NDP expects a breakthrough

Dave Bartlett
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NDP Leader Lorraine Michael launched her party’s election campaign Monday in her Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi district. — Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael opened the provincial election campaign with a bold prediction Monday.

“I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that we are on the verge of a historic breakthrough,” she told reporters in front of a private home on Newfoundland Drive in St. John’s.

“I truly believe that after Oct. 11, politics in this province will have changed forever. Nobody will ever think of us as the third party again.”

Michael made the comments in a prepared speech delivered shortly after arriving in a white minivan with NDP written in orange along the sides.

She was greeted by the applause of a handful of others who will carry the party’s banner during the election.

Michael said she picked the location for her party’s campaign launch because of the new long-term care facility still under construction across the street.

“The government is building it to replace the aging Hoyles-Escasoni facility,” she said of the edifice in progress.

“I am not here to tell you that we do not need a new long-term care facility in this city. We do,” continued Michael.

“I am here to tell you that this building, which will not even open for months, is already not good enough.”

The NDP leader said the new complex will only have room for 83 more residents than Hoyles-Escasoni.

She said that’s “woefully inadequate” when 1,000 people are on waiting lists for long-term care.

Michael suggested that with an aging population, wait lists will only get longer.

“Five years from now, one in five of us will be older than 65,” she said.

The NDP, under Michael, has called for an independent and comprehensive review of the entire health-care system since 2007.

Meanwhile, she said, the current government has yet to deliver on a 2008 promise of a long-term care and community support strategy.

Michael said it’s issues like health care which will be her party’s focus for the next three weeks.

“The other parties ... might talk about Muskrat Falls. They might talk about grandiose schemes for spending money. They will undoubtedly make promises to the people of this province. And it won’t surprise any of us if those are recycled promises,” she said.

Michael said the NDP plan is to make life more affordable for all.

“It’s about the things that matter to regular ... families,” said Michael. “Things like health care, and chil care. Things like (giving) our seniors the respect they deserve. This election should be about things like getting working people a fair deal in our prosperous society.”

When reporters asked Michael why she is so optimistic about the outcome of the election on its first day, she said she’s been hearing for months that people in the province want change and are tuning into the NDP’s message.

She also pointed to recent opinion polls that have vaulted her party over the Liberals, yet still far behind the governing Progressive Conservatives.

Michael said with her lone voice in the House of Assembly, the NDP managed to convince the Tories to remove the provincial tax on home-heating.

She said if more New Democrats are voted in, the party will be an even stronger advocate for other  changes.

Michael called her slate so far an “astonishing team of candidates.”

“They are leaders in their communities,” she said. “Professionals, small business people, people who are in municipal politics, labour leaders — they come from all walks of life.”

When asked if anything less than second place on Oct. 11 would be considered a failure for the NDP, Michael sidestepped the question, saying she couldn’t answer that until after the election.

At the time of Monday’s news conference, the NDP had 41 of 48 candidates in place and expected to add another two to its roster by day’s end.

The party will release its official platform soon, but Michael refused to be more specific.

 

dbartlett@thetelegram.com

Organizations: NDP

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  • William Daniels
    September 20, 2011 - 20:33

    I'm voting NDP for the first time in Harbour Main.

  • Joseph McGrath
    September 20, 2011 - 18:26

    I just returned from visits to NS and Quebec and I must say these 2 provinces appear to be doing very well in the economic and social justice fields which have interested me for many decades ..Consumers are shopping,business appears brisk and the attitude of people there is very positive. I will look at the platforms of the 3 parties as well as consider their past four year track record and hopefully go to the voting station with a well thought out decision as to how I will vote. I hope the campaign is not a smear showdown but rather an outline of what the 3 parties see ahead for this great Province.As it stands now I have an open mind about most of the candidates and look forward to their positions on development,health issues and treatment of seniors and the poor who live among us.I must say that there are a few candidates I would never vote for especially those who have failed to do their job over the past four years.An example is the utter failure of the Public Accounts Committee to even attempt to do their job.They grabbed their extra cash and sat on their rumps for 4 years failing to become involved in the financial operations of the government.Shame on them.Other such House committees may exist and hopefully I can become aware of their failure to perform as well Keep an open mind folks and above all VOTE..

  • Mindy
    September 20, 2011 - 17:26

    No..I will not be voting NDP...after listening to ALL the promises from Lorraine M. I would like to know where is all the money coming from if you do not support Oil Industry nor do you support Muskrat Falls Project. Surely we are not going to make all that profit on the fishery that Brian Cleary keeps talking about???? We need expanision and development.. The leader of the NDP party had been making nothing but negative responses anything and everything the present gov't brings forward.

  • Linn
    September 20, 2011 - 13:44

    I am on the fence and I'm almost falling into the orange meadow......... Lorraine Michaels has a valid right to say a historical breakthrough because I feel something is going to happen as well and I hope the PC's and Liberals are ready. The times they are a changing for sure!

  • Brad B
    September 20, 2011 - 13:36

    Sparky: The people of Nova Scotia said that a few years ago. Go ask them how they're doing with an NDP government? I bet the answers you get wont be pretty.

    • sparky
      September 20, 2011 - 15:59

      Hey BRAD B anything you get from nova scotia, "won`t be pretty"! LOL!

    • Kevin MacDonald
      September 20, 2011 - 17:33

      I would like to ask Brad B. if the N.D.P. in Nova Scotia are doing such a bad job,how does he explain the fact that the New Democrats are at 41% in the latest poll.Th e closest party is the Libs.at 24% and Tories at 22%.The N.D.P. has introduced the most progressive policies in the Political history of this Province and obviously the voters in that Province agree.

  • Ed
    September 20, 2011 - 11:42

    The NDP will be lucky to hold on to the one seat they have in this Provincial election. Noseworthy and Michael should be a good study. The NDP are all trying to ride on their Federal election results which was a direct result of the Bloc vote in Quebec but guess what guys... there are none of those to be had here in NL. That, coupled with opportunists like John Riche, who has not made public, on his public domain information, all his past unsuccessful work history (Insurance and IT) before his feable attempt at selling homes and others like him trying to get on the orange band wagon hoping for a big payday without having to do much work, doesn't hold much hope for them. We don't need nor can we afford to have a bunch of unsucessful socialists handling the affairs of our province. It would be nice to see the NDP and Liberals swap the # of seats they currently have and have a different opposition for a change, but then again why bother, they won't be able to change anything and that is good news.

  • Mikalah
    September 20, 2011 - 10:18

    Going to follow the "ORANGE WAVE" NDP !!!!

  • Jackie
    September 20, 2011 - 09:13

    The only reason why I voted in the last election was because of Jack Layton. I will also be voting in this election and I also will be voting NDP

  • Duffy
    September 20, 2011 - 09:02

    NDP is the most useless party of all. They can promise all kinds of stuff because they will never be in office. Ms. Micheals in the last few years has yet to smile or say anything nice about any government project - what a negative person! The Liberals & the P.C's should have taped their promises 20 years ago and just play them over at every election. Same old stuff.......... Why one votes is beyond me other than if you don't at least vote you have no right to complain ????

  • axle
    September 20, 2011 - 08:25

    william,s misses the spot light, this mans ego is bigger than newfoundland

  • sparky
    September 20, 2011 - 08:22

    I`ll be voting NDP,as I did the last Election, I think is time to let the NDP Party,do as they have said they`ll do for this Country. They can`t do any worse then the other two!,can they?