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Standing room only

Posted on August 23, 2010

Michael Ignatieff and Sukh Dhaliwal in Surrey. Photo : Georges Alexandar

OK, friends, I’m going to come right out and say it: You haven’t really lived until you’ve used a washroom on a bus on the Sea-to-Sky Highway.  This morning, I started regretting my third cup of coffee somewhere around Lions Bay.

To be fair, it was great coffee. I caffeinated myself at the Squamish Adventure Centre, while Michael Ignatieff worked a crowded room of local Liberals in the shadow of the Stawamus Chief. My take- away cup was empty by the time we got to West Vancouver, where there was a line out the door of the community centre auditorium, and where Michael Ignatieff was introduced in Farsi. He began his speech, in turn, by describing the tomb of the poet Hafez, in the Iranian city of Shiraz, where couples sit and read poetry to one another, in the shadow of a tyrannical regime. Many of the older members of the crowd were visibly moved.

“Canada must stand with those who seek freedom in Iran,” he said.

From there, we drove across the Second Narrows bridge to Surrey, where we crowded into Sukh Dhaliwal’s backyard. In Abbotsford, there were goats on the roof — Goats! On the roof! — and Liberals, well, everywhere. I couldn’t resist the ice cream. Or the yogurt. Or the chocolate milk. And then there was Yale, which I’ve blogged about already.

As a British Columbian, I’m incredibly excited by the reception we’ve had. You can really feel the momentum — and not just in the bus washroom.

- A.G.

Adam Goldenberg, Michael Ignatieffs speechwriter, will be blogging from the Liberal Express (almost) all summer. For up-to-the-minute reports from the bus, follow him on Twitter. Email him at