The Star turns to soothsaying in pondering Michael Ignatieff’s future

The Star turns to soothsaying in pondering Michael Ignatieff’s future

(Image: Michael Ignatieff on Flickr) 

Times are tough for the University of Toronto. The hallowed faculty of arts and sciences is looking at a $60-million deficit. When asked about cuts, the administration told the Globe that “there are no sacred cows.” No sacred cows, maybe, but no reason not to give a hand to a friend—at least according to the Star‘s Jim Travers, who reported this morning that if the next national election closes the door on Michael Ignatieff’s political ambitions, the University of Toronto might open a window in the form of the Munk Centre.

[Janice] Stein, arguably Canada’s most highly respected, best known foreign affairs analyst, is preparing to step down. Finding a suitable replacement could take a year or more, and she is content to wait as long as it takes.

“Convenient” doesn’t quite capture the significance of that timing. Federal minority governments normally last a couple of years and Stephen Harper’s will pass its best-before date this fall. It’s reasonable to expect the coming election will be over a year from now and possible Liberals will be looking for yet another messiah.

Notably absent from Travers’s article is any Liberal source, even an anonymous one, that does anything but deny the idea. That’s right: not one anonymous Liberal source would rag on his or her leader—which is the reporting equivalent of finding snow in Ottawa in January.

People have been dumping all over the story today, and not all of them are Liberals. Ambivalent one-time Harper fan Paul Wells of Maclean’s has, for our money, the best slag: “I heard some random made-up shit from my dog Sam and I want to book a day when I can use it to derail Ig’s bus tour. Is next Tuesday open?”

Travers: U of T offers Ignatieff an exit plan [Toronto Star]
Michael Ignatieff denies ‘baffling’ report that U of T offered him an exit plan [National Post]
Ignatieff denies UofT rumour [Toronto Sun]
No ‘sacred cows’ as U of T slashes arts budget [Globe and Mail]