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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