Layton appeals to Quebec voters

RICHARD BRENNAN
OTTAWA BUREAU
GATINEAU—NDP Leader Jack Layton today urged Quebec voters to turn their backs on the separatist Bloc Quebecois.

“There’s a new choice for Quebec in this election – a choice of hope and optimism,” he said, adding the province would benefit in many ways from a national party, as opposed to one that has no MPs outside Quebec.

Layton pointed out many things that Quebecers hold dearly, such as the environment, that require strong actions across provincial boundaries that can only be offered by a national party.

The NDP is hoping to make a breakthrough in the riding of Gatineau with Francoise Boivin, a former Liberal MP in the Paul Martin/s Liberal government. The riding is now held by the PQ’s Richard Nadeau.

Throughout the election, Layton has been appealing to voters of all political stripes to side with the NDP, promising a New Democratic government would kill the Conservatives’ $50 billion corporate tax cut and use that money to improve child care, hire nurses and doctors, and bring in pharmacare, among other things.

Earlier in the day in Toronto, the NDP campaign turned to veteran New Democrat war horse Ed Broadbent to shore up support.

“It is good news for the NDP in every part of the country,” he told the adoring crowd, adding that the party is challenging in 20 ridings where the NDP have never been a contenders.

“We will bring in new seat after seat and we will have the largest caucus in the history (of the party),” Broadbent, who had a record 43 seats in 1988, told about 400 supporters.

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