5 Reasons Trudeau & The Liberals are Good for Mississauga

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Mississauga's former mayor Hazel McCallion has been going hard for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party.

About a week ago, she spoke to The Star about the reasoning behind her bold and decisive endorsement of the Liberal leader and his party's platform. Her justifications were sound. She praised his pledge of $60 billion to bolster aging infrastructure (roads, public transport, etc.) and said, rightfully, that people want a government that actually helps their communities grow and develop. Refreshingly, she pointed out that pledging to balance a budget "just to win elections" isn't resonating with voters who are genuinely struggling to get by.

She told the paper, "People at home want the government to spend money, wisely, on infrastructure, to invest in cities and transportation and all the things that create growth and jobs. That's exactly what Justin is going to do, just like Paul Martin when he gave cities a share of the gas tax. Now Justin will carry on that legacy for cities. We are the engines of the country. The Conservatives don't seem to understand that."

She then appeared in a campaign ad for the Liberals.

In the ad, she goes after the Conservatives and says, "Stephen Harper isn't telling the truth saying Justin Trudeau will cancel income splitting for seniors. It's like one of those phone scams seniors get because Harper thinks we're scared. Trudeau will also restore old age security back to 65, that's up to $30,000 more for seniors. Stephen: Do I look scared to you?"

If you didn't watch the video, know that there's a clip where Trudeau promises not to cancel the program of which McCallion speaks.

While not everyone agrees with McCallion or shares her concerns, the fact remains that her points -- though urban-centric -- are valid and fair. Mississauga will benefit from a Liberal government. Here are five reasons why.

5) Less Focus on Minor Distractions and Scare Tactics

You've likely all heard about the exhausting niqab debate. For those who do not know, the niqab is a veil worn by some Muslim women that covers most of the face. One woman, Zunera Ishaq, won the right to wear hers during her citizenship oath and her victory rattled the Conservative government. Stephen Harper has even discussed potentially banning the covering for federal public servants. While there is absolutely a time and place to discuss the niqab and its implications for women, it's foolhardy to make it an election issue. It simply doesn't affect enough people to be worthy of national debate and emphasizing it on the election trail is divisive, lazy and alarmist. It pits Canadians against each other and draws attention away from more pertinent and important issues. In a city as diverse as Mississauga (where huge swaths of voters are alienated by rhetoric surrounding the debate), less attention needs to be paid to attire and more to roads, transport and growth. It's a distraction and it's not worthy of all this partisan fearmongering.

4) Infrastructure

Who's afraid of deficits? Too many people. A country does need to be run like a business or a household. It does not need to be profitable and if it boasts a surplus, it might just be collecting too much tax revenue. Spending more on infrastructure -- roads, transit, buildings, etc. -- will not turn Canada into Greece (ignore anyone who says otherwise). McCallion is right to praise Trudeau for not being ideologically beholden to the sacred idea of "balancing the budget." A reasonable deficit is workable if money is being spent on sustainable, positive growth. Mississauga absolutely needs investment. It suffers from aging roads and mediocre transport. Trudeau's stimulus program -- and stimulus programs are effective -- will help prod the country's stalling economy. There's a time to save and a time to spend and the time to spend is now. If Mississauga receives more federal investment, it can maybe create -- down the line, of course -- a possible east/west LRT and better transport overall. This will boost property values, bring more people to the city and create opportunities for local businesses.

3) Tax Breaks for the Middle Class

If you earn a modest income, taxes are a hardship. While there are wealthy pockets in Mississauga, the city is largely comprised of middle-class people struggling to grapple with stagnant salaries and an increased cost of living. The Liberal's plan to increase taxes on people earning $200,000+ a year, provide a middle class tax cut of up to $670 per person per year and offer a Canada Child Benefit program is good for the city's middle-income residents.

2) More Transparency, Less Secrecy

The Harper government has been plagued by secrecy, inaccessibility, fearmongering and contemptuousness. It has focused on crime even as crime rates continue to fall. It has made enemies of some scientists and environmentalists. It has abandoned peacekeeping rhetoric in favor of more militant chest-thumping (and seemingly all for naught, as Canada's military is still overworked and underfunded). They've shown contempt for the Supreme Court. While it will be a challenge to change gears, the Liberal plan to reform the electoral system and increase diversity in government is, on its face, a good one. Or at least a step in the right direction that Mississauga residents -- many of them sympathetic to environmental and transparency causes -- can appreciate.

1) A Better Relationship with Mississauga

It's no secret that Mississauga has enjoyed long-standing Liberal leadership. McCallion's most recent and preceding endorsements illustrate, if not liberalism in practice, a good relationship with progressive parties at the federal and provincial levels. Current mayor Bonnie Crombie is also cut from the same cloth, having served as a Liberal MP for the Mississauga-Streetsville riding from 2008 to 2011. If Sauga's leaders share an ideological goal with the federal government, cooperation is more likely. The dialogue between leaders will be less fraught and points of contention less profound. If Trudeau's Liberals are offering the support that Mississauga needs and are working with a municipal government sympathetic to their platform and principles, a better working relationship -- and, ideally, wise investment in the city -- will ensue.

For these reasons, insauga is proud to support Justin Trudeau and the Liberals in this election.

 

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