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Transcript of Ignatieff's budget response

Globe and Mail Update

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  1. Karen E from Toronto, Canada writes: Bravo!
  2. Writes With Pen from Canada writes:
    Finally!

    Someone who can speak for how most Canadians feel and want from government.

    It will be an interesting year!
  3. kevin broussard from Canada writes: way to go,make sure he is accountable.
  4. Bill Murtagh from Canada writes: I agree. Well done Mr. Ignatieff.
  5. Jim Roxburgh from Bolton ON, Canada writes: Well said. It would not have happened with out Dion and others posing a realisitic option. Suspect they will have a complete mess by March!
  6. James W from Toronto, Canada writes: I have mixed feelings about supporting this budget. Ultimately I think the liberals are making the right decision, but I'm extremely concerned about the idea of selling government assets. This same crew of Harrisites sold quite a few government assets when they were running Ontario; they sold them for a lot less than they were worth to friends and former business partners. I hope that the reports in the liberal amendment make sure that all such sales are very transparent to prevent that kind of corruption-that-is-not-corruption.
  7. Dumakude Mdluli from Canada writes: This is leadership ! demonstrated by MI
  8. Sober Second Thought from Toronto, Canada writes: Mhh March, June and December. So, that means the Parliament would have to be in session, not prorouged like Harper wants to do asap. It also means that we could have a motion to bring down the government in March, June or December. My guess is that the March report is the one that brings down the government. Not a bad strategy, however, it also gives Harper 3 times to talk about how good of a job he is doing. it is a double edged sword.
  9. KT Ocean from Canada writes: I agree with you, James. But Canadians did give Harper an increased mandate just a few months ago. I hope that the Liberals will keep an eye on things to make sure nothing irreversible and bad is done and pull the plug if necessary. I hope by that time, more Canadians see the Harper government for what it is - a government not interested in governing Canada for the benefit of all Canadians.
  10. Sober Second Thought from Toronto, Canada writes: I agree with James W. Flaherty and his friends sold the farm for peanuts and left Ontario with a big defict. There is still a court case going on about one property that was flipped by their developer friends for twice the sales price the same day it was sold by the province.

    Taxpayers always get screwed on these sales - especially at times when the "market" is depressed.
  11. Robin M from Canada writes: Ignatieff's response was responsible and stern. . Watch for his credibility as a leader to rise amongst Canadians as he continues to show steady leadership in the months to come..

    Bravo! It gives one hope in these critical economic times...
  12. D L from Toronto, Canada writes: A well played chess move by the Liberal leader.....give Harper enough rope to hang himself......problem is when you do give people enough rope to hang themselves, they are not the one's left hanging.
  13. Michael B from Canada writes: Scott Wicks, I can understand your frustration with the evils of our current government, but would urge you to try and look at this from the perspective of the Liberals. They cannot afford to be as extreme and purely ideological as you are suggesting. While it is true that this was a chance to take down the Reformers, to take down our unfriendly dictator, this is also a chance to show that the Liberals can take a lemon and make lemonade. They will not be letting the conservatives run roughshod over our country, they will be requiring updates on EVERYTHING the conservatives do under the budget in March, June, and December, and will have the option to take down the government during any one of these. The Liberals have respected the rest of the opposition through referencing the united front that stopped Harper from executing his machiavellian economic update, but they are also respecting Canadians' wish for the government to get to work by giving the government a chance to do good. One must weight the damage of furthering the political crisis versus the damage of letting the CPC remain in government on a tight watch and with a concession-laden budget.
  14. Michael B from Canada writes: Sober Second Thought from Toronto, Canada writes: I agree with James W. Flaherty and his friends sold the farm for peanuts and left Ontario with a big defict. There is still a court case going on about one property that was flipped by their developer friends for twice the sales price the same day it was sold by the province.

