We’re here in the Maclean‘s Ottawa nerve centre watching Stéphane Dion’s London event on Newsworld. Geddes has the Star on his lap, and Petrou is reading the New York Times magazine. The excitement is palpable.
Stéphane Dion has started talking. The excitement is dissipating quickly. “Nothing could stop me” from coming to Western, Dion says. “I would have jogged here.” I’m sorry, sir, you can’t do that at Western unless you’re blonde and enrolled in Philosophy.
Geddes is back to reading his Star. “We need to tap into the talents and skills of the entire country,” Dion says. He wants a Canada where not only the well-off can go to school.
Excuse me, sir. Are you aware that you’re giving this speech at Western?
Dion is talking about federal funding for the indirect costs of research. Which (a) the Conservatives have actually already been increasing (b) is the least exciting topic on Earth.
More money for social-sciences research! This is actually laudable, and it’s a key issue for Western joggers.
Petrou went to his office to get a book to read after… let’s see… four minutes! A new record! He’s lost to us now.
Dion is getting to his big announcement, it seems. Tax credits that must be transferred to the parent. “Quite complex for many.” I’m told that’s the slogan in the new Liberal ads.
Up-front $1,000 education grants payable every three months! When the GST rebate is delivered! Or something! “Is it a grant or a refund?” Geddes says. “I don’t understand it.”
“I knew you would like it!” Dion says.
Money. We’re sure it’s some form of money that will be going to students, or some students. Also there will be $250 more for… some other class of students. I think.
(A fugitive sense of obligation will lead me to post Dion’s actual policy when I get the release. I was actually planning to put a few of the big parties’ policy planks up here, if I can squeeze them in between the polls. So this works out well.)
Oops, he’s still talking. “An end to punitive interest rates on student loans.” Restricted to prime-plus-0.5%.
OMG OMG Jack Layton has taken over. Suddenly this is a Jack Layton liveblog! Or not! The camera spots are off at the Layton event and he’s walking away from the podium! Covering a campaign from the office is way more interesting than being on the trail.
I give up.