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Michael Ignatieff goes to town


 

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities annual general meeting this weekend will hear from all three leaders of the national parties—a relatively rare convergence of Messrs Harper, Ignatieff and Layton outside the House.

Below is the prepared text for Mr. Ignatieff’s remarks.

Thank you.

I want to thank all of you for the work that you do. You are the first responders of Confederation.

I’m here today with Gerard Kennedy, our Liberal infrastructure critic. We’re building a Canada Communities Network, to link up our efforts to the municipal leaders on the front lines.

Quand il s’agit de travailler au nom de la population canadienne, il faut que la confiance et le respect règnent entre tous les paliers de gouvernement : fédéral, provincial, territorial, municipal et autochtone.

Il faut être des partenaires de plein droit.

My party has a basic disagreement with the current government over the relationship between municipalities and the federal government.

Any federal leader that tells you to take your problems elsewhere-any federal leader that says, we deal directly with the provinces, not with you-any prime minister that fails to treat you with equal respect is failing our federation.

We see you as equal partners.

Il y a cinq ans, nous avons présenté le Nouveau pacte pour les villes et les municipalités.

This weekend, we’re celebrating the fifth anniversary of the New Deal for Cities and Communities.

The GST rebate. The gas tax transfer. Certain, predictable funding, with input from municipalities-and the most important contribution to municipal public finance in a generation.

Thank you, John Godfrey. Thank you, Paul Martin.

Compare this to the Conservatives.

Il y a un contraste marqué entre l’approche libérale et celle des conservateurs.

Quand ils ont finalement compris que nous nous dirigions vers une récession, ils ont présenté un budget qui promettait des milliards de dollars pour l’infrastructure.

Un an plus tard, vous payez pour les promesses qu’ils n’ont pas tenues.

When they finally got around to getting some stimulus into the economy, the Conservatives ignored the advice you gave them-advice we repeated on the floor of the House of Commons:

If you want to create jobs and build communities-use the gas tax.

Use the gas tax, and you make the March 2011 deadline irrelevant.

But the Conservatives didn’t listen to you. They didn’t listen to us, either-but that’s less surprising.

Instead of using the gas tax, they politicized the stimulus and delayed the funding.

They made bureaucrats in Ottawa accountable, instead of local elected officials.

They wasted months-and millions of dollars-on TV advertising and self-promotion, while an entire construction season drifted by.

At the end of last year, almost 1.5 billion dollars in promised infrastructure funding lapsed, unspent.

You can’t build a country out of press releases-but these guys seem determined to try.

And we all know what they’re going to do in Budget 2011, if they get that far-savage cuts to municipal infrastructure are on the way.

Here’s why: Stephen Harper’s number one economic policy is to borrow another 6 billion dollars-every year-to reduce taxes for corporations that are already profitable.

This is when our corporate tax rate is already one of the lowest in the G7, and 25 percent lower than our biggest competitor, the United States.

The Conservatives believe that the only thing they need to do to create jobs is cut corporate taxes.

We’d make a different choice: Freeze corporate taxes where they are, get our fiscal house in order, and invest in the Canadian future.

Grâce à Jean Chrétien et Paul Martin, le taux combiné d’imposition des sociétés au Canada est déjà 25 % plus bas que notre principal concurrent. Vous avez bien compris : les impôts payés par les sociétés au Canada sont 25 % plus faibles qu’aux États-Unis.

Le Canada est déjà très concurrentiel.

Ces baisses d’impôt, nous allons les repousser, jusqu’à ce que nous ayons les moyens de les accorder.

Par cette simple mesure, nous pouvons dégager des milliards de dollars.

Il y a un choix à faire :

On bien on offre des milliards de baisses d’impôts additionnelles aux entreprises…

Ou bien on investit cette somme pour réduire le déficit et investir dans notre avenir.

We need more than corporate tax cuts to build a stronger economy and a stronger society.

We need public infrastructure. Transit. Affordable housing.

We need a national vision for public transit. In the last five years, a significant amount of the gas tax has gone towards world-class public transit. We can be proud of that achievement.

You deserve a federal partner that works with you on the next generation of transit infrastructure. A new Liberal government will be that federal partner.

