THUNDER BAY – The federal Conservatives are suggesting, perhaps, that the federal Liberals must be in desparation mode. “Not only does Michael Ignatieff show desperation in his new attack ad titled, ‘Health Risk’, he has also falsified a quotation,” charges Jenni Byrne, the Conservatives’ National Campaign Manager. “Michael Ignatieff is misleading Canadians with a fabricated quote in his desperate new attack ad,” added Byrne. “In his desperate attempt to scare Canadians, Michael Ignatieff has falsified a quotation that Stephen Harper never said.”
The Liberal attack ad claims that Stephen Harper called for scrapping the Canada Health Act. In fact, the words, “It’s past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act,” belong to a man named David Somerville (BULLDOG newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 3, June 1997).
Ignatieff knows that the words belong to David Somerville, not Stephen Harper, because in past the Liberals have correctly attributed the quotation to Somerville (Liberal Party of Canada, “Stephen Harper and the National Citizens’ Coalition” (2004), page 5, footnote 20).
The Liberals are brushing off the accusations.
“This ad exposes one thing: you can’t trust Stephen Harper on health care. The Conservatives may not like Canadians having this debate about the future of health, but they have a right to know where Stephen Harper stands and how he explains his controversial views on the Canada Health Act.”
Contrary to the false Ignatieff Liberal claim, the Conservatives state that Stephen Harper has always supported the Canada Health Act.
Byrne says that “the Stephen Harper Government has:
- Increased health-care transfers to the provinces by 33 per cent, to a record $27 billion
- Established the Patient Wait Times Guarantee Trust
- Established the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer in 2006 and renewed it in 2011
- Introduced and passed a law to protect families from dangerous products on store shelves (Canada’s Consumer Product Safety Act)
- Launched the National Mental Health Commission
- Launched the Chemicals Management Plan and made Canada the first country in the world to ban Bisphenol A
- Passed legislation to protect children and youth from tobacco marketing
- Created the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit”
“There is no excuse – not even the desperation of a flailing campaign – that justifies the Ignatieff decision to take someone else’s words and pass them off as Mr. Harper’s,” said Byrne. “Mr. Ignatieff must pull the false ad immediately. His campaign should apologize, not to us, but to Canadians, for trying to mislead them.”