Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/3/2009 (4568 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
"We need to build a 21st-century east-west energy corridor that moves Manitoba power to more Canadian markets," the federal leader told a luncheon sponsored by the Winnipeg and Manitoba chambers of commerce.
Before addressing the provincial Liberals' annual meeting Friday night, Ignatieff said he spoke to Premier Gary Doer about the issue earlier this week.
"It's clear this is a project that requires a partnership with the aboriginal peoples, with the province and the federal government. And I promise to be that federal partner," the federal Liberal leader said Friday.
Ignatieff later told reporters Canada lacks a national energy strategy.
"We've left it to the provinces in a deregulated market to basically sell power south. We've never asked, 'What's the portfolio of energy sources we're going to need in 50 years?'"
Ignatieff, who arrived in Winnipeg Thursday evening, is on his first official visit here since becoming party leader in December. He departs Saturday afternoon.
After speaking to business leaders on Friday, Ignatieff held a short press conference before visiting R.F. Morrison Elementary School later in the afternoon and addressing the Manitoba provincial and federal Liberal wings at Canad Inns Polo Park Friday night. On Thursday night, he met for more than an hour with Ron Evans, head of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.
In his speech to business leaders, in which Ignatieff frequently switched to French, he urged investments in education and training, attacked Prime Minister Stephen Harper as "isolated and insulated" from Canadians, praised the leadership of Doer and former premier Duff Roblin and called the floodway "the greatest single example I know" of a successful infrastructure project.
Ignatieff told reporters Harper's Conservatives have not had nearly enough competition for votes in Western Canada, and he intends to change that. The Liberals now hold only seven of the 92 Commons seats in the West and only two on the Prairies, including Anita Neville's Winnipeg South Centre.
"I've got to roll up my sleeves, I've got to be here (in the West) all of the time," Ignatieff said, adding he wants to give westerners a sense that there is a "credible, middle-of-the-road, pragmatic, sensible alternative" to the Conservatives.
He said an east-west power grid would not only benefit Manitoba, but help Ontario wean itself from coal and even help unite the country.
Ignatieff said he realizes Canada's energy resources tend to flow southward.
"But our country has been built on the notion of building countervailing east-west links to set against the north-south grid. If we don't do that, we won't have a country."
Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.