Tony Genco: Michael Ignatieff’s second, third, or tenth choice?

From Jordi Morgan’s Maritime Morning show on Rogers News Talk Radio in the Maritimes,

Michael Ignatieff initially courted Julian Fantino before being turned down by the former OPP commissioner now running for the Conservative Party in Vaughan. Mr. Ignatieff continues in the interview to say that the Liberals spoke to many people to run for them in Vaughan. Why did he have to settle for former Liberal staffer, Tony Genco? If Vaughan has been a Liberal seat for over 20 years, why did Ignatieff have any trouble filling the candidacy?

Jane Taber reports,

Stephen Harper’s star candidate, Julian Fantino, was asked by Michael Ignatieff to run for the Liberals in Vaughan – but turned him down, according to the Conservatives.

Now, on the eve of Monday’s vote, the former Toronto police chief and OPP commissioner is being subjected to what the Conservatives consider character assassination by the Liberals.

And so the Tories are fighting back. They are charging hypocrisy and are breaking their silence on a secret they’ve kept since the beginning of the by-election campaign.

“We were aware from the beginning of the campaign that Mr. Ignatieff asked him to run for the Liberals,” Conservative Party spokesman Fred DeLorey said. “We had no intention of making it public – but to see the Liberals actually attack his character and integrity, a man who has committed his career to public service and fighting crime, is just too much.

UPDATE: Greg Rickford’s SO-31 in the House today,

This is awkward…

Jane Taber writes,

Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals are offering up big prizes – tickets to Ottawa Senators games and even a $150 gift certificate to Hy’s Steakhouse – to round up volunteers to help them identify the Grit vote in upcoming by-elections.

But this odd pitch for help has some Liberals wondering where the Grit spirit has gone. Why do volunteers have to be cajoled?

How very awkward. Volunteer appreciation is one thing, but with Hy’s? A good Liberal lobbyist or lawyer dining at Hy’s can bill $150 in less time than it takes to finish the gorganzola filet mignon and double-baked potato.

You know, if you keep using that word, it won’t scare Canadians anymore

The Globe and Mail’s Jane Taber writes about the latest poll showing the Conservatives climbing in the polls. Here are just the first five paragraphs. What’s the story here?

Stephen Harper, the piano man and economic manager, is making Canadians so comfortable they want to see him win a majority government, according to a new national public opinion poll.

The EKOS Research survey released to the CBC shows that the Conservatives’ substantial lead over Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals is solidifying – a lead that now has the Tories knocking on the door of a majority government.

According to EKOS, the Tories now enjoy 40.7 per cent support compared to 25.5 per cent for the Liberals, 14.3 per cent for the NDP, 10.5 per cent for the Green Party and 9.1 per cent for the Bloc.

Two polls last week showed the same upward movement for the Conservatives, edging them into majority territory.

But EKOS has gone farther by plugging their numbers into a seat projection model that gives the Harper Conservatives 167 seats, a clear majority. They now have 143 seats.

(emphasis mine)

Making the same point over and over again?

Jane Taber is spelling it out her downtown Globe readers who perhaps have not yet discerned the gravity of recent news.

The Tories are on the verge of M-A-J-O-R-I-T-Y.

Ignatieff.me

Jane Taber wrote last weekend,

For all those Canadians who think Michael Ignatieff, the newly-installed Liberal Leader, is an intellectual snob, read on: He enjoys keeping up on all the celebrity news and gossip in tabloid magazines, including Star Magazine and HELLO! Canada. As a result, he says he knows all about the ravages of cellulite, the dimply-skin problem that affects mostly women. Indeed, his knowledge of that issue is as rich as it is of the carbon cap and trade system. However, he is just enough of a snob that he refuses to be seen buying the magazines; his wife, Zsuszanna Zsohar, does that.

Dr. Ignatieff will be spending a lot of time on this mag. It’s Ignatieff.me!

UDPATE: Here are some of the videos from the site

Michael Ignatieff is a control freak!

…and other opinions we won’t hear from the Ottawa Parliamentary Press Gallery anytime soon.

Jane Taber:

Ian Davey is Michael Ignatieff’s principal secretary and he admires Stephen Harper’s steely control over the national media and the Conservative caucus.

More than once, Mr. Davey has dismissed a reporter’s attempt to get behind the scenes of a Liberal decision, noting the Harper Tories do not allow the media that kind of access.

