I arrived in Montreal yesterday for the convention registration and immediately bumped into a few people I knew from the leadership race and people with whom I went to school.
You can’t turn around without bumping into an MP or somebody running for national council. In fact, you couldn’t get away from any the campaign teams for the national council candidates.
One of the first people that I met yesterday was BC lower mainland MP James Moore, to whom I introduced myself. “Oh, hi Stephen. I read your website”.
Wow. Great start to a great day.
There was some sort of protest outside the hall with people dressed up with pigs but it looked small and somewhat silly. I would find out later that night that it led the CPC policy convention story on CTV news with Lloyd Robertson. Talk about taking things out of scope!
The opening ceremonies were similar to a pep rally and included great speeches from Rona Ambrose, Peter Mackay, and Rahim Jaffer, John Baird, and Nina Grewal. The most memorable line from the event came from Mackay: “We must never again let another party define who we are or what we stand for”.
Then the hospitality suites…
So, there are these people running for national council and they want the delegates to vote for them, so they rent out hospitality suites and bribe us all with alcohol. Life is good. Best suites of the night go to the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy group (free booze and great Kosher food) and Susan McCarther (free booze and more free booze). Least popular suite of the night: Lois Brown (cash bar).
It was a great night filled with meeting a lot of interesting people.
Convention sidenote: everybody here is connected through cellphones. People who are actually connected use Blackberrys.