We need the same kind of partnership on affordable housing.

We need to find ways to create incentives for building affordable rental units. I hear this right across the country. I hear it from seniors in Burnaby who can’t afford a place to live. Different orders of government have different levers here-we need to work together.

We should also find innovative ways to finance public infrastructure over the longer term. Some provinces-BC, for example-have led the way on P3s.

In other words, there are ways to fund infrastructure that don’t require Conservative MPs handing out giant cheques.

En mars, notre parti a tenu une conférence à Montréal. Près de 25 000 Canadiens ont participé, notamment sur l’Internet et dans le cadre de plus de 70 activités parallèles un peu partout au pays.

We left the Montréal conference with three clear priorities: learning, care, and Canadian leadership in the world.

These are the three priorities that we’ll take to Canadians in the next election. And municipal issues are at the centre of all three.

Take our first priority, learning.

Nous devons travailler ensemble, dans le respect des juridictions, afin de faire du Canada un symbole de savoir et d’innovation. Ce doit être notre marque de commerce. Nous en ferons notre priorité numéro un.

In Montréal, we had Lloyd Axworthy, from the University of Winnipeg, talking about Aboriginal education-especially in the context of an exploding urban Aboriginal population.

This is a local issue as much as it is a federal issue, and we have got to work together to get it right.

Early learning and childcare. Support for Aboriginal students. Language training for new immigrants. Skills training for young people.

None of this will be possible without networks of responsibilities-and strong partnerships between governments, the private sector, and civil society.

Les soins constituent notre deuxième priorité.

Nous voulons rendre la tâche plus facile aux familles qui s’occupent d’un proche à la maison. Nous voulons protéger notre système de soins de santé et nos régimes de retraite.

Our second priority is care-helping families take care of their loved ones, as more and more Canadians are squeezed between caring for ageing parents and caring for young children.

Cities and communities are on the front lines. Right across Canada, you’ve got programs up and running. Seniors’ care, youth programming, early learning centres, recreational infrastructure.

We’ve got to get you at the table, define common national objectives, figure out who does what, and move forward as one country.

Vous devez être partie prenante de la solution. Nous comptons tout près de 150 années d’expérience, qui nous indiquent qu’Ottawa ne peut tout faire tout seul.

Notre troisième priorité sera de rétablir le leadership canadien sur la scène internationale.

Our third priority is Canadian leadership in the world.

We want to make Canada the most open, most international society on earth. That starts in your backyard-and I don’t just mean closing downtown for the G20.

Our cities and communities have a global profile. You are as international as our country as a whole. And when we talk about Canada’s voice in the world, you’re part of it.

Au sommet de l’ONU sur les changements climatiques, qui s’est tenu à Copenhague l’an dernier, nos dirigeants municipaux ont été de bien meilleurs représentants du Canada que le gouvernement fédéral.

Le problème tient au fait qu’en l’absence d’un leadership fédéral, nos villes, nos provinces et nos ONG se sont toutes contredites, tandis qu’Ottawa a délibérément gardé le silence.

Nous ne sommes pas obligés de parler d’une seule voix, mais nous devons tous dire la même chose.

Mayors and municipal leaders like Gregor Robertson are out there leading the way on sustainability and clean infrastructure. So are provincial governments.

But we’ve had nothing from Ottawa for four long years

Canada has everything we need to become the greenest country on the planet. Our people are engaged. We care about our protecting the air our kids breathe, and the water they drink.

We have one of the world’s great stores of natural resources, and we have the brainpower to use them more sustainably.

Canada can lead on the environment. We can lead on clean energy and green infrastructure-but first we need federal leadership.

We can renew Canadian leadership in the world-but first we need federal leadership.

We can give our cities the global profile you have earned-but first we need a federal government that backs you all the way.

That’s the government I want to lead.

Above all, you deserve a government that listens, that keeps its promises, and brings our country closer together.

One of the great national unity issues in our country-something I’ve talked about since I came into politics-is the divide between rural and urban Canada.

Every Canadian deserves an equal chance at the promise of Canadian life, no matter where in the country they live.

