Mount Royal riding
Irwin Cotler launches campaign
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 28 avril 2011
It was standing room only at the Gelber Conference Centre as supporters came out on a rainy afternoon to hear Liberal luminaries Justin Trudeau, former leader Stéphane Dion, and astronaut Marc Garneau pay tribute to Mount Royal MP Irwin Cotler at his official launch on Sunday, April 10.
NDG MP and Liberal justice critic Marlene Jennings talked about her experience as one of the so-called “lost Canadians”, people who were born here and have lived their whole lives in Canada, but whose citizenship is now being called into question because their mothers married non-Canadians in the past.
She said that Cotler has been a tireless advocate on their behalf, demanding that their citizenship be recognized retroactive to their birthdates, at a time when the Conservative government is saying that it may not honor the pensions of “lost Canadians”.
Cotler’s own speech was wide-ranging and impassioned, variously touching upon the universality of human rights, the need for democratic accountability, as well as the priorities of a Liberal government: social responsibility, family-friendly policies, and better financial management.
He highlighted the Liberals’ support for a national early learning and childcare strategy, as well as a family care plan to aid caregivers. He said that the budget has to be viewed “not only as a balance sheet, but as a statement of priorities.”
Cotler reiterated leader Michael Ignatieff’s statement that the Liberals don’t want to form a coalition. “We are running to form the government,” he said.
There has been some speculation as to how the question of Israel will play out in Mount Royal in this election. Cotler said that he didn’t want to play politics with the cause of Israel.
[ Deborah Rankin ]