Brian Topp Forwards Social Democratic Alternative in NDP Leadership Debate

Topp Puts Forward Strong Social Democratic Alternative in Leadership Debate

“A progressive (fair) tax system is at the heart of everything we believe in. If we shy away from this fight it won’t matter if we win the next election because we won’t be able to pay for our promises.” – Brian Topp

NDP Leadership Candidate Squares off with Tom Mulcair on Progressive Taxes

QUEBEC CITY February 12, 2012 – NDP leadership candidate, Brian Topp put forward a strong social democratic alternative to the Harper Government in the NDP leadership debate held today in Quebec City.

Topp said that a clear choice is emerging for members on the fundamental question of whether the NDP will fight for a progressive (fair) tax system where the top one per cent pays its fair share in taxes.

 That choice was highlighted in an exchange between Topp and fellow leadership candidate Tom Mulcair. Mulcair opposed Topp’s progressive tax proposal to equalize the tax rate so wealthiest Canadians pay a fair share for vital public services like health care and education.

 A Fundamental Question

“This is a fundamental question for all New Democrats. If we shy away from the fight for fair taxes then it won’t matter if we win the next election because we won’t be able to pay for our promises.”

“A progressive tax system is at the heart of everything we believe in,” expressed Topp. “And I believe we have to lead on this issue, not evade it. It’s the only way we are going to turn Canada around and fulfill our dreams of a more equal and just society.”

 Today’s debate was the Party’s first official debate held in Quebec, offering the candidates their first opportunity in this format to speak directly to Quebecers in French.

 A Native Quebecer

 As a native Quebecer who is fluent in both official languages, Topp clarified how important it was to defend and promote the French language and culture that form the heart of the Quebec nation. He added that there is still work to be done to improve the presence of French in public places, like the Internet.

 In a debate that focused on international issues, Topp showed he understood the concerns of Quebec.

 “Quebecers are opposed to Stephen Harper’s international agenda. Quebecers want to elect a progressive government that shares their values and that will put the environment and social justice at the heart of the economy,” declared Topp.

 “This is how we win in Quebec. And that’s what I propose. ”

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