3 min

Day 21 continued: Guelph and Sudbury

In case you missed it, Elections Canada has said that the votes cast at the Guelph special-ballot event are valid, and they need to ensure that rules are followed to prevent any further disputes. The Conservatives are making a lot of noise about their support for the decision, their desire to have the rules followed, the Liberals having done the same thing in 2006 and their campaign worker not trying to interfere.

At College Boreal in Sudbury, Michael Ignatieff held a round-table meeting. He kicked it off with a discussion about democracy, given the incident in Guelph, and talked about how education helps Northern Ontario. He took questions from both the room and by teleconference about francophones outside Quebec (there should have been questions during the debate from francophones outside Quebec and we're working with those communities); immigration and Canadian population (we need better language training, foreign credentials recognition and to restore family reunification); First Nations treaty issues (we would increase funding for aboriginal students and remove the funding cap); foreign policy issues (Harper’s embarrassed us on the foreign stage, we've lost our seat on the UN Security Council, we need to return to Africa, and we need to have a balanced policy on the Middle East); funding First Nations programs (we would restore funding for organizations that have sustained cuts and there's a definite need for consultation with chiefs); health promotion (we’re committed to health education and prevention, and a national food strategy); upgrading skills and learning (we have our Learning Passport and would forgive $1,500 of student debt for those who volunteer under the Canada Service Corps); jobs in Northern Ontario (see education); healthcare accords in 2014 (we need to ensure equal access regardless of your postal code and Harper isn’t there on the file); and whether he’s got anything for the Métis (I’m working with them in the same way Paul Martin did).

He spoke about the Guelph incident again and the “amazing double standard” of what happened to Helena Guergis as opposed to Bruce Carson, which he hopes will resonate with women. The questions from the media were about why Sudbury should vote for Liberals as opposed to NDP incumbents (you can have either more Harper or the Liberals, who will do something for you); what the Liberals have that’s comparable to the NDP promises for Northern Ontario (we called for those things first and our commitment to post-secondary education is better for the long-term outlook of the region), the Liberal commitment to developing the local Ring of Fire (we're committed to provincial plans), infrastructure in the region (we're consulting with local government to determine priorities), how he’ll get back the ridings he lost in the area (we've previously outlined plans and added things like increased broadband access); his plans for the Investment Canada Act (it needs better transparency); the Guelph incident (a rather hyperbolic response about how you might expect this in a place like Egypt or Syria, the Conservative party is showing persistent contempt of democracy, this is vote suppression and Harper has loyalty to the party but not the system); flooding in Manitoba (I've recently had a conversation with the premier and we have a responsibility to preserve communities); and how should a minister of immigration intervene in a case of a child with particular medical needs looking to stay in Canada because care is too expensive in their home country (it's shocking that we would expel them from Canada).

The NDP tour stopped by the East Coast Music Festival in Charlottetown, PEI, where Ashley MacIsaac is also playing. MacIsaac said he respects Layton, but he's a Liberal. His song “Wing Stock” is the one most often played when Ignatieff takes the stage at a rally event.

Meanwhile, here are the updated figures of the leaders’ carbon footprints.
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