Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Haldimand "Federal Election 2008 Highlights"

Here are some highlights from local candidates websites. The NDP and the Green Party should have candidates in place by this weekend. You will probably need to make yourself a coffee as this is a long read, but the read is interesting.

There are so many news releases and news articles that it is hard to choose which ones to post.

Highlights: Harpers Diesel tax reduction, from Diane Finley's website
Port Dover newspaper, information on local candidates and riding information
NDP Trickery as reported on Eric Hoskins (Liberal) website
NDP; Jack Layton's plan to create 40,000 manufacturing jobs

Local candidates prepare for election

On Sunday morning, Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited Governor General Michaelle Jean at Rideau Hall, her official residence in Ottawa, to dissolve the Canadian Parliament and set Tuesday, October 14 as the date for the next federal election.

Bob Foster, Returning Officer for the Electoral District of Haldimand Norfolk, is ready to roll. He told the Maple Leaf on the weekend "we are in good shape."

He said the Returning Officer’s office would be ready with furniture and phone lines for Day 1 -- the Monday after the Sunday election announcement --, in order to be accessible for candidates and voters. The office is located in the Junior Farmers building, 172 B South Drive in Simcoe.

The Electoral District of Haldimand-Norfolk has a population of 107,775, with 79,358 voters and 208 polling divisions. According to Mr. Foster, the next tasks for his office will be to confirm all polling sites to ensure local churches, halls and schools are available to act as polling sites on Election Day. Also, he will be hiring staff and planning for the Advance Polls. For those who are not available to vote on the day after Thanksgiving or during the Advance Poll days, there are provisions available for voting by special ballot at the Returning Office, Mr. Foster said.


Three candidates are declared for Haldimand-Norfolk, with two parties yet to pick their candidates.

Charles Mitchell, President of Haldimand Norfolk NDP, told the Maple Leaf on the weekend the NDP has no candidate yet. "The process is started. We are still finalizing. It can happen quickly. My expectation is we will announce a candidate by the weekend," he said. He sees the environment being a key issue in this fall election. This government "is embarrassing the country on the global stage because of its poor environmental record. They are in denial regarding climate change," he said.

The Green Party also does not have a candidate in place. According to the national office of the Green Party of Canada, the Haldimand-Norfolk nomination will be "happening soon."

On September 3, Gary McHale, well-known in the Caledonia area, issued a notice he will run as an Independent candidate in Haldimand-Norfolk. He indicated he will be filing the appropriate paperwork with Elections Canada.

As part of his candidacy, Mr. McHale noted that across Haldimand-Norfolk, farmers are facing difficulties, families are struggling with a shortage of doctors and there are problems with coal-fired power at Nanticoke. "The need for Economic Development throughout the region, the absolute necessity of property rights and the restoration of law and order are all issues that need a strong passionate leader," he advised in his announcement.

Liberal Eric Hoskins

Dr. Eric Hoskins, Liberal candidate for Haldimand-Norfolk, told the Maple Leaf Sunday he is definitely ready for the election. Since his nomination in April of 2007, he’s "been criss-crossing the riding, getting to know the issues. We have a strong campaign, lots of volunteers. Peter Hellyer is campaign manager," the 47-year-old said. "I’m ready to demonstrate a Liberal representative and a Liberal government will be better."

While launching his campaign on Sunday, Dr. Hoskins did not agree with the Prime Minister when he described parliament as dysfunctional. "It was one of the longest minority governments," he noted, with many bills passed as well as the government surviving 40 confidence bills. "It’s expensive to have an election……$300 million." He believes the Prime Minister is breaking the spirit of his own fixed election date law that would have seen an election held in October 2009.

Both nationally and locally, Dr. Hoskins, who practices medicine and is President of War Child Canada, sees key issues being the economy, health care and the environment.
"The PC’s inherited a surplus of $12 billion. It’s disappeared and we are on the verge of a deficit," he said. On climate change, he commented "the rest of the world is making bold moves. Canada needs to do something. The Liberals have a bold plan approved by economists and environmentalists."

Locally, he sees the challenges of Haldimand-Norfolk being under covered in the health care area. Also, he sees the impact of the dying tobacco industry on tobacco farmers and expressed concern the $300 million promised farmers recently may be up in the air with the election call. And, he sees the native land claim issue in Caledonia a federal issue that has affected the local economy and needs resolution.

