KAMLOOPS, B.C. - Federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says he
doesn't like Canada's softwood lumber deal with the United States but
he's not sure re-opening the agreement would do any good.

 

 

Ignatieff told a town hall meeting in Kamloops on
Thursday that reopening the two-year-old deal might only create a lot
of work for lawyers with no guarantee for helping the forest sector out
of its economic slump.

 

 


"I'm being very straight with you; I know this is not a good deal," he said.

 

"But if you're asking me are you prepared to reopen
it, I haven't come to a final decision because all I see is a lot of
litigation that doesn't actually reopen a single mill anywhere."

The agreement ended five years of punitive U.S.
import duties and returned billions of dollars in duties to Canada in
exchange for export quotas and export tax when lumber prices are low.

Ignatieff also said he supports the Conservative
government's plan to eliminate two-for-one jail time credit for
suspects awaiting trial because "we think we need to send a very clear
message to criminal to criminal wrongdoers we draw the line.


"This is not a partisan political matter."


The Liberal leader said he also opposes increasing the GST, saying that might snuff out efforts to restore the economy.

On the environment, the Ignatieff said his party is
moving away from the carbon tax that got such a negative reception in
last fall's national election.


"We took the carbon tax to the public and the public didn't think it was such a good idea," he said.

"I'm trying to get myself elected here and if the
public, after mature consideration think that's the dumbest thing
they've ever heard then I've got to listen."