Link to press release is no longer available
Text of the press release: Representatives from the child care, Aboriginal, women's rights, health care, equality rights, environmental, arts, trade union, and advocacy groups have a message for all Canadians. What would Conservative policies mean for Canadians? - They mean privatization and deregulation, and more cuts to social programs. - They mean the end of the national child care programme, and the rollback of the $5 billion deal between ten provinces and the federal government. This is the beginning of the first new national social programme since Medicare, but Harper says he will cancel it in exchange for a dollar a day sent to Canadians, burdened with securing and financing their own childcare. - They mean abandonment of the agreement just achieved with First Nations at the Aboriginal Summit, and reneging on promised spending to alleviate a housing and health care crisis for some of Canada's most vulnerable citizens, women and children. - They mean more greenhouse gas emissions, the end of the domestic Kyoto plan to reduce emissions by 2012, and moving Canada from a strong supporter of further emission cuts to supporting George Bush's camp. - They mean a health care system based on commercialization, not patient needs; based on competition between health care providers, not collaborative practice; a health care system that would allocate public health care dollars to for-profit business, rather than improving primary health care for our families; and a continuing absence of national standards for home care and inadequate long-term care for our seniors. - They mean the loss of at least $1 billion for affordable housing, and the potential loss of a Canadian housing framework. - They mean no commitment to the income measures and services needed to reduce poverty. - They mean abandoning efforts to protect workers' wages, pensions and benefits in cases of corporate bankruptcy. - They mean massive tuition fee increases for university and college students. - They mean greater trade and foreign policy integration with the U.S., particularly joint military ventures (including participation in foreign conflicts and space-based military systems). - They mean new risks to Canadian women's right to reproductive choice and access to abortion. - They mean abandoning plans for new pay equity legislation. - They mean abandoning plans for a new national strategy for people with disabilities. - They mean less government support for the arts and for public broadcasting. - They mean re-opening the debate over equal marriage rights for same sex couples, and the introduction of unconstitutional legislation. - They mean re-opening the Charter to protect private property rights, which have major implications for environmental protection, labour rights, and equality rights. - They mean big tax cuts for corporations, and less pollution regulations. We are very concerned about the future of our country. Many of the victories Canadians have achieved over generations, and many important new programs and initiatives that are poised to become reality, are very much at risk. We are standing up for Canada. We want a Canada with strong social programs, environmental protection, and fairness for everyone. Canadians need to think twice.