2 min

Day 20 so far: everybody loves Quebec

At a RONA store in Gatineau, Michael Ignatieff talked about his Green Renovation Tax Credit, a permanent program (unlike that offered by Harper) that would help families with the cost of making their homes more energy efficient. Afterward, he took questions on his comments regarding Quebec separatism being passé (Quebec nationalism is okay, but we can’t keep fighting like this if we want to be taken seriously on the world stage); the unemployed in the forestry sector (we need to safeguard pensions, retrain workers and fund research and innovation); a new bridge between Ottawa and Gatineau (yes, I support a new one, but we need to consult on the location); why he’s having an interview with a Sikh editor who praised violence (we're evaluating if it’s still on and we condemn those views); Layton’s question on his attendance (I'm doing more town halls and tours than other leaders and bringing democracy to the people); whether his campaign is going to go negative (we have a positive platform to offer); healthcare (our attack ads tell the truth); his comments on armed deployments (we are part of the UN and if we are going to participate in a mission without UN sanction, it had better be for a very good reason, like Kosovo); and promoting francophone culture (Harper cut arts funding, I support the arts).

Jack Layton was at an event in Montreal and said that he was going to watch the hockey game tonight. He took questions on the debate (look at all the things we've proposed and I’m running for prime minister); whether he is splitting the vote (that’s an old argument and we’re offering a new option); whether things will get better for him on the campaign trail (we’re doing great); the talk of turning cultural policy over to Quebec (we support that); the difference between the value of the Canadian dollar and the price of goods (the government needs to take action on it); whether his end game is to stop a Harper majority since he can’t win (isn’t it good you’re not an Olympic coach? I’m going for the gold); forestry policy (we’ve been asking for a new policy for a while and we voted against the softwood lumber agreement); and the constitutional question (an NDP government would create “winning conditions for Quebec in Canada” and would respect French language laws).

At Mont-Sainte-Anne, Quebec, Harper reiterated his platform talking points about the need for a majority government and paid particular attention to his rural versus urban play in Quebec. He gave a shout-out to the fake talking point on the one-year anniversary of the supposed vote on the “iPod tax” (which, once again, should be pointed out as fiction). He then took questions on the “ethnic costume” email (it was a bizarre story); whether one of his candidates changed his name to avoid drawing attention to his history of supporting the Tamil Tigers (we listed the Tamil Tigers as terrorists and don’t support them); his strategy (he just repeated his talking points); and the sovereignty question (we respect provincial jurisdictions, but we’re focusing on the economy).

The auditor general’s probe of those draft report leaks is likely to hit Conservative party operations. There is no way they should have had a copy of the draft to leak it.

The Conservatives launched another attack ad, this time based on the Sun Media non-story about Ignatieff’s foreign voting record. My question becomes whether the Conservatives should count Sun Media as a campaign expense?

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