Harper meets with Turmel - Macleans.ca

Harper meets with Turmel

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A statement from the interim NDP leader on a meeting with the Prime Minister.

I have just concluded a face to face meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  The meeting was cordial and focussed on the upcoming budget. I urged Mr. Harper to ensure that the upcoming budget does not harm families or cut the services they rely on in these tough times.  I also urged him, in the face of rising unemployment numbers and yet another plant closing today, to ensure his budget focusses on real job creation above all elseI shared with him what I have heard from Canadians in the past month. Too many families are worried about their jobs and their future. Too many of them are waiting months for the unemployment insurance they’ve paid for their entire lives.  These Canadians know that with further budget cuts coming, it will be even harder for them to make ends meet.

The Prime Minister and I also discussed the relationship between the federal government and the provinces, which I believe requires immediate improvement.   Canadians want the federal government to work with the provinces to improve front-line health services for Canadians.   I asked him to listen to those like the Quebec Premier who don’t want to see the federal government act unilaterally in cutting Old Age Security for future generations.

It was a good discussion and I believe the Prime Minister understood my concerns.  I hope that he will act on them in the upcoming budget. In these tough times, the government simply can’t leave families out in the cold.  It’s time to focus on job creation, and on helping families make ends meet.

And a report from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper met today with Nycole Turmel, the interim leader of the Official Opposition to discuss the upcoming budget. In a very cordial meeting, the Prime Minister made it clear that the government’s number-one priority is jobs and economic growth and that, under our Government, Canada will make the transformations necessary to sustain economic growth, job creation and prosperity, now and for the next generation. 

The Prime Minister noted that the government will continue to: keep tax rates down; to make the key investments in science and technology necessary to sustain a modern, competitive economy; and to advance our trade linkages. The Prime Minister reiterated that the government will make it a national priority to ensure we have the capacity to export our energy products beyond the United States, and specifically to Asia. They discussed the Prime Minister’s trip to China.

Ms. Turmel raised health care, aboriginals and others matters of concern to the NDP.