    Taxpayers always get screwed on these sales - especially at times when the "market" is depressed.
    --------
    Absolutely! I have no idea how these Harrisites are getting elected by Ontarians federally... must be some toxic mix of irrational fear & hatred, short memories, and a healthy dose of willful ignorance.
  15. Jon K from Canada writes: I think this is a necessary evil. The coalition would anger enough people that in terms of gaining support for the next election if might be counter-productive. If the Liberals want to win the election I think it's best if Ignatieff has some time to show voters who he is and what he stands for, that the Conservatives don't call all the shots, that he'll stand up to them, etc etc and I think the only way he can do that is by letting them stay in office until he and the party are ready.
  16. Bill Hopkins from London, Canada writes: As a life-long progressive-conservative (lower case intended), I am not at all happy with Harper's anticipation of and reaction to the current global economic crisis. I don't think this budget is at all designed to solve the crisis. It is an election budget, designed soley to prevent the Liberals from bringing down the government today. Tax breaks solve nothing if all one does is spend it at Walmart - that helps China's economy, not ours. I agree with Ignatieff on several points, including his observation that entending EI is not an answer, but expanding elegibility is necessary. Infrastructure money has to be made available without a lot of strings attached. But neither do I believe we can spend our way out of this crisis. What we need a new economy, one not based on automobiles and houses. It was the electronic revolution that brought us out of the recessions of the 80s and 90s. Maybe we need an energy revolution, a new energy technology, to bring us out of this one. I am also jaded enough to doubt Ignatieff's sincerity. He has done his homework as newly-appointed leader. He knows the Liberal Party is not in a position, finacially or otherwise, to mount an effective election campaign at this time. He is stalling for time until they can get their act together as a party and he has the clout of an elected leader. I predict a late summer/early fall election. Count on it!
  17. B R from Canada writes: Scott Wicks from Canada writes: I am ashamed of the Liberal Party today, even more ashamed of the Liberals then I hate Harper and his Reform Party thugs.

    Contrary to your opinion I know Ignatieff made the right move. We don't need another 2 to 3 months of living in limbo because of an election. Every Canadian looking for a job and every Canadian in fear of losing his/her job needs the actions NOW, not in March/April

    Canadians know that Ignatieff does not trust Harper and his gang further than he can throw them. He says this openly and in public. He is going to keep a close eye on Harper.

    The best thing that could happen if the Reform Party made a comeback. At the present the CPC is full of REFORMERS who will jump back if given an opportunity.

    Ignatieff is a strong Leader that Harper cannot ignore. His eloquence which is just beginning to be heard and realized will be noted by Canadians. This will strengthen the Liberal Party both where it concerns their credibility and financially.

    Putting Harper on probation is a considerably powerful move. I trust Ignatieff to keep his word.
  18. Ron McAllister from Toronto, Canada writes: Finally an adult in the House. Though I don't agree with this budget in it's present form I like the fact Michael is looking to amend those aspects that don't address the problems the poor and umemployed are facing right now. I also like the Liberals want to review it over the next few months. I don't think Harper and his crew actually understand the role government needs to play in society but it was encouraging he did understand he needed to compromise for the good of the country. It is now time to fine tune this budget to make sure those most in need get it!
  19. gary wilson from Calgary, writes: I would have rather seen Harper removed (by either his own party or the opposition), but this is acceptable, too. Probably the most pragmatic response as the last thing we need at this time is an election.

    Well worded speech and a well devised response.
  20. Pete Sake from Vancouver, Canada writes: Long Live Stephen Harper and our Conservative Government.
  21. A G from Ottawa, Canada writes: I guess the definition of leadership has substancially changed, judging by all these postings praising Iggy's. I am no Harper supporter, but this move by the Liberals is nothing less than the same wishy-washy stances they have taken over the past few years. Rather than take an actual decision for or against, the Liberals will "keep thinking about it." In the meantime, both parties will continue to hold the Canadian electorate hostage by threatening an imminent election at any moment.

    There is no leadership being displayed here at all. There is only the use of the side door to avoid acutally taking a stand.
  22. B R from Canada writes: Pete Sake from Vancouver, Canada writes: Long Live Stephen Harper and our Conservative Government

    People who express these sentiments might do well to re-contact their therapist.

    What do you say about a PM who , with all the inside information about the World (including Canada's) Economy, calls an snap election ?

    Would he have called an election today ?? Of course not. No he wanted to be sure to extend his sorry PM-ship for as long as possible. Fortunately we have an Opposition Leader who does not trust him and will do everything possible to profess this to Canadians ,including the likes of you.

    Eventually intelligent Canadians will see the light. I cannot be sure you will be amongst them.
  23. Plus 8 from Mont Tremblant, Canada writes:
    The budget is no less partisan than Nov. 27th. It simply throws money where the Conservatives hope to win a majority (Ontario and its its newly added seats) next and panders to everyone else for the rest. No cohesive theme, no grand image of the country, no out-stretched hand...only politics as usual.

    However, for Ignatieff to see and swallow that and still act in the best interests of the country is a credit to him.

    The biggest problem in this country is consumer and business confidence and this sick political crisis is at its core. The budget is seriously flawed but a Harper-type cannot do better. Everything is only calculated from a perspective of political advantage, not real stimulus or common sense. However, at this stage, the cure may be worse than the illness. We are weary and need a rest.

