Layton does Nanaimo touch-and-go

Jack Layton did made a quick stopover in Nanaimo on his campaign blitz across the Island and Lower Mainland Thursday.

Federal NDP leader Jack Layton

Federal NDP leader Jack Layton

Jack Layton did made a quick stopover in Nanaimo on his campaign blitz across the Island and Lower Mainland Thursday.

Layton dropped in to the Barons Road campaign headquarters for Zeni Maartman, the NDP candidate in Nanaimo-Alernbi, for about 20 minutes to bolster the Nanaimo-Alberni candidate’s bid for the riding in the upcoming federal election. The federal NDP leader was on his way to an NDP rally in Esquimalt.

Layton spoke for about 10 minutes to a gathering of about 50 supporters, attacking the federal government’s funding of health care in the face of an aging population.

“We need a home-care program as part of the Canada Health Act,” Layton said.

He also called for more long-term care beds and affordable prescription drugs and affordable child care for every child in Canada.

“Are we ready to start rewarding small businesses and helping them out to create jobs instead of helping out the big banks?” Layton asked. “Are we ready to stop the big polluters from getting subsidies from out tax dollars and put the money into the new-energy economy?”

He also took a moment to attack both the federal and provincial governments for bringing the HST to B.C.

“Well we saw what what happened to Gordon Campbell, the people rose up, and now we’re going to see the same thing happen to Stephen Harper, aren’t we?” Layton said.

Layton promised if British Columbians throw out the HST, he would see to it the $1.6 billion paid to the province by Ottawa to ease the cost of bringing in the tax would not returned to the federal government.

“It should be used here for health-care education and what the people need,” he said.

Layton’s B.C. tour took him through five conservative ridings he said the NDP intended to win in the upcoming election.

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