That’s why, at last year’s FCM conference, in Whistler, I pledged to “examine every policy proposal, every commitment the Liberal Party makes, through the lens of rural Canada.”

And that’s why, in the last few months, we’ve made good on that pledge, with new policies to narrow the urban-rural divide:

100 percent high-speed internet coverage. Tax breaks for volunteer fire fighters. More doctors, nurses, and nurse practitioners in rural, remote, and Northern communities. And a National Food Policy, to put more Canadian food on Canadian plates.

Behind all this is a passion for unity-a primal urge to bring us closer together-as one great people, sharing one great country, whose best days lie ahead.

We can be immensely proud of what we’ve achieved together.

Just this week, four Canadian cities ranked in the top 25 most liveable in the world. That’s a testament to the Canadian people, and to the talent of our municipal leaders.

We’re a proud but impatient country. Canada is unfinished business.

But we are here today because we believe in this country. We believe in our potential. We believe that we can choose the Canada we want, the country worthy of our hopes, our potential, and our children’s dreams.

That’s the Canada we’ll build together.

Thanks for listening.


 

Michael Ignatieff goes to town

  1. Harper's speech is focused on the economy, Ignatieff's isn't. You know, if Liberals would STFU about abortion and fascism and exercised a bit of discipline and stuck to the economy they could have a chance. Graves is a tool, the next election will not be about Obama vs. Palin or atheism vs. religion, it will be a vote on who is the best choice to run a G8 economy and government. Harper won in 2006 by being a hair to the right of the Liberals and I don't think they get they could do the reverse to the Conservatives.

    • Harper won in 2006 by not being the Liberal Party, at the same time as Paul Martin tried to run a two-week campaign in a (nearly) eight week writ.

      • No, Harper ran on 5 issues, and led with a policy a day theme,
        I don't recall Adscam being any major party of the CPC platform.
        But if you provide links to your claims, that would be appreciated.

  2. I couldn't even finish reading his speech let alone have to endure listening to it – poor Iggy !

    • Ya know, I have to agree.

      "Thanks for listening"

      Seriously, Ignatieff, why?

      • And maybe, just maybe – if we'd had a national transit policy – Calgary wouldn't have such a bloody godawful transit system!!! ANYONE would have been a better choice to design it than the idiots who did. Not only is it a shitty system — it is impervious, deaf, uncaring to complaints. Try and find someone to complain to.

  3. We need a national vision for public transit… We need the same kind of partnership on affordable housing.

    We do? Calgary's Saturday evening bus schedules are a federal issue now? Moncton's bus service for the disabled is to be studied by a Commons Committee next week? A decision on a reserved bus lane in Dartmouth will come up in QP? The mental health and spare change concerns of Montreal's homeless are to be addressed by a couple of PSAC members in Tunney's Pasture? (Ha! A couple! That's funny, MYL. Would you believe twenty in Ottawa, with at least four per regional office across the country?)

    Here's the problem with federal politicians pandering to mayors: MUNICIPALITIES ARE PROVINCIAL JURISDICTION CREATURES.

    Continued…

    • Not a fan of Federal Spending Powers I gather?

      • Not when they make 'em up just because they think they can do a better job than a province or a city council.

        • Upon further reflection I think my first comment might have come across as snarky. If so, I apologise, it wasn't my intention.

          I personally like Spending Powers and think they've done a lot of good. But I'm also open to criticisms of it as well (after all, what kind of son of a French Canadian would I be if I didn't? :).

          Living in Toronto I see the value in spending power being used in the major cities.

          • And how about if Ottawa got out of the damn way by surrendering the "tax points" to the provinces and cities? Explain why taxpayers in Red Deer should make your streetcar seat more comfy?

          • I`m not holding my breath waiting for the day that a federal government relinquishes the ability to make spending announcements…they do seem to love their novelty cheques :)

          • Your finger is presently on the pulse of the absurdities of the present disregard for the division of powers in this country.

          • The Feds will have even more money with the HST $$$'s going to them. We'll all have to get knee pads to get any of it back.

          • How do you figure that? The HST is basically twinning the federal GST with a provincial tax. Where do you see the feds getting MORE $?

          • Why I am not surprised that another partisan Liberal commenter mentions that he is "living in Toronto.

