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NDP Leader Jack Layton demonstrated again in last night’s French-language leader’s debate that the NDP is the best choice for working people.

From defending public health care from privatization to decrying the rise of child poverty, Layton showed that New Democrats are the most attuned to Canadians’ real concerns.

Layton said that the Liberal record on health care consists of “empty promises and more privatization”. He outlined the NDP plan to improve health care including a program to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, a system to look after seniors who need long-term care, a system of home care and training more health care providers.

These are the kinds of investment that can reduce hospital waiting lists and take the wind out of the sails of those who advocate and support private clinics..

The Liberals have failed to help the 1.2 million Canadian children living in poverty. . Layton reminded viewers that the NDP has proposed a $1,000 increase in the child tax credit to low- and middle-income families. And he spoke clearly about the need to reform Employment Insurance rules so parents can get benefits when they are unemployed.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper had nothing to say about ending child poverty or improving conditions for working people. And he is a staunch supporter of increasing private health care.

Throughout the debate, Layton scored points by contrasting the record of the NDP in getting results with the record of other parties. The proof is in the pudding of the last Parliament where the NDP forced the Liberals to change their budget to include more funding for affordable housing, education and protecting the environment. They did this while forcing the Liberals to cancel planned tax breaks for corporations.

The NDP’s actions last spring showed the benefit of a minority government with a strong NDP balance of power. As Layton said last night, with more NDP MPs in the House of Commons, we will get more results like that for working people.

It’s true the race will get tighter as Jan. 23 approaches. So to get the Canada you want, vote for the Canada you want: vote positive.