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Dion listened to farmers concerns about Green Shift; snags big endorsement/candidate as a result.

I’ve been seeing where some of the Conservatives and others have been attacking Dion for – get this – actually listening to some of the concerns being listed to him by certain economic sectors (farmers, fishermen, the trucking and forestry industry) and announcing a modification to The Green Shift plan to help alleviate those concerns that their industries would suffer as a result.

That ability to listen and to be flexible to those concerns has yielded positive results today in Winnipeg where the Liberal caucus has gathered. Bob Friesen, who is the President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture -apparently likes the new plans to help the farming sector out enough that he has decided he will be running as a candidate for the Liberal Party in this election as a result.

This is big news and a coup for Dion and the Liberals. As Kady says at Macleans:

I have to think that convincing the up-until-yesterday president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture – who was publicly critical of the Green Shift just a few days ago – to run for the Liberals is going to make it a teensy bit trickier for Jason Kenney – who will apparently be acting as the human incarnation of Oily the Splot during the upcoming campaign – to stick to his original script, at least as far as Stephane Dion’s sinister anti-farmer agenda.

Guess who Friesen is running against? Stephen Fletcher in one of the Winnipeg ridings. That should be an interesting match up. The bottom line is that unlike Harper, who believes it’s his way or the highway, and that any idea other then his own isn’t worthy, Dion listened to farmers concerns and others and took their concerns into account. He also did this without adding any extra costs to the plan as the extra money was already provided for in the Green Shift, as Danielle pointed out this morning).

UPDATE @ 5:31 pm: The Liberals officially announce the candidacy of Mr. Friesen, which includes this statement from Bob:

“Like many people in Canada’s farming community, I’ve been very disappointed by the Conservative government’s agricultural policies,” said Mr. Friesen. “I’m convinced that the Liberal Party is the best choice for farmers and that is why I am proud to carry the Liberal banner in Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia in the next election.”

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