            They're a rare sighting pretty well every where else in the country.

          • Honestly Jarrid,

            I don't know how many different ways I can tell you….I'M NOT A LIBERAL.

            (oh, and Toronto bashing is so boring)

          • Don't be sensitive Richard, I'm not bashing Toronto, just pointing out the obvious fact that nearly all capital L and small l Liberals commenting on this site invariably seem to come from the GTA.

          • What feature of Intense Debate allows you to determine where commenters live?

    • And maybe, just maybe – if we'd had a national transit policy – Calgary wouldn't have such a bloody godawful transit system!!! ANYONE would have been a better choice to design it than the idiots who did. Not only is it a shitty system — it is impervious, deaf, uncaring to complaints. Try and find someone to complain to.

      Of course this is an important item – do you know how many people depend on transit systems to GET TO WORK??? And how much Getting to Work affects the local, provincial, and national economies? The narrowmindedness is astounding. Couldn't you just try to talk about something like that?

      Good book for you to read . . . by Edward de Bono – expert in lateral thinking whose methods are used worldwide. It's called "HOW TO BE MORE INTERESTING." and involves how topics are discussed, how to do it thoroughly in order to FIND the GOLD that can lie beneath, and will reveal itself if you talk about something THOROUGHLY instead of just dismissing it out of hand. Want to be boring and irrelevant? Just keep up the same mindset you've got now.

    • And maybe, just maybe – if we'd had a national transit policy – Calgary wouldn't have such a bloody godawful transit system!!! ANYONE would have been a better choice to design it than the idiots who did. Not only is it a shitty system — it is impervious, deaf, uncaring to complaints. Try and find someone to complain to.

  4. …continued.

    So Ignatieff goes on and on about freezing federal corporate tax rates which have nothing to do with municipalities, and public transit and affordable housing which have nothing to do with the federal government, and post-secondary education which has little to do with the federal OR municipal governments.

    Not that Harper was much better, basking in alleged glory for showering municipalities with fantasy federal cash created by tomorrow's Canadians, up until his "really I can quit anytime" assertion that the stimulus taps will turn off while all manner of federal largesse "long-term programs in support of municipalities" remain in place for municipal piglets to line up at Ottawa's teats.

  5. I agree myl, I don't want to see the feds involved in municipal civil politics beyond who to write the cheque to; they can consult how to most effectively deliver the funds but I don't want Iggy consulting with my reeve wasting time deciding whether the municipality should dig the ditches deeper or just maintain them more regularly. Federal and municipal politics have different functions and they shouldn't try to intertwine them more than the bare amount needed for efficient policy making

  6. "And a National Food Policy, to put more Canadian food on Canadian plates."

    What the hell? I thought we already had an obesity problem!

    • Sure, but everyone knows that Canadian food is healthier than food grown elsewhere. Unfortunately for Ignatieff's new "Canadian food on Canadian plates" policy, there aren't too many Canadian plates these days… most of our dinnerware is imported.

      • But that's precisely why we need a National Food Policy. We have to stop letting imported dishes take the food from hard-working Canadian plates.

        • I dream of a future where Canadian food is served on Canadian dishes, so that we can eat the Canadian food we want: Canadian food that is worthy of our hopes, our potential, and our children's dreams. Only then will our passion for food/dish unity be fulfilled–a primal urge to bring us closer together as one great people, sharing one great meal, whose best bites lie ahead. That's what we'll build together.

          • Dear Blog Central Moderator staff: for the sake of our great nation could you PLEASE erase the above text? A Liberal politician might actually read it and attempt to incorporate the message into party policy. Thank you.

          • Maybe Iggy should hire Feschuk (in non-comedic mode) to write his speeches. I don't know who's currently on the committee responsible for Ignatieff's recent speeches, but whoever these people are, they haven't managed to achieve the elusive quality known as "authenticity".

          • You can get Feschuk in non-comedic mode? Does that cost extra?

          • Absolutely. Feschuk.Reid gets top dollar for the serious stuff. On a per-word basis, the funny stuff is much less lucrative, but still worthwhile.

          • A Canada that is fare for all.

        • Our marketing Boaards do a lot to keep the price of Canadian produced food very high.Who is defending the boards?

