Thursday, January 15, 2009

Michael Ignatieff On The Environment And Arctic Sovereignty

On Jan. 14 Michael Ignatieff spoke to well over a hundred young Canadians who want to make a difference. In Part 1 he speaks to the nuanced but nonetheless unwavering commitment of the Liberal Party to the environment. In Part 2 the Liberal leader addresses recent claims by the United States that the Northwest passage is an international waterway, taking a strong and persuasive stance that Canada will not back down.

One thing to note is the size of the crowd. Not only was the room packed, but the crowd was so large there was an overflow room that had to be impromptu set up.

Part 1

An interesting point was Michael Ignatieff finished off his introductory speech by appealing to the young crowd, that even if they aren't Liberal to become politically active, to "Stand with somebody, fight with somebody, and win for somebody, and win not just for yourself, but for your country and for your people."

Braeden Caley the President of the Young Liberals of Canada in BC goes on to thank the Liberal leader before a young woman in the crowd asks Michael, "If not the Green Shift, then what?" While admitting the Green Shift held the party back in the last election, Ignatieff emphasizes that the Liberal Party will continue to make the environment a clear priority.

Part 2

Michael Ignatieff is asked about the Liberal Party's position on arctic sovereignty, and responds diplomatically but firmly, "We believe very strongly that the Northwest passage is an inland waterway and is under Canadian sovereignty, that's the position, and no Liberal Party is ever going to trade that away." Going on to emphasize Canada's strong trading position in terms of oil with the United States will serve as a strong deterrent to the US in continuing on their present course.


WesternGrit said...

Great coverage Scott. Will you be able to make it to the open town hall in Surrey tonight? said...

I wish I were, I had to go back to Kelowna last night.

Red Tory said...

Hmmm. Using the "oil card" to command respect for claims of our territorial sovereignty is pretty dumb if you ask me. It's the same empty rhetorical threat that Harper has alluded to. But it's meaningless unless you're prepared to abrogate NAFTA, under which we're pretty much obligated to make those exports of oil to the US. Not to mention the fact that most of the oil companies in the tarsands are foreign owned...

Oh well, it plays well to the rubes, I guess. Especially the young 'ens. said...

Red: I said the same thing... Minus the "rubes" and "young'ens" comments.