Mulcair visits local resident’s home

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair visited a Kitchener home Tuesday morning. (Photo by Lindsay Purchase)

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair visited a Kitchener home Tuesday morning. (Photo by Lindsay Purchase)

Federal NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, stopped by a Kitchener home on Tuesday morning to discuss the NDP affordability plan with area locals.

The visit was part of a series of kitchen table talks nationwide that Mulcair is engaging in on his National Affordability tour, which started in January.

The plan aims to reduce the pressures of household debt by capping ATM fees, expanding low-interest credit card access and tackling high gas prices, among other initiatives.

“These are all a series of issues on affordability, whether you’re in rural Québec or in Sault Ste. Marie in Northern Ontario, you hear very similar issues coming up,” Mulcair explained.

“And for us, as we gear up for the election 18 months from now, it’s extremely important to hear from people who are living in different neighbourhoods in different circumstances across Canada, and see that there are common sense solutions that we can be bringing to some of these problems.”

Although debt problems are an increasing norm for struggling post-graduates, the plan does not make specific mention of targeted student initiatives.

When asked by The Cord how an NDP government would increase post-graduate income levels, Mulcair noted that the federal government should be playing a larger role in post-secondary education.

“I think that the basic is that no student who is capable of doing post-secondary studies should ever be discouraged from doing them for lack of money or for the fact that they’re going to end with such a large debt that they’ll never be able to get off that treadmill,” he said.

“So that’s my bottom line,” Mulcair added. “Get the federal government back involved so people don’t finish with an undue debt.”
Students often rely on unpaid internships in order to break into the job market following graduation, which has yet to see regulation at a federal level.

“It’s not to say that someone can’t have that as part of a course of studies, but it seems more and more people are being asked to devote in many cases close to a year of their lives to get that first experience,” he added.

“So I think that’s something that should be worked on,” Mulcair said on the issue of unpaid post-graduate employment.

He added that increasing high tech jobs in the green economy will be key investments for employment for the next generation.

Mulcair also noted that he would like to see increased federal investment in affordable housing, something which has been problematic in Waterloo Region.

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