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'What is it Mr Flaherty has to study, just do it,' says Ignatieff

Anthony Rota, Federal Liberal candidate for Nipissing-Timiskaming, and Deputy Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff met with Roy Slack, President of Cementation Monday.

Anthony Rota, Federal Liberal candidate for Nipissing-Timiskaming, and Deputy Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff met with Roy Slack, President of Cementation Monday.

During a campaign stop in North Bay Deputy Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff joined fellow federal candidate Anthony Rota for a tour of Cementation’s maintenance facility on Legault Street Monday afternoon.

“Well North Bay is a world centre for mining services and this is a world class company one of the hundred best companies in Canada,” Ignatieff explains of his visit to North Bay.

“So this is a success story and we want to make sure as MPs that we do everything we can to make sure that North Bay stays at the top of the mining services sector in Canada, because Canada is a world leader in this field and the leadership’s right here in North Bay.”

Ignatieff says the same success that the mining industry has enjoyed can also be achieved in the limping forestry industry, but only if there is superb leadership, innovation and a federal government that understands partnership.

“Look at a place like Finland, Finland is a world leader in forestry because the government’s pumped a ton of money into forestry, Canada has to do the same,” he states.

“We’ve got the forests but what we need are the products that people want to buy and you can’t get products that people want to buy unless you have a government that’s a partner with industry and we just don’t think as Liberals that the Conservatives get that. They don’t get the idea of partnership between government and the private sector to make us world leaders, and Cementation is a story about world leadership in mining and we need to get the same story in forestry.”

Ignatieff also said that there is no question that the economy is the top issue in this election.

“That’s why I’m here, that’s why Anthony and I place so much importance on economic development here.”

“But the key thing is partnership, Jim Flaherty the Minister of Finance for this government said don’t invest in Ontario ... We would never send that kind of message out through the north or any part of this central Canadian economy.”

“We need partnership between the federal government, the provincial government and industry and the unions. This is no time to play wedge politics, we’ve all got to be together get a message together and meet the challenges together because the world doesn’t owe Canada a living we’ve got to be the fastest, the most energy efficient, the most well run and this is the message in Cementation and all the good companies up north.”

Then the Toronto MP questioned what Flaherty was thinking when it comes to the future of Jack Garland Airport and the runway.

“Well if you’ve got 10,000 feet why not keep 10,000 feet, I don’t get what we have to study here ... If you say we are only going to maintain 6,000 feet ... it’s cutting your nose off despite your face.”

“We’ve got 10,000 feet it’s a world class runway let’s keep it, that will be an engine for future economic development in the whole region. Everywhere I go a strong airport with a big runway is a key economic driver so what is it Mr Flaherty has to study, just do it.”

Rota echoed the sentiment.

“The Minister of Finance was in town today, and couldn’t commit to anything other than studying the current situation.”

“Let there be no doubt whatsoever; A Liberal government will ensure that the entire 10,000 foot runway is resurfaced without further delay.”

As for current polls putting the Conservatives out in front Ignatieff says it is early days and as he found out firsthand during the Liberal Leadership race don’t count Dion out just yet.

“I think the message here is key, we have to be an economy that uses energy more efficiently and we have to green our economy fast, if we don’t green the economy we’re not going to get the products in the showrooms that people want to buy,” he explains.

“As Canadians listen to a message that says we don’t want wedge politics on the economy we want partnership they are going to listen to this message and say hey those Liberals are speaking my language. We’ve got 4 weeks to go don’t let the press, don’t let the pundits, don’t let anybody write this thing off this is up to the Canadian people, they will decide and I’m very confident in the message and I know that Anthony is too.”

Ignatieff’s visit concluded with a BBQ rally at Rota’s campaign office, where he told 300 supporters that they have a great riding full of clean air that fired him up all day and that he has the utmost respect for Rota.

“As an MP from Toronto I stepped off the plane, I took a deep breath of fresh air and I thought wow, are you guys lucky to live here.”

“He’s the chair of our national caucus which means he herds 96 cats – 96 politicians – you’ve got to be a very good politician to that. He’s a friend, he’s a wonderful representative of this constituency and I’m here to make sure he gets back into the House of Commons.”

“He’s your guy ... now go out and get him re-elected!”