Ralph Goodale

Ralph Goodale

Deputy Liberal leader optimistic about federal election

Ralph Goodale spoke to the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce at the Prestige Hotel Saturday.

The deputy leader of the federal Liberal Party insists Canadian voters want a new government.

Ralph Goodale, a Regina MP, spoke to the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce at the Prestige Hotel Saturday.

“The voting public in Canada is more volatile and open to change than any other time in Canadian history,” he said.

“Liberals are happy the 2015 election is likely to be a change election where the campaign will really matter.”

Recent polls have shown the Liberals and ruling Conservatives slipping in popularity, with the official opposition NDP increasing in strength. However, Goodale says he isn’t concerned.

“I never get excited when the polls go up and down. It’s a reflection of the volatility among the Canadian electorate,” he said.

“There’s four months (Oct. 19) to go and the numbers will change several times before the election. There is a desire for change and when there is a desire for change, that’s a good thing.”

Much of the former finance minister’s speech focused on the economy and ways to move job creation forward.

Among the Liberals’ strategies are a child benefit plan, a seven per cent reduction on the middle class tax rate and a federal investment in public and community infrastructure.

Goodale also believes there is a need for improved access to education.

“About 52 per cent of Canadians ave some level of post-secondary achievement. But the job forecasts are that 70 per cent of the jobs available will require post-secondary. it’s a challenge we should accept with real gusto.”

The Liberals’ economic platform also focuses on investments in science and technology and expanded focus on foreign trade.

“Under Mr. (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper, 52 months of trade deficits have been recorded. We need a more successful marketing effort to catch up on those trade deficits.”

Goodale also insists there is a need to balance economic development with the environment.

“Canadians want success economics and intelligent environmental policy,” he said.