Posts Tagged ‘Manitoba

When a former NDP premier agrees with Ezra Levant

- July 20th, 2012

It’s not often you hear anyone with ties to the New Democratic Party agreeing with the always colourful Ezra Levant. That’s why it is remarkable that Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer Read more…

The Tory minister for Manitoba, Vic Toews, tees off on his hometown paper

- January 17th, 2011

Vic Toews

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews (above as snapped in November by the Sun’s Andre Forget) – who represents the southeastern Manitoba riding of Provencher and who is the Harper government’s political minister for Manitoba — is no fan of the province’s “paper of record”, the Winnipeg Free Press. (Full disclosure: My chain’s horse in that race is the Freep’s competitor the Winnipeg Sun.).

But I would go so far as to say, Toews is sceptical of the worth of all of us in the mainstream media. Last year, Toews took a nasty swipe at me and the Freep‘s Ottawa bureau chief Mia Rabson [full disclosure again: At the time I was working for Canwest/Postmedia and Mia was my office colleague] for the reporting we did at the beginning of the Rahim Jaffer affair.

Toews – to give you a bit of background — was Harper’s first justice minister, then moved to Treasury Board before being moved over to Public Safety. He is also a lawyer, a former attorney general for Manitoba and the Ottawa rumour mill has him in line for a seat on Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench.

All if which is to say: Toews is a well-educated guy and he’s part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s inner circle. That’s why we’re interested in what he tells his supporters and, tonight, Toews goes after Free Press columnist Dan Lett. Lett’s column “Political combat in south Winnipeg” spurred Toews to send the following e-mail message to his supporters:

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Others,

The word is in, according to Winnipeg Free Press columnist Dan Lett that is. Here’s Lett’s take on what will happen in Manitoba in the next federal election.

“… a quick examination of Manitoba’s 14 federal ridings shows clearly that…only three seats in the province with any chance of changing hands. If you’re a federal party leader and you’re going to campaign in Manitoba, you’d be wise to stay south of the Assiniboine River.”

It must have been a very quick examination, despite Lett’s insistence that the outcome is “clear”.

Perhaps it’s about the same amount of time that Lett spent during the 2006 election just before Rod Bruinooge snatched Winnipeg South from then cabinet minister Reg Alcock by a little over a hundred votes, and then consolidated that win by over 5,000 votes from another impressive Liberal candidate in 2008.

Or perhaps it’s the same amount of time he spent during the 2008 election campaign when everyone at the Winnipeg Free Press confirmed that their party’s candidate in St. Boniface would safely retain that seat, while condescendingly acknowledging that although Shelly Glover was a good candidate she was in the wrong riding if she wanted to be a Conservative MP.

And moving outside of Winnipeg for a moment – who can forget his insightful analysis of my own slim chances in Provencher in the last election? [Wishing Toews would provide a link here to this one - Akin]

But we can be sure Jack Layton will take Lett’s advice seriously: be “wise” and stay south of the Assiniboine River. He’ll just forget about his party’s recent byelection loss in North Winnipeg where only 30 percent of the electorate turned out to give a well known Winnipeg Free Press candidate a squeaker of a victory in a riding where some have said that New Democrat party membership applications are handed to babies when they leave the maternity ward. [That would be Liberal Kevin Lamoureux's upset byelection victory in the riding long held by the NDP's Judy Wasylycia-Leis - Akin]

Oh, and Dan, what about Winnipeg Transcona where the New Democrat MP won a hard fought battle against a Conservative by about the same margin as the Liberal victory in Winnipeg South Centre? [That would be Jim Maloway who, with 45.8 % of the vote beat 2nd place finisher Thomas Steen who took 40.7% of the vote - Akin] Yup, just keep on walking down the road without a sideways glance across the railroad tracks if you are the Conservative leader.

What an analysis, but is it really as “wise” as Lett himself characterizes his own advice?

Really, after the quick look and all of the fluff, isn’t this article just about Lett making sure that his Liberal candidate in Winnipeg South [Conservative MP Rod Bruinooge is the incumbent - Akin], Terry Duguid, is given another bit of glowing press, stating:

“If Duguid doesn’t win the riding, it won’t be for lack of effort. He remains perhaps the hardest-working candidate in the province, knocking on doors, organizing events and getting his name and picture in the media more than a lot of sitting MPs.”

Gee Dan, is it just my imagination, or is it usually in your articles where I ever see Duguid’s name? And I’m not even counting the times when you cite him as your “reliable unnamed source” when no one credible is willing to help you flog your pet theories and assorted conspiracies publicly. (Note to reader: I have to admit that I am naturally suspicious when a Winnipeg Free Press reporter calls an unnamed source “reliable”. Why not name the source and let the readers determine if he is “reliable”?)

But, getting back to your “quick examination” Dan, may I suggest you have another quick look at the rest of the electoral map of Manitoba? Let us know what you think of the other close races in the province. Not that I am actually interested in your analysis but I am curious if you can talk about them without mentioning your Liberal  colleague in Winnipeg South.

And a bit of friendly advice – if you are going to take another quick look at those ridings, perhaps you might want to check with your optometrist first to determine whether the rose coloured glasses you insist on wearing on the job impede your ability to determine what is actually going on around you.

New Lib MP takes on ambassador

- December 15th, 2010

New Liberal MP Kevin Lamoureux made one of his first speeches to the House of Commons Tuesday night on prison sentences for white collar criminals. But the former MLA from Manitoba seems to have forgotten where he was.

In answering a question from NDP MP Carol Hughes, Lamoureux took aim at Manitoba’s NDP and former premier Gary Doer.

Doer, of course, is now Canada’s ambassador to the US. I don’t think MPs usually openly criticize Canada’s representative to our biggest trading partner, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything.

Madam Speaker, I see that hypocrisy within the New Democrats is not just limited to Manitoba.

If we want to look at the people who shafted seniors of their pensions and investment funds, I only need to refer to Gary Doer and the New Democrats in the province of Manitoba who did not stand up for the 33,000 Manitobans who lost $100 million-plus.

If we want to revisit history, let us talk about recent history. It was the New Democratic Party inside this chamber, just recently, that voted against the Liberal Party amendment that would have given more strength to the very bill that we are talking about today. It would have included the market manipulation of stock prices. It was that member and her party who actually voted against it and did not allow it to be a part of this legislation.

We can talk about the New Democrats and the Liberals, but the Liberals are far ahead in terms of much higher moral standards and in protecting the seniors in our country, much more so than the New Democrats, especially when they were in power in the province of Manitoba. I can guarantee that much.