Jan. 20, 2021

Erin O'Toole's far-right line in the sand

CBC News – Conservative MPs today voted to expel Derek Sloan from caucus after the eastern Ontario MP accepted a donation from a notorious white nationalist.
     Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole initiated the ouster earlier this week after news emerged that Paul Fromm — whose ties to white supremacist and neo-Nazi causes have long been documented — had contributed $131 to Sloan's leadership campaign.


CBC News – “There is no place for the far right in our party.” That’s a quote from a statement released on Sunday by Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, where he condemns the riot in the U.S. Capitol and paints a moderate picture of the Conservative Party under his leadership.  



The federal conservatives appear determined to lose the next election. Several things about the above articles are bothersome.

First, whoever is advising O’Toole on public relations and media strategy should be fired forthwith. Why would a Conservative leader use the derogatory term “far-right,” ordinarily aimed at anyone who disagrees with a leftist? The correct response is that there is no room in our democracy for extremists of any political stripe.

Second, the CBC is not impartial and cannot be since the federal government funds it. It follows that the CBC is not a free press under our Charter. Either the CBC has to be privatized, or it must be prohibited from political and government commentary.

Third, airing a kerfuffle over a $131 donation to a leadership contest in public is insane. The image projected is that a potential CPC leader can be bought for the price of a decent dinner for two. There are no principles involved. Did no one consider the donation amount was deliberately under the $200 mark that would require mandatory listing by Elections Canada?

Fourth, O’Toole walked into a setup with his eyes open and blew it. Canadians are looking for a responsible replacement for the incumbents, and this stupidity makes O’Toole and the party look petty and silly. We are creating a scandal where there is none.

Fifth, while O’Toole and the CPC caucus are in an internal battle, they are failing to counter a media effort to paint O’Toole as Trump north. Enter “O’Toole and Trump” in your favourite search engine, and you will find articles from the Financial Post, Torstar, Globe and Mail, Hamilton Spectator, the Georgia Straight, CBC, and others. 

We need our Loyal Opposition to focus on the virus and the economy and to put forward plans that will work. We are, as the government keeps telling us, in unprecedented times. The environmental plans and climate change plans that were viable in 2019 are no longer so.  

The robust economy that allowed the luxury of engaging in ideological policies lies in ruins. We need to resurrect the oil and gas sector to generate income to kick-start the economy. U.S. President Biden has killed the Keystone pipeline. It is clear we have to build pipelines to tidewater on all three coasts and build an energy self-sufficient Canada.

Conservative efforts should be on presenting a competent government in waiting. Internal bickering in public while the media defines us as suffering from Trumpism is a disaster. Who knew that Trumpism is even a word? Our media is completely mad.