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Conservative staffer sought ethnic people in costume for photo-op

Email asks for people in “national folklore costume” to attend campaign event


 

A campaign staffer for a Conservative MP in Etobicoke Centre sent out an email seeking people in “national folklore costume” to appear for a photo-op during a campaign stop by Stephen Harper on Thursday. The email, written by campaign staffer Zeljko Zidaric, asked for representation from the Canadian Arab Federation at a rally for Tory MP Ted Opitz. “Do you have any cultural groups that would like to participate by having someone at the event in an ethnic costume?” the email read, and went on to say that 20 people in “national folklore costumes” were being sought for a photo-op. Canadian Arab Federation president Khaled Mouamar compared the photo-op to “a Halloween Party” and called out the Conservative party for cutting more than $1-million in funding to the Federation. “So suddenly now we exist as props for a photo op?” Opitz denied knowing about the email, saying did not “support its characterization or intent.”

CBC News


 
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Conservative staffer sought ethnic people in costume for photo-op

  1. It's inspiring us to have a special "Etnic Dress-up" day where I work :)

  2. It's inspiring us to have a special "Etnic Dress-up" day where I work :)

  3. I find this thoroughly uncontroversial. Every party is guilty of using one dimensional caricatures of people as a backdrop/meat props.

  4. I find this thoroughly uncontroversial. Every party is guilty of using one dimensional caricatures of people as a backdrop/meat props.

    • I dunno, I can see why some people would find it offensive to have their traditional garb referred to as "folklore costume".

  5. Conservatives can still show up in their regular dress, red nose and floppy shoes is ok.

    Is it really ok clowns work hard to be clowns then these wannabe’s show up and boom the clown movement gets set back 100 years.

    Everytime I go to do a gig some mime shows up and mimes can I take a picture with you Mr. Harper….

    Signed Librow the Sad Clown :(

  6. Conservatives can still show up in their regular dress, red nose and floppy shoes is ok.

    Is it really ok clowns work hard to be clowns then these wannabe’s show up and boom the clown movement gets set back 100 years.

    Everytime I go to do a gig some mime shows up and mimes can I take a picture with you Mr. Harper….

    Signed Librow the Sad Clown :(

  7. That is the substance of Harper and Co. Photo-ops and attack ads. The Liberals had the $100 million adscam pinned to them after 13 years in power. Now we have Harper and co. blowing $50 million (and counting) on another photo-op (G20/8) after 5 years. So Harper thinks that a pretty photo-op is enough to buy the votes in Etobicoke Centre. The votes in that constituency are really cheap.

  8. What's wrong with that? I work at a university and each year we organize an event celebrating our cultures. And yes, people do don their traditional ethnic clothing and bring ethnic food. This entire "controversy" shows how stupid political correctness has become…

  9. That is the substance of Harper and Co. Photo-ops and attack ads. The Liberals had the $100 million adscam pinned to them after 13 years in power. Now we have Harper and co. blowing $50 million (and counting) on another photo-op (G20/8) after 5 years. So Harper thinks that a pretty photo-op is enough to buy the votes in Etobicoke Centre. The votes in that constituency are really cheap.

  10. What's wrong with that? I work at a university and each year we organize an event celebrating our cultures. And yes, people do don their traditional ethnic clothing and bring ethnic food. This entire "controversy" shows how stupid political correctness has become…

    • Imagine someone was encouraging catholic priests to come out in their "folklore costumes".

      You really think they wouldn't take offense?

    • Except when the "ethnic" is of Arab origins born in canaDDDDA, remember Mr. Khadhr?

    • Harper was born and raised in Toronto.

      • And boy, it shows when he tries to dress western.

        • Is it wrong to say that anyone who dresses like that looks hokey? :)

          And I am from the west.

      • Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Harper doesn't want his western base to know he's not really one of them.

  11. The problem here is that they cut funding to these ethnic groups, and then expect them to show up, dressed in ethic clothes for a photo-op, as if the Conservatives support these groups. That's not "celebrating heritage"…that is flagrant abuse of cultural minorites. Cutting their funding, using them, and using the pictures to tell a lie. How can anyone, even the staunchest Conservative supportor, support this?

  12. Dave-O appears to be comparing ethnic costumes to clown costumes. I would think that would be insulting to the various ethnic groups. Would any Scots in kilts appreciate that?

    It's pretty ridiculous that having people represent their groups in ethnic costumes is considered somehow demeaning!

