Endorsement: Bill Brown, New Democratic Party of Canada

With recent polls indicating a spike in popularity for the New Democratic Party (NDP) across Canada, the idea of the NDP becoming the federal opposition, or dare I even say forming a minority government, has become a possibility.

The Kitchener-Waterloo riding would serve to benefit greatly from an NDP government, and there is no finer candidate than Bill Brown to act as our member of parliament.

Brown has proven himself by attending all of the regional debates and open forums, a feat accomplished by almost all except the Conservative candidate Peter Braid, and answering all questions directly and confidently.

Brown outlined his support of the NDP’s platform, particularly its focus on student debt, which involves an increase to the education tax credit, lowered tuition costs and an extra $200 million into student grants. A University of Waterloo (UW) student himself, Brown is largely aware of the needs of the young voters and stands alongside them, something that can be attributed to very few other candidates.

However, lower tuition is not an uncommon theme among the non-Conservative party platforms. The NDP has also outlined their plan to support the universal healthcare system and double Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) benefits to ensure a financially secure retirement for all Canadians. This is of great interest to Conservative voters that don’t benefit from any of the tax breaks promised by Harper’s platform.

Unlike the Harper government that proposed cutting funding towards the arts, Brown and the NDP stand for increasing funding for the arts including the CBC, which Brown stated in a recent forum is a necessary source for non-partisan debate that should be properly funded.

Read Peter Braid’s endorsement

Read Julian Ichim’s endorsement

Read Cathy MacLellan’s endorsement

Read Steven Bradley Scott’s endorsement

Read Andrew Telegdi’s endorsement

Read Richard Walsh-Bowers’ endorsement

An issue particularly relevant to young voters is the recent debates regarding the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) attempt to implement usage-based billing (UBB) on all Internet service providers and the rising cost of the oxymoron that is high-speed Internet. Brown and the NDP stand with the majority of Canadians against UBB and have proposed bringing affordable Internet to every Canadian household, in addition to appointing a director to the CRTC that would serve as a voice for the Canadian public.

The NDP is also a very realistic party, noting in their platform that in the event of a minority government or the formation of a coalition government, co-operation with the other political parties of Canada should be top priority as it is key to keeping the interests of all Canadians at hand.

Offering something to voters on both sides of the political spectrum, a vote for Bill Brown is a vote for a Prime Minister that we can actually have some confidence in, and it’s about damn time.

Shawn Zacchinga is a former film studies major at Wilfrid Laurier University