Text of Jack Layton’s remarks

My fellow Canadians, tonight we are at a crossroads in our collective history. An economic storm unlike anything seen in a generation is upon us. And Canada must have a strong and effective government that holds the confidence of Parliament.

Tonight, we do not.

Tonight, far too many Canadians will lie awake not knowing how they’ll put food on the table tomorrow, or pay the bills this month. Seniors will check their pensions and savings and see the true cost of collapsing markets. And in Canada this recession has only just begun.

Tonight, only one party stands in the way of government that works for Canadians.

Quand les gens regardent leur gouvernement fédéral, ils veulent voir un sens de leadership. Ce leadership, M. Harper ne l’a pas montré.

Les familles qui vont recevoir leur dernier chèque de paye avaient besoin d’espoir. Les leaders mondiaux ont agit rapidement et audacieusement pour stimuler leurs économies.

Les économistes et les gens d’affaires ont demandé des mesures fortes et ciblés.

In Canada, New Democrats offered constructive input and good ideas. On election night, I committed
to working collaboratively with Mr Harper in the new minority Parliament. In the days and weeks following that election, I laid out our effective ideas to stimulate the economy. I described them in great detail in speeches across the nation. In the House of Commons. And in a face to face meeting – at my invitation –
with Mr Harper on November the 12th.

I focused on the needs of working families, of those being thrown out of work or whose pensions were at risk. Of those working in our key industrial sectors.

And the need for a new energy economy to create new jobs for the 21st century. Instead of acting on those ideas – or presenting any plan to stimulate the economy – he delivered a partisan plan to sell off public buildings, kill off opposition parties and roll back workers’ and women’s rights. None of which would create one job or protect one pension.

Stephen Harper refused to act. Now he is trying to turn an economic crisis into a political one. But Stephen Harper has broken trust with the Canadian people. And because of that, he has lost the confidence of Parliament.

He’s more interested in his job than you and your families jobs. That’s wrong.

C’était le travail de Stephen Harper de faire fonctionner le Parlement. Mais il a refusé. En mettant fin au Parlement, en mettant le cadenas sur la porte, il rejette le choix démocratique de soixante-deux pourcent des gens. Et chaque député se verra nier le droit démocratique d’exprimer, ou non, confiance dans le gouvernement.

Every Member of Parliament will be denied their vote. Every Canadian will be silenced in the people’s House. We will have a Conservative government without legitimacy. That doesn’t have to happen, because this is a remarkable moment in Canadian history.

Les partis d’opposition ont agi ensemble, avec un objectif commun: redonner de l’espoir aux gens et les aider à traverser ces temps économiques difficiles. Pour la première fois, la majorité des partis choisis par les gens ont mis de côté leurs différences. Pour le bien des gens.

For the first time in memory, the majority of the people’s representatives set aside their differences for the good of Canada. This is a time of hope. Tonight, only one party stands against the welfare of the Canadian people.

On Monday, the two leaders of the proposed coalition sent Her Excellency the Governor-General a letter making it clear that the majority of members of Parliament no longer have confidence in this Conservative government.

Nothing we have heard tonight changes that fact. And tonight, we are announcing that if it pleases Her Excellency, every New Democrat Member of Parliament is prepared to individually express their lack of confidence in this government.

Ce soir, j’annonce que, si il plaît à son Excellence, chaque député néo-démocrate est prêt à individuellement exprimer son manque de confiance dans ce gouvernement. Un nouveau gouvernement est prêt à servir.

A new kind of government, with a new kind of politics, is ready to serve, one that will put the economy
and working families first.

Thank you, and Good Night.

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