Harper slams Liberal’s PSE aid plan

Stephen Harper slammed the Liberal party’s post-secondary aid plan at a candidates rally in Winnipeg on March 29, saying that it would raise taxes for students and parents.

“In trying to promise billions for education, if you read [Michael] Ignatieff’s plan thoroughly, it said that they would take away tax breaks for students and parents of students to pay for their program [ . . . ].”

“In other words, raise their taxes,” said Harper, referring to the textbook credit and education tax credit that would be eliminated under Ignatieff’s “Learning Passport” program. The program would allocate $1 billion in non-repayable aid for students looking to pursue a post-secondary education.

Though he thanked the packed crowd for their support on the campaign trail, Harper stressed his reluctance towards the election.

“[ . . . ] This is not where I should be. This is not where any of us should be. Leaders, ministers, Members of Parliament, we should all be back in Ottawa at our desks working on the economy,” said Harper.

Harper lauded his budget, saying that it was a low tax plan of “critical importance” for the financial stability of Canadian families. He highlighted a tax credit incentive for volunteer fire fighters, investments in preventing youth gang crime, tax credits for family caregivers and increases in student aid eligibility for part-time students, among other components that were part of the budget rejected by opposition leaders last week.

“The truth is this — and our candidates are hearing this as they go door to door and we’re hearing this all across the country — Canadians said ‘yes’ to our budget,” said Harper.

He accused the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois of having “no plan” for the economy and of reckless spending.

“[ . . . ] They just spend. They can’t say no to anybody on anything, and inevitably they start raising taxes,” said Harper.

As he has throughout his campaign, Harper accused the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois of attempting to impose a “reckless coalition” on Canadians and spoke of his party’s desire for a majority, saying that Canada needs a “strong, stable national majority” government for a stable economy.

“[ . . . ] The only party that can provide that kind of government is the Conservative Party.”