    The idea to have regular report cards on this stimulus plan of Harper's is very prudent. I wish more was possible at this stage.

    end
  24. Joshua Gardiner from Panic! In Year Zero., Canada writes: mostly, i'm just confused. "this government is garbage, its responsible for the mess we're in, and has no plan for how to get out... we support it."

    wait, what?

    iggy, i thought you were going to shell this meathead? why so gunshy?
  25. Norman Petit from Calgary, Canada writes: It is encouraging to hear this type of straight talk coming out of Ottawa. With present and future benchmarks to refer to, there is much less room for saying one thing and doing another, and the divisive, time wasting games Canadians have become inured to from the Conservatives.
  26. Levap K from Canada writes: Jumping Jack back in the box you go. Good riddance!
  27. Arthur Hughes from Toronto, Canada writes: It should have been a bold budget that led us to an environmentally friendly future. But Canadians are not ready for the challenge. It is wise for the Liberals to wait to see how Harper deals with President Obama's
    efforts to create a green economy. Harper may have no choice but to go green, or look inept in comparison.
  28. R Bothwell from London, Canada writes: Two parties working... maybe some good lessons learned all around...
  29. S F from St. Catharines, Canada writes: Finally there is someone who can state in clear articulate sentences what he means. Well done Mr. Ignatieff. I might think about voting for you if you don't screw it up.
  30. JOSH Back from PHILLY from T dot., Canada writes: They say a crisis should be seen as an opportunity... This would have been a GREAT opportunity to improve our manufacturing industry. To retool and set new legislation for cleaner technologies and industries... BOY did Harpy miss this one... (is that a suprise?)

    All the Cons did was throw money out... GUT our country of valuable assets just to hold onto power...(this is a band-aid fix) for 40 Billion dollars.. you would figure there would be IMPROVEMENTS... instead of the same old.

    Canadians don't need an extra 50 bucks in their pockets....(Tax cuts only affect those who are employed!)

    Way to waste an opportunity of a lifetime!!!

    Kudos to liberals and Iggy for seeing the bigger picture and putting CANADA first!
  31. michael luger from montreal, quebec, Canada writes: Now that the conservatives have a coalition with the liberals, all is good.
  32. Andre Poirier from Canada writes: I think the liberal - conservative coalition is undemocratic. They do not have the democratic right to do that, let's have another election ...
  33. Ron in calgary from Calgary, Canada writes: Mr. Wicks-do you realize the coallition was not supported by anyone at the time of the election, and that Mr. Dion, repudiated by most Canadians, would have been the PM? This would have caused a revolt in the West. You use the number 66%: I submit that almost 80% voted AGAINST a Liberal PM, how do you justify your conclusion with that evidence?
  34. Rob Grant from Black Creek BC, Canada writes: How about reducing the salaries of our MP's to the same level of EI benefits that I am on until they figure something out that will really work - instead of playing politics