      • Don't know about the healthier part, but it's a whole lot more expensive. Oops, not really, once our ridiculous tariffs on so much imported food kicks in.

    • I think this is bafflegab for promising to double subsidies to our dairy farmers….

    • There are some kids with little or no food on their plates – obesity isn't a problem for them. Pain – stomach/hunger pains are the problem.

      • In Canada? Show me a case anywhere in Canada of a child who can't get enough to eat due to lack of food (as opposed to abusive caregivers).

        • News Releases 10-21
          Canada's Record on Poverty Among The Worst of Developed Countries—And Slipping
          Ottawa, September 17 — Poverty rates in Canada— especially among children and the working-age population—are among the worst of 17 leading developed countries, according to the Conference Board's annual ranking on Society indicators.

          With more than 12 per cent of the working-age population living in poverty, Canada is in 15th place out of 17 countries—a “D” grade—ahead of only Japan and the United States. More than one in seven Canadian children lives in poverty—resulting in a 13th place ranking and a “C” grade.

          ………and the report goes on.

          Do some reading. Prove to me there isn't child poverty and that it's all because of abusive parents.

          • Meant to add – this is a report from the Conference Board of Canada

          • Read the question, OT. It was not a question of poverty. It was a question about lack of food.

          • So…. the two are unrelated in your mind?

          • The two are exactly the same thing in yours?

            In this country, obesity is more related to poverty than lack of food.

  7. Meanwhile a new Leger national poll just in time for the weekend have the Tories in a commanding 12 point lead:

    The Tories 37%

    Liberals 25%

    NDP 17%,

    Iggy needs a new script.

    • Nah, Iggy and every speech rambling on about the evil Harper is just fine. But then again I am a CPC supporter, so I hope iggy keeps up with this Deficit bad but I will spend more, even tho I voted for and demanded it. but i guess to be fair the media let's him slide on that so I guess he thinks no one will notice.

      And will someone tell iggy to that the deficit has come in almost 10 billion under projections.
      http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2010/05/28/deficit-

    • How are the Cons doing in Quebec by the way?

      • Fine, Ontario is the battleground keep up. The CPC just needs to hold there seats in Quebec, gains will come from Ontario, BC lower mainland, and Alantic Canada.

        What your still on that Quebec is the road to majority theme, LMAO..

        • Holding the lower mainland will be a challenge if the election occurs within the next 12 months since folks there are pretty steamed about the HST and ready to take it out on anyone but the NDP it seems. Kinda strange, isn't it? The only party that wants to spend, spend, spend, profits from an anti-tax revolt! What will happen when someone asks the NDP where they plan to get the money to pay for all their promises and they discover that companies might pass on higher corporate taxes to consumers?

          • Ha, very true. NDP tax fighters, strange world.

            I am not saying anything is a lock, but that(BC/Ontario/East) is where the 9 seats the CPC need for a majority are going to come from.

            Quebec is all about holding what the CPC have. The 9 seats(that are within 3 percent from the last election) for a majority are going to come from the ROC.<>

            To be fair to Real Jan, holding the Quebec seats will be a fight. But Quebec, the CPC majority is not going to come from.

            Thanks for the response Two Yen, great post as always..

        • JDot.
          Please locate your a$$ and reattach it before it gets loose and runs for Parliament

          • Easy JDot, I was making a joke about our MP's. You had written "LMAO" – the implication being that there was an a$$ off it's moorings and on the loose – and that Parliament would be a natural destination for such an escapee.
            I meant no offense and apologize for any misunderstanding.

  8. All Harper did in his speech is say "pat me on the back everyone" , and made a bunch of excuses for the federal government's lousy administration of the stimulus funds . There was nothing in his speech but a bunch of advertising for him and his party. The only plan was for the public transit trust.

    Ignatieff has a plan. I like the National Food Policy, and his recognition of the importance of the municipalities as partners; as well as the leadership our country can exhibit on the environment.

    • Can you explain in a sentence or two exactly what is the Liberal National Food Policy? Because I read their fancy PDF and all I saw was more bribery vote buying "investment" in the electorally over-represented ever-crucial family farmer, and something about telling us city folk we should buy more turnips off the back of the truck at the downtown farmer's market. For which, let us all recite the chorus from number 67 in the hymn book, it takes a federal government.

