February 19, 2014 - 8:14 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN — Affordability and how NDP leadership can change the political landscape are the hot topics on a whirlwind tour of the region this week by NDP leader Tom Mulcair.
Mulcair kicked off in Kamloops Tuesday night and will be heading to Vernon Wednesday afternoon and Penticton Wednesday evening. The string of town hall meetings is the latest in his national affordability tour.
While affordability was the reason for the meeting, much of Mulcair's speech centres around how and why the NDP would be better in power than either the Conservatives or the Liberals and what the party needs to do to come into power in 2015.
“As a social democrat my number one job is to try to reduce inequalities in our society,” Mulcair said. “Where we are now in the Stephen Harper Canada, we've got more inequality than ever... 80 per cent of Canadians have actually seen cost to dollars-earned directly dropped and we just don't find that fair.”
Mulcair's opening speech hit his hot buttons: Encouraging young people to vote, evening out the inequalities between the rich and poor and making Canada a respected player on the world stage. Questions from the public only touched lightly on the affordability issues that are part of the campaign. He briefly touched on local issues, noting the 'mine here in Kamloops everybody is worried about' would not get a regulatory license faster under his regime because without social license it can't be built.
“I believe Stephen Harper is the first Prime Minister in the history of Canada who thinks he is the master of Parliament and not its servant,” he says. “I'll take care of Harper, you take care of Clark.”
He says B.C. has some of the best practices in the country, even if it is 'perfectable' it is still one of the smartest.
“Some parts of the B.C. System are some of the best practices in Canada,” Mulcair notes.
He would also like to see banks with at least one no frills credit card and ATM fees capped at 50 cents per transaction as well as more regulations on payday lenders and gas station pricing.
“Here's my priority, getting rid of Stephen Harper, I'll keep taking on Stephen Harper,” he said. “We're doing good, our brand is strong and watch us go.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014