    Gee - did I just say something that most Canadians can relate to?
  35. Real Westerner from British Columbia, Canada writes: Good job conservatives but please replace Harper He cant sling as much BS as the Liberals and NDP. We need a STRONG Western Party I am tired of Eastern Bull and Eastern Politians !!!
  36. WE NEED SOLUTIONS, HORATIO AND NOT CURSES from Canada writes: Incredible. After a litany of reasons why the Conservatives should be ousted Ignatief concludes that they should remain in office. OK then he concludes if you don't follow through we will defeat you and take over. Problem is by that date the problem is likely to be worse. Why does Ignatieff adopt this strategy?
    Is it because Iggy has not consolidated his power within the party. Is it because the Liberals are not as cash rich as the Tories? Is it because he is afraid that risking an election in the Winter will be unpopular with Canadians. If he really believes and can make the case for turfing out this failed government and I believe he can, then he should show some courage (Tory posters call it backbone) and resolve and send the Tories packing. If things get worse under the Tory administration as I believe they will (& as most economists also believe both here and in the USA), then the job will be more difficult. Ignatieff will then be faulted for this decision.
    CYMRO
  37. fred simonds from rothesay nb, Canada writes: fred from rothesay says- this man is a joke, i don't no if he is unaware of the liberal parties past or thinks we are too stupid to remember. these liberals were corrupt as hell when chretian was in power, didn't live up to pre-election promises, such as scrapping the gst. the debt would have been much lower if he had not interfered in martin's budget, to sell us out to quebec(200 million plus cost at our expense to pay the crooks legal fees) if anyone believes the ad scandel was done behind chretian's back they are clueless. we spent half a billion dollars for assholes willing to take cretin off the hook. ignatiaff is a pompous prick parachuted in from the u.s. where he supported the war in iraq but doesn't now. i recommend he he stops talking down to canadians and we don't believe you would be any more transparent than harper. is he willing to open up his govt to unbiased auditors, if they are elected. ps i hate all politicians. if they wanted to help the little guy increase gst rebates to offset the gouging done on home heating costs. one other thing don't make contracts on cocktail napkins(iggy) your party already used that one.
  38. Real Westerner from British Columbia, Canada writes: Well Said Fred!!!!They all seem to forget what the crooked Liberals did with the Quebec scandal and who paid for it, we did the taxpayer, These politians only care about getting elected to get on the Gov [ welfare] pension plan!!!
  39. The Man Behind The Curtain from United States writes: Iggy - grow a fracking backbone.
  40. Rob Grant from Black Creek BC, Canada writes: Anyone in this forum who cannot see past their own partisan bias should give their left or right leaning heads a good shake. Most Canadians only see two kinds of political parties - those in power and those that want to be - kinda like the two kinds of people in this world - those that work and those that live off people that work Most Canadians are somewhere in the middle - that reads common sense and good fiscal management, and oh yeah - decisions based on what the MAJORITY of people want
    Oh Well - someone once said ( Churchill , I think ) that when it comes to our elected officials, the people always get what they deserve
  41. WE NEED SOLUTIONS, HORATIO AND NOT CURSES from Canada writes: fred simonds from rothesay nb, Canada writes: fred from rothesay says- this man is a joke, i don't no if he is unaware of the liberal parties past or thinks we are too stupid to remember. these liberals were corrupt as hell when chretian was in power, didn't live up to pre-election promises, such as scrapping the gst. the debt would have been much lower if he had not interfered in martin's budget, to sell us out to quebec. *******************************************************Yes, he did support the war in Iraq. Yes, he is a Conservative in Liberal clothing. He cheered on the Israeli attack on Lebanon and has made no comment on Gaza. The Liberals under Ignatieff and the Conservatives under Harper are two sides if the same coin. The Liberals were not corrupt as a party but there were a few members and supporters who were corrupt. By and large Chretien and later Martin gave us good government although Chretien's adminstration had a few scabby periods. However the Conservatives both provincially (remember Saskatchewan and Ontario) and federally (remember Mulroney) have had corrupt administrations. Both parties have a history of both not putting into practice items in their preelection promises and putting into place items for which they have no mandate. He came into this country after a long absence in the UK and the US with very little background in Canadian politics or affairs and expects to lead this country. I am truly concerned by this prospect as I am by Harper's agenda. CYMRO
  42. Steve McCullough from Orangeville, Canada writes: There seem to be many who don't like Harper. He has never had a majority, just a minority. If you all think he is useless, what do you expect with minorities to work with that are leftist. Someone criticized a Harper supporter and suggested a therapist was needed. Gee, what ever happened to freedom of opinion? This is only my opinion of course. I personally couldn't stomach Trudeau. Does that make me nuts or a traitor? I don't think so.
  43. Rob Grant from Black Creek BC, Canada writes: Never met a maritimer I didn't like. Well said Fred! Nice to know the weather hasn't dimmed your senses!
  44. woof woof from Canada writes: The best thing of all is that Jack gets nodda. Hey Jack, does that trough you're sucking on look a lot smaller now?
  45. john coady from truro, Canada writes: I have always been a liberal, but just couldn't vote for them in the last election because of leadership (i voted independent). I was not pleased when the idea of a coalition was being forced upon us, and despite not being a supporter of the Conserves, i did support the fact that this government was voted in by the people. While I have pros and cons to the budget as presented, i have to say I am totally sick of hearing how Jack Layton is oppsed tp this. For a man that is supposed to be "leading" a party, for gods sake, start acting like a leader and less like a spoiled child who didn't get their way. I truly believe the NDP has their place, and have had some good ideas, but this man is totally taking the party 10 steps backwards!!!
  46. Just In from Canada writes: Ontario is building an extension to the highway 407 passing through Flaherty's riding, no longer as a privately owned section. Flaherty sold the highway 407 for nothing and Ontarians have been ripped off by the consortium who bought it, including Welfare Bum SNC Lavalin (otherwise known as Haliburton North) who was at the trough for Carbon Handbout dollars from Harper:

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/story/2007/03/08/alberta-harper.html

    More of the same here:

    theglobeandmail.com

    Flaherty may sell the CN Tower to generate cash to pay Atomic Energy of Canada to develop new nuclear reactors for tar sands, then award nuclear reactor contracts and call it federal infrastructure for cheap energy to make tar sands oil, and to guarantee AECL profitability, then sell off AECL to friends and call it privatization to reduce the deficit.

    The Budget is the Mother of All Pork Barrels.

