…and finds his election issue: Ideology.
Dion is making clear that poverty and the Charter are at the centre of the national debate he wants to provoke.
“The fight against poverty will be at the heart of the Liberal agenda,” said Dion, who recently unveiled his plan to cut overall poverty rates by 30 per cent and the child-poverty rate by 50 per cent within five years of Liberals regaining power.
The Liberal leader portrayed Charter rights as under assault by the Harper government, not just at home, but in the face Canada is now showing to the world.
He rattled off a list of examples, including the Conservative government’s refusal to seek clemency for a Canadian facing the death penalty in Montana; the refusal to endorse a United Nations declaration on aboriginal rights; questions over whether Canada is respecting conventions on prisoners and torture in Afghanistan; and cancellation of the Court Challenges program, cuts to programs and the removal of the word “equality” from the Status of Women’s mandate.
“Canada needs more than ever the party of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the party of (former prime minister) Pierre Elliott Trudeau,” Dion said.