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Canadians go to the polls on January 23 in an election that is crucial for the future of the country. Polls show that the Conservative Party, led by Stephen Harper, will form either a minority or perhaps even a majority government, underscoring the need for us to elect as many New Democrat Party MPs as possible.

After 12 years of government the Liberals have demonstrated that they don’t represent working people. Their election promises can’t be believed and they have left behind a trail of broken commitments. Privatization of public services is now proceeding at an alarming pace. There is no real national child care program and for-profit delivery of child care services is a certainty without restrictions on funding. The increase in for-profit private clinics for surgery and diagnostic services demonstrates just how seriously the Liberals have dropped the health care ball by not enforcing the Canada Health Act.

The Conservative Party is not an alternative to the Liberals. A Conservative government would dismantle many current progressive social and economic programs. They support for-profit health care, tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy rather than for working people, a flawed approach to child care that won’t create child care spaces, and a reduction in support to community programs and infrastructure.

A Conservative government would assimilate our country even faster into the United States, speeding up the integration of our economies and virtually merging our foreign policies. Harper has made it clear he would tear up international environmental initiatives like the Kyoto accord on climate change and cancel funding to meet Aboriginal needs. Seniors, women, Aboriginal communities, students, persons with disabilities, and all working families will be worse off with a Conservative government.

The NDP demonstrated in the last parliament that it can be effective in forcing changes to government initiatives that benefit our members and their families. Electing more NDP members to the next Parliament will mean that our voices will be heard. We will be able to protect public health care, create a universal child care program, finance much needed public infrastructure, protect our pensions, oppose tax cuts for corporations, and invest in social programs.

We know the Liberals do not represent the interests of working people, and we know that voting for them will not stop the Conservatives. The Liberal campaign has collapsed and the only alternative to the Conservatives is a strong NDP contingent of MPs in the House.

For all electoral races outside of Quebec the National Executive Board of the Canadian Union of Public Employees endorses the New Democratic Party to best represent the interests of working families. We call on all CUPE members in provinces outside of Quebec to rally their support behind the NDP and to work towards electing as many NDP MPs as possible on January 23.

CUPE has long respected the historical right of Quebecers to self-determination in political matters. In keeping with that commitment, the NEB respects the political choice of CUPE members in Quebec to support the Bloc.