In West Vancouver, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says Stephen Harper promotes fear

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      At a town hall meeting on the North Shore, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper of trying to foment fear.

      "This is how this man governs: let's find something to be frightened of," Ignatieff told an audience of several hundred people today (August 22) at the West Vancouver Community Centre.

      The federal Opposition leader cited the example of Tamil refugee claimants, who travelled in a rickety boat across the Pacific Ocean and arrived in B.C. earlier this month.

      Ignatieff claimed that federal Conservative politicians tried to make people "afraid of people you don't even know".

      He added that officials with the Immigration and Refugee Board should have been left to do the proper screening without interference.

      "Politicians should shut up and let these people do their job," Ignatieff declared to loud applause.


      He pointed out that his own father was a refugee who fled Communism in Russia. "We must always be a haven in a heartless world," Ignatieff said.

      He went on to describe how the Harper government has created a "democratic deficit".

      "This is a prime minister who shut parliament down not once, but twice," he noted.

      Ignatieff also claimed that Conservative politicians smeared the reputation of a civil servant, Richard Colvin, after he raised questions about the handling of Afghan detainees.

      The Liberal leader commented on how the Conservative government "pretty well ignored" a Federal Court order involving the detention of Omar Khadr in Guantanamo Bay.

      From there, Ignatieff highlighted how Harper's government "basically fired" the ombudsman for Canadian veterans.

      He then noted how the RCMP officer overseeing the long-gun registry was shuffled out of his job to take French lessons after speaking out in favour of gun control.

      "Anybody who cares about law and order wants a gun registry in this country, pure and simple," Ignatieff said.

      He closed his speech by inviting "compassionate Conservatives" and those who are concerned about the $54-billion deficit to join the Liberals' "big red tent".

      Ignatieff also cautioned those who are considering casting ballots for the two other major federal parties outside of Quebec.

      "If you vote NDP or Green, you will give this country four more years of Stephen Harper," he claimed.


      Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.

      Comments

      57 Comments

      John Charles

      Aug 22, 2010 at 2:13pm

      I like what this guy is saying. This doesnt really jive with how the media has been depicting him.

      Steve Stinson

      Aug 22, 2010 at 2:28pm

      There is no more accountable government than a minority government. As such, Ignatieff's comments are without foundation. If he thinks this government is so bad, he is welcome to bring it down through a confidence vote, yet he doesn't. Why not?

      Anonymous

      Aug 22, 2010 at 2:35pm

      Old Iggy's really packin' them in to his small town meetings.

      Marlies Loehde

      Aug 22, 2010 at 2:39pm

      iIT IS REALLY SAD THAT IGNATIEF THE CARPET BAGGER SPREADS SO MANY LIES, LIES. HOW HE CAN TWIST THINGS, RE THE OMBUDSMAN. HIS TERM WAS FOR THREE YEARS, AND THAT GUY, THE COLONEL TOLD LIES TOO. AND TO THINK THAT ALL THOSE PEOPLE IN wEST vANCOUVER MIGHT FALL FOR HIS RETHORIC.

      Ontario Taxpayer

      Aug 22, 2010 at 2:51pm

      Iggy must be making inroads,,,,,I count 35 or so people in this shot....now take away his staff (I will estimate 10 people) and there remains about 25 people....now that is a large draw for the Count!

      9 9Rating: 0

      P fries

      Aug 22, 2010 at 3:38pm

      Iggy is blowing bubbles.

      My Father escaped a soviet prison camp, came to Canada and became a Canadian.

      Iggy was partying with Knob Rae in a dorm at the same time.

      My father raised a family of 5 while learning english...Iggy spent the salaries of 5 taxpayers sucking up to elite poloticians for personal gain!

      North Shore Voter

      Aug 22, 2010 at 3:42pm

      I went to see Michael Ignatieff at Kensington Community Ctr yesterday. There must have been over a thousand people there. I very much liked what he had to say, as well as how he and his wife interacted with the crowd. Upon arriving, as he made his way to the speaker's platform, he spent at least 30 minutes taking and answering people's questions - old fashioned grassroots style politics. He came across as a very intelligent, down-to-earth, likeable guy, while he articulated a very positive vision about how the Liberal Party would govern Canada.

      12 6Rating: +6

      Hermesacat

      Aug 22, 2010 at 4:15pm

      I hope Iggy takes the opportunity next election to form a coalition gov't with the NDP, Bloc supported, & become PM.So long as Tories can be kept to another paltry plurality (a Tory majority seems far fetched by now), coalition looks almost in-the-bag. Especially with the NDP, Bloc, & senior Libs like Chretien already on board.

      I'm vexed & puzzled by Ig. Why has he continued to prop up Harper's dreary, minority gov't for so long? PM-ship is within Ig's easy reach via coalition, yet he has repeatedly cringed, cowered & caved to Harper's abuses of power. Ig's indictments against Harper are indictments against Ig too, as Ig's currently Harper's primary ally, enabler, & prop-er-up-er in Parliament. Stop cowering Ig. Be brave & say nay to the autocratic, power abusing Harper!

      Arnold Murphy

      Aug 22, 2010 at 4:27pm

      Nothing but positive, any criticism of Iggy meeting Canadians is the real fear of Harper and his minions losing their free ride.

      Ray I

      Aug 22, 2010 at 4:30pm

      Iggy promotes sleep!

      8 16Rating: -8