Rob, I was on Power Play after Mr. Kennedy but did come in time to listen to him speak. While he did mention the FCM report, he certainly wasn't dismissing tax increases as potential Liberal policy. The host gave him ample opportunity to do so and he didn't. Check it out here.
The FCM report aside, and sure it bears consideration, what is Liberal policy? On the same program Warren Kinsella, Mr. Ignatieff's war-room chief, dismissed Mr. Kennedy's comments. Take a look here. Is Kennedy alone or are his suggestions stemming from the FCM report a party-wide position? Mr. Ignatieff has been all over the map on the matter of tax increases. I am no different from any other Canadian in looking for clarity here, not distraction.
And thank you, Rob, for raising the point about EI premiums. Both you and Mr. Kennedy have not been accurate in describing what is happening with the premium. As you both well know, as part of the government's temporary stimulus measures EI premiums were frozen for two years. The government's EI premium freeze means workers and business get two-year relief that they otherwise would face. It has always been clear that this is a temporary, two-year measure, to help get Canada through the recession. It's misleading and false to claim that the scheduled expiry of a temporary freeze is the same as hiking premiums. When the freeze is lifted, premium changes will be decided by an independent body, not the government.
I am in complete agreement with you, Rob, that we should not be afraid of a responsible dialogue on economic policy. I just want to know where Gerard's comments fit because what I saw and heard last night was a clear difference between what he and Warren were saying.