    Canadians need to wake up and write to Ignatieff to throw Harper out.
  47. Chris Halford from Ottawa, Canada writes: Good speech but it's too bad that he didn't vote against the budget. I really don't like the ties on infrastructure spending, the failure to extend EI eligibility and the selling of unspecified taxpayer assets. The latter was in the November update and was widely citicised at that time because not only did it not specify what assets but also because they would be selling them into a depressed market. Iggy is going to have to watch these guys like a hawk. Layton has been stupid by removing the coalition threat, the coalition had Harper worried enough to panic and start a media war about it being undemocratic, yada, yada, yada.
  48. John McMortimer-Boyles from An undisclosed underground location safe from nuclean attack, Canada writes: michael luger from montreal, quebec, Canada writes: "Now that the conservatives have a coalition with the liberals, all is good."

    Kind of hits the nail on the head.
  49. woof woof from Canada writes: What's that squeal coming all the way from Ottawa?
    Its Jack getting his deliverance on the Hill.
  50. John McMortimer-Boyles from An undisclosed underground location safe from nuclean attack, Canada writes: I'm guessing that, while Parliament has been screwing around all these months and mismanaged enterprises have been demanding government bailouts, a lot of well run businesses have been adapting to the times, growing, and prospering.

    There is a certain amount of truth when people say the most feared words in the world are, "Hi. I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
  51. N P from Vancouver, Canada writes: All the nay sayers should be rounded up and asked to leave Canada. I hate Steven Harper as much as anyone out there. But to say Iggy is getting in bed with him, or to say the Liberals have formed a coalition with the Conservatives is absolutely over the top. For the Liberal party to survive and return to power: they need to take a lesson from history and pick their battles wisely. Canadians do not want a coalition government. And after watching the pettiness of Duceppe and Layton; their true colours have come out. Here were two people just looking to finally get what they know they could never earn on their own, and that's a piece of power. They both are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats! I say thank you to them by the way as I'm sure they have just added 5-10 basis points to the Liberal support base. In the mean time, bravo Iggy: you understood that bringing this gov't down was not the right thing at this time. By forcing Machiavelli to absolutely do a 360 degree turn on his budget, you effectively delivered a budget yourself, but without having to take the blame if it doesn't work. In the meantime, build up your party's war chest, so that when Mr. Harper does hang himself (which he will no doubt do) you will have the means to fight him on a level playing field. Had you voted to take down the gov't, you would have certainly pushed the Liberals back another 5-10 years and we'd have to live with "the prince" that much longer.
  52. Doug Welsh from Calgary, Canada writes: Hey Fred Simonds
    Take it easy tiger. I can feel your blood pressure bursting through the roof as I sit here in Calgary.
  53. J Law from Canada writes: Why not tell it like it really is: Iggy couldn't reject the budget because he knows the coalition will destroy the Liberals and they can't afford an election. He needed something to help him save face and the Conservatives gave it to him.

    Be careful Iggy, when you start posturing like that somebody might just call you on it. Are you prepared? I don't think you are.
  54. N P from Vancouver, Canada writes: In response to: Steve McCullough from Orangeville, Canada writes: There seem to be many who don't like Harper. He has never had a majority, just a minority. If you all think he is useless, what do you expect with minorities to work with that are leftist. Someone criticized a Harper supporter and suggested a therapist was needed. Gee, what ever happened to freedom of opinion? This is only my opinion of course. I personally couldn't stomach Trudeau. Does that make me nuts or a traitor? I don't think so.

    Mr. Harper cannot blame his minority status for his complete "stupidity" of assessing the current economic situation. Here is a trained economist who went on saying Canada was not going to have a recession and then in a matter of 4 weeks, went from a $500 million surplus to a $40 billion deficit. Was it a typo error on his first speech or perhaps can he not read? Regardless of whether he was liberal, PC, or NDP: that shows how out of touch he is and you can't blame a minority gov't status for it. I can tell you as a bank manager and past commercial banker: if he were to come to me for a loan with a business plan record like that: I would say DECLINED!
  55. N P from Vancouver, Canada writes: All the nay sayers should be rounded up and asked to leave Canada. I hate Steven Harper as much as anyone out there. But to say Iggy is getting in bed with him, or to say the Liberals have formed a coalition with the Conservatives is absolutely over the top. For the Liberal party to survive and return to power: they need to take a lesson from history and pick their battles wisely. Canadians do not want a coalition government. And after watching the pettiness of Duceppe and Layton; their true colours have come out. Here were two people just looking to finally get what they know they could never earn on their own, and that's a piece of power. They both are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats! I say thank you to them by the way as I'm sure they have just added 5-10 basis points to the Liberal support base. In the mean time, bravo Iggy: you understood that bringing this gov't down was not the right thing at this time. By forcing Machiavelli to absolutely do a 360 degree turn on his budget, you effectively delivered a budget yourself, but without having to take the blame if it doesn't work. In the meantime, build up your party's war chest, so that when Mr. Harper does hang himself (which he will no doubt do) you will have the means to fight him on a level playing field. Had you voted to take down the gov't, you would have certainly pushed the Liberals back another 5-10 years and we'd have to live with "the prince" that much longer.
  56. Norman Petit from Calgary, Canada writes: You know Conservativeland is writhing in agony - AM Talk radio is abuzz this morning with the torturous spin of how brilliant a strategist Prime Minister Harper: not only is the deficit budget not his party's responsibility because he was forced into spending that money because of the colaition, he destroyed the coalition by introducing a "Liberal" budget in the house.

