PRESS RELEASE: MAY 12, 2011

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Layton revs crowd at Canadian Labour Congress

Cheers of "Jack, Jack, Jack!" rang out in the Vancouver Convention Centre Wednesday as the Leader of the Official Opposition made his first public appearance since election night.

Jack Layton addressed the crowd of more than 2,500 union members and supporters at the annual Canadian Labour Congress, vowing to offer a strong opposition to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

"Yes, Stephen Harper won a majority," he said to the energetic crowd. "But he is facing the largest, most united official opposition in 31 years."

With a majority in the House of Commons, the Conservatives control the legislative agenda. This did not stop the NDP leader from laying out his party's agenda.

"We can put the pressure on the Harper government and get real action to strengthen the CPP and QPP," he said about the NDP's plans.

Layton was joined on stage by a group of seven Lower Mainland NPD MPs. Three new faces joined the group, a common trend across the country. Layton was asked to defend his largely inexperienced caucus, many of who are Quebec MPs with zero political experience.

"I remember people were complaining young people weren't getting out to vote. Now that some of them ran for election and some of them won, we are saying it is not right that these people got elected as members of parliament. That is ridiculous."

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