Ignatieff calls for co-operation

Dave Bartlett
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Federal Liberal leader says energy projects need team effort

Federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff (left) and Avalon riding Liberal incumbent Scott Andrews (right) share a laugh with customers at a Tim Hortons coffee shop in C.B.S. Tuesday morning. They spent about 30 minutes meeting patrons and getting their views on election issues.

Federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says it’s better to create a green energy future together than replay old feuds between prov-inces.

After meeting voters at Tim Hortons in Kelligrews Monday morning, Ignatieff met reporters at the gas station and convenience store next door and took questions for about half an hour.

Many of the questions, including the first, had to do with clean energy, possible support for the Muskrat Fall’s hydroelectric project and how to appease other provinces that have voiced concerns over a Conservative promise to provide Newfoundland and Labrador with financial support towards that project.

Ignatieff stopped short of pledging to help fund the project, but suggested that is only because he needs to see the fine print.

“I haven’t seen the details. I haven’t seen the proposal,” he said. “A responsible leader, a man who would like to be prime minister if I get the honour, wants to look at the file in detail.”

But Ignatieff said he’s confident “the numbers will add up.”

When challenged by reporters on how he would defend federal support for the first phase of the Lower Churchill, while still pacifying critics in the country’s two largest provinces who say such support is unfair, Ignatieff suggested the timing is right for a historic national energy plan.

“Muskrat Falls is going to happen,” said Ignatieff.

“It means Quebec has a historic choice of whether it has a green energy competitor next door or whether it decides (to) figure out a way to do some things together.”

The Liberal leader said he realized it wouldn’t be easy to find common ground between this province and Quebec, considering the long, acrimonious history between the two.

But Ignatieff said if the provinces co-operate they could bring green power not only to Atlantic Canada and New England, but into Ontario.

“You can’t leave Ontario out of this. It’s a huge market for Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec,” he said.

He said a national green energy strategy would also aim to improve interprovincial energy sharing.

“The provinces have the resources, they have the jurisdiction. But the federal government has the responsibility to make sure we don’t have competing energy markets, but we have co-operative energy markets,” said Ignatieff.

Reporters also asked Ignatieff if he feels voters are warming up to him.

“It’s not about me. It’s about what we are saying to the Canadian people,” he replied. “This election platform that were putting out is practical hope for Canadian families.”

Ignatieff suggested it would be the Liberal message, not the messenger that will get through to Canadians.

The Liberal platform includes policies on early learning and child care, better pensions after retirement, home care and tax incentives for people to make their houses more energy efficient.

The campaign stop was in the riding of Avalon, where Liberal incumbent Scott Andrews is squaring off against former MP and senator Fabian Manning for the Conservatives in what’s predicted to be a tight race.

The Telegram asked Andrews if he thought Ignatieff was doing a good job of selling himself to Canadians.

“I think he is,” he said. “That was one of the things ... he needed to do.”

Andrews said some people who attended the Liberal rally Monday night in St. John’s told him it was the first time they heard Ignatieff speak and were surprised to find out he wasn’t such a bad guy after all.

“For the last 2 1/2 years, we’ve let the Conservative party define him with these negative (television) ads,” said Andrews

But he said since the spotlight’s been on Ignatieff during the campaign, he’s been doing a good job of showing people who he really is.


Organizations: Tim Hortons, Conservatives

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Kelligrews Ontario Atlantic Canada New England Avalon

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Recent comments

  • james
    April 09, 2011 - 08:09

    these coalition stooges forced this election upon us the voters. the polls show that the conservatives are heading for a majority government. the blue tsunami wave will roll across this nation on may 2. get prepared liberals, ndp, and bloc-heads for the slaughter at the ballot box.

  • Avalon
    April 07, 2011 - 04:46

    Go Home Iggy and Scott....Vote FABIAN for Avalon. We need someone who will speak for us....Scott had one chance but his leader wouldn't let him so guess what Scott did...he shut up! Thats not what AVALON wants....WE WANT FABIAN!!!!

