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 – Thursday July 14, 2016
Tony Clement launches campaign to become next Conservative federal leader
Conservative MP Tony Clement launched his campaign Tuesday evening to become the next leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.
Clement made the announcement surrounded by supporters in Mississauga, Ont., promising he is the “leader, who represents the experience, and the innovation, who can win back the trust of Canadians in suburban and urban communities alike across the land.”
Clement said he was “tested, and ready today, to earn back the confidence of families, of millennials, of moms and dads, of urban and rural Canadians, and of small business leaders, and seniors who want government to be an empowering force for good.”
Clement is something of a social media maven who has been critical of the party’s campaign in the last election.
Drawing attention to his well-known Twitter presence, Clement said he would use social media more effectively to reach out to all Canadians and engage them. He joked that the first draft of his campaign launch speech was only 140 characters long — the maximum length of a tweet.
A former minister in Stephen Harper’s cabinet, Clement spoke at length about his roots as an immigrant from the United Kingdom who was brought up on strong family values.
The longtime politician joins three other Conservative leadership hopefuls, all of whom are his fellow House caucus colleagues.
Maxime Bernier, Michael Chong and Kellie Leitch launched their campaigns earlier this year after the Tory leadership process formally began. Milton MP Lisa Raitt is another possible contender. Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose has vowed not to run despite being the subject of a “Draft Rona” campaign by some committed supporters.
This is Clement’s second run at the party’s leadership. In 2004 he placed third against Harper and auto parts mogul Belinda Stronach.
The Parry Sound-Muskoka MP has altered his appearance in recent months ahead of his foray into the political spotlight, purchasing new glasses and trimming his hair. (Source: CBC News)
Clement won’t rule out program cuts: reports
Treasury Board head Tony Clement said he would consider shutting entire programs and shrinking the public service to help produce a balanced budget by 2014-2015, according to reports.
Clement was named Treasury Board president on Wednesday, taking over from Stockwell Day, and is tasked with finding savings in other government departments to reduce the deficit, which is projected this year to be $29.6 billion.
On Wednesday, Clement acknowledged that a preferred option for saving money would be through attrition, or cutting public service jobs when people leave or retire.
But on Thursday, he elaborated, telling the Globe and Mail and Ottawa Citizen newspapers that cuts could mean entire programs are shuttered. Programs that might have been important 30 years ago may no longer be the best way to spend public money today, he said.
Patty Ducharme, the national executive vice-president for the Public Sector Alliance of Canada, the largest public sector union, said she was not surprised by the news. Ever since the government first talked about reducing staff through attrition, public service unions have said such a plan was not possible or practical.
“I’m dismayed though, given the fact that what this government has been saying leading up to the election was that there would be job reductions, but those reductions would come through attrition and nothing more than attrition,” Ducharme said.
“One day into the job and now he’s telling the truth. Thanks Tony.”
Ducharme said she was at a loss as to which government programs might be targeted. (Source: CBC News)