PRESS RELEASE: ESQUIMALT JUAN DE FUCA FAMILIES FIND LITTLE RELIEF IN HARPER GOVERNMENT BUDGET

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2011

ESQUIMALT JUAN DE FUCA FAMILIES FIND LITTLE RELIEF IN HARPER GOVERNMENT BUDGET

Esquimalt – As Jack Layton and his team in Ottawa review Harper’s budget today, Randall Garrison the NDP candidate for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca is looking at the budget through a local lens.

“Today, I’m disappointed that Mr. Harper’s budget failed to make life more affordable for Canadians,” said Garrison. “Jack Layton proposed reasonable budget measures – unfortunately, Stephen Harper decided to use the budget to provoke an election instead of helping families.”

Last month, NDP leader Jack Layton met with Mr. Harper to put forward a set of reasonable and affordable proposals – all focused on taking the pressure off of Canadian families and helping our most vulnerable seniors by increasing the GIS and taking the federal taxes off home heating costs.

“The increase to the GIS proposed by Mr. Harper in today’s budget won’t come close to pulling our seniors out of poverty,” said Garrison. “And playing political games with this issue is an insult to real people’s parents and grandparents. Seniors are living below the poverty line in Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca. I talk to them and they can’t get by on our current pension system. Mr. Harper clearly does not understand that.”

“Locally, I think it is the people caring for both their parents and their children who really lost out with the Conservatives.” said Garrison. “One of our biggest issues in Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca is a crippling lack of childcare space. A local family showed me the spreadsheets they use to keep track of their childcare – three children go to different programs on all different days of the week – they go where there’s room. And frankly, they are the lucky ones because at least they found childcare. I hear from too many parents who can’t.”

“I was incredibly disappointed when Mr. Harper cancelled agreements with the provinces to fund affordable child care spaces, which would have given some much-needed relief to local working families,” said Garrison.

“The people of Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca can count on me to be a strong advocate for childcare. I’ll raise the important pension issues for seniors and veterans. Jack Layton and I understand the local affordability issues at stake here, and after today’s budget, it is clear the Conservatives don’t.” said Garrison.

-30- Esquimalt

Media Contact:
Kim Lear (250) 812-8519 | randall.garrison.campaign@gmail.com
Communications Coordinator
Randall Garrison NDP Esquimalt Juan de Fuca
randallgarison.ndp.ca | voice mail 250-590-7160
Find Randall on twitter and facebook

BACKGROUND
Randall Garrison
Randall was nominated as the NDP Candidate for Esquimalt Juan de Fuca in January of this year. He is currently serving as a Councilor in Esquimalt.

Randall was a key proponent of Esquimalt’s living wage policy, has helped establish measures to promote affordable housing in the area, and helped improve bus service for
the capital region.

Randall is an advocate for environmental issues in Esquimalt. He helped open a community garden, and helped ban bottled water and plastic bags in his community.

In May 2010 Randall served as an observer for the Philippine national elections. He previously co-coordinated the largest human rights observer mission for the United Nations referendum on independence in East Timor, and worked as policing researcher for Amnesty International in Afghanistan.

Randall has been an active member of neighbourhood and community organizations for many years. He served as President of his local YM-YWCA, was president of his neighbourhood residents’ association, and was a founding President of the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre.

Randall is an instructor in Criminal Justice and Political Science at Camosun College and lives in Esquimalt with his partner Teddy Pardede.