Bob Rae rallied coalition support in Winnipeg today – listen to his speech

Posted: December 6, 2008 in Uncategorized
Bob Rae adrallied Coalition support at a packed Crescentwood Community Centre in Winnipeg, Dec. 6. Photo: Paul Graham

Bob Rae rallied Coalition support at a packed Crescentwood Community Centre in Winnipeg, Dec. 6. Photo: Paul Graham

If there are divisions in Liberal ranks over the Liberal-NDP Coalition, they were not evident today at a meeting addressed by Bob Rae. The mostly Liberal gathering listened closely and applauded enthusiastically as Rae explained the historic agreement between the Liberals and the NDP to bring Harper down.

After speaking for about 20 minutes, Rae answered questions for another hour. At the end of the meeting, he was joined by Winnipeg North MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis, who was welcomed warmly by the crowd.

Here is an audio clip of Bob Rae’s speech in Winnipeg.

And here are excerpts from his remarks.

We have to have the courage of our convictions, my friends. We cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated by these slogans and these epithets and this irresponsibility of our Prime Minister. We will stand our ground.

I regret that the fact of the Governor General giving the extra seven weeks to Mr. Harper . . . but we respect the decisions that were made and all I can tell you is that it just gives us more time to get it right. It gives us more time to sit down and talk to Canadians and explain to Canadians about why this common approach works best – why it makes more sense that one-man government.

Mr. Harper has succeeded in delaying the end of his government, but he has not succeeded in achieving what he thinks he can achieve. He has no more confidence and trust today than he had last week. And believe me, he will have no more on January 26 or Jan. 27 than he has today.

Do you want to live in a country where the Prime Minister basically says that people who don’t agree with him or who try to do things differently are traitors? Are unfaithful to their country? Or lack patriotism? And I’m telling you – there is only one way to stop that. There’s only one way to stop it.

You cannot appease this man. He cannot be appeased. There is no point pretending that we can. It is essential for all of us understand.

Mr. Harper, we are serious. We are serious with what we did. We are serious with where we need to go. And we are determined to get there. And we are going to get there together. We’re going to get there in a positive, creative way, We’re going to get there in a way that responds to the needs of Canadians. We’re going to present them with a government that is disciplined, that is focused, that is united and that understands what has to be done.

We cannot afford division. We cannot afford to be disunited. We have to stay together, stay disciplined and stay focused. And stay respectful of one another. And even respectful of those people who say “I don’t think this is the right thing to do.” . . . You say, “Fine. Let’s have that discussion.”

What I know in my bones is that if we give Mr. Harper a vote of confidence at the end of January we will live to regret it for the rest of our lives. The democratic rights that he wanted to take away with that economic statement – they are the steps that he wanted to take. Those steps are not gone. Those steps are simply sleeping. There is nothing in what he has said since then that leads me to believe that he is sorry, has changed his mind, or is prepared to mend his ways. And everyone here knows that those are the steps that are crucial before you can say you are on the road to recovery. This guy ain’t on the road to recovery; he’s on the road to ruin. And I don’t think we should be following him down that road.

  1. Mandy says:

    Good speech and I agree with Bob Rae. Mr. Harper is dangerous, a far right Bush-style neocon subscribing to fundamentalist religion. He doesn’t care about Canadians, only grabbing more power for himself. He keeps trying to take away our rights, and he cares little for our precious environment. I’m tired of him trashing everyone who doesn’t agree with him and all his lies. Rae would make a fine PM. He is personable and honest and has a lot of experience.

  2. Beijing York says:

    The fact that he would even go there in the first place — an attack on opposition rights, labour rights and women’s rights — is proof that Harper is a spiteful, self serving partisan hack who really doesn’t value what Canadians value. He is a cancerous cell in the body politic that needs to be excised in my opinion.

    Anyone who wants to play nice with Harper is deluded. Those Liberals who are blatantly or secretly trying to undermine the coalition movement are quislings. They deserve to be exposed as enablers and cowards.

  3. Canadian Patriot says:

    Beware the quislings. Hitler used them in Norway and France.
    Bob Rae would be the best PM and Liberal leader.

  4. Confused says:

    Sorry, I thought the the coalition rallies were supposed to be all on the same day, and the same time, in the same hall. But instead there
    were four coalition rallies in Winnipeg happening at different times, in different locals on different days.
    Please forgive me I implied misinformation to some people. It was my mistake.

    Thank You.

  5. Steve Eros says:

    You guys are all off the deep end.

    The only fanatics I see here are you.

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