Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday January 13, 2017
Justin Trudeau’s Ontario road show takes on partisan edge
Canadians who want to meet Justin Trudeau during his upcoming road tour town halls are being asked to first register their personal details with Liberal Mps.
That puts a political taint on the prime minister’s attempt at grassroots mingling, Conservative MP Candice Bergen (Portage–Lisgar) said Wednesday.
“Don’t call it an open town hall when it’s actually a Liberal rally,” she said. “It’s not at all the back-to-the-people tour that the prime minister described.”
Trudeau’s tour, which kicks off Thursday in Ontario, was originally framed as an effort by the prime minister to reconnect with Canadians on their priorities.
“The prime minister wants to hear from them on how they are feeling at the start of 2017, what their concerns and anxieties are, and what we can do to help alleviate that,” spokesperson Cameron Ahmed told the Star last week.
But the road trip — which continues on to Quebec, Prairies, and B.C. — has taken on partisan overtones as Liberal MPs hosting Trudeau at some of his Ontario stopovers are using their websites to glean personal data of those who want to attend.
Liberal MP Mark Gerretsen, who is hosting Trudeau’s Thursday town hall event in Kingston, promoted the event on Twitter and Facebook. “The prime minister wants to hear from you about issues that matter to you and our community as we enter the new year,” Gerretsen wrote.
His social media postings directed those who want to attend to sign up on his web page. To register for the event, attendees are asked to provide their name, email, postal code and telephone number. (Source: Toronto Star)