Day 5: Layton, jobs and the Greater Toronto Area
Posted by Joanna Smith, Ottawa Bureau
UPDATE: Just as (un)expected, the hints about health care being the focus of the announcement on Wednesday morning were wrong. The announcement in Oshawa is about jobs. Details follow.
Since the New Democrats just released a television spot attacking Stephen Harper for his record on health care, there have been suggestions the policy announcement Jack Layton is scheduled to make at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday in Oshawa, Ont. will be on the same topic. If that ends up being the case, expect a proposal to train and hire 1,200 doctors and 6,000 nurses, which was one of the things Layton demanded from Harper in the failed federal budget. It was also a 2008 NDP campaign proposal. So was a plan to reduce the student debt of health professionals who practiced family medicine for at least a decade and so it is a good bet that if the announcement is about health care, that will be in there too. As an NDP staffer said yesterday when being ribbed about the recycled nature of Layton’s credit card rate announcement: “Everything is a new idea until implemented”.
Layton will also tour a space technology plant in Brampton, Ont., where they have a piece of the space shuttle, and then finish the day with a rally at Artscape Wychwood Barns in the St. Clair W. and Bathurst St. area of Toronto.
Oshawa: Conservative incumbent Colin Carrie won this riding over the NDP by about 3,200 votes, with the Liberals getting fewer than half the votes the NDP did. So, this is one of the ridings the NDP is targeting with the “New Democrats defeat Conservatives” message it has been hammering home in Blue vs. Orange ridings this week. The NDP is running Chris Buckley, president of CAW local 222, as its candidate this time.
Bramalea—Gore—Malton: This riding is a different story, as the Liberal incumbent Gurbax Singh Malhi beat the Conservative candidate by about 3,900 votes in 2008. The NDP candidate came far behind in third.