On Jan. 14 at a Young Liberals event in Vancouver, Michael Ignatieff spoke to well over a hundred young Canadians who want to make a difference. Here are Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4. Part 5 consists of Michael Ignatieff answering a question concerning the possibility of Barack Obama wanting to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Throughout this response, as was in his response on Arctic sovereignty, Michael Ignatieff demonstrates a position which relies heavily on Canada taking a stronger stance in relation to the United States. He emphasizes the importance of energy as a means to counter any perceivable aggression from our southern neighbour. And though one could question the legitimacy of that claim, it introduces the idea that if Michael believes energy is such a strong card, then perhaps renegotiating NAFTA would not be such a bad thing. I should note that further on in his response he does attempt to address that point.
A portion of Michael Ignatieff's answer:
"We can talk about NAFTA, but if we're going to talk about NAFTA they're going to get a nasty surprise"
"My sense is if we are asked to renegotiate NAFTA by Mr. Obama then we go to the table with enormously strong cards to play which relate to the dependency of the United States on Canadian energy sources. This changes everything.
"Were I to be the Prime Minister I have cards to play, that we did not have to play 25 years ago. That's fact number one.
"Canadians, we don't like to play the power card but its very important with the United States, even with a Democratic administration, to be as tough as hell. This is about the defense of our sovereignty and independence, and we must do so, and Liberals must be proud defenders of our national sovereignty and Independence, even with an administration that I admire and basically preyed for for the last three years.
"But what I'm saying is, we don't get spun by Barack Obama. We go in to negotiate with him as you would with anyone else."