OTTAWA – The latest deal between Elizabeth May and the Liberals is disappointing news for the voters of Central Nova, Jack Layton said today. The NDP leader said Stéphane Dion and Ms. May have decided to deny ordinary Canadians the fair range of choice available to voters everywhere else in the country.
“This is the kind of backroom wheeling and dealing that ordinary Canadians are fed up with. When the Liberal Party was in power, they generated a lot of cynicism about Canadian politics with their behind-closed-doors ways. It seems not much has changed under their new leader,” said Layton.
Over a month ago, senior New Democrats, including Stephen Lewis, were approached by Ms. May to help broker a backroom deal to not run candidates against one another in certain ridings. Lewis rejected the notion outright.
“New Democrats don’t think that Peter MacKay or any Conservative deserves to go unchallenged. The Conservatives have a lot to answer for,” said Layton.
“The NDP will be running candidates in every riding across the country, because we believe it is up to voters to decide who they can trust, on the environment and on all the issues that affect their daily lives,” said Layton. “Having come second in Central Nova in the last election, the NDP has the best chance of beating the Conservatives this time around.”
Former NDP Leader Ed Broadbent weighed in on the issue as well.
“One voter disenfranchised is one voter too many. May and Dion have ripped away choice from voters in Central Nova,” said Broadbent. “It was utterly irresponsible for Mr Dion, leader of what was once a national party, to abandon voters in any constituency. And it’s equally irresponsible for Ms May to broker this kind of deal."
Layton said Canadians will not forget Dion’s poor environmental record.
“I’m disappointed to see Elizabeth May throw in her lot with a man who was Environment Minister during a period when Canada’s emissions soared by 30%. Now it’s official — she is telling Stéphane Dion that his Liberals don’t need to be held accountable for their dismal environmental record, because she will validate them no matter how much they let ordinary people down.”