Tag Archives: Michael Ignatieff

Ignatieff Supports the HST in BC

Ignatieff and My Baby Girl

Ignatieff and My Baby Girl

This past summer I asked Michael Ignatieff how he felt about the HST in British Columbia. He answered in no uncertain terms that he is in favour of the HST.

Ignatieff added that the way the HST was implemented was a case study on how-not-to implement a new tax, however, he does support the HST for BC. Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals voted in favour of Stephen Harper and Gordon Campbell’s HST. When Gordon Campbell’s support tanked over the HST, he turned to the airwaves for a half-hour TV special. British Columbians didn’t buy it.

Both the Ignatieff Liberals and Harper Conservatives broke the trust of British Columbians by imposing the HST, and both are stumbling over it in this campaign. Jack Layton and the NDP are the only party who have publicly stated their

 

Ignatieff Discussing Why He Wants to be Prime Minister of Canada

Michael Ignatieff took his election tour bus into the library in Vancouver’s Langara College this afternoon and addressed a roundtable of local advocates and community groups. The theme of Ignatieff’s talk was on the importance of family reunification.

Ujjal Dosanjh, sitting alongside Ignatieff told the gathered groups that, “Family reunification is a major factor in attracting skilled workers from around the world, but the Harper COnservatives have drastically reduced the numbers of family reunification immigrants since 2006.”

Ignatieff echoed Dosanjh’s comments by saying that he wants to be Prime Minister of Canada so that Canada lives up to its promise of delivering hope and opportunity for all Canadians.

Ignatieff added that, “For five years, Stephen Harper has slashed family reunification, turning his back on the important role families play in helping Canadians succeed. Along with their cuts to immigration settlement and language programs, Conservatives have shown once again that they don’t understand – and don’t accept the important contributions of new Canadians to Canada.”

Stephen Harper’s Conservative Gov’t Falls

It is official, the Stephen Harper government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons; 156 members of the House voted non-confidence whereas 145 voted that they still have confidence in the Harper Conservatives. As a result of the non-confidence vote, Stephen Harper is going to visit the Governor-General and ask him to dissolve the 40th parliament so that there can be a general election.

Even before the dissolution of this parliament the framing of the election had begun in earnest; “Unfortunately Mr. Ignatieff and his coalition partners in the NDP and Bloc Quebecois made abundently clear that they had already decided that they wanted to force an election…” was how Harper began to frame the fall of his government.

The word “coalition” is being thrown around like it is a four letter word. The reality is that since October 2008 Stephen Harper has been holding government through forming coalitions on a regular basis.

The Conservatives have 143 of a total of 308 seats. The Liberals have 77, the Bloc have 49 and the New Democrats have 37.

The Liberals, Bloc and New Democrats together have 163 seats. Compare that to the 143 seats the Cons hold. Obviously, seeing as the Cons have been in power since October 2008, they must have formed some form of a coalition.

The nature of any minority parliament that works is that it is based on cooperation and working together in order to govern most effectively. A minority parliament requires the party with the most seats, in this case the Cons, to collaborate and cooperate with the other parties. This has been happening since October 2008.

It is disingenuous for the Cons to now be fear-mongering about the possibility of another minority parliament with another coalition government. You can bet dollars for doughnuts that if they are in a minority position following the coming election they will be looking for dance partners so that they can hold onto the reins of power. You can count on that.

Ignatieff on Canada in Afghanistan

The number one question that my followers emailed to me, posted in the comments section or tweeted to me that they wanted me to pose to Michael Ignatieff was about Canada’s role in Afghanistan.

This afternoon we had a chance to ask Michael Ignatieff directly, what do you see as Canada’s role in Afghanistan? Ignatieff said that Canada does have a non-combat role in Afghanistan. He believes that the Canadian forces that are based in Afghanistan should be based in Kabul and NOT in Kandahar.

Ignatieff and team

Ignatieff and team

But that is about as definitive as it gets from Ignatieff on Canada in Afghanistan. When someone in the media asked him if there should be a vote in Parliament about changing Canada’s role in Afghanistan Ignatieff got quite animated. He wanted to know what the vote in Parliament would be about; he says that Stephen Harper is floating trial balloons in order to define Canada’s role in Afghanistan.

Ignatieff says that Canada has an important role to play in Afghanistan and it should not be defined through trial balloons. From what I gathered today, if Ignatieff becomes Canada’s next Prime Minister the military should not be expecting an expedited trip home. If Ignatieff is elected Prime Minister Canada’s role in Afghanistan will not be over. It may be changed but it will not be over.

Ignatieff to Cancel Purchase Agreement for F-35 Fighter Jets

Almost in the same breath PM Stephen Harper is talking about the era of greatly increased austerity where everyone has to tighten their belts and then he brings up this absurd idea of spending somewhere up to $30 BILLION on these silly F-35 fighter jets.

Harper says the recent need for the Canadian CF 18s to escort an American cargo plane is more evidence of the need for these new fighter jets.  This is quite bizarre logic on Stephen Harper’s part; the CF18s were escorting a plane, a plane with a bomb inside it. What were the fighter jets going to do? Blow up the plane to stop it from…blowing up?

