In Dartmouth, Jack Layton met with NDP Premier Darrel Dexter and his local candidates. He took questions on shipbuilding (we want a strategy to ensure enough work to keep all yards busy); his hip (it's not a replacement); whether his campaign has hit its ceiling (there's always room to grow, and we need to emphasize that people have a choice other than the two old parties); and the HST in Nova Scotia versus that in BC and Ontario (Harper imposed BC and Ontario and wants to punish BC if they reject it).
In Vancouver, Michael Ignatieff held a press event to commit to holding a first ministers' meeting on healthcare within the first 60 days of taking office. You know – first ministers' meetings – something Harper doesn’t do. Unfortunately, nobody aired the event, so I can’t really tell you what else happened.
Harper held an event in Richmond, BC, for a small crowd; he again announced that he will try to get his so-called human smuggling bill passed in the next Parliament. Never mind that the bill wouldn’t actually do anything about the problem (and would be especially harmful to gay refugees, who often rely on smugglers to get them to safety). His local candidate spoke about coming to Canada from Vietnam in 1982, which implicitly endorses Trudeau’s refugee policy when you think about it. Harper then took questions about the campaigns crossing one another (they don’t consult one another); the possibility of the PQ forming the next Quebec government (we need more Quebec MPs in our government); one of his candidates saying that Obama is the worst president ever (I won’t comment on US domestic affairs, and I don’t agree with comments); offshore drilling (the National Energy Board has rules in place); and Liberal criticism that the Conservative approach to Arctic sovereignty is to militarize it (we’re doing other stuff, like building a High Arctic weather station).
Layton later held a rally in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, in the office of the local candidate. He told the crowd that he, too, was going to propose additional criminal charges for elder abuse, given the CARP recommendation. But hey, that wasn’t aired either, so I couldn’t tell you what else happened.
It appears that the price for the F-35s might indeed be $75 million a piece – without engines. Seriously.
Here’s the account of those two young Liberals who were sort of turned away from that Conservative rally in Vancouver. Seems they were going to let only one of them in, so they decided not to split up.
Speaking of Harper’s time in Vancouver, remember how he was going on about victim services? Here are a couple of reminders about just what that’s meant from a former federal ombudsman for victims; he slams the Conservatives and points out that incarcerating criminals doesn’t really help victims.
Here is another reality check on Michael Ignatieff’s voting record. It raises some interesting points: the majority of his tours have happened when Parliament isn’t sitting, and he will not vote on most private member's business so that his MPs can vote as they choose to without the influence of his vote. (Private member's bills account for the majority of the votes that Ignatieff was absent for.)
And the Liberals have released another attack ad, which uses some of the same imagery as their previous healthcare ad (albeit toning down the “demanding absolute power” to “wants more time in power”). It touches on issues in addition to healthcare.