Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh says he’s noticing Canadians are working “harder and harder” but are finding it difficult to get ahead as their bills keep piling up and costs “keep on mounting.”
“The cost of housing is obviously a big concern.”
He said, while in Surrey last week, that Canadian federal governments have been making life easier for the rich and “they end of making it harder for everyone else.”
“I don’t think it has to be that way,” he said.
Singh spoke last week at the Surrey Board of Trade’s third in a series of “town hall” meetings to showcase the party leaders prior to the fall general election, at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer was first, in February, followed by Green Party leader Elizabeth May in April.
Singh said the NDP would cap merchant fees at one per cent, and expand Canada’s health-care system to ensure medication coverage for all.
“If you need medication in Canada, you should use your health card, not your credit card,” he told his Surrey crowd on Aug. 26.
“That’s something we can achieve, and I think it would make a massive difference in people’s lives.
“New Democrats, we will be partners for people, partners for small and medium-sized businesses,” he said.
“We’ll be partners to make sure the economy works better for everyone. We’re not going to focus on making the economy work for the multi-billionaires and those billion-dollar corporations. We’re going to make sure it works for you. I think that’s something we haven’t see in Ottawa.”
“I’m really optimistic about the future,” he said in his opening statement.
Singh took questions from the audience.
If elected prime minister, he said his approach to U.S. president Donald Trump would be to “stand up” to him.
“In a lot of ways, the United States relies on Canada,” he said.
“We are one of the biggest trading partners.
“There is an opportunity for us to say what is wrong is wrong, and not back down from that,” Singh said.
“We will stand up for justice and fairness… to make a long answer short, we’ve got to stand up to a bully, and I’m ready to do that.”