CBC blurs line between journalism and Liberal ‘pamphleteering’
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has big plans.
Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced that he will resign from his position on the board of the Conservative Party of Canada’s fundraising arm. The sudden resignation comes amid a scramble for organization within the party according to a recent article in Maclean’s.
Top Conservative sources have told Maclean’s that Harper’s resignation is allow him to block Jean Charest’s campaign for the party leadership. Although the two once worked closely in the early days of Harper’s reign as Prime Ministers they had a falling out over Charest’s use of funds in Quebec. In 2007, Charest transferred $2.3 billion federal dollars to the Quebec government to pay for tax cuts in the hope to increase his chances for reelection. Harper became suspicious of Charest who ran the Quebec Liberal Party for 15 years.
Charest was formally the premier of Quebec and leader of the Progressive Conservative party from 1993-1998. Charest asked Harper for his blessing to run before Christmas but Harper refused, claiming the party of today was not that of the one Charest had lead in the past. Charest is still likely to run and Harper has decided to get involved in the campaign according to sources.
Harper had already been urged to resign by friends and party officials since the resignation of former party leader Andrew Scheer. This comes at the heels of the dismissal of executive director, Dustin Van Vugt, over Scheer’s expenses. Most conservatives had expected Harper to make a quiet exit eventually but instead he resigned this week without notice while on a trip to India. Harper was attending a forum on international relations and security.
The Conservative Fund Canada handles the finances for the Conservative Party. Since the merger was formed between the Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance back in 2003, the fund has been enormously successful.
“The Fund’s in disarray,” said one Conservative senior veteran.
Despite leaving the fund Harper will remain closely involved with the party one source said. Fund members have to stay neutral during leadership campaigns and Harper wants for more “latitude” than the rule permits another source said.
Peter MacKay is going to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, and is expecting to officially announce his candidacy on social media this evening.
On Wednesday as well, Rona Ambrose, the former CPC interim leader, announced she will not be running in the leadership contest, despite persistent rumours and encouragement from party stalwarts.
The official launch for MacKay’s campaign will take place next week in Central Nova, which is his old riding. MacKay served as a cabinet minister under the Harper government, previously serving a crucial role in the formation of the modern Conservative Party.
Rona Ambrose, on the other hand, will reportedly not run for the CPC leadership, according to an article in La Presse. Sources have stated that Ambrose made no effort to organize a campaign team. “She will not be a candidate,” a Conservative source stated to the French-speaking newspaper.
Despite this, there has been much support for Ambrose from within the federal party caucus. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, for instance, said that “she would be a brilliant leader.”
The leadership race now seems to be between MacKay, Poilievre, Gladu and O’Toole, although MacKay will be the first candidate to announce.
A few days ago, the party released the rules of the leadership race. Most notably, the prospective candidates will only have two months to procure $300,000 in cash and 3,000 signatures.
Both the signatures and the financial deadlines will be staggered so that wealthier candidates do not have an advantage over those who are less-wealthy.
The Conservative Party of Canada’s internal investigation and report into how the party lost to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals in the 2019 federal election found that inexperienced staff and too much top-down control of the campaign were main factors leading to the loss, despite the CPC winning the popular vote.
The report, handled by CPC party stalwart and former Harper cabinet Minister John Baird, found that two major factors in the loss of the election were inexperienced staffers and giving too much of the campaign decision-making to Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s campaign manager Hamish Marshall, according to a report released by CBC on Tuesday evening.
CBC journalists spoke to multiple party sources who said the report also included the election revelations that Scheer held dual Canadian-American citizenship (despite Scheer criticizing other politicians for holding dual citizenship) and that he falsely claimed he was once a certified insurance broker.
“I have always taken full responsibility for the campaign,” Marshall told CBC. “The buck stops with me.”
Baird was tasked by Scheer to do the election campaign’s postmortem, with him reporting the findings back to Scheer.
The party caucus next meets on January 24, but it’s unclear whether the report will be shared with the Conservative MPs.
Prospective leadership candidate, Erin O’Toole, has posted a video to his social media, lamenting the censoring of Canadian greats from our history books, and attacking cancel culture.
In the video, O’Toole slated those who removed a statue of John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first prime minister, from Victoria: “Is this how we learn from history?” he asked.
He also went after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for renaming the Prime Minister’s Office, which was originally called the Langevin Building. “Pierre Trudeau opened four residential schools. By the time he was prime minister, it was well-known how bad this program could be. I guess by that logic, if you’re removing Langevin’s name from the [P.M.O] building, you should remove Trudeau’s name from Montreal’s Trudeau international airport.”
Erin O’Toole is the member of parliment for Durham in Ontario. Recently, he has noticeably re-vamped his social media output, with commentators speculating O’Toole will make a bid for leadership of the Conservative Party.
Late last year, The Post Millennial reported that O’Toole was preparing a leadership bid according to sources close to him. The Durham MP currently serves as the Opposition Critic of Foreign Affairs.
O’Toole finished third in the last CPC leadership race.