He’s been in Canadian politics for a very long time. Tony Clement, known for his cabinet positions in Federal and Ontario political spheres. Known for his ambition to lead conservative parties both federally and provincially. Known for his influence in political affairs going back beyond two decades. Now the man at the centre of a humiliatingly tawdry sexting scandal, seeing his world and legacy collapse before him. Oh well, it’s been a fun ride.
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday August 17, 2018
Scheer cautions Bernier: Members of caucus need to work together
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer issued an indirect warning to outspoken caucus member Maxime Bernier on Thursday: members of caucus are expected to be team-players, focused on the same goal.
“There is an expectation in our caucus, and on our team, that everyone is focused on working together to earn back the trust of Canadians and to replace Justin Trudeau as prime minister in the next election,” Scheer said.
“Every Member of Parliament should be, as their key priority, working towards putting out the types of policies that resonate with Canadians.”
His comments to reporters in Regina come after a few days of back and forth exchanges over the Quebec MP’s public remarks.
On Sunday evening, Bernier issued a series of tweets on diversity, saying that “Trudeau’s extreme multiculturalism and cult of diversity will divide us into little tribes,” and that “more diversity will not be our strength, it will destroy what has made us such a great country.”
Bernier then questioned the naming of a park after Pakistan’s founder; and criticized the federal government looking to make a statutory holiday in recognition of residential schools as a “cult of victimhood.”
On Wednesday night, Scheer issued a statement distancing himself and the party from the outspoken Quebec MP and characterized his comments as using identity politics to divide Canadians.
Bernier followed that up Thursday morning with another round of tweets denying he was engaging in identity politics.
Facing questions about whether he’s entertaining the possibility of Bernier’s removal from caucus—something Liberals and New Democrats have called for— Scheer said he wouldn’t talk about internal caucus matters but pointed out that it would be something decided on as a team. (Source: CTV)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday March 13, 2018
Christine Elliott concedes to Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford
Christine Elliott is conceding defeat to Doug Ford, congratulating the new Ontario Progressive Conservative leader and promising to run for the party in the June provincial election.
Her move brings to an end the extended drama of the party’s tumultuous leadership race, triggered six weeks ago by the sudden resignation of Patrick Brown amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Elliott initially disputed the results announced late Saturday, alleging “serious irregularities” in the voting. The party declared Ford the winner by a margin of just one percentage point.
But in a statement issued Sunday night, Elliott struck a conciliatory tone.
“Our team took the last twenty-four hours to review the results of an election that was incredibly close,” she said in the statement. “After completing my review, I am confident in the results. I extend my congratulations to Doug Ford on a hard-fought campaign.”
As CBC News reported first, Elliott initiated a meeting with Ford on Sunday afternoon. The pair met for “several hours,” according to a senior official on the Elliott campaign.
While the official said the campaign team believes they have a good case to dispute the result, the only recourse would be to go to court, and that is not something Elliott or her team want to do with the party facing an election on June 7.
“Christine is choosing not to challenge this,” said the official. “Christine and the team were unanimous that this was the right way forward. The name of the game is unifying the party.”
“Ontario needs a Progressive Conservative government to finally defeat Kathleen Wynne,” Elliott said in her statement. “I look forward to running as a candidate.” (Source: CBC News)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday December 13, 2017
Liberals’ byelection wins signal problems for Andrew Scheer
Monday’s Conservative loss of South Surrey-White Rock, in a by-election there, combined with the lacklustre NDP scores points to a pattern. The B.C. riding had not elected a Liberal since 1972. And while Trudeau did recruit a popular candidate, the Conservative tasked with holding the riding — Kerri-Lynne Findlay — was a former Harper minister.
Buoyed by two upset byelections victories over the Conservatives this fall and with a solid shot at winning back Outremont from the NDP if and when Thomas Mulcair retires in the New Year, few in the Liberal backrooms will lose sleep over the fact that overall, the Conservatives increased their vote share in three of four ridings on Monday.
Scheer cannot win the next general election in the face of a Liberal juggernaut in Quebec and B.C. And he won’t have much of a shot at toppling Trudeau unless the NDP reverses its decline.
The two parties to the left of the CPC are communicating vessels. A lost vote for the New Democrats is almost always a vote gained for the Liberals. It usually takes a split in the non-conservative vote for the Conservatives to win government.
Throughout the fall — Trudeau’s most difficult political season to date — the New Democrats and the Conservatives have been telling themselves that buyer’s remorse was about to catch up to the Liberals.
It seems both opposition parties had been inhaling their own question period fumes.
In the end the only seeds of buyer’s remorse that may have been planted in the mid-mandate byelections would pertain to the opposition’s leadership choices. (Source: Toronto Star)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday November 28, 2017
The Progressive Conservatives have found their voice.
And Patrick Brown, the little-known Opposition leader who would be premier, is making himself heard. Just in time for the coming provincial election.
Who is Patrick Brown? Why should he be premier? What would he do in power?
He will cut income taxes. Reduce hydro rates. Impose a carbon tax. Issue refund cheques for child care. Take over our subways and build more of them. Boost health-care funding.
And step down if he doesn’t deliver on his key promises in four years.
His proclamation of a “People’s Guarantee” — signed onstage with a dramatic flourish — had the ring of a Marxist people’s manifesto as 1,500 loyal convention delegates cheered him on. Brown is no Bolshevik, but on Saturday he purged the party of the ghost of Mike Harris — and the Common Sense Revolution that has haunted PCs for decades, culminating with the defeat of Tim Hudak in 2014.
Now, Brown is remaking the party in his own emerging image — a mirror image of the Bill Davis era that tried harder to be all things (or more things) to all people. Not just right-wing people.
It is a focused, focus-group-tested campaign platform with a twist — more heft and left than hard right, offering more political lift than trickle-down:
Surprisingly progressive income tax cuts are targeted at lower-income people, not high rollers (including a sales tax credit). The child-care credits offer more to poor people with less, and rebate actual expenses (unlike the no-strings-attached “baby bonus” that Stephen Harper’s Tories conjured up to buy votes federally).
This election platform is not just a U-turn from the Harris years but an off-ramp from the Harper hothouse where Brown and many of his staff got their start. Instead of the provocative “chain gangs” that Tories proposed to punish prisoners in 2011, Brown offers “anti-gang” money to combat human trafficking of women. (Continued: Toronto Star)