Dion pledges loyalty to Ignatieff despite wife's dim view of Liberal leader
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, November 23, 2009 5:50PM EST
OTTAWA - Stephane Dion has reaffirmed his unwavering support for Michael Ignatieff, despite his wife's dim view of the man who replaced her husband as Liberal leader.
Janine Krieber set Liberal tongues wagging on the weekend with a Facebook posting in which she slammed Ignatieff as an intellectual dilettante who is incapable of pulling the party out of what she deems its death spiral.
She broadly hinted she's thinking of switching allegiance to another party.
Ignatieff wouldn't comment directly on Krieber's musings, which were deleted shortly after she posted them.
But he said the only thing that matters is that Dion himself has assured him of his support.
"I just spoke to Stephane," Ignatieff said Monday.
"Stephane is a colleague and friend and has given me absolutely magnificent support throughout my leadership."
Francesco Miele, a spokesman for Dion, said the former leader won't be commenting on his wife's tirade other than to stress that "he's always been loyal to his leaders and his party and he'll always be."
Other Liberals were playing down the impact of Krieber's pessimistic prediction that their party is headed for the dustbin of history.
"Well, she has her own history, her own views," said Liberal finance critic John McCallum.
"I don't think she's an opinion leader within the Liberal party and therefore I don't think the story is going to last."
NDP Leader Jack Layton, meanwhile, dodged questions about whether Krieber has made any overtures about joining his party.
"Well, of course we're watching the conflicts that are going on in the Liberal party. It's kind of hard to avoid. But I'm paying attention to our own party," he said.
"So far, our members and their spouses too, I guess ... seem to be working as a team and we're going to pay attention to that objective."