Winnipeg North Tory candidate Julie Javier issued a press release yesterday evening saying it’s "regrettable" that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff suggested her candidacy is a game designed to sway Liberal Filipino voters.
That’s not exactly what Iggy said, nor did he accuse the Tories of vote splitting, which is what we said in a front page headline Monday.
All that, plus an editorial in today’s Free Press, prompted Ignatieff’s people to issue a transcript of the scrum held Sunday. Here it is, for the record. I was the "media" asking the questions, and the ellipses in the first question was me stumbling over Julie Javier’s name.
Media question: The race in Winnipeg North, there’s been some speculation that the Tories are running Julie Javier... because might siphon off Kevin Lamoureux’s strong Filipino vote allowing the NDP to win, what do you think of that speculation?
Michael Ignatieff: Let’s not insult the voters of Winnipeg North, let’s give them a real choice – the right choice is Kevin Lamoureux. Let’s have a straight-up fight. Let’s not have any political games here. Let’s give the voters of Winnipeg North a clear choice. Kevin Lamoureux has 20 years of public experience... Kevin Lamoureux is the kind of guy who goes down to McDonald’s and holds clinics to help citizens with their problems and he’s doing it for 20 years. He’s the kind of guy Winnipeg North needs in the House of Commons and everything else is a bunch of games and we’re not here to play games, we’re here to win.
Media question: Kevin do you believe that Julie will cut into your Filipino vote which has traditionally been a solid part of your base?
Kevin Lamoureux: The Filipino community has been very good to me over the years and I appreciate that support and I believe that it’ll be there for me going forward but we’re not going to take that for granted, I think that we have to continue to work hard. Whether it’s Julie Javier or Ray Larkin, I do believe that we’re going to be able to make the difference and people will be surprised. You know, Winnipeg North, every house that I currently represent is in Winnipeg North. Good portions of Winnipeg North have the tradition of voting for the Liberal Party. The opportunity to win is there. The issue for me is simple. Get the vote out. We get the vote out we will win. And I believe that I’ve set into motion a wonderful opportunity for the Liberal Party of Canada to ultimately show that we can win in Western Canada and bring the wave through Eastern Canada and see our Leader as the next Prime Minister of Canada and this is what it’s all about for us. People are getting ready for the change.