A federal NDP leadership hopeful says the party can increase its support by focusing on an issue important to all Canadians – the economy.
Peggy Nash, a Toronto MP, says she has heard from numerous people across the country who insist the Conservative government’s economic strategy is not meeting the needs of them or their families.
“We need to stand up for good quality jobs,” said Nash while meeting with 22 people at Vernon’s Pantry restaurant Tuesday.
“We see a government that turns its back on working people.”
Nash criticized Canada’s natural resources being shipped off shore instead of being used to create sustainable employment.
She also believes the Conservative government has abandoned other issues of importance to Canadians.
“We need an economy based on environmental sustainability and smart social programs,” she said, adding that the Harper government is too focused on attacking anyone who doesn’t agree with its policies.
“The my way or the highway approach, people don’t like that bitter divisiveness. I am a bridge-builder. People want to work together.”
Leading up to the NDP’s leadership convention March 24, the party’s membership sits at a record 128,351. Almost 45,000 people have taken out membership cards since October.
“A lot of people are joining the party and they want to get involved. There are a lot of young people getting involved,” said Nash.
“After the last federal election, people feel there is an opportunity (for the NDP) to move to the next level and form government.”
But for that to happen, Nash admits the party must work hard at getting its message out, attract strong candidates and be relevant to Canadians.
“They want a government to respect their hard-earned tax dollars,” she said.
Nash is one of seven candidates seeking the leadership of the official opposition.