There was no mention of the hydro mega-project in the Liberal platform, released Sunday. But when asked about it Monday, Mr. Ignatieff spoke about involving Quebec – and maybe even Ontario – in a “pan-Canadian approach” to inter-provincial energy sharing.Contrast this approach to that of Harper, who has riled Québec premier Jean Charest by supporting federal bucks to develop the means to both harnass and transport reams of viable, renewable electricity to presumed New England markets via the maritime provinces - all to curry favour with the new premier of Newfoundland and Labrador in the hopes of taking a couple of parliamentary seats from that province. Never mind the ill will such a move might provoke in other jurisdictions.
“It’s not just a matter of Newfoundland and Labrador,” he said.
He argued that a Liberal government would not play off one province against another, suggesting that is what Mr. Harper is doing.
A federal government, he said, needs to “sit down with the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and the province of Quebec. ... Let’s think about this medium and long-term.”
He added: “But for heavens sake if we don’t sit in a room pretty soon we are going to be suboptimal as a country when we could be a superpower.”
The Liberal Leader suggested finding a way to “wheel this power through Quebec” and said that Canadians have to start “thinking big” on energy or risk having highly segmented markets that don’t speak to one another.
It puzzles me that, despite this regional favouritism, Harper still refuses to cough up the dough his most prominent Québec ministers all but promised a few short months ago, to build a new NHL-ready arena for Québec City, on the grounds it would be unfair to other major cities in other provinces who are in the same situation.
I mean, what's a Québecois voter to think, anyway? Gilles Duceppe will gladly provide the answer. Ignatieff, too, except (poor bastard) he's gotta please somebody in 10 different provinces. Not just one.
Hence the statesmanship of his comments today.
And hence this blogger's newfound respect for the man. He is fighting the good fight, and it's possibly Canada's last best hope for a united future.
Moi, je m'occupe d'lui aider dès ce moment-là.
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