Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and Leader of the Official Opposition, was in Calgary yesterday as part of his cross-Canada campus tour. It was his 6th visit to Calgary in the last 12 months. He spoke at the MacEwan Hall Ballroom at the University of Calgary in front of an audience of approximately 500 students and public. After a short speech he took an hour’s worth of questions, ranging from the climate crisis to proroguing, his conviction as a Canadian, to equalization payments regarding Alberta’s oil sands. He even took some pointed questions from hardened Conservatives in the audience regarding his authored statements regarding torture versus his stance now, as well as his stand on the need to raise taxes amid Canada’s amassed debt during the recession.
Media from a handful of outlets showed up and the audience was genuinely interested in engaging Ignatieff. He was equal to the task and answered each question candidly, no matter how ridiculous the accusation was. Regarding his stance on raising taxes, he explained in fine fashion how the Conservative Party and media had pounced on a 15-second sound bite, while the entirety of his quote was a minute and a half. He reiterated that unless all options were rendered useless, then there may be a need to raise taxes.
Ignatieff was clearly in his element speaking in front of students, and the appreciation for his time and visit was apparent in the number of people that showed up. As I stated in an earlier post, more of these types of visits in the future would undoubtedly build a strong base of support for him in every Canadian community.