Conservative Diane Finley

Diane Finley, raised in Port Dover and Charlotteville, was first elected to Parliament in 2004 as the Conservative member from Haldimand-Norfolk. She was re-elected in 2006 and appointed Minister of Citizenship and Immigration on January 4, 2007.

Calls to her offices for a personal comment on the election from Mrs. Finley were not returned before deadline.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper did say on Sunday that his government "stuck to our principles, delivered on our commitments and demonstrated an ability to bring about consensus on big national issues that transcend party lines. But now we have come to a moment that requires the people of Canada to choose the way forward." - Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Diesel Tax Reduction Underscores Choice in this Election
September 09, 2008

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today that a re-elected Conservative Government will cut the federal excise tax on diesel fuel in half, from four cents per litre to two cents per litre, to reduce transportation costs, keep the price of consumer goods down and strengthen the national economy during a time of global uncertainty.

"At a time when Canadians are concerned about affordability, and energy prices are rising, we should be doing what we can to lower prices," Prime Minister Harper said. "This tax reduction will benefit consumers who buy virtually anything that moves by truck, train, ship or plane."

Diesel fuel prices have risen sharply in recent years as a result of growing global demand. The federal excise tax, which is charged on top of the base retail price, costs shippers over $1 billion a year. To cover rising costs, shipping companies have been forced to impose fuel surcharges on their customers, including manufacturers, food retailers and wholesalers, primary resource producers and public transit systems. Those costs, in turn, are usually passed on to Canadian consumers.

The Prime Minister highlighted that today’s announcement underscores the choice Canadians face in this election. "This is a choice between two very different plans," he said. "We want to reduce the tax on diesel a bit. Others plan to increase the tax on diesel significantly. In fact, they plan to increase the price of everything." Prime Minister Harper emphasized that the difference between the two economic plans is stark: lower taxes vs. higher taxes, affordable vs. wildly expensive, modest vs. grandiose, practical vs. theoretical, straightforward vs. uncertain, stability vs. major risk.

"On a policy level, the choice is a modest, affordable reduction in the tax on diesel, or a massive carbon tax that will increase the cost of everything," Prime Minister Harper said. "On a broader level, the choice is between two opposite plans for the economy and for leading this country during uncertain times."

BACKGROUNDER CUTTING THE DIESEL EXCISE TAX Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that a re-elected Conservative Government will cut the federal excise tax on diesel and aviation fuel in half, from four cents per litre to two cents per litre over the next four years. About the Federal Excise Tax on Diesel and Aviation Fuel The federal excise tax was introduced in the 1985 Federal Budget and implemented September 3, 1985, at 2 cents per litre. It was raised to 3 cents on January 1, 1987, and to 4 cents on February 19, 1987.

The tax currently generates over $1 billion a year in revenue for the federal government. Provincial governments also levy fuel excise taxes. Provincial tax rates on diesel range from around 7 cents per litre in the Yukon to 20 cents per litre in Prince Edward Island, and average roughly 14 cents per litre. In addition to excise taxes, the Province of Quebec charges a 9 cent per litre carbon tax on diesel fuel, and the Province of British Columbia charges a 2.76 cent per litre carbon tax on diesel, which will rise to 8.27 cents per litre over five years. Municipal taxes on diesel are also imposed by the cities of Vancouver and Victoria.

Under the Excise Tax Act, End User Refunds on federal diesel excise taxes are limited to purchases made for heating oil, generating electricity and ships' stores. Diplomatic purchases are also refunded. Most provinces have Reciprocal Tax Agreements with the Government of Canada that exempt fuel used by provincial government departments from the federal excise tax. There have been limited rebates for truckers, airlines and ships over specified periods in the past, but none currently apply.

Unlike the GST, no across-the-board input tax credits are granted to businesses for federal excise taxes paid on diesel and aviation fuel. The Conservative Commitment to Cut the Federal Excise Tax By cutting the federal excise tax on diesel and aviation fuel in half, from 4 cents to 2 cents per litre, a re-elected Conservative Government will reduce the tax burden on truckers, railroads, airlines, shipping companies and public transit systems by an estimated $600 million per year once the tax reduction is fully implemented [1]. This will mean lower fuel costs for all forms of public transportation including airplanes, buses, trains and ships, and lower shipping costs for everything people buy - groceries, clothes, furniture, electronics, automobiles, building materials and more.

During its first two and half years in office, the Conservative Government reduced the cost of all fuels by two per cent by cutting the GST from seven to five percent. As the GST is charged on top of diesel and aviation excise taxes, reducing the latter will further reduce the GST on those fuels.

