Michael Ignatieff stretches the truth on his position on asbestos while happily attending a big bucks Liberal fundraiser hosted by a businessman leading the charge to reopen one of Canada’s last-remaining asbestos mines. (ironic no?)
"I think that Canada cannot export a product that is dangerous and cannot be handled safely,” Ignatieff said in Montreal. I’ve said that for a long time.”
Well he did say something like that in the past but on one occasion when questioned on that statement that he had made just days earlier, Ignatieff said something else completely.
"We have had 60 years of experience with this product. What I said in answer to a question is that we have an obligation to international agreements to the countries that we export to, to make them aware of the risks. That is all I said."
Causing Kathleen Ruff, senior adviser on human rights for the Ottawa-based think-tank Rideau Institute, to comment on Ignatieff's denial: "I knew he would be under pressure to retract what he said but that's an out-and-out lie"
Confused? Don't worry, you are not alone. Even Liberal candidates don't know Ignatieff's position.
Bérubé (the Liberal candidate selected for the Richmond-Arthabaska riding) argued that Ignatieff did not use the word asbestos and that he was talking hypothetically when asked the question by the Devoir.
“He did not state his opposition to the asbestos industry specifically, just to things that are toxic.”
“I don’t believe our asbestos is a toxic substance and the question of its safety should be examined by a committee after we are elected to government.”
Long-time Liberal Lucien Richard from Asbestos agreed with Bérubé that his party leader did not target the industry in the Devoir interview and hopes to discuss the matter further with Ignatieff.
“I want to hear him say it to me,” said Richard.
“I don’t believe he said the asbestos industry should be stopped.”
Local Liberal organizer André Beaumier said Ignatieff met with industry officials in early June and argues the industry will not be shut down by a future Liberal government.
“Our studies have shown that the fiber mined here is safe if handled carefully. “
“If Ignatieff said it was a dangerous industry, I don’t think he knew all the facts then. I am sure he will change his mind on this issue.”
and who can really blame them for not knowing Ignatieff's position, it is always hard to hit a moving target.