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Harper plan would eliminate deficit by 2014

Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled his party’s election platform Friday morning, promising a Conservative government would eliminate the deficit a year earlier than planned by reducing the cost of government. “It’s called ‘Here for Canada’ and it is the way forward for Canada”

This article was taken of of the CTV website, April 8, 2011. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the makers and contributors of Young Canadians Vote.

Harper unveiling his platform

PM Harper unveiled his “Here for Canada” policy platform in Mississauga

Prime Minister Stephen Harper unveiled his party’s election platform Friday morning, promising a Conservative government would eliminate the deficit a year earlier than planned by reducing the cost of government.

Harper was in Mississauga, Ont., part of the hotly contested Greater Toronto Area, for the town hall-style meeting.

“Today we are releasing our platform. It’s called ‘Here for Canada’ and it is the way forward for Canada,” Harper said in .

Harper said there were no plans to cut major programs and said the billions in cost savings required to balance the books would come from slashing government’s operating cost — something he said “everyone” agrees needs to be reined in.

The five-point, $6.6-billion platform unveiled Friday outlined the Conservatives’ vision for the next four years, focusing on job creation through tax reduction.

Harper said the Tory platform stands in stark contrast to Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff’s plan to raise taxes.

“Conservatives understand you cannot tax your way to prosperity, you cannot create jobs by raising taxes,” Harper said.

The platform includes the party’s $2.2-billion promise to compensate Quebec for harmonizing its sales tax, and a $2.5-billion income-splitting plan.

It also features a bundle of crime bills that would be passed in the first 100 days of Parliament if the Conservatives received a majority mandate, new policies for seniors and the details of government Arctic investments. The platform rehashes other Conservative priorities — job creation, support for families and deficit reduction — outlined in the federal budget plan tabled the week before the election call.

It also includes the Conservative Party plan to cut per-vote subsidies to political parties over a three-year period.

The five main priorities of the campaign platform are jobs creation, supporting families, eliminating the deficit, getting tough on crime, and investing in the North.

After he introduces the Tory election handbook, Harper is rumoured to be joining Bollywood star Akshay Kumar for an event in Brampton. Then, later in the day the Tory leader heads to the Kitchener-Waterloo region where he will lend his support to a pair of candidates hoping to widen their slim margins of victory from the last trip to the polls in 2008.

Ignatieff, meanwhile, is continuing his campaign swing in Hamilton, Ont., where he addressed health care policies in an appearance at a cancer centre Friday morning.

Ignatieff said a Liberal government would focus on two key areas of health-care reform: ensuring high-quality home care, and reducing the cost of prescription drugs.

The Liberal leader earlier sent an “open letter” to Canadians also included a pledge to extend the current schedule of 6 per cent funding increases beyond the terms of the current deal with provinces that’s set to expire in 2014.

Later, Ignatieff heads back to the GTA for a pair of stops in Toronto and Markham.

New Democrat Leader Jack Layton, meanwhile, starts his day in the British Columbia riding vacated by outgoing Liberal MP Keith Martin before heading to his own town hall meeting in the riding of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe is in the Lac-St-Jean region north of Quebec City on Friday, where he’s hoping to boost BQ candidates trying to unseat Tories in the ridings of Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean and Jonquiere-Alma.

The day after unveiling her party’s platform, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May is taking the train from Toronto to Montreal where she’s convening a press conference to discuss health care. Later in the afternoon, May is scheduled to attend a downtown “Rally for Democracy.”