Not any more

Ignatieff: ‘There is no coalition, period’

In Canada on September 29, 2010 at 14:07

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has come out swinging against the Conservatives’ claims he is conspiring to take power with the help of the NDP and Bloc Québécois, declaring, “There is no coalition, period.”

His statement comes amid repeated Conservative assertions that Ignatieff and other opposition parties would team up to attempt to form a government.

“What there is is a big red tent, a Liberal Party that is going to defeat this government at the next election. That’s what they’re actually afraid of, right?” Ignatieff told reporters on Wednesday outside his party’s caucus meeting on Parliament Hill.

Ignatieff has long sought to distance himself from a failed coalition attempt by his predecessor, Stéphane Dion, in 2008 with the New Democrats and the signed support of the Bloc.

During a speech last week in Ottawa, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty mentioned the “Ignatieff-Bloc-NDP coalition” 14 times, while also insisting the opposition leaders would deny their plans to work together to trigger a “needless” election.

Bloc EI bill ‘D.O.A’

Ignatieff also accused Natural Resources Minister Diane Finley of trying to “change the channel” on a vote later Wednesday in the House of Commons on a Liberal motion to reinstate the mandatory long-form census with her condemnation of a “dead on arrival” Bloc bill on employment insurance.

Earlier Wednesday, Finley said proposed changes to EI in Bloc MP Yves Lessard’s bill, C-308, would cost up to $7 billion a year and force EI premiums to rise up to 37 per cent.

But Ignatieff said Lessard’s bill, also to be voted on in the House on Wednesday, is “loaded up with stuff” that the Liberals won’t support.

“This Bill C-308 is D.O.A,” he said. “It’s going nowhere. It’s a complete waste of time.”

Industry Minister Tony Clement has said the government will not change its mind on scrapping the mandatory long-form census, despite concerns from opposition parties, statisticians, as well as municipalities and provinces that the quality of data will be lowered by a voluntary survey.



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