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Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks to reporters at Red Cross headquarters in Ottawa on Jan. 14, 2010. (CHRIS WATTIE)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks to reporters at Red Cross headquarters in Ottawa on Jan. 14, 2010. (CHRIS WATTIE)

Talking Points

Harper's time is up? Add to ...

Michael Ignatieff would rather forget this anniversary. Stephen Harper's Tories are making sure he doesn't.

Conservative Party strategists issued a missive early Wednesday, reminding their supporters that it's been a year since the Liberal Leader's infamous threat to take down the Harper minority government.

And they warn he's up to his old tricks again.

"Exactly one year ago today Michael Ignatieff made a bold pronouncement: 'Mr. Harper, your time is up,' " the Tory memo says. "Ignatieff vowed to topple the government and force a federal election on Canadians at first opportunity."

The Tories also note that Canadians didn't want to go to the polls and "happily for Canada, Ignatieff's unwanted, unnecessary and opportunistic election never came about."

But strategists are closely watching the Liberal caucus meeting in Nova Scotia and they have determined that Mr. Ignatieff has not learned from his mistakes. "This week Ignatieff is at it again, telling Canadians 'I'll fight an election,' and saying he's plotting an 'aggressive' strategy."

Ignatieff strategists, meanwhile, are dismissive of the Tory lines.

"It's Stephen Harper who's once again pushing a right-wing Conservative majority for no other reason than to push for power," a senior Ignatieff official said.

"After a summer where he didn't take a question from a single Canadian and visits the country from behind tinted windows in his motorcade, it's Stephen Harper who's in it for himself, by himself, and clearly wants to keep it that way."

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