Local NDP Candidates Promote New Deal for Windsor-Essex

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It's being called "A New Deal for Windsor-Essex."

The three incumbent New Democrat running in the October 21 federal election released the details of the plan on Thursday.

Windsor West candidate Brian Masse, Essex candidate Tracey Ramsey and Windsor-Tecumseh candidate Cheryl Hardcastle told the media that the plan focuses on a number of items.

They include the creation of a National Automotive Strategy, a home retro-fitting program, raising the federal minimum wage to $15 and the creation of a Digital Bill of Rights that will help lower fees for cell phones users.

Ramsey says the NDP wants to protect the auto sector.

"We'll fight to make sure that the auto industry is ready for the future with a National Automotive Strategy and restoring the Auto Innovation Fund to help secure the next generation capacity," says Ramsey.  "If we had these two things, would we be seeing the jobs losses that we are?"

She also believe the home retro-fitting program would result in more people working.

"When we talk about climate change, we're talking about a jobs plan," says Ramsey.  "We know there are many jobs that could be created, thousands of jobs honestly that would help to retrofit and we would be having a savings for families, in their homes of $900 or more on your energy costs.  We all know the cost of energy in our region is very high and families are struggling under that."        

Masse says a Digital Bill of Rights would provide empowerment.

"It will actually protect your privacy, it will lower fees and more importantly over the terms and conditions, your rights as a citizen will be protected similar in the digital world as well as in the physical world," he says. "So that gives you empowerment especially given the fact that we pay some of the highest prices in the world."

The plan also include the creation of a Dentacare Program, extending free prescription drug coverage to every Canadian, fight for defined benefit pension plans and issue rebates for made-in-Canada zero emissions vehicles.

The federal election is set for October 21.