This is one of those semi-gaffes that sinks campaigns.
Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said today that his Green Shift plan featuring a controversial carbon tax is not a major part of his election platform.
“You have said it was but never me,” Dion told reporters.
His surprise declaration follows by a day campaign appearances in the Toronto area where he failed to mention it once in his speeches.
Dion released the Green Shift plan in June in Ottawa with great fanfare. It proposes to tax fossil fuels while cutting taxes for lower and middle income Canadians.
“I have always said it was an important policy for Canada. I strongly believe it would be good for Canada,” he told reporters.
You can see what he’s getting at. Dion and the Liberals aren’t just running on the Green Shift. They do actually have a bunch of other ideas and proposals, which they’ve been trickling out as the campaign progresses, as parties will.
But that’s not what he said, and what he said is that the platform plank that he’s allowed everybody to believe is central to the Liberal campaign is not, in fact, central to the Liberal campaign.
I suspect this is a mortal wound.