      • The Nat'l Food Policy is about further govt intrusion with regulations and legislation,
        mostly environmental, so just like the dandilions in Ontario lawns,
        from sea to sea we will have waving fields of wheat with a 60% Canada Thistle content.

        Oh, and Liberals will continue to take a strong stand on the Western Canadian Wheat Board,
        where Western grain farmers will be thrown in jail, if they sell their grain to any market other than the govt monopoly.
        Never mind that grain farmers in the East are free to market their grain,
        the West is not.
        Ralph Goodale did order 6 Western farmers to jail time, just to show the West Liberals mean business.
        We got the message.

  9. Janice, what exactly is the Liberal policy on the environment?

    Do they still favour meeting the Kyoto targets?

    They've abandonned the carbon tax I think Iggy said. What are they replacing it with?

    What would they do differently on the environment from what the Tories are doing?

    • 'What would they do differently on the environment from what the Tories are doing?'

      Something.

      • **Dead**

  10. Aaron, I believe you alluded to a trio of party leaders coming to pander to the assembled mayors. When do I get to mock we get to read Layton's address?

    • Layton speaks on Sunday morning.

      • Thanks.

  11. Oh, and Janice, don't you know that the Liberal Party making the environment a priority is so yesterday. To quote Iggy: " We left the Montréal conference with three clear priorities: learning, care, and Canadian leadership in the world."

    Yup those are the new Liberal priorities, and food I guess. The environment, not so much. I don't see many specifics or committments on the environment in this speech.

    On the environment at least the Liberals have been consistent: all talk and no action.

    • Or, as one Liberal once said – "We didn't get it done."

        • No, but like most other promises by the Liberal Party of Canada, like a national daycare program,, scrapping the GST etc., Canadians don't expect them to get done. The Liberals have a serious credibility gap on their grandiose campaign promises. They make them to attract left-leaning voters but with no intention of implementing them. That's why they did nothing on the national day program although it had been promised for the 13 years while in power. Same with Kyoto.

          • Man, are these arguments getting old. Doing Harper's instructed talking points again – and hey, Harper would be proud, you are working overtime on his behalf. Yawn

            Now, see if there's something in your talking point notes about an MP that may have spit on the sidewalk in the 1920's or something.

            Credibility gap? Have you paid attention to the long list of Harper lies? Na, didn't think so because Harper tells you what to say.

          • You may wish to read my comment below to danby. The Liberals have been all over the map on the environment. They have no credibility on this file anymore. I think even Lizzie May is disillusioned by the Liberal's on this file now. It's her fault though, anyone who beleives the Liberals promises after total inaction on Kyoto for years while in power had to have their head in the sand.

            Don't get me wrong OT, I agree with the more toned-down rhetoric of the Liberals on this file. That Green Shift stuff was making me worried that the Liberals were actually intending on carrying through with that campaign promise. Our economy would have taken a severe beating had they done so.

          • Who do you think you're kidding?

            You were brainswashed by Harper's repeated (ya, like the Nazi's did, like it or not) untruths until they are perceived to be the truth.

            Sucker

          • Happens every time.

            Every time a poll comes out showing the Liberals are tanking again, the Liberal partisans lash out with the vitriol. Relax OT, it's just politics. The sun will still rise in the east tomorrow morning.

            Go for a stroll outside. Get off these comment boards, it's getting you down.

          • Aha, look at your reaction – I must have been too close to the truth.

            Not that you're interested and all, but I've been up since 5:30 a.m. Did some garden stuff, made hubby his breakfast and have collected some stuff and junk that we're taking to the dump.

            And, that's all by 8:30.

      • You think it's easy to get it done?

    • Jarrid
      Honest question. Do you think Canada need some sort of environmental policy?

      • Yes, but not based on the wooly, apocalyptic anthropogenic global warming theory.

        Prior to the collective hysteria that has gripped certain segments of our western democratic societies, a societal consensus had developed to make serious headway into preserviing and sustaining our environment. Concepts like sustainable development were fast becoming watchwords. We hear less of that today. Instead we're fed over the top propaganda like "The Incovenient Truth".

