Opposition leader quotability watch - Macleans.ca

Opposition leader quotability watch


Michael Ignatieff stops in Calgary and manages to comment on the meaning of accountability, the nature of public life, and the national significance of the Alberta oil sands.


Opposition leader quotability watch

  1. "I understand what Canadians are saying — they want accountability and transparency — but I don't think they want us to be going through our receipts for this meal and that meal,"

    Yes, we do.

    • "Canada's oldest provincial legislature was under a cloud of suspicion Tuesday as RCMP confirmed they're investigating possible criminal wrongdoing by five Nova Scotia politicians, but exactly who they are is anyone's guess.

      Neither police nor the province's auditor general would reveal the names of the four former members and one sitting member being investigated for possible illegal expense claims." Canadian Press, May 19 2010

      I agree, Sean. That's exactly what we want to see. I wish I could say pish-posh to taxman and his talk of accountability by claiming that it's too difficult to keep track of my receipts but I can't so I don't see why pols should been given large amounts of money to spend without oversight.

      And I think msm has been mostly appalling with their coverage. it is amazing how many reporters are saying MPs in Canada don't have moats so they are sure there is no abuse going on. Meanwhile, there is scandal in Nova Scotia that explains exactly what MPs get up to without when there is no oversight.

      Canadian msm, pull your finger out and do some investigating. Stop being so clubbable with pols and bring malfeasance to public attention.

      • My mind went to tax audits too. :)

        I guess I haven't been paying too much attention to reporters, so much as finding myself flabbergasted by the utterances of MPs from all sides. Including this one from Iggy.

        I can't believe anyone would argue that their use of public funds ought not be open to scrutiny. I don't even care if there's no misuse going on – that's our call to make, not theirs.

        • "My mind went to tax audits too."

          What irks me a great deal is when pols and bureaucrats follow different rules than the public they are meant to be serving. 'Does as I say, not as I do' type behaviour gets my blood boiling pretty quick. And It sounds profoundly elitist to me when a pol says he can't be bothered to keep track of his expenses when the rest of us have to keep on top our income/receipts or we are heavily fined/jailed.

          "I guess I haven't been paying too much attention to reporters, so much as finding myself flabbergasted by the utterances of MPs from all sides."

          My favourite was was Szabo. I think fact that there might be MPs who get sued often is something the public should know about. If there are MPs who are being sued for sexual harassment it does not seem entirely unreasonable for us to know about it.

          "The closest thing to an excuse came from Liberal MP Paul Szabo, who says MPs get sued a lot, including for sexual harassment and wrongful dismissal. Naturally taxpayers cover their legal costs, and "If you identify the member … all of a sudden people could say … 'What's wrong with this member? This member is getting sued all the time.'" Montreal Gazette, May 19 2010

    • I think there's an obvious disconnect from most of these politicians and us plebes. Protecting those who may be victims of multiple baseless lawsuits and shielding possible misuse of public funds are not a hill the wise politico should be willing to die on.
      Ignatieff needs to rethink this. Harper is obviously in support of hiding things, no matter what he says behind that glass of water…

  2. Kudos to Michael Ignatieff for his staunch support of the oilsands. At the end of the day, he seems to grasp the importance of Canada's vast oil reserves.

    • Ya, but it's not going to give Albertans any reason to shift their votes. The current government's got their back quite nicely already on that front.

      • At UBC, he called them "tar sands". In Alberta, he calls them "oilsands". True story.

        • I've got a feeling this summer's barbecue circuit will provide many, many more similar examples as Iggy gets out there and speaks to real people without a script.

          • There is stil a university out there that Iffy hasn't spoke at?

            Real people understand that a policy of
            'education for anyone who gets the marks'
            means real people pay higher taxes.

          • "Real people understand that a policy of
            'education for anyone who gets the marks'
            means real people pay higher taxes. "

            What a completely ludicrous and totally horrific statement. So I guess you don't want people (especially young people) to have opportunities to better their situation or to grow their knowledge.

            Do you somehow equate having money with some sort of moral superiority and all the rest can go f#@* themselves?

        • You'd better hightail it down to Louisiana and Florida pronto. Oil being deposited on beaches is being referred to as "tar balls". True story.

    • Crit…..he is talking out of both sides of his mouth. He supports the oil sands but he wants it cleaned up. Who doesn't.

      It is more baffelgab by the feckless leader of the Liberal party. Nobody in Alberta is going to believe a word coming out of his mouth.

      Anybody who understood his comments about accountability are a better person than I am.

      As for his leaderhsip numbers what else is he going to say. He will not admit that he is an abject failure as the leader of the official opposition.