Anyway, the fact of the matter is that the F-35s are over-priced Cold War leftovers. And in case Stephen Harper did not notice, the Cold War is over.

And then consider, what are the odds that the purchase of these jets is going to come in on budget? Just recently Auditor-General Sheila Fraser reported that the Defence Department deliberately low-balled the cost of two different helicopter purchases. The purchase of the helicopters ended up being $11 BILLION, twice what the military had estimated they would cost.

Finally, in a case of deja vu, the Ignatieff Liberals have announced that once they are elected they will cancel the purchase of the F-35 fighter jets. Seems like what is old is new again.

Four Questions with Michael Ignatieff

Yesterday I had an opportunity to ask a couple of questions of the leader of the official opposition, Michael Ignatieff. The first question I asked was, would you be willing to form a coalition government in order to get good legislation passed.

Mr Ignatieff was relatively cryptic in his answer, which was to the effect that he can work well with others. He said something like, his mother always said when he was a child he always played well with others. However, he added that he encourages everyone he meets to vote for the Liberal candidate in their riding.

Clearly this says to me that there is no pre-election coalition in place.

The other question I asked was if he would bring back some form of the Liberal plan for a national childcare program. He said he and the Liberal Party remain fully committed to early childhood education. I will further review my transcripts of our conversation to see what I else I can add to this point.

As well as my questions, the News 1130 reporter asked him for his views on the BC HST issue. Ignatieff clearly stated that he and the Liberal Party are firm believers in tax harmonization. He added that the way that the Harper Conservatives and the Campbell Liberals have handled this situation is a clear example of how not to go about tax harmonization.

And finally, when questioned about the recent arrival of the boat load of Tamil refugees, Ignatieff made it perfectly clear that Stephen Harper and all members of his government need to stop the rhetoric and let the Canadian Border Services people do the jobs that they were hired to do, which is to sort out who is and who is not a legitimate refugee. And he emphasized the part about Harper cutting out the rhetoric. A point that Ignatieff and I clearly agree on.

Ignatieff Keeping Leader’s Seat Warm for Trudeau?

In a recent blog post on Langley Politics Dotcom Jordan Bateman and Sam “Politics” Kirk, were musing about Justin Trudeau’s leadership potential. They wonder if Ignatieff is simply keeping the Liberal leadership seat warm while the young Trudeau gains political experience.

They add into that mix Gerard Kennedy as the brains of the “new” federal Liberal Party with Justin Trudeau as the face of the Natural Governing Party.

With the increasing rumblings of a fall election I have to wonder if the Liberals really are willing to leave the keys to 24 Sussex Drive in Stephen Harper’s pocket. Are the federal Liberals willing to lose another election before making the change?

Liberals and New Democrats Holding Uber-Secret Merger Talks

Late this afternoon I received an email news alert from the CBC that said the federal Liberals and the NDP insiders are actually talking about a merger of some sorts. Apparently senior insiders with the federal Liberals and New Democrats have been holding secret talks about merging their parties to form a new entity to take on the Harper Conservatives.

It is funny or amusing to hear this news. The centre-left politicos are now talking about doing what the right-wing political parties of Canada (the Progressive Conservatives and the Reform Party…go ahead and correct me on the name of the Reform Party group) did just before they seized the reins of power with Harper holding the keys to 24 Sussex Drive.

Just for the record, I want it to be know that the names the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) or the Democratic Liberal Party (DLP) are my suggestions and I will not charge my usual name creation fee. I’m just saying.

Also, it might just be coincidence but it strikes me as odd that I am currently reading Warren Kinsella’s book, The War Room. Apparently Kinsella is involved in the merger talks.

Harper Conservatives and Ignatieff Liberals Support Chrysotile Institute

At the same time that they are cutting funding from womens’ groups and aboriginal healing programs, the Harper Conservatives see fit to give $250,000 of taxpayer money to the Chrysotile Institute (formerly called the Asbestos Institute), a group that promotes the use of asbestos in developing countries.

Health authorities say the Chrysotile Institute’s information is dangerous and false and will lead to an epidemic of asbestos disease and death in the developing countries where asbestos is being promoted.

The Institute counters that the position of the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the World Health Organization is “wacko.”

Unfortunately, at the Standing Committee on Natural Resources meeting yesterday, not a single member of the Committee would support NDP Member of Parliament Pat Martin’s motion to cut the $250,000 in funding for the Chrysotile Institute. The Liberal MPs on the committee offered no support and stayed silent, eventually walking out of the room so that there was no longer a quorum.

At today’s meeting of the committee Pat Martin’s move to reduce the natural resources budget by $250,000 (the amount earmarked for the Chrysotile Institute) was rejected by all members of the Standing Committee on Natural Resources, except for its one NDP member, Nathan Cullen.

The Conservative members of that committee are: Leon Benoit, Mike Allen, David Anderson, Richard M Harris, Russ Hiebert, and Devinder Shory.

The Liberal members are: Geoff Regan, Alan Tonks, and Navdeep Bains.

Bloc MPs are: Paule Brunelle and Claude Guimond