  13. Dave-O appears to be comparing ethnic costumes to clown costumes. I would think that would be insulting to the various ethnic groups. Would any Scots in kilts appreciate that?

    It's pretty ridiculous that having people represent their groups in ethnic costumes is considered somehow demeaning!

    • I'am a Scot and we have a saying "ye can not trust a Harper"

  14. I saw a photo of Harper speaking with a very diverse group behind him. What they don't show is the sea of white in front of him. What bothers me most though, is that the candidate knew nothing about this. How is it that polititions want us all to believe that they can walk on water, but when things go wrong they suddenly have amnesia or have no idea what any of their staff are doing. Harper for instance wants us to believe that he had no idea that one of his top advisors is a criminal. It wasn't like this guy was hired to get his coffee.

  15. I saw a photo of Harper speaking with a very diverse group behind him. What they don't show is the sea of white in front of him. What bothers me most though, is that the candidate knew nothing about this. How is it that polititions want us all to believe that they can walk on water, but when things go wrong they suddenly have amnesia or have no idea what any of their staff are doing. Harper for instance wants us to believe that he had no idea that one of his top advisors is a criminal. It wasn't like this guy was hired to get his coffee.

    • This is somehow different then the liberals or the NDP? The fact is, is that white people are the ethnic majority, so most public events are going to usually be mostly made up of white people, unless such an event is specifically targeted towards a certain group. Using the 'theres so many white people' argument is a straw man.

    • Conservatives are traditionally racist and bigots, it is their core ideology.

      • Trolls are traditionally shallow and opinionated.

  16. So what? Now Michael Ignatieff is complaining about this. What on earth is the Liberal Party of Canada doing?

  17. So what? Now Michael Ignatieff is complaining about this. What on earth is the Liberal Party of Canada doing?

    • Ignatieff is not mentioned once in the article. Can you back up your claim?

    • I agree with Keith. I am a Harper supporter, but I don't like people being slammed. If you have the proof, show it, if you don't, retract your statement.

    • Michael Ignatieff shouldn't even be in the election as he is appointed to the position of a "leader" by the Party Bosses of the party which used to be Liberal Party of Canada, many eons ago. Hope all the Party Bosses of that lobby group vote hor him.

  18. I'am a Scot and we have a saying "ye can not trust a Harper"

  19. The dress-up for the photo-op is really nothing to get riled up about.

    But the fact that they cut funding and are now asking them to pose for the people who cut their funding is a bit rich.

  20. The dress-up for the photo-op is really nothing to get riled up about.

    But the fact that they cut funding and are now asking them to pose for the people who cut their funding is a bit rich.

  21. Harper was born and raised in Toronto.

  22. Ignatieff is not mentioned once in the article. Can you back up your claim?

  23. And boy, it shows when he tries to dress western.

  24. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Harper doesn't want his western base to know he's not really one of them.

  25. Just to clarify – Ted Opitz is the CPC candidate for Etobicoke Centre. Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj is the incumbent MP.

  26. Just to clarify – Ted Opitz is the CPC candidate for Etobicoke Centre. Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj is the incumbent MP.

    • Has Borys actually said anything? Scanning through the media, I was expecting to at the least hear a quote from the incumbent, but have seen/heard nothing yet.

  27. We NEED a national costume day. It would be fun.

  28. More desperation from the Liberal/Separatists and their whores in the media… it's getting to the point of being laughable. Manufacturing "Culture Wars" is the best you divide @ conquer Liberal/Separatists have got… Pathetic!

  29. More desperation from the Liberal/Separatists and their whores in the media… it's getting to the point of being laughable. Manufacturing "Culture Wars" is the best you divide @ conquer Liberal/Separatists have got… Pathetic!

    • Pot meet kettle. With every single post you ever post here.

      • Pot meet kettle. With every single post you ever post here.

    • The ignorant American Republican troll is at it again. Pathetic!

      • This comment was deleted.

        • You can do better than that. More anger please!

          • You can do worse then that. More pathetic desperation please!

      • The thin-skinned Proud Canadian blow-hard is replicated for the millionth time on the maclean's blog

  30. Pot meet kettle. With every single post you ever post here.

  31. The ignorant American Republican troll is at it again. Pathetic!

  32. Pot meet kettle. With every single post you ever post here.

  33. You can do better than that. More anger please!

  34. You can do worse then that. More pathetic desperation please!

  35. Who cares – ever see how a politician dresses when he visits the stampede

  36. Who cares – ever see how a politician dresses when he visits the stