Peterson carrying NDP banner in Cypress Hills Grasslands

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NDP candidate Trevor Peterson is gearing up to take his message across the Cypress Hills Grasslands Constituency over the coming weeks.

Peterson, a school teacher of 18 years who is currently teaching at Assiniboia Composite High School, is starting to journey throughout the constituency during the early weeks of his campaigning.

"I feel like there's lots that needs to be discussed and I want to get out and talk to as many people as I can," Peterson said at the start of the week before planned events in Gravelbourg, Cantuar, Cabri, Leader, and Fox Valley.

"I'd like to know what people are thinking and what their concerns are. I already know what some of them are, but I'd just like to get some feedback from people as to what they're thinking."

Peterson, who is embarking on his first political campaign, said he wants to be truly representative of the Southwest.

"I want to represent people. I want to make sure there's a voice for this constituency in Ottawa. I grew up on a small family farm close to a small town, and I think it was an incredible way of life, a great way to grow up, and I think it's something worth preserving."

He feels government has a roll to play in helping rural Canada thrive.

"We have to have programs in place that supports the farmer and keeps people on the land, and also support small businesses that are in our community that exist here now and hopefully create opportunities for more businesses in our small communities so we can keep our young people here."

During the early days of the federal campaign, as the parties were starting to release their platforms, Peterson hoped the campaign stayed as a debate on policies instead of turning personal.

"It seems to me Mr. Layton is quite popular and respected by the voters as far as the three leaders are concerned. I think that might be one of the NDP's strong points."

He was hoping voters looked closely at the various platform policies instead of listening to the spin about the various ideas. He specifically pointed to proposals surrounding income splitting.

"People need to understand who that's going to benefit and who it's not going to benefit. It sounds like a good idea, but if you dig deeper well maybe it's not benefiting the people who most need the help or the tax break."

Peterson, who is confident the NDP platform will stand up to scrutiny, said one of the main issues he is addressing surrounds the area of corporate tax cut.

"The federal government has cut corporate taxes 10 times since the year 2000," he said. "It's dropped from 29 to 16.5 per cent. Now that's nearly a 50 per cent cut in 11 years, costing the federal government $120 billion. And there has been no strings attached to job creation.

"You're giving them a tax cut without having any production performance from them to create jobs. I think it should be linked to jobs. And that's where the NDP has come in with a tax credit for job creation."

Announced $4,500 credit for new hirings.

"I think these corporations can take these profits and they can invest outside the country. In fact they can take and move jobs outside the country."

Organizations: NDP

Geographic location: Gravelbourg, Ottawa, Canada Assiniboia

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