    You know, I enjoy irony. But Canadian spin politics is a diamond mine of irony so deep and abundant in its commodity that one could be left laughing at in perpetuity.
  57. N P from Vancouver, Canada writes: Norm; interesting insight and you could be right or it could go the other way on Harper. I think Iggy is smart enough to at least ensure there will be some good debate in the future between him and Harper on the matter. He will also point out that while the budget promises 189 thousand new jobs, the economy has already lost 10 times that amount due to the PC's ignorance and shutting down parliamnet. So it will be an engaging if nothing else couple of months in the trenches.
  58. J Law from Canada writes: Even the staunchest Liberal supporters know it wasn't the PCs that lost the jobs due to this global crisis. By the way which PC government is this?
  59. Norman Petit from Calgary, Canada writes: NP - Agreed, and I hope that it is not only engaging but also productive for the Canadian economy as a whole. The current economic mess we are in is no one individual's fault, but a select group of people are charged with the responsibility of managing our country through it. I expect that the tenor of Canadian politics will mature quite quickly for all but the most partisan among us.
  60. No Worries from Canada writes: Coalition:

    NA NA NA NA......NA NA NA NA....HEY HEY HEY GOODBYE!!!
  61. Norman Petit from Calgary, Canada writes: As I was saying...
  62. The Innocent Ghost Of Patrick Whelan from Canada writes:
    His reaction to the budget is to swallow hard, watch them like hawks .........and make them table regular updates?

    Uh...that's it?

    "Swallow hard" is an apt description. So is "Bend over"

    Iggy is Harper's new poodle!

    I didn't expect him to force an election but could he at least have acted like a man and put the Torys' feet to the fire by:
    1) Demanding that UIC be reformed so that all Canadians are treated equally.
    2) Kill the absurd tax cuts that will either increase deficits/debt ad infinitum or require cuts in social programs or bo.

    We thought we were getting someone who would stand up!
    Iggy just bent over!

    Bring back Dion, at least he was a man with some guts.

    My vote just moved to the Green Party.

    Quelle un dork!
    .
  63. No Worries from Canada writes:
    Actually Mr. Petit - this economic mess is not the conservatives fault - nor is it the liberals or NDP fault. In case you missed it, we're in an unprecidented (in recent times) global meltdown, primarily caused by speculative overinvestment in real estate and other things, mostly in the US. To blame someone governing in Canada is ignorant.

    In fact canada in general has so far weathered the storm far better than most - it will get much worse, but not because of anything the government has done.
  64. Edward Rudnicki from toronto, Canada writes: simple math, DON'T sell any assets during a recession. But then again flaherty dosn't know simple math. Thank our lucky stars they only have a minorty.
  65. Norman Petit from Calgary, Canada writes: No worries - Did you read my post, or are you accustomed to typing on your keyboard using a series of kneejerk reactions?
  66. Doug - from Canada writes: "to extend EI eligibility " answer me this - why. How would this help a worker that has worked for 20 years without drawing on UI or EI. Extending the benifits would. Reducing the time to get benifits is never a good thing having grown up in Maritimes. I would have done it differently. If you hadn't used EI for 5 years you get extra benifits for each year above 5 years not used. So someone who paid into system for 20 years would get.. 15 extra weeks. Reducing time to 360 hours would mean that students in summer would qualify for EI.
  67. G L from Thunder Bay ON., Canada writes: Fluff galore Two irrelevant credibility amendments= He is going to pass the budget. Thank you Iggy you've listen to your pollsters that have told you the Coalition is dead meat, even in Quebec it's losing it. appeal. He'll support the government for quite a while. Not many Canadian know who this guy is and his past George bush republican leanings and his horrific support of American foreign policy.When Quebecois in particuar become aware of his past he'll be toast in Quebec.
  68. Doug - from Canada writes: "not only is the deficit budget not his party's responsibility because he was forced into spending that money because of the coalition"

