hit this time, senior’s income support, education, the environment, your guess is as good as mine.  There’s nothing to brag about here.

Darlene Jalbert

NDP Federal Candidate

Stormont, Dundas & South Glengarry

Darlene also sent in this information about Canadian Veteran’s:

Introduced by the party’s Veterans Affairs critic, Peter Stoffer, MP (Sackville-Eastern Shore), the motion called for improved benefits for veterans, Canadian Forces Personnel and their families. The motion called for five ways to help veterans and their families including:

1. Amend Section 31 (1) of the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act so that second spouses of CF members and veterans have access to pension rights upon the death of the Canadian Forces member or veteran;

2. Extend the VIP (Veterans Independence Program) to all widows of all veterans, regardless of the time of death of the veteran and regardless of whether the veteran was in receipt of VIP services prior to his/her death;

3. Increase the Survivor’s Pension Amount upon death of Canadian Forces retiree to 66% from the current amount of 50%;

4. Eliminate the unfair reduction of SISIP (Service Income Security Insurance Plan) long term disability benefits from medically released members of the Canadian Forces; and

5. Eliminate the deduction from annuity for retired and disabled CF members.

Stoffer claimed, “Canada’s Veterans were willing to lay down their lives for our country. They sacrificed everything. The least we can do is show them the respect that they deserve. Canadians wear poppies to show support our Veterans and to remember.”

Following the vote Masse made it clear that, “Supporting our troops is more than just a slogan. Now it’s time for the Canadian government to step up to the plate and ensure that these Veterans, and their families, are given what they deserve when they return home.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Conservatives voted against the motion. “The Prime Minister should respect the democratic vote in the House of Commons, our veterans gave us the gift of democracy, the Conservatives need to respect the voice of those veterans and Canadians in the chamber.” stated Mr. Masse.

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