Sisters and Brothers:
At the outset of this federal campaign I posted a piece titled “Why I am a New Democrat” and many of you responded, which I very much appreciated.
As the campaign winds down, like you, I am both surprised and very pleased at the NDP surge led by Jack Layton’s outstanding leadership over the past number of weeks.
Canadians are responding to Jack, both his sensible message and his personal courage.
Campaigns are about people to be sure, but more importantly they are about ideas and vision. And in an election that pundits claimed no citizens were interested in, Jack Layton has lit a flame based on solid policy planks and the trust many citizens feel with both him and his message.
Only Jack Layton’s NDP has shown real vision on the key issues for working people. Like fair taxation so that Canada’s large and profitable corporations pay their fair share, pensions, and health care. Read a comparison of the party platforms on these issues.
As I said a few weeks ago, I have been a New Democrat my entire adult life and the “political moment” we are in now is one I don’t know that I ever expected to feel, at least on the federal level.
Countless CUPE members and staff have dedicated themselves to the campaign in recent weeks and I thank each and every one of you.
To our 23 members, staff and retirees running for the NDP I simply say “thank you” for standing up for public services, services we all believe in.
And to all of you, our over 600,000 members, I urge you to vote for change on May 2, for a new vision for Canada presented by our leader, Jack Layton and the NDP. For voting information, go to the Elections Canada website at elections.ca or call 1-800-463-6868.
I also urge you to volunteer in your local NDP campaign. Remember every vote counts and your help is needed to make change a reality. Find out how to contact your local NDP campaign on our website at cupe.ca/election2011.
Our party is 50 years old this year. And we stand on the shoulders of many who went before us, people with a vision for our country that embraces co-operation, sharing, trade unionism and social justice.
Tommy Douglas, David Lewis, Ed Broadbent and countless others brought us to this point. Jack Layton is taking us to new heights because of your efforts, his strength and courage and most importantly, the flame that Tommy and others lit so many years ago.
We are at an incredible political moment, one in which our union has made a significant contribution.
Keep up the great work… and please accept my sincere thanks.