      • Not like your so-called leader hollum, who's not even using his mouth when he speaks. If he's not receiving messages transmitted by his psychic, reading Australian PM speeches, or lipsynching muzik infront of the mirror, he's censoring kids' questions.
        Anybody who understands Harpers 'actions' on accountability can see a charlatan.

        • All that and Harper still out polls Iffy by 2:1
          Your guy really sucks, eh

        • burlivespipe….don't know what you are talking about. I speak what I think. Unlike Liberals nobody has to tell me what to say.
          Instead of worrying about Stephen Harper try getting a leader who Canadians respect. Instead you have a twit who pretends he leads the party. Watch for a caucus revolt in the not too distant future.
          By the way Iffy thinks because he lived outside Canada it makes him a better Canadian. That means the rest of us smucks who have lived here all of our lives are somehow less Canadian. What a pompous a..hole.

    • CR, Dippers want the oilsands shut down,
      Greens want the oilsands shut down,
      the Alberta oilsands will be a sacrificial lamb in the negotiations for the Coalition of Losers and to get the Green vote.
      It's been that way since Trudeau, it ain't gonna change.
      Iffy speak is 'clean it up…we know he means shut it down.

      Iffy has already started his shut down of the oilsands via the enviro committee, last year.
      He sent constitutional lawyers into the committee to argue the Feds constitutional obligations to legislate and prosecute the oilsands re: water quality.

    • Crit……you don't honestly believe the crap coming out of his mouth. He supports the tar sands oops the oil sands as long as he can drive it out of business cleaning it up.

  3. Tell you what, Mr. Ignatieff.. how about you get those receipts up where the public can see them, and then let *us* decide if we want to bother looking at them or not, 'kay?

    • The reason Iggy is so hesitant is that his caucus seems quite divided on this issue. Some MPs, like Paul Szabo, are acting an awful lot like they have something to hide:

      • Yes, I find that Ottawa gets much more, shall we say, interesting when issues like this starkly cross party lines. It usually means something's up . . .

        • And btw, I think this MPs' expenses issue is one smoking-gun reporter's article away from turning into a massive sh_t show, just like it became in the UK. It'll be interesting to see if that smoking gun gets uncovered.

      • If the Count was a chess player, the reasoning would go: Yeah, half my party doesn't want this talked about, but half my party wants me out anyway, and if this idea became policy, it would ruin just as many picnics (and careers) for the other teams. Since I haven't been around long enough to have any serious spending skeletons, why the hell not?

        I'll be quite delighted if it ever starts to look like he's capable playing the long game in this sport, but I'm not optimistic.

        • Agreed. If Mr Ignatieff has a long game, I'm not sure he's that familiar with the "sport" the game is in.

  4. Oh quit picking on Iffy, the LPC is polling at 25% too.
    Iffy just hasn't been able to drag the party out of loser territory.

  5. "Mr. Ignatieff, you have no idea," should really be his most quoted line. What is the point of putting kick me stuff like that in a speech like yesterday's if nobody is going to bother to kick him with it?

  6. I'm all for accountability and for public scrutiny, but here's the thing: up on the great ship Canada, everyone's attention is very focused on making sure that every little knot on the bridge is tidy, that every little pole is sparkly, that there is no dust between the planks, and that nothing squeaks… but nobody is looking at where the ship is going.

    Where the ship is going accounts for the remaining 99.99999% of public spending. I'd rather have people focus their energy and brainpower on those billions than on whether Mrs. So-and-So charged 79 cents for a pack of gum. Just sayin'.

  7. Yeah we should have access, should just be posted on line. But why do we always obsess over these paltry perks and MP benefits when there's a truck loading bags of money out the back door for infrastructure projects that have been funded?

    So I propose that each MP post a little map of Ottawa on their MP website and we can click on a fork or a spoon to find out where they might have eaten, or where they will eat at some point later on, (or where they might be shovelling right now) . They could also have some random totals and restaurant reviews, so we can guess which restaurants match with which totals.

    Then, two or three years later, however long it takes to have another election and long after we could have suggested they eat out less often or pick a less pricey bottle with dinner (or ask how come you're spending money at your cousin's place again?) then we can let the auditor pick it apart and berate the MP.

  8. While I think MPs should provide details of their expenses. However, you can rest assured that if the kind of detail that people are looking for see the light of day you will see the media analyzing the expenses of all the MPs on their hit list (read Conservative).

    After all you have the pouff from Quebec facing a criminal charge. No hew and cry from the media or opposition parties. Double standard. You bet. Here is a guy facing a criminal charge and he still sits in the Liberal caucus and continues with his critics role. Somehow thats ok because he is a Liberal. On the other hand Jaffer isn't even an MP and look at the hysterics over his charges.