TORONTO — Liberal Leader Stephane Dion is taking his Conservative rival to task for encouraging Canadians to take advantage of stock market opportunities created by the world economic crisis.
Dion says Prime Minister Stephen Harper is completely out of touch with the impact the financial turmoil is having on the lives of everyday Canadians.
He says Harper has flunked the first and most important test of leadership by failing to understand the fears Canadians have for their jobs and savings.
Dion is speaking to the same Toronto business audience where Harper unveiled the Conservative election platform and spoke about “buying opportunities” on the stock market the day before.
He says the Tory platform has no coherent plan to help Canada’s economy beyond meagre relief for the manufacturing and forestry sectors.
Dion says the Liberals have a solid strategy to protect people’s savings, pensions, homes and jobs.
Dion’s attack echoed almost verbatim one launched earlier today by NDP Leader Jack Layton, who assailed Harper for saying the stock market plunge presents “a lot of great buying opportunities” for investors.
“Mr. Harper said that an economic storm was no time to switch boats,” said Dion. “Well, I say, the captain of the boat is asleep at the wheel.
“For the sake of all Canadians, we need to change course, we need to change the captain, we need to change the whole crew.”