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Zsuzsanna Zsohar grooms her husband, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, prior to a television interview on April 27, 2011, in Winnipeg. (Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Zsuzsanna Zsohar grooms her husband, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, prior to a television interview on April 27, 2011, in Winnipeg. (Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Morning Briefing

Ignatieff pleads with Quebeckers, Rae and Dosanjh renounce NDP Add to ...

Two days, two letters from Liberals pleading for votes as Michael Ignatieff and his team continue to see their support slip away.

On Wednesday morning the Liberal Leader released an open letter to Quebeckers warning them that NDP Leader Jack Layton and his team are amateurs without the experience to govern, that the Bloc doesn't want to govern and "the vast majority of Quebeckers want to get rid of the Stephen Harper regime."

His letter follows one Tuesday by former NDP premiers Bob Rae and Ujjal Dosanjh, who are now Liberal candidates. Mr. Rae is the incumbent in Toronto Centre and Mr. Dosanjh is the incumbent in Vancouver South. Both lambasted the NDP platform, which they say has "largely gone unscrutinized" and is full of "rubber dollars."

They then address several of the NDP promises - more doctors and nurse for rural areas, abolition of the Senate, and lowering of tuition fees - arguing they are promises "that simply can't be kept."

"What is being put forward is not a realistic basis for a government agenda," the two Liberals say. "It is a series of sweeping promises that do not reflect any sense of what it actually takes to govern, what will make for a productive, sustainable economy and a just society."

Mr. Rae and Mr. Dosanjh say they left the NDP to return to federal politics as Liberals "because the party's practical idealism is what the country needs."

What the Liberals desperately need now, however, is a big break.

Several national polls, including the most recent Nanos Research poll released Wednesday morning, has the Liberals in third place, running behind the NDP.

Mr. Layton's strength is built on unprecedented support in Quebec. Not surprising then that Mr. Ignatieff - who left Winnipeg Wednesday morning for Sault Ste. Marie and Toronto - is trying to shore up some support in that province.

"I am committed to forming a government that respects Quebec's culture and identity; a government that will support Quebec's artists and promote its culture abroad; a government that cares about young people, gender equality and the environment," Mr. Ignatieff writes.

From Rideau Hall to Westminster Abbey

Stephen Harper is grounded for the royal wedding. He and his wife, Laureen, had to send their regrets to William and Catherine as result of this pesky federal election.

But Governor-General David Johnston and his wife, Sharon, are on their way to London. Before leaving, Rideau Hall released a detailed itinerary including what the couple will wear to the wedding Friday at Westminster Abbey.

Just so you know, Mrs. Johnston is bringing a bit of Montreal fashion to London - she is wearing a taupe dress and matching coat by designers Serge & Real Couture. Her hat, according to the Rideau Hall release "is beige and turned up on the left and dropping to the right, covered in mousseline de laine and lace, accented with organza petals and feathers.." It is designed by Montreal's Lucie Gregoire.

Her Swarovski crystal and pearl necklace, too, is from Montreal's Chris & Alix Jewelry.

Mr. Johnston's attire is not as elaborate - although he, like all the other men at the ceremony, is wearing a grey morning coat. It is by Coppley, which advertises itself as "clothing with Canadian integrity."

In addition to the wedding ceremony, the couple will attend a dinner Thursday at which William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, will play host at Lancaster House. And after the wedding, the two will be at the Queen's reception at Buckingham Palace.

Thirty years ago, former governor-general Ed Schreyer and his wife, Lily, attended the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana. They brought with them several presents, including antique Canadian furniture, a collection of about 50 books by Canadian authors, a gold, platinum and diamond brooch by a Montreal designer and a Robert Bateman painting.

It is not known yet what Mr. Johnston will give to William and Catherine.

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