  • Ryburn Norman
    April 06, 2011 - 20:53

    With all due respect to some negative comments and concerns about the Muskrat Fall Project as if it is going to happen tomorrow, I think we should look a little farthur ahead witha vision to about 30 to 50 years and start the project immediately to bring future benifits and prosperity to all of our decendants. Regardless of the government we elect now and in the near future, this project has to go ahead because not only Newfoundland but all provinces of Canada will be richer and more independant economically. We should look ahead with vision, remembering that the lack of vision that resulted in "giving away" Churchill Falls Churchhill Falls.

  • andrew macgillivray
    April 06, 2011 - 19:51

    I doubt very much if anyone in Newfoundland believes a word Mr. Harper says. How could they?

  • Joe
    April 06, 2011 - 18:40

    Does Iggy want us to be SCREWED again by Que

  • Frank M
    April 06, 2011 - 16:49

    Like him or hate him, Stephen harper made a firm committment on the Lower Churchill first and now Ignatieff is saying "Maybe, me too!" That is not leadership, that is playing Follow the Leader. harper screwed NL on offshore Oil royalties, Ignatieff siad is was bad, unfair and targtetted but will not commit to undoing what Harper did. That is not leadership, that is only Talk is Cheap.

  • Christine
    April 06, 2011 - 14:13

    Federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff (left) and Avalon riding Liberal incumbent Scott Andrews (right) share a laugh with customers at a Tim Hortons coffee shop in C.B.S. Tuesday morning. ATTENTION FABIO!!! Read the above caption!!!! It says clearly that Mr Ignatieff is with INCUMBENT Scott Andrews. Please take down your ridiculous RE Elect Fabian Manning signs!! You are NOT the incumbent!! You are just COCKY!!!

  • Frank Blackwood
    April 06, 2011 - 12:57

    I was wondering what happened to Mr. Ignatieffs plans for the senior citizens? It appears that he is so preoccuppied with tripping Mr. Harper up in his political games. However, it appears that there is already a "Trudeau Fever" across this country as good Liberals feel we are in for another disappointment this time around. The Liberal platform is puffing at the seams with NDP and Bloc goals and PC promises!

  • Colin P.
    April 06, 2011 - 11:32

    Sounds like Ignatieff is saying he'll support the project with a loan guarantee, but only if NL does a deal with Quebec. To me, it doesn't seem like he supports the undersea link between NL and NS...

  • John Smith
    April 06, 2011 - 09:46

    It was hilarious to look at Yvonne's face with Iggy saying over and over...Muskrat falls will happen. She just spent the last two weeks in the house telling us how bad the deal is. What an idiot.

  • Glenn
    April 06, 2011 - 09:16

    Did any of the impartial, non-partisan journalists ask Ignatief about his CO2 cap and trade plan found on page 46 of the liberal red book 2011 and what this emissions tax would mean to Canadians' pocketbooks? I gave the heads up on Monday in the Teley editorial. Will it cost us more for energy, goods and services and what are the overall benefits? Economists have pegged the carbon tax at 30 billion a year. Who will pay and who benefits from this tax grab? Anybody? The national media will not discuss this carbon cap and trade plan. We hear all about the 40 billion over 30 years for fighter jets, but nothing about a trillion dollar carbon tax grab over the same timeframe. Its obvious the Telegram and other media outlets never met a Conservative they didn't HATE, but this goes beyond cheering for a horse in a race to keep it close to sell more ad revenue by keeping the eyeballs on the page or screen. Talk about a fluffed article. Cowards. And before anyone starts assuming that I'm some CPC operative or supporter go get stuffed. Last time I voted Tory was back in 88, Joe Price Burin St. Georges.

  • Dale Kirby
    April 06, 2011 - 09:10

    Michael Ignatieff is all for co-operation. He has voted in favour of Stephen Harper's legislation in the House of Commons more than 100 times.

  • Lloyd
    April 06, 2011 - 08:03

    '...But Ignatieff said he’s confident “the numbers will add up.” " Sounds like alright. Somewhere around 14.3 cents per kwh for Nfld. Somewhere around 10 cents per khw, or less, for NS. And that's only if this project is on schedule and within current budget. Good luck with that. OH, and of course Labradorians won't have to worry about that (will they?), considering that there are no plans for them to get any. Oh, and thanks, again.