What the Other Parties Plan to do to Federal Fuel Taxes Under its Green Shift plan for a massive carbon tax on everything, the Liberal party will raise the tax on diesel by 7 cents per litre and raise the tax on jet fuel by 6.2 cents per litre [2]. That will increase the tax on diesel by 175 per cent, to 11 cents per litre, and raise the fuel cost on all forms of public transportation, including public transit, as well as increase the shipping cost on virtually all consumer products.

Neither the NDP nor the Bloc Québécois has proposed to lower federal fuel taxes.

SUPPORT FOR CUTTING THE DIESEL EXCISE TAX Canadian Taxpayers Federation "Any federal move to bring down energy prices would be a positive move from a taxpayers' point of view. Cutting the diesel excise would be beneficial because it would reduce shipping costs within Canada. And that's a good first step." John Williamson, Federal Director, quoted in the Financial Post, August 25, 2008. Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters "Anything that would reduce the cost of shipping would have a beneficial impact on manufacturers by providing more cash flow – which is pretty scarce today.

A tax cut like that would certainly go to the bottom line of manufacturers and any company that is dependent on shipping." Jayson Myers, President, quoted in the Financial Post, August 25, 2008. Canadian Trucking Alliance "The last thing the trucking industry needs is more tax on diesel fuel; with diesel fuel prices at record highs and fuel overtaking labour as the number one component of operating cost the trucking industry does not need further price signals from government to know that improving fuel efficiency and thereby reducing GHG emissions is a good thing." David Bradley, CEO, Canadian Trucking Alliance news release, June 20, 2008.


Food * Meat * Fish * Dairy * Bakery goods * Fruits and vegetables * Nuts * Packaged goods * Baby food * Condiments * Coffee and tea * Alcoholic beverages * Tobacco products Household items * Cleaning supplies * Writing supplies * Pet care products * Gardening supplies * Cut flowers * Living room furniture * Bedroom furniture * Kitchen appliances * Cooking utensils * Tableware * Decorative items * Postage and courier Clothing * Women's clothing * Men's clothing * Children's clothing * Undergarments * Footwear * Jewelry Health and personal care * Soap * Toilet paper * Facial tissue * Hair care products * Shaving products * Dental care products * Antiperspirant * Feminine hygiene products * Diapers * Over-the-counter medicine * Prescriptions * Optical care products Recreation and leisure products * Children's toys * Books * Televisions * Computers * Music equipment * Video equipment * Athletic equipment and supplies [1] Based on revenue statistics for the current tax of 4 cents per litre ($1.12 billion in 2006-07): Public Accounts of Canada 2007. [2] The Green Shift, p.27.

September 10, 2008
NDP tricks laid-off millworkers to attend rally

THUNDER BAY, Ontario - In a shameful, manipulative and politically crass move, the NDP yesterday exploited local unemployed mill workers by busing them to a Jack Layton town hall meeting under the pretext that it was a union meeting to deal with their jobs and benefits for their families.

The Canadian Energy and Paperworkers Union emailed its members advising them of a 6 p.m. gathering in Thunder Bay, but made no mention that it was a political rally, said several workers."I got an email from the union stating that it concerned our severance and (employment insurance) and I thought it was maybe some training issues," said one former sawmill worker as he sipped a coffee and gawked at the lights and television cameras.

At least four others confirmed the same story. (CP story, September 9, 2008 21:09)Jack Layton has proven in the first few days that he will say and do anything to get votes. Canadians will not be fooled.

Layton announces plan to stop manufacturing sector sell-out
Wed 10 Sep 2008

Prudent, step-by-step plan aims to create 40,000 manufacturing jobs

OSHAWA – Canada’s manufacturing industry is in free-fall and Stephen Harper doesn’t care. New Democrat Leader Jack Layton does.

Today, Layton sets out a prudent, responsible, step-by-step plan to strengthen and renew Canadian manufacturing, through smart investment, stimulating innovation and fairer trade policies.

"It’s time we had a Prime Minister who’ll fight for working families. The manufacturing sector has been hit hard," said Layton outside General Motors in Oshawa. "Jobs are disappearing overseas. Harper is doing nothing, and proposes to do nothing some more. Working families are the last priority of Stephen Harper."

