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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 10:56 am
 


CTV.ca News Staff

Former Liberal leadership contender, and now deputy party leader Michael Ignatieff says he plans to come out swinging when Parliament resumes on Monday.


On Sunday, Ignatieff appeared on CTV's Question Period, after keeping a low profile since early December when he lost his bid to lead the Liberal party.


Ignatieff said there is no bad blood between himself and Liberal Leader Stephane Dion, or the other leadership candidates who lent their support to Dion during the Montreal leadership convention.


"I think I can work with anybody provided we're going in the same direction, which is towards a Liberal victory," he said.


Ignatieff said he meets with Dion on a regular basis and the two even see eye to eye on Afghanistan -- an issue that was previously seen as a key difference between the two candidates. Ignatieff voted to extend the mission, while Dion did not.


Ignatieff downplayed the difference in their positions and said the main issue Liberals were concerned with was the limited debate that took place before the vote.


"The Liberal party clearly supports the mission, clearly supports the troops, but wants accountability," he said.


Ignatieff said he will be pushing for more clarity and discussion on issues such as Canada's spending on the mission, strategies for dealing with Taliban attacks, and the actual benefits Afghans are receiving from the mission.


All that, he said, will help inform Canadians about the campaign in order to make educated decisions.


Ignatieff questioned the Conservatives' new focus on the environment and the fact the NDP is working with the government to revise the contentious Clean Air Act. He said the efforts are a "stratagem by the Conservatives and the NDP to conceal the fact they have nothing to offer."


He said his goal would be to impose caps on emissions trading, establish regulated emissions standards, and possibly shift taxations so that greener gas is taxed less heavily.



Ignatieff also criticized the Conservatives for plans to release television ads attacking Dion's leadership ability and record on the environment this week, calling it a "desperate" ploy.


On the Conservative budget, expected in March, Ignatieff said he will wait to see the document before deciding whether he will vote against it.


"It depends on what's in the budget. We'll have to wait and see how much junk there is, and then figure out what's in the interests of the country. And we'll take a look at what they've got and then we'll make a decision," Ignatieff said.


Despite losing his bid for the leadership, Ignatieff said the experience was positive because the convention galvanized the Liberal party and made it stronger.
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