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Federal NDP leader Jack Layton used his address to delegates to thank them for, “taking on the issues like no other union. I am proud of the work CUPE members do in your communities across this country.”

Among the issues Layton listed as important to working families was universal child care. He went on to praise the child care system currently in place in Quebec, where families have access to public child care for just seven dollars a day.

“Municipal workers”, said Layton, “see right up front how our country’s infrastructure is crumbling.” He said some of the $14 billion in federal surplus should be going to address this problem.

Said Layton, “People are having a harder and harder time meeting the needs of their families. Canadians are having to work longer and longer. A recent study concluded it was 200 hours more per year than it was 10 years ago.”

On the question of whether our health care system should be privatized, Layton said “health care dollars shouldn’t be going to Bay Street. They should be directed toward improving our public system.”

Quoting former federal NDP leader Tommy Douglas, Layton said, “Universal Pharmacare is the next phase of Medicare and we are going to make that happen.”