The Liberals have some interesting proposals for rural Canada in their election platform that was announced yesterday. Presumably farmers would benefit from their promise to quadruple renewable energy production. Regarding health care, the Liberals say they would forgive the federal portion of student loans up to $5,000 per year to a maximum of $20,000 for doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners choosing to practice in a designated underserved rural community. Since up to 16 per cent of all rural Canadians still don’t have access to high speed Internet, the Liberals are promising 100 per cent coverage within three years of being elected. Meanwhile, they’re promising to restore the rural mail services cut by the Conservatives. Like the Conservatives, the Liberals are now promising a refundable tax credit for volunteer fire fighters. Other promises are more nebulous – practical and bankable farm income programs, a Buy Local program to promote home-grown foods and the strengthening of Environmental Farm Plans. The Conservatives say the Liberals are making expensive campaign promises without fully accounting for how they would pay for them. That may be true, but hopefully the Conservatives will come out with some of their own new programs and policies aimed at rural Canada. I’m Kevin Hursh.