Earlier I made note of Ignatieff's three day tour of Quebec next week. Apparently, the new Liberal leader is a very, very busy man, today and tomorrow in Saskatchewan:
The Liberal party must embrace Western Canada instead of running against it, says Michael Ignatieff, who is making his first visit to Saskatchewan this weekend as leader of the federal Liberals.
Ignatieff told a brunch crowd of about 400 people in Saskatoon on Saturday that the party must work hard to win more seats, and more respect, in the West.
"Sometimes we've fallen prey to the temptation to run against the West, you know, to run against Alberta, to run against the Saskatchewan energy sector. This is not the way to go," he said.
"The western economy is the beating heart of Canadian progress in the future. This is where the action is. And, if this is where the action is economically, then we have to be there too.
Goodale introduced Ignatieff with the traditional "the next prime minister of Canada," igniting a rally of whoops and hollers.
Ignatieff took off his blazer, rolled up his sleeves and answered questions before posing for photos and signing autographs like a political rock star.
Tomorrow in Regina, then Monday to Wednesday in Quebec, taking full advantage of the break in Ottawa, and a good way to keep up momentum.
The really interesting part, Ignatieff is saying the same thing to the "west", that he's said in the "east", a fact which speaks to conviction rather than simple pandering. Talking up Alberta in Quebec really serves no political purpose, but I must say I'm getting quite excited about Ignatieff's "vision" for Canada. At a time when Canada desperately needs someone who can reconfigure the old dynamics and offer a progressive view of the federation for the future, Ignatieff gives reason for optimism. Small steps, a mountain of work to do, but glimmers and a sense the commitment is real.