Ignatieff vistis Kitchener

On Friday Apr. 29th, Kitchener hosted Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff and the local Liberal candidates at Bingemans Convention Centre for a rally with community supporters. Surrounded by Canadian flags and an enthusiastic crowd, Ignatieff made one of his final speeches before the May 2nd election.

“Did we ask you if you were a Liberal before you came in?” Ignatieff began. “Did we look you up on Facebook before you came in? Do we care whether you’re NDP, Conservative or Liberal? No, everyone is welcome and that means we’re at a liberal meeting.”

After the crowd’s cheers had died down Ignatieff continued addressing his supporters.

“I know you’re here for more than my blue eyes and red sneakers,” he said. “You’re here because something is wrong and you want it fixed.”

Ignatieff did not spend the evening going into specific details about his campaign, but rather, he focused on getting the attention of Canadians and getting them to vote for change.

“We have a fierce love for our country,” he said to a cheering crowd. “Do you really want to say what’s going on now is good enough? You want to hand Canada onto your children and grandchildren and on May 2nd, you are choosing what kind of Canada you want.”

He continued to say that liberals “focus on equality. We put equal opportunity at the center of our platform because we are living in a more and more unequal society today. The rich are getting richer, the middle class are being left behind and the poor fall right of f the table. It’s time for a change.”

The cause of this inequality, as well as most other issues and concerns, he related back to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“What I want to know,” Ignatieff said, “Is where did the progressive in conservative go? We Canadians don’t like to be bullied, we don’t like to be threatened, we don’t like to be lied to. Enough is enough.”

“This election really matters,” Ignatieff continued. “Mr. Harper says it’s unnecessary…it’s the most necessary.”

Though pointing to Harper’s previous failings had the crowd entirely on Ignatieff’s side, he also brought attention to the new rise in New Democratic Party (NDP) popularity.

Ignatieff shook his head and said, “Jack Layton’s had a free pass. The NDP have gone after my dad, they’ve gone after my wife, they’ve gone after my patriotism and motivation and come up the middle smiling. There’s no question Jack Layton’s got a smile, the question is, has he got anything else?”

Ignatieff held the crowd captive throughout the evening, receiving raucous applause and cheers for the liberal party, as well as boos and calls of shame for the opposing parties- mainly the conservatives.

“What’s important to remember,” he said. “Is that liberals see political opponents as adversaries, not enemies.”

Ignatieff finished the evening by yelling over a cheering crowd, “It’s time to rise up Canada. It’s time to fight, and it’s time to win.”

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