        There is no question that we need a sound environmental policy but it should be based on pragmatic, fact-based concepts. That is where I actually beleive the global warming hype has become couter-productive to the environmental movement.. It's become an abstract almost theological debate when we should be taking concrete, active, common-sense steps which have tangible benefits for our generation and of course future generations.

        Instead of debating AGW for instance, we'd be much better off having and enforcing laws which protect the environment to prevent catastrophies like the current oil well leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

        That is the type of anthropogenic activity that is both real and controllable.

        • So, I applauded the fact that the Liberals while in power didn't try to meet the Kyoto targets – it was pointless and would have harmed our economy. That's why I'm sure Chretien put the kibosh to it. The Liberals are total hypocrites on the environmental file. There's really not much of a difference between the Liberals and the Conservatives on the environmental file when it comes to what they would do in actual fact. The only difference is Liberal hypocrisy. They condemned the government for not meeting the Kyoto targets, when, while they were in power, they did nothing about. But more importantly, not meeting the Kyoto targets was the right thing to do.

          • Seeing how there is no government consensus on AWG, I agree that focusing on "acceptable, pragmatic" strategies is better than the inaction that accompanies open disagreement. My concern is that we will never perceive environmental action to be economically beneficial, and as such, will allow our immediate greed to override the need to be proactive.
            IMHO, having "wealth" within the grasp of the masses leads too many to sit on their hands and defer decision making for tomorrow – perhaps when it's too late.

        • Well. Obama has put a moratorium on off-shore drilling. Harper has not.

          • Obama has looked very very weak on the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, very very weak.

          • Is there something that you are aware of that he should have or could have done?

          • As a matter of fact, yes. The apporal for the construction of berms to prevent oit from reaching the Louisiana wetlandas and shoreline from the federal government have been woefully slow. That's one thing, and there are apparently others.

            Also his finger-pointing routine at BP doesn't show leadership. You don't blame people in the middle of a crisis, you do anything you can to assist. It made him look impotent to boot.

          • Thanks.

            Regarding federal approval to construct berms: I assume that Obama did not personally hold back approval; at worst he didn't "force" which ever department is responsible for approving berms to gloss over some planning/thinking/assessing steps so as to grant immediate approval. I would need to see more evidence before I would fault Obama for that.

            and there are apparently others….Uh huh. (Not saying there aren't, but that's a bit weak…)

            Wrt Obama's finger-pointing routine, I have mixed thoughts. I can agree that it would have been better if he had saved his criticisms for a little later on, after things have settled down a bit. OTOH, if Obama had immediately showed nothing but support for BP, I have to suspect that at least a few people would be criticizing him for downplaying the significance of the issue and cozying up to a scofflaw company and so on.

            Of course the situation is a bit of a no-win. Perhaps the best would have been support with the added "There will be time later on to figure out what went wrong and where to make improvements."

            In any event, I'm not sure how any of that makes him seem impotent – realistically, to a significant extent in this situation he is impotent, and I don't see the value in pretending otherwise.

            To close, I am very glad to read that you favour the principle of supporting people during their time of need, then look back, learn, and make improvements when that time of need has passed.

  12. Three leaders, three speeches,

    one gets regurgitated word for word by the reliable Liberal propagandist posing as a journalist.

    • Guess you missed the other column – 'Stephen Harper Goes to town' – and Layton hasn't spoken yet. The world isn't out to get you.

      • Actually, it is.. that the problem, he can't accept that reality is different from what he'd like it.

        • Conservatives are trolls,
          The posts trash Harper, over, and over and over again,
          Liberal commenters gather in anti conservative revelry as they celebrate the points made by the author.

          Tell me of this "reality" about which you speak, where conservative veiwpoints, and….gulp…a scentilla of support for anything Harper does, gets an airing by our good author.

          Does this reality also have unicorns?

  13. We will get the government we deserve. Are Canadians paranoid, intimidating, obnoxious, deceptive, incompetent, right-wing evangelicals or do they just like thier politicians that way.

