NDP leader brings home heating campaign to London

LONDON - New Democrat leader Jack Layton says Stephen Harper has broken his promise to make life more affordable for Canadian families. Layton is in London as part of his Heat Your Home Tax Free tour.

Speaking from the kitchen table of Jack and Nancy McSloy, Layton said that “people in the London area and across Canada will be hit hard by rising heating costs as winter sets in. Heating your home in Canada is not a luxury. Stephen Harper must do the right thing and take the federal sales tax off home heating.”

“We really appreciate Mr. Layton taking the time to visit our home and listen to us. It shows New Democrats honestly care about everyday people in this country,” said Nancy McSloy. “In the last year we have both lost our jobs and had to rely on employment insurance. But on top of the struggle to find work we get hit with the HST tax grab and the price of everything keeps going up.”

“I just can’t see how this government thinks it’s OK to dole out billions in corporate tax cuts and subsidies to the tar sands, but they can’t give middle-class Canadians a break on their skyrocketing heat bills,” said Layton.

Since the Conservatives imposed the HST on Ontarians, the cost of many everyday essentials – like home heat – has risen 8 per cent.

“The Harper government is just sitting back and saying everything will be okay, but they aren’t the ones looking for work and trying to keep the lights on and house warm. Thank goodness Irene Mathyssen is our MP, because she helped straighten out the problems my husband had even getting his EI benefits started, I don’t know how we would have managed without her help,” said McSloy. “People like Jack Layton and Irene Mathyssen – they get it – and they are trying to do something about it.”

“As the only MP in the London region to oppose the HST in parliament, I hope my colleagues will give serious thought to the impact the HST has had on their constituents and support this NDP initiative,” said Mathyssen.

“New Democrats understand Canadians are still reeling from the recession. They deserve sensible measures that help make life more affordable,” concluded Layton. “And alongside a revamped ecoEnergy retrofit program, we can help reduce heating costs for Canadians while also cutting our greenhouse gas emissions.”