Sunday, May 3, 2009

Liberal faithful honour defiant Dion

This is from the Star.

Apparently Dion is still way ahead of the times since Ignatieff has dropped the Green Shift as if it were the H1N1 virus and washed his hands of all that green stuff. The fact that the Liberals are so eager to shower praise on Dion shows that he might as well be dead. This is what always happens to dead politicians.


Liberal faithful honour defiant Dion
TheStar.com - Canada - Liberal faithful honour defiant Dion


PETER MCCABE/THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE
Liberal Leader St├ęphane Dion speaks at a meeting of the party's riding presidents and national executive in Montreal in this file photo. Dion recently revealed that he has a common hearing problem. May 02, 2009
Petti Fong
Western Canada Bureau Chief

VANCOUVER–Former Liberal Leader Stephane Dion was praised by his predecessors and successor this evening as a loyal cabinet minister and a canny leader on environmental issues who was able to bring international acclaim to the country for his position on climate change.

The tribute to the leader who led the party in the last election skimmed over his more problematic policies such as the carbon tax which helped drag the Liberals during the last campaign to the lowest showing in popular support in more than a century.

Rather, the video tribute played for Dion focused on his contributions as a cabinet minister after the unity crisis in Quebec and his leadership on environmental issues under the Jean Chretien and Paul Martin governments.

No word was mentioned in the tribute video of Dion's controversial and unpopular plan to run the last Liberal campaign on the Green Shift.

Martin said Dion became the opposition leader during a difficult time and made the Liberal party stronger and more united while Jean Chretien, who first brought Dion into politics, said the former environment minister played a major role in the Liberals' success over 10 years in power.

"A lot of the credit has to be shared with the team I had and Stephane Dion was a very big part of it," said Chretien.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff praised Dion for changing the party in two fundamental ways with his commitment to including more women in the House of Commons and making environmental sustainability one of the party's major tenets.

"He is a man who has seen politics at its most difficult, at its most brutal, at its roughest and he has never faltered," said Ignatieff. "He gave every last inch of what was in him to defend the values of what we represented with pride."

Dion told the Liberals the best tribute they could give him would be to rally around the leadership of Ignatieff and help elect a Liberal government.

While Dion said it will be up to the new leader to decide how to address putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions, which could be hard caps on emissions rather than a carbon tax, he was defiant that ignoring carbon pricing is not an option.

"We must lead by example in the fight against climate change," said Dion. "It is the way to help curb our addiction to fossil fuel."

At times punchy and even self-deprecating about his defeat, Dion said he is stopped often on the streets, as happened in Vancouver Friday just hours before his tribute, by people who tell him that he was ahead of his times.

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