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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.”


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

  • Apparently he did this on the tour of the country he talked about….. personally that fact that the MSM didn’t give any coverage to the northern leg of his tour through Nunavut, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut, has proven to me that they really are biased!

    … what’s that, ooops, silly me, I thought a tour of the country would include those places but I’m now being told they do not – I really should have known better, not enough seats there to matter, my bad for a lapse in thought.

  • For the trolls: that press release points out, quite clearly, that these measures are to provide incentives for green investment. Hardly “pandering.”

    (Pandering would be, say, claiming that you can drill your way out of high gas prices.)

    Jeff: Remember, Harper’s a warmed over Republican: slightly smarter, with less of a drawl. And no Republican ever “listens”. Listening is for fruitcakes and liberals.

    The question is whether the press buys what he’s selling again.

  • Gayle

    “What happened to “not one comma”?”

    Do you have a qute where he actually said that (and I am not referring to the anonymous liberal insider).

  • Jim

    Funny, you call in listening…I call it pandering.

    Do anything, say anything, pander to large petro consumers to protect the ridings of guys such as Goodale…nothing new from the Liberals.

    What happened to “not one comma”?

    Flip flop…the body now controls the head.

    I can hardly wait for election night to see this dog be put down.

  • ALW

    Scott, does it not bother you that the nature of the “contingency fund” proposed by Dion is effectively a subsidy which works to undermine the very purpose of the Green Shift in the first place? The entire policy is premised on incentives for shifting away from bad, environmentally damaging behaviour towards good, environmentally conscious behaviour. Dion has just conceded to subsidize the former because pushing people to the latter would have made people mad!

    An analogy: suppose you proposed a policy to try to get people out of their cars and onto buses and trains by taxing car driving and making transit passes tax free. What Dion has done here is the equivalent of caving into car drivers who are complaining they don’t like it!

    You know, the Green Shift, as a policy, would have been totally defensible if the Liberals had not attempted to dress it up as cost-free to everyone. It’s not. Some people will indeed pay more. Indeed, that’s the very point: it’s a “sin tax” in a way. But instead, Dion has tried to oversell it as some magical, cost-free way of having everyone benefit, and now he’s getting clobbered for it.

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