Tearing a page from the Harper playbook is revolutionary for a Liberal. For years the Grits have suffered from very public in-fighting – battles which landed on the front pages of newspapers, aiding and abetting the party’s demise – while not a peep has been heard from the Tory caucus since Mr. Harper became leader.

“It’s worked for Harper,” Mr. Davey said, suggesting that iron discipline over caucus members and keeping the media at arm’s-length are the keys to victory.

Cue Don Newman!

Cue Bruce Campion-Smith!

Cue Tonda McCharles!

Cue Chris Cobb!

Cue Bruce Cheadle!

PMO pushes, CTV pushes back, and I give a small shove for good measure

From Susan Delacourt’s blog:

Yesterday, at the end of CTV’s Question Period broadcast, there was some strong and remarkable evidence of journalists pushing back against the Prime Minister’s Office. Rather than explain the story, why don’t I just put the transcript here? I would imagine we’ll be hearing more about this in the days to come:

JANE TABER: Craig, we’ve got to address a complaint. We received a complaint from the Prime Minister’s director of communications Sandra Buckler about something you said on the show about the fact the Environment Minister or the Finance Minister would not come on to talk about Dion’s green plan.

CRAIG OLIVER: And it was accurate for me to say they had both turned us down. However, they did offer us Jason Kenney, the Minister of Multiculturalism, to attack the government’s green plan, and we said, sorry, we’re not talking about multiculturalism, we’re talking about taxation or we’re talking about environment. And so they’re insisting that we should take their person. And the question really is who’s producing the show? Are we producing the show or is the Prime Minister’s office producing the show? Would somebody tell me?

First Jason Kenney gets rebuffed by CTV and then Craig Oliver mistakes the Liberals for the government (and Stephane Dion as the Prime Minister by extension)

ADDENDUM: Why wouldn’t Jason Kenney be permitted to speak for the government? After all, he was the first one quoted on the Conservative “Will You Be Tricked” ad campaign in Sun Media. He’s been quoted in just about every Conservative Party press release attacking Dion’s Tax Shift plan. Kenney has also been the government point man in QP answering all of the questions put forward by the Liberals on the topic of the environment during this latest Tax Trick/Green Shift arc. Kenney also had a press conference at the National Press Theatre to give the government’s reaction to Dion’s plan. It sets a horrible precedent for journalists to choose who can respond on behalf of the government.

C-10, censorship, Liberal outrage and double standards

Jane Taber in the Globe and Mail today:

The Liberals acknowledged yesterday that they tried when they were in office to eliminate tax credits for offensive movies, but only to prevent a film about schoolgirl killers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka.

Critics say that a similar move by the federal Conservative government is an attempt to censor the Canadian film and TV industry.

I tell ya, it’s never been easier to point out a double standard! While Taber does great work reporting on the Liberals coming forward first to suggest that they’ve done something similar, what she fails to mention is that the controversial section of the legislation limiting grants for subjectively offensive films is virtually word for word the same as the Liberal legislation!

In 2003, Sheila Copps, the Liberal Minister of Heritage introduced the following:

(3) The definition “Canadian film or video production certificate” in subsection 125.4(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

“Canadian film or video production certificate” means a certificate issued in respect of a production by the Minister of Canadian Heritage certifying that the production is a Canadian film or video production in respect of which that Minister is satisfied that

(a) except where the production is a prescribed treaty co-production (as defined by regulation), an acceptable share of revenues from the exploitation of the production in non-Canadian markets is, under the terms of any agreement, retained by

(i) a qualified corporation that owns or owned an interest in the production,

(ii) a prescribed taxable Canadian corporation related to the qualified corporation, or

(iii) any combination of corporations described in (i) or (ii), and

(b) public financial support of the production would not be contrary to public policy.

Guidelines

(7) The Minister of Canadian Heritage shall issue guidelines respecting the circumstances under which the conditions in paragraphs (a) and (b) of the definition of “Canadian film or video production certificate” in subsection (1) are satisfied. For greater certainty, these guidelines are not statutory instruments as defined in the Statutory Instruments Act.

and here’s the analogous parts of C-10, the Conservative legislation:

(3) The definition “Canadian film or video production certificate” in subsection 125.4(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

“Canadian film or video production certificate” means a certificate issued in respect of a production by the Minister of Canadian Heritage certifying that the production is a Canadian film or video production in respect of which that Minister is satisfied that

(a) except where the production is a treaty co-production (as defined by regulation), an acceptable share of revenues from the exploitation of the production in non-Canadian markets is, under the terms of any agreement, retained by

(i) a qualified corporation that owns or owned an interest in, or for civil law a right in, the production,

(ii) a prescribed taxable Canadian corporation related to the qualified corporation, or

(iii) any combination of corporations described in subparagraph (i) or (ii); and

(b) public financial support of the production would not be contrary to public policy.

