Taking back Waterloo

Rumours of a fall election are becoming more of a reality as the official opposition, the Liberal Party of Canada, has publicly withdrawn their support of the current Conservative government.

“We need to present Canadians with an alternative and that’s what we’re going to do,” said Michael Ignatieff, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada at a press conference in Waterloo on Sept. 9.

Ignatieff was joined by Andrew Telegdi, former Liberal MP for Waterloo for 14 years, at the conference.

Telegdi later spoke on the significance of Ignatieff’s visit and the party’s platform entering the fall session.

“As Michael Ignatieff said, we can do better, and we should be doing better,” said Telegdi.

In Waterloo, Telegdi noted the disappointment in the lack of initiative the Conservative government took in helping Research in Motion (RIM) secure the sale of Nortel Network Corp. which was subsequently taken over by the Swedish company Ericsson in July of 2009.

“Research in Motion is the Canadian champion on the global stage and this is counterproductive to [them],” said Telegdi.

The success of RIM is a contributing factor for the stability of the region’s economy.

“The biggest challenge Research in Motion has right now is getting enough employees.

“Even in the midst of the global downturn they are producing jobs,” said Telegdi.

Greater funding in technology and education were two key aspects of the Liberal mandate that Telegdi noted would continue to develop Waterloo and the country as a whole.

“The best social program we have is education, because the strength of Canada relies on the human resources of its people. Seeing as we’re into lifelong learning we have to make sure everyone is able to succeed to the best of their abilities,” he stated.

Despite what the Liberal’s see as the shortcomings of the current government, the issue of the economy will very well be the deciding factor in bringing about an election.

“[The Conservatives] essentially started running structural deficit before the recession happened,” said Telegdi.

“They have been very poor managers of the economy.”

As the Liberals have withdrawn their support for the Conservative government, the call for an election will be based on other opposition parties.

“It’s going to be up to the New Democratic Party,” said Telegdi. “That’s where the weak link is in terms of an election.”

A confidence vote on the Conservatives budget presentation, which will address the issue of employment insurance, is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 18.

The results of the vote may determine whether Canadians will be heading to the polls in October.

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