A pre-election debate for the candidates in the federal riding of St. John’s South-Mount Pearl was held Tuesday evening at St. Peter’s Parish Hall in Mount Pearl. Below are my opening and closing comments.
Cutting to the chase, this federal election is about vision.
Vision for the future of St. John’s South-Mount Pearl.
Vision for the future of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Vision for the country of Canada.
Vision for our families.
The priority of the New Democratic Party is families — families like yours and mine.
Vision that would see a health-care system in which you don’t have to wait 4 years to see a radiologist — like a lady I met on Monday.
The vision of affordable home heating whereby people don’t have to wear sweaters and jackets in their homes in the middle of the afternoon because they can’t afford to turn up the heat.
I have met these people on their steps.
A vision of rewarding job creators.
A vision of strengthening your pension.
A vision of making life more affordable.
My vision is also for a strong Newfoundland and Labrador — using oil and gas revenue to position us for the future.
With a fishery that revs like the rural engine it should be.
With renewable green energy developed for the good of Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada as a whole.
My vision — the New Democratic vision — is for an Ottawa that works for the good of all of us.
Not just well-connected people — or well-connected provinces — but an Ottawa that works for us.
And the closing …
I don’t like using the word trust at the doors.
I find that people don’t want to hear it.
As a candidate, I’ve been called out on the step.
Some people say politicians are all the same, that they’re in it for themselves.
They’ll say one thing during an election, and do another once elected.
There are so many examples of where promises have not been kept.
Like how our Liberal MPs voted for the 2009 Conservative budget that punished this province to the tune of $1.6 billion.
People are tired of politicians fighting like youngsters.
People are tired of Stephen Harper — the Conservatives are no friends of this province.
In ways, I don’t see myself as a politician.
I’m not always going to say things that people want to hear.
I’m not satisfied with the status quo.
This country needs work — Newfoundland and Labrador has yet to find our place.
Yes, we’re the place to live in Canada.
Yes, we’re a have province.
The future should be ours, but it’s not — not yet.
The future is uncertain.
Our political landscape has changed dramatically in recent months.
Danny Williams was that landscape.
We need leaders with vision and a party that backs them.
I offer you that vision.
The New Democrats offer you that vision.