At a town-hall-style rally in Dartmouth Wednesday, NDP leader Tom Mulcair dismissed polls that suggest the federal election is now essentially between Stephen Harper’s Conservatives and Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, maintaining it is a three-way race.
“I’ve always said the same thing,” he told the crowd. “For the first time in Canadian history, we have a three-way race. For the first time in 148 years of being told that we have no choice but to alternate between Liberal corruption and Conservative corruption, in this election Canadians have a real choice.”
Mulcair spoke to a crowd of hundreds, who were waving orange “Stop Harper” signs, at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth. He was introduced by Robert Chisholm, the incumbent NDP candidate for the riding of Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. The other three NDP candidates for the Halifax area, Megan Leslie, Peter Stoffer and Joanne Hussey, were in attendance as well.
Mulcair emphasized his promise to “lift 200,000 Canadian seniors out of poverty and restore [their] dignity,” by:
- Expanding home care to more than 40,000 seniors
- Providing funding for 5,000 more nursing home beds
- Stopping Harper’s plan to increase the retirement age to 67
- Increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement by $400M
He also promised to work toward a national pharmacare plan, something he said Harper and Trudeau have completely dismissed.
“Canadian seniors and families should never have to choose between food and medicine,” he said.
The federal government’s recently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership will increase prescription drug costs, he said, and he vowed to oppose it.
Mulcair confirmed what he told Vice Canada Tuesday, that he would immediately decriminalize marijuana use if elected and move toward legalization. He said he doesn’t want to see anyone get arrested for personal use of marijuana and could take action immediately.
The audience was enthusiastic, breaking out into cheers and applause throughout Mulcair’s speech. He mentioned many times Harper’s actions and promises while he has been in power, and there was a chorus from the crowd of “change” and “shame.”
Mulcair took a few questions from the media and some pre-selected questions from audience members.
He will continue his campaign in Nova Scotia tonight at the Nova Scotia Community College campus in Truro and tomorrow in Wentworth.
Watch Mulcair speak at the rally: