Desperate times require desperate measures, and there is definitely a whiff of desperation coming from the Conservative camp these days. With the majority of polls showing their fortunes in decline, it would seem that Pierre Poilievre's giddy and fatuous Christmas in July's
bribe stunt was but the opening salvo in preventing voters from falling into apostasy.
Targeting those whose vote can be easily bought may pick up some extra support going into the October election, but the Harper regime still knows that its base is its real strength, and one not to be taken lightly lest some choose not to vote, a real possibility given that their man has proven to have betrayed almost all the principles upon which he had campaigned when first vying for power: Senate reform, transparency, accountability, etc. etc.
Take the regime's efforts during its latest western foray.
In Calgary, Defence Minister Jason Kenney announced that the federal government would be funding Calgary’s light rail transit expansion to the tune of $1.53 billion. Yes … that’s billion.
Kenney, MP for Calgary Southeast, made sure to point out that the money was “the single largest federal infrastructure investment” in the history of Calgary.Disavowing any connection with the impending election, Kenney described the timing as 'coincidental.'
But Kent Hehr the Liberal candidate in Calgary Centre who according to some polls is running well ahead of Conservative MP Joan Crockatt, said the notion that the timing is a coincidence is “absurd” given how long Calgary has been asking for federal support for public transit.But wait! There's more! With citizen tax revenue at their disposal, money is no object:
The Conservatives were also showering money on local community groups. According to The Calgary Herald, qualifying associations had only a month to apply for a funding program that was part of a $46-million Western Diversification initiative.
And even though the money — such as the $45,000 given to the Lake Bonavista Community Association in Calgary for upgrading its suburban facility — won’t arrive until next year, Conservative MPs are busy making the announcements this summer.Lest those who live west of Alberta feel they were not worthy of the Tory touch, there was this moral support to the beleaguered and brave fighters of forest fires: Infonews
reported the following with this headline: Man in blue suit thanks firefighters
For a second straight day, firefighting efforts at the Westside Road fire were the backdrop for political photo ops.
Today, several federal politicians stood around waiting, occasionally wiping dirt from their clothing while sweaty, ash-covered, exhausted-looking firefighters surrounded them for the tightly controlled photo opportunity. Helicopters carrying empty buckets buzzed overhead and a steady stream of wildfire fighting aircraft circled prior to the event.
Provinces fund their own firefighting. It’s not a federal responsibility.
After more than an hour wait, the press conference was over after less than five minutes. The Prime Minister would not take questions about why he was there, how much time the photo opportunity took from firefighters or what resources were used in the photo effort.
A federal election is less than three months away.And it was with withering derision that the satirical site THE LAPINE
treated the Harper entourage:
The selected firefighters were so tired and annoyed that they just silently watched Harper as he waved his arms around like a conductor and tried to get them to sing along with him in a rousing chorus of O Canada.
None of the group sang or even hummed along.
And none of them accepted the “Canada’s Better With Harper” t-shirts that the PM’s bodyguards were handing out.Said one fatigued smoke jumper with an honesty that rarely finds its way into print:
“Shit man, we’d all been out there for 12 hours or so and suddenly we’re hauled out, lined up in a parking lot, left standing for an hour, and then expected to sing O Canada so Harper can get a picture?” front-line firefighter Ted McKinley told local radio station AM 1150.
“That’s complete bullshit. Harper just wanted a picture as quickly as he could get one…he still smelled like garlic from whatever he had for lunch,” said the 37-year-old father of two.Yet the man in the blue suit proved indefatigable in his lyrical leanings:
Immediately following receiving the silent treatment from the firefighters, Harper over-compensated for the snub by waving wildly for the cameras and singing ‘The Maple Leaf Forever’ as he boarded a helicopter with Premier Clark to return to Kelowna for a scheduled beach-side fundraiser event.Contemptuous mockery. That is all Harper and his gang deserve until they meet their day of reckoning in October.