As I headed to Frank Valeriote's home office last week, I noticed that one of his neighbours had a small Marty Burke sign on their lawn. I wondered, do they know that Valeriote is their neighbour? Do their kids go to his house for candy every Halloween? Do they walk their dog past his house and wave when they see him?
Philosophical questions aside, I arrive at Valeriote's house and he welcomes me in his usual warm and friendly manner. We head in to an office space off the main house and take a seat in a pair of chairs. The office is typically used by Valeriote's wife, a therapist by trade, but for the time being, MP Valeriote is using the space as his personal campaign HQ.
Now an old hat with the campaign thing, Valeriote is focusing on his message and the Liberal priorities. Valeriote eagerly talked about those priorities, which are directed towards helping families, seniors, students and the environment.
Valeriote is most passionate about comes out of his work with the Compassionate and Palliative Care Committee, and some of the developments that have came out that committee. The Liberals Family Care Plan will allow people to stay at home for six months to look after dying parents, as well as give them $1,350 towards expenses like travel costs. For students, Liberals will offer $1,000 for every year, from grade 9 to 12, in an RESP to “kick start” parents in saving for university and college while their kids are still in high school. The Liberals also want to give people an incentive to invest in local, environmentally-friendly businesses with a $13,500 credit and the option to write off the first of investment in green technologies.
But where is the money going to come from, you might ask. Simple, says Valeriote, no money for mega-prisons and fighter jets, and no huge, corporate tax cuts. “Of course, you know that the Conservatives will spin a message anyway you want and misinform people,” says Valeriote. “But the fact of the matter is we’re not going to give the $6 billion dollar tax cut to the largest corporations like he wants to. The fact of the matter is that over 60 per cent of the jobs created in Canada, are created by small business, not large business.”
So without further ado, listen to the rest of our conversation here: