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You lost me at $87 000

This Magazine Staff

IN MONTREAL
As a self-employed worker, a full-time student, and a mother with a child in a provincially-run daycare, I can see myself in many of the campaign promises each of the parties is making.
But Stephen Harper lost me when he trotted out the Tory savings to the “typical” Canadian family. In his world, that family earns $87 000 per year with one spouse making $52 000 and the other $35 000. Is it just me, or does $87 000 seem like a lot of money?
Maybe I’m being naive, but I want a government that spends more time and effort helping the poor and marginalized in society than the middle-class. It would be refreshing to see a politician visit the home of a family really struggling to make ends meet, rather than one benefiting from some minor tax incentives to make their middle-class lives a little more comfortable. (This is not a personal slight to the Huang family whom Stephen Harper visited on September 8th.)
How about heading out to a First Nations community, where many people live in Third World living conditions (or worse)? It’s one thing to apologize to Natives in the House of Commons and have everyone come to you, but it would be refreshing to see politicians getting out of their comfort zones a little more often.
It may make for a less perfect photo-op, but it would give me a sense of what the leaders really care about — and help me find myself and the issues I care about in the government I want for my country.

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