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NDP leader Jack Layton brought his message of a national alternative to the CUPE convention, and told delegates that Paul Martins policies are a threat to Canada. Martin is planning more cuts to the public sector, said Layton, even though the federal government has a healthy surplus. We have to re-invest, re-invigorate and support our public service, he said. Layton recounted the story of his late fathers horrible experience with a private care home, and his desperation to get public care. He called on delegates to work against corporations that only care about the bottom line, as well as international trade deals that protect profits before people. We have to mount a movement of people against the movement of money, said Layton, who encouraged CUPE members to join the NDP and check out the partys newest website, www.flyourflag.ca. The site invites people to vote on which flag of convenience from Martins multinational shipping company will be flown over Parliament Hill when Martin becomes prime minister.

More highlights of Laytons speech (the whole speech can be heard at our convention coverage page):

Canadians are waking up to the fact that services are being taken away.

Paul Martin is spending our Employment Insurance money on tax breaks for people who need it the least: corporations and the affluent.

At the World Trade Organization, the whole public sector gets put on the auction block.

The further we go in approving trade deals, the further we go towards losing democratic rights.

The WTO is writing a new constitution for the planet that doesnt include democracy and people.

In an age of corporate scandals, its time we took on P3s for what they really are: a cash grab.

Canada needs a public home care system like Manitoba and a universal child care program like Quebec. Thats the best we have to offer.

We have to come together and build a movement thats bigger than the right, a movement thats built on hope and solutions.

The NDP is being re-invigorated. Meetings of New Democrats are standing-room only. One hundred people are joining the party every day on the internet.