    well there is certain truth to this, as the Canadian people wanted a bigger response to what was happening around the world. However I would say the Liberals are in the drivers seat because no one will think of it that way. It is still the Cons budget and if they spend it too fast and there is mismanagement its the COns fault. If they go too slow its their fault. its a no win situation for them. Then Iggy can get a majority. Increase taxes and blame it on the mismanagement of the Cons. They will again become the fiscal saviors of Canada. Never again will the gov't be ambarassed by a large surplus.
  69. J Law from Canada writes: Here is a fact. One of the triumvir broke ranks and made the other two irrelevant. Now, we all know how Jack was countng on power along with Dion. We all know that Ducceppe was counting on holding Canada hostage by using the NDP and the Liberals as the tools they are.

    You know the next time there is a non-confidence vote one of the other two will probably side with the government to show the Liberals ( the ones who stabbed them in the back ) how irrelevant they are. Did Iggy just make himself and the Liberal party irrelevant?
  70. Chris McIntyre from St. John's, Canada writes: Account to government? What the heck does that mean? They stand up and say that they are spending the money just as they said they are spending the money? Are wqe going on their word or will these claims be independently audited for accuracy? And why wouldn't they spend what they said they would? Why would they hesitate to spend money? What major Canadian politician EVER hesitated to spend money? I can tell you right now that they WILL spend every dollar they said they would - why on Earth would they not? What a joke. And so many Canadians are falling for it. If the Liberals thought they could win an election today they would have shot this budget down in a heartbeat. But they don't think they can, so they came up with a novel way of pretending they were on Canada's side. Wake up you INCREDIBLE bunch of naive Canadians. Iggy, Harper, et al don't give a crap about you in comparison to their political careers. After all that has happened you people still trust these people? Typical trained minions. Live their little lives, do what they are told and wait for someone else to fix all that ails them. What do these people have to do to lose your trust? Shoot a few people? Have sex with a goat? Have sex with a goat while shooting people? What will it take to get you people to smarten up?
  71. Rudy Krueger from Canada writes: Re: "Iggy." At last some good sense. We need a single country with two parties not a maybe-country with a growth attached to its side and divided by three sort-of parties where the third is a joke led by a joker.
  72. Bob Dylan's Voice from Canada writes: Well the Conservatives are on probation. They probably enjoy the bad boy status. The Liberals figure that they will pull the plug when it serves them but they missed something yet again. Why would the Bloc support the next move to topple the government. Given the government has held power any toppling of the government will result in an election. The Bloc hold significant seats in Quebec that will go to Ignatieff in the next election. The Bloc will not want an election in this environment and will find reasons not to topple government to hold their seats. The NDP are also sufficiently jilted such that their support may not be forthcoming either. The conservatives need only a few defections to hold power Prediction: This will be one of the longest serving minority governments in Canada's history.
  73. Paul Byer from Canada writes: Iggy voting for Harper for the 44th time. Who would have thunk? Not the Liberal or NDP coalition dreamers for sure................................................................................ That was written in stone as soon as he grabbed power from the disgraced coalition dreamer Dion and disappeared to write his family history during the worst economic crisis in Canada's modern history. Hard to make a priority between his love of writing and the hassles of an economic crisis. Can't solve that one with theory. The coalition was defunct at the point that Harper pro rogued the 'rogues'. What a brilliant strategist! Quite a Chess Master. ................................................................................. Iggy will go back to his writing until Harper needs his support for the 45th time. Nothing has changed, just the Liberal leader's name. Like his country cousin Dion, Iggy will support Harper's elected government and make it a back to back record minority. Oh, he will stomp and bray but will still support Harper. Put him on probation! ...............Hilarious!.................................................. No choice and it really is the best for Canada, an unofficial coalition with Iggy supporting our elected government for the 45th, 46th and 80th time. The second most popular party supporting the most popular party and elected government. Works for Canada. ..................................And methinks that Layton got the GREEN SHAFT.....Better him than Canada. .................................................................................... A steady hand on Canada's tiller and no Liberal or Separatist or the other party's hands in her till...................A good thing.
  74. My Name is Jack and Iggy Can't Be Trusted from Black Mud Creek, Canada writes: Flipping and a flopping Iggy is a joke, no gonads, weak little man a real Liberal leader should have stuck with Dion and Harper would be toast.
  75. Harvey Mushman from cambridge, Canada writes: Iggy proves that he's just like Dion in having to duck another election. He's just way, way better at piling on the B.S. as he does it. Some people are actually convinced that he's holding Harper's feet to the fire here. He's not. It's as plain as the nose on your face that he's avoiding an election at all cost because the Liberals are broke and scared to death of one. Same problem, new leader.
  76. diane marie from Canada writes: Norman Petit:-- Of course, it does not help that the press has taken up a "coalition: dead or alive" shallow discourse. Said shallow pond attracts divers ;-).
  77. Cory Davis from Calgary, Canada writes: Sounds like a leader I wish was running this country.
  78. J Kay from Canada writes: Personally I think this budget is largely garbage, a useless waste of taxpayer dollars on a number of populist measures that will accomplish nothing to respond to the ensuing recessionary environment nor to make it easier for Canadians to ride it out.