(7) The Minister of Canadian Heritage shall issue guidelines respecting the circumstances under which the conditions in paragraphs (a) and (b) of the definition of “Canadian film or video production certificate” in subsection (1) are satisfied. For greater certainty, these guidelines are not statutory instruments as defined in the Statutory Instruments Act.

In February 2004 (under Liberal PM Paul Martin’s government), the following guidelines describing “ineligible genres of production” (those that do not qualify for a tax credit under the program:

a) news, current events or public affairs programming, or a programme that includes weather or market reports;
b) talk show;
c) production in respect of a game, questionnaire or contest (other than a production directed primarily at minors);
d) sports event or activity;
e) gala presentation or an awards show;
f) production that solicits funds;
g) reality television;
h) pornography;
i) advertising;
j) production produced primarily for industrial, corporate or institutional purposes;
k) production, other than a documentary, all or substantially all of which consists of stock footage; or
l) production for which public financial support would, in the opinion of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, be contrary to public policy.

Double standard? Yes, I think so.

I’d like to thank Jane Taber!

Not only was Taber was solid on CTV’s MDL as she put the questions to the new Liberal leader Stephane Dion, she used my blog’s research on two separate stories last night. Here’s a transcript:

Jane: Okay. Now on the environmental issue you have said that is one of your three pillars of course. That’s what you campaigned on during the leadership. Yet you have been voted I think seven times in a row the fossil of the year. What do you say to that? Because people have said your environmental plan is not –

Stephane Dion: Seven times in a row?

Jane: Seven times in a year.

Stephane Dion: The Liberal government maybe or over 13 years. Not me. I have been — I have received once this prize.

Jane: We saw the buttons at the campaign.

Stephane Dion: Yes, because of the record of the record other the years. Not because of my own achievement. To the contrary –

Jane: You were part of that government.

Stephane Dion: To the contrary, remember, we brought the world together at the Montreal conference on climate change. You remember that.

Jane: M-hm.

Stephane Dion: We put 182 nations together last December, December, 2005 at the same Palais des Congres where we had the convention last weekend. And at that time, I have been celebrated as a hero, if you allow me to say so, because we saved Kyoto at that time. And I remember that last February for the anniversary of Kyoto, the European caucus of the green party and the Belgium caucus of the green party invited me to celebrate what I have done. And they thought this I was a great minister. One when they discovered I was a Liberal they were a bit disappoint bud they gave me recognition the anyway.

Jane: Why should Canadians trust you? You were part of that government where we did see the greenhouse gas emissions go up.

Stephane Dion: Because I have been a very successful minister of environment. Madam Elizabeth May give me a prize or recognition for what I have done. The –

Jane: She is, of course, the leader of the green party now.

Stephane Dion: yes and also what I have done for nature to protect the — our seabirds. I received a prize for. That I have been a minister of the environment well accepted by the environmental groups and they are not easy. And by the industry when they are ready to work with us, they said that I was really helpful to push environmental technologies in Canada as we should. But since then, the current government is doing nothing. They always blaming us for what we have done. And they are doing nothing. If they are right, they just have to do more than us and I will do much more because this is the issue of the century.

stephane-dion-button.jpgMakes this whole blogging thing feel worthwhile when I can help shape the debate. (see my fossil of the year post here)

Taber also used my last post on Trudeau running in Outremont on the show.

Thanks Jane!

Blogging from the lion’s den

I’m here! Right now I’m sitting in the media pit at the Palais de Congrès in Montreal. After a bumpy registration process, I received full media tags and proceeded directly to find restricted places to try and get into. This media pass works wonders.

James Travers is filing a report a few desks over, Jane Taber arrived and Gloria Galloway and I caught a momentary glance across the room.

Also, great news! Mike Duffy will make his triumphant return to MDL at the convention.

The buzz in the hall and among my media colleagues (now, I’m milking it) is Howard Dean’s address to delegates tonight. Who would have thought that an NRA-endorsed anti-SSM american would be so well received among Liberals?

BYAAA!