Standing with New Democrat candidate Mike Shields, former President of Canadian Auto Workers local 222, Layton announced the New Democrats’ six-point plan:

New Democrats would:

Stop unproductive, untargeted and fiscally irresponsible corporate tax cuts, and target investments instead to stimulate innovation.
Invest in low-emission vehicle production.
Train new and displaced workers through a Green Collar Jobs Fund.
Create a Jobs Commissioner to investigate shutdowns.
Develop sector-based industrial strategies.
Stop the export of Canadian jobs overseas through new, manufacturing-friendly trade policies while adopting a Made-in-Canada procurement policy for the federal government and its agencies.

New Democrats will commit an average of $2 billion a year to this program, aiming to directly create 40,000 new manufacturing jobs and thousands of spin-off jobs while protecting many more.

Layton called on business, labour, government and communities to come together around his six-point plan and attacked Prime Minister Harper for being out of touch with the realities of the auto industry in particular.

"Unlike Stephen Harper, I’ll be a Prime Minister who’ll take tough action to stop the export of Canadian jobs overseas," said Layton.

Cleaner air, land and water

When it comes to our environment, you and your family want a Prime Minister who will stand up to the big polluters—to protect our natural heritage, tackle global warming, and secure a healthy future for coming generations.

Yet today, biodiversity is gravely threatened, 1,700 communities are facing boil water alerts , blue-green algaes are choking our waterways, and dirty air is a leading cause of hospitalization for kids and seniors. Meanwhile, climate-changing carbon emissions threaten ecological and economic devastation on a scale we've never seen.

For 25 years, Canadian Prime Ministers have told you and your family that they’d cut pollution and ensure a cleaner environment. They didn’t. And Stephen Harper has only added to Liberal failure by adopting phony targets with artificial timelines to get the job done. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

It's time for leadership to clean up the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land that sustains us. It's time for a Prime Minister who will build on his proven track record of implementing environmental solutions that get the job done.

Jack Layton will be that Prime Minister
Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.

Stephen Harper can’t be trusted. He abandoned Canada’s Kyoto targets and tabled three failed "clean air" plans of his own—each one exposed for ensuring more climate-changing pollution for years to come, and more breaks for big polluters.

He cut spending on energy conservation programs but renewed a $1.4-billion annual subsidy for companies developing the polluting tar sands —then added $50-billion in corporate tax giveaways that disproportionately go to oil companies.

The tar sands development that he subsidizes is a looming disaster: related pollution is causing acid rain in Saskatchewan and beyond; toxic tailing ponds visible from space are seeping into rivers; and Harper's plan would let tar sands-based greenhouse gas emissions double by 2020.
He opposed the global consensus to protect the sea floor from bottom trawling; developed no plan to protect 99% of species at risk; developed no standards for safe drinking water; and allowed healthy lakes to be used as dumping grounds for toxic mining waste.

Stephane Dion is not the change we need.

By instructing his Liberal MPs to skip key votes, he rubber-stamped Harper's plan to abandon Canada’s Kyoto commitments and squander $50-billion on tax cuts for big banks and oil companies.

With Dion at the cabinet table, Liberal governments left Canada with one of the worst pollution records in the industrial world: emissions soared 25% over 1990 levels—33% above Canada's Kyoto target. That’s not the change we need.

Jack Layton's New Democrats: Putting you and your family first.

This election, Jack Layton and his team of New Democrats have a better plan to crack down on big polluters, combat climate change, and protect our natural heritage. Layton's team has already led the way in Parliament:

Passed Layton's Kyoto-Plus Bill (C-377) making Canada's House of Commons the world's first legislature to adopt science-based targets to cut carbon emissions—committing to an 80% reduction from 1990 levels by 2050, with interim targets every five years.

Forced the Conservatives to strike an all-party committee to re-write their weak "clean air" legislation—and the resulting Clean Air and Climate Change Act, based on the NDP's polluter-pay plan, was hailed by environmentalists as a breakthrough.

Targeted toxic contaminants—passing NDP legislation to control phthalates used in toys, tabling a motion banning cosmetic-use pesticides, and committing to ban asbestos.

Tabled a Clean Water Act proposing national standards ensuring safe drinking water for all Canadians, urban and rural, on First Nations reserves and off.

Stood up for our waterways and oceans—proposing a sustainable marine policy; exposing loopholes that let mining companies use healthy lakes as tailing ponds; moving to ban bottom trawling; and opposing Conservative legislation that seeks to further privatize fish resources.
Earlier, when Layton rewrote the 2005 Liberal budget, he cancelled $4.6-billion in pointless corporate tax cuts to invest in better priorities—including $900-million for green public transit and a home energy retrofit program.

1 comment:

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