    I don't really think Iggy had a whole lot of room to manoeuvre either. The last thing Canadians want is another election. Moreover, I think a defeat of this budget, while hugely flawed would simply leave the country in economic limbo unable to respond in any meaningful way to the economic winds buffeting the country. As such I don't hold Iggy ultimately accountable for this budget, even if he acquiesces as opposition leader because it was the job of the government to present a budget that would accomplish something and on this they failed and did so miserably.

    To those decrying Iggy's decision, what else would you have had him do; and why no vitriol for the government who presented the budget? I think an election would have been worse as it would simply prolong any action for another 3-4 months; most Canadians seem opposed to the coalition and going that route would likely have hurt the Liberals personally so whether they should have or shouldn't have it's a bit two-faced to expect them to take an option which most Canadians wouldn't forgive them for.

    As such I see this as the best possible option that Iggy had. I would like to see far more substantial changes to this budget, but Iggy's response is absolutely dead on. It was the Conservative government who imperilled the finances of the country during their past 2.5 years of management, not Iggy or the Liberals.
  79. AU GT from Long Beach, United States writes: Iggy is just on the verge of realizing how great Harper really is. Iggy, please try and masque your perception of Harper's awsomeness...
  80. madan gopal from Guyana writes: I like this speech. All things considered, I think it shows responsible leadership.

    M. G.
  81. Chris McIntyre from St. John's, Canada writes: To J Kay. What could Iggy have done? With a budget that you claim is basically garbage? How about doing the right thing and saying it's garbage and voting it down and letting the chips fall where they may. You say the last thing the country needs is an election. I strongly disagree. Allowing a ridiculous budget to go through that will (by your own account) do little good and plunge the country into years of massive deficits is far worse. That 'the last thing the country wants is an election' nonsense was coined by the politicians so they don't have to do another one. But what is so bad about it? A bunch of moronic politicians scurry around the country for a few weeks making promises, kissing babies and spending a few million dollars. And while they are doing that, this insane budget will sit idle and not get past. Thus saving Canadian taxpayers billions of dollars. How is that such a horrible thing. And it gives us Canadians a chance to tell these Ottawa idiots exactly what we want in this budget. A budget that could change the economic landscape of Canada for a decade to come. And how does an election hurt Canadians SO MUCH? We just go about our lives, ignore these ding dongs until they either screw up or until the debates. Then we focus on their platforms and pick the one we want. Oh yes, what torture. And as for Iggy? His duty is not to decide what we want. It's not to do what his best for his political career. It is to do the right thing first and worry about the consequences later. If he thinks the budget is bad for Canada. Then his duty is to do all he can to stop it. Not let it go because he doesn't like the alternative. Any idiot can do what is good for him/herself. I can find hundreds of politicians that can do that. I want one that does what he/she thinks is right - regardless of how it affects their own political future. Iggy did what politicians always do - protected him/herself.
  82. muriel z from Canada writes: Finally an articulate politician, who is able to express the needs & wishes of the average Canadian very clearly, to the masters of double speak.

    And who in this difficult economic time is not playing party politics for personal gain, Ignatieff knows he is interim leader and can be removed if he doesn't do his job.

    As in business, executives are expected to produce results to maintain the health and profitability of a business, or step down, politicians be required to do the same. We have too many in cabinet now, who do a poor job, but are kept on because the boss likes them.

    Harper and co can have no doubt, that they need to tread carefully and stop the bullying and broken promises.

    They will be required to show us how our tax dollars are being distributed across the country to every province and not just the favoured few, and also if measures in the proposed the budget have really kick-started the economy and stopped the job bleed.

    They, and Harper in particular will have to put their own aims and ambitions aside for the benefit and welfare of all Canadians.
  83. Ken Ashton from Peachland, BC, Canada writes: Dumakude Mdluli from Canada writes: This is leadership ! demonstrated by MI

    You must be joking.

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