2:36 PM: And here it is, the most important speech ever (TM) as Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff takes to the stage to a loud standing-ovation to deliver his closing address. Noting the great web interactivity, he says we've changed Canadian politics and it will never be the same. Let's not exaggerate Mike, but it was really fantastic.
2:43 PM: Talking about families now, believes families are the core of life. He’s concerned about the burden of elder care on families though, and says government needs to help families with that growing challenge. And need to balance the growing costs of elder care and chronic care. And he sees a strong federal role there around a national strategy of preventative care, saying it’s the only way we can deal with the rising costs of health care.
2:46 PM: He wants extended home care support from the federal government, including extended compassionate leave, saying 16 weeks isn’t enough. He talks about a woman who came in to talk to him because she was caring for her dying husband and needed more help – he delivers a good like when he says he doesn’t want to have to have conversations like that in
2:50 PM: “I’m proud of the time I’ve spent out in the world, and I want more Candians to have that opportunity,” says Ignatieff. And I say finally, finally he takes that Conservative canard on directly and says, basically, bite me Steve.
2:54 PM: Shifting to the press release for some policy nuggets: A Pan-Canadian Learning Plan, Pension Reform. Energy Innovation, Deficit Reduction by getting to a deficit to GDP target of 1% within first two years of government, spending restraint through finding savings in partnership with public services and promising all platform promises will be priced within current budget framework without raising deficit, and a freeze of corporate tax rates at current levels.
2:59 PM: He's getting to the fiscal stuff now, promising while there's many things we want to do in 2017, loading our children with debt and deficits won't be something a Liberal government will do. No new spending unless we can clearly identify a source without increasing the deficit. We have to make prudent choices and make some room to realize some dreams.
Will also freeze corporate tax rates, he's now saying. It's Jeff talking for a bit now. The NDP will chortle, but one big difference. While in government, and in opposition, we lowered and supported lowering them down to current levels to encourage economic growth. It has worked, while the NDP opposed it every step of the way. With the current fiscal framework it makes sense to freeze them, but when this passes we'll go back to making sensible and mature economic choices while the Dippers go back to braying about corporate bogeymen.
3:07 PM: Says he's making these announcements because it needs to move people talk, because he respects these discussions here this weekend and now it's time for leadership, and he needs us with him.
3:17 PM: Web got unusable so updates slowed. Speech is over, more thoughts soon but up to the press conference now. Will be interesting to see how the media spins it, we'll get an early indication from their questions.