Progressive Leaders Urge Opposition Parties to Form Coalition Government



    OTTAWA, Nov. 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Prominent progressive leaders have come
together today to urge Stéphane Dion and Jack Layton to put partisan concerns
aside and form a coalition government to serve the best interests of citizens
suffering from a global economic crisis.

    The open letter follows.

    November 28, 2008

    An Urgent Message to Stéphane Dion and Jack Layton: Only a Coalition
    Government Can Provide the Leadership Canada Needs

    Dear Leaders,

    We, the undersigned, write to you during this time of economic crisis to
urge that you set aside all partisan considerations in favour of decisive
action to help Canadians who are suffering and whose livelihoods are in
jeopardy.

    At this critical moment, a coalition government would be the most capable
of delivering the kind of stewardship the economy needs, and the least likely
to put partisan interests ahead of responsible government.

    Barely five weeks after promising to work cooperatively with the
opposition parties - representing a majority of voters - Prime Minister Harper
failed to deliver a plan to halt the devastation being wrought upon hard
working families. Instead his Conservative government is using the crisis to
attack the democratic process, violate the rights of public servants to
bargain collectively and end pay equity. Canada now stands alone as the only
government in the western world without a coherent economic stimulus plan. The
Harper government talks of balancing the budget by selling off assets and
restraining spending, the exact opposite of the stimulus response that
virtually all economists and many others are arguing is necessary.

    Time is of the essence. You have an unprecedented opportunity to deliver
to citizens a coalition that is capable of putting aside partisan ploys and to
work cooperatively and swiftly in the interests of all.

    Despite Mr. Harper's contentions, the outrage of citizens and opposition
parties is not about public funding of political parties, but rather, it is
about a Conservative plan that would actually deepen our country's economic
crisis. The Harper government's taking party funding off the table should not
be a reason for backing down from your efforts to construct a coalition
government.

    Please be assured that we all stand ready to offer constructive ideas on
ways to help workers, their families and communities weather this storm and
emerge stronger than ever.

    Signatories:

    Ken Lewenza, President, Canadian Auto Workers
    Paul Moist, National President, Canadian Union of Public Employees
    Dave Coles, President, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of
    Canada
    Denis Lemelin, National President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers
    Steven Staples, President, Rideau Institute
    Bruce Campbell, Executive Director, Canadian Centre for Policy
    Alternatives
    John Urquhart, Executive Director, Council of Canadians
    Mel Watkins, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Toronto
    Peggy Mason, Former UN Ambassador For Disarmament




For further information:

For further information: please contact the respective organizations or
Anthony Salloum, Rideau Institute, c. (613) 724-1070,
asalloum@rideauinstitute.ca

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Rideau Institute on International Affairs

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