  14. Ya, mock Ignatieff and the role of Feds with municipalities, meanwhile Harper is playing a very dangerous game here, and you folks don't seem to care:

    Bruce Campion-Smith
    Ottawa Bureau chief
    OTTAWA – Foreign companies would gain unprecedented access to municipal water services and perhaps even a claim to the water itself under the free trade deal now being negotiated between Canada and the European Union, a new report says.

    While the federal government has touted the economic upsides of the trade pact, a legal analysis claims it will likely have big implications for municipalities by forcing them to open their contracts to European firms.

  15. Hmmm….no comments on the municipal water/EU issue.

    Interesting.

    • OK, I'll take a lunge at the "bait"…;-)

      and perhaps even a claim to the water itself

      How likely is that possibility? What is the basis for the claim?

    • Tap, tap, tap…is this thing on? ;-)

  16. Mr. Harper has wrecked the treasury. He's offered no substantive, long-term policies for nuclear energy, taxation, industry, education, transport, municipal infrastructure, health care, information technology, the navy of our maritime nation or the future of the NATO alliance. He's done sweet FA on almost every front, largely as a result of killing scores of his own bills through political gaming. Eventually, Canadians will awaken to this, but the damage will have been done. I'd really appreciate a Conservative alternative set of policies to those of the Grits and the NDP (and to advocacy groups and think tanks). I'd really appreciate an intelligent debate about the merits and pitfalls of different approaches to critical issues. And I'd truly appreciate a press that does more than keep score of the week's hits and misses. (Consider the total lack of discussion of the CEO of ExxonMobil advocating a carbon tax during the last election. A key issue of the campaign and not a mention of the position taken by the world's largest corporation. Only in head-in-the-sand Canada!) None of this has happened during the past four years, and I doubt it will any time soon. Sadly, when we do wake up and look around, we'll see walls all around. The walls of a very deep hole.

  17. His speech was well recieved by all.

    OTTAWA – The Conservatives are widening their gap over the federal Liberals, a new poll by Leger Marketing for QMI Agency suggests.

    The Tories lead by 12 percentage points across the country, holding steady at 37% – nearly the same percentage of vote share that delivered a minority government in October 2008.

    Liberals obtained 25% of respondents' support while the NDP received 17%, a three percentage drop from a similar Leger survey last month. http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/05/28/

  18. This story has slipped under the radar but has huge implications. Stehpen Maher, a respected member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery noticed Jean Chretien subtly dissing Mr. Ignatieff as the unveiling of his portrait. I can hardly beleive what he said. Here's a portion of the Maher article. THIS IS HUGE:

    "Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff came last: "And later, my friend Ignatieff came. And he studied and came after. It's a bit different from us but we can't all be the same."

    Note that [Chretien] addressed Ignatieff out of order or precedence, that he did not call him mister and that the whole point of his speech was to praise career politicians. Ignatieff is not one, which seems more significant with every drop in the polls."

  19. Federal politics is about to go on a roller-coaster ride, courtesy of the Liberal Party of Canada once again. Iggy's days appear to be numbered, if one of the Parliamentary Press Gallery's stalwart columnists' observations turn out to be accurate.

  20. Bob Rae's on deck swinging his bat in the on deck circle.

    The Liberal leadership amateur hour is about to come to an end.

    • Nooooooooo! Iggy is the best Liberal leader we conservatives have ever had, please let him stay!

      Waitaminute. There is zero talent waiting in the wings, his replacement could conceivably be worse. From Dithers to NotALeader to Count Iffy to…Bob Rae? And if that failed NDP premier isn't your cup of darjeeling, there's the other failed NDP premier, Ujjal Dosanjh. In a way I hope he wins because it would be the beginning of the end of bilingualism in this country. Domenic LeBlanc…he's been in politics for some time and I can't remember a single thing he's ever said or done. Cauchon – unpopular in Quebec, unknown outside Quebec, another Quebecker as Liberal leader will not sit well with the rest of Canada.

      Where the hell is the talent? The most "successful" party in Western Civilization can't get star candidates? My theory is that any Rhodes scholar or chief economist or whatever would take one look at the abortion obsessed freak show that is the Liberal party and pass. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too radical for a mainstream normal person.

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