Federal NDP leadership candidate Brian Topp brought his campaign to Oceanside this week, vowing to take on the Conservatives head-on if he wins.
Topp, who resigned from his position of party president to make the run for the top job, spoke to a small crowd at Deez Bar and Grill in Qualicum Beach Wednesday.
In a firebrand speech, Topp stressed his party can take on the Tories on their home turf — the economy.
“If you want to take on the Tories and set aside their agenda to get going as a progressive government, you must deal with the fact the Tories have broken the tax system and are spending billions of dollars on people who need help the least,” Topp said.
“It’s time for the Conservative rip-off of taking billions of dollars from everybody else and giving it to the riches in the country has to stop.”
Topp said if elected to government as head of the NDP, he would roll back what he called the reverse Robin Hood tax system put in place by both the Conservative and the Liberal governments.
“We need to talk about the people at the top of the income scale, the one per cent, who are making $250,000, $500,000 or $1 million per year,” he said. “They should be paying more tax, but the Liberals and Conservatives flattened the tax system and let them off the hook. We need a new income tax level — 35 per cent for those who make more than $250,000 a year.”
Topp also said he would reverse what he called the most regressive tax measure ever adopted in Canada, brought in by the Liberals, which discounts money made by capital gains and stock options by 50 per cent.
“A buck is a buck, no matter how you make it,” he said. “However you make your money, you pay your taxes, even if you’re rich.”
To this end, Topp said he would roll back all the tax cuts made by the Harper government to the level they were at prior to his election.
Another area where he demonstrated some passion was the environment — in particular climate change — calling the Conservative record a disgrace to Canada.
“We should commit that when we come to government in Canada we will reverse the disgrace of Canada on this issue,” he said.
“We will step up to our international responsibilities and implement a plan and do it immediately. We can be a leader on this, instead of a disgrace.”