Saturday, November 10, 2007

Dion Establishing Right Priorities

Yesterday, Stephane Dion gave us another reason why he would make an excellent Prime Minister (conveniently its getting buried under Harper’s news of a Mulroney probe). The plan Dion mapped out yesterday and the targets he is setting on reducing poverty levels in this country is exactly what stakeholders on this issue have been calling for and the plan is definitely worthy of high praise.

Putting out the clear target to reduce the number living below the poverty line by 30% over 5 years (and cutting child poverty in half over that time) are the kind of ambitious targets we absolutely need to make real progress on battling poverty (just like we need clear targets on the environment that Dion laid out in his Carbon Budget plan).

Some may say the Liberals did not do enough on poverty when they were in power, well Stephane Dion is clearly making this HIS issue and I have no doubt he would follow through on this plan. He’s even called on all the stakeholders to hound on him on it should he be PM. By Jack Layton’s own admission Stephane Dion is a man of honour and if he says something is a priority he follows through.

I think I can guess the other parties reactions to this though…..

Conservatives: “Helping the poor? How would that win us votes? I think this is sending the wrong message to Canadians. Stephane Dion is not a leader!”

NDP: “The Liberals had 13 years to do something about this issue! We're sorry, we can’t think of anything else to say when the Liberals propose good ideas. Please don’t vote Liberal! I'm sure we could convince a Conservative government to take action on this issue some day”

Bloc: “Does anybody listen to us anymore?”

Seriously though, I hope the opposition can at least can stand together on this plan and the targets Dion has laid out today for the sake of the people who would benefit from it .

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elspeth said...

The blogging Tories are bad enough. There was a headline about this in the Globe & Mail,and the reply letters, about how they as tax payers, would end up paying for this welfare, how their kids meals would be going to the welfare kids. on and on and it would make you sick.
I never read so many letters with such greed and no caring.

Prairie Kid said...

I've lost count. Is this the 4th or 5th Liberal leader to make this stupid promise? It's been in every Red Book, it was announced by Martin as something he would eliminate by 2000. And nothing happened. Matter of fact, the numbers are even worse than they were in the late 90's. This is just another "feel good" promise by Dion that most Canadians don't really think about . . . and never will.

rabbit said...

Poverty line? What poverty line? We have a low-income cut-off, but that - as Statistics Canada has said time and time again - is a measure of income distribution, not poverty.

The first thing that needs to be done is begin measuring poverty properly, preferably through a metric that is in absolute, not relative, terms.

It's shameful that something as critical as poverty does not have a proper and objective metric by which to measure it.

Greg said...

Well, until you can come up with a valid argument for why your party did nothing with this file for 13 years, the NDP has every right to bring it up.

Jim said...

Greg: Poverty did decline significantly under the Liberals, that's a fact. But Dion is saying that he thinks the Liberals didn't do enough. He should be commended for that. He is separating himself from his predecessors. I would think he is allowed to do that.

You can't keep using the "13 years" line for everything. Different leader, different priorities. Should we believe that Jack Layton is identical to previous NDP leaders like Alexa McDonough or Andrey McLaughlin? No? That's right, different leader, different priorities. So don't have a double standard then. Oh but Dion was in the cabinet then! Well Howie Hampton was in Bob Rae's cabinet too and I'm sure you'd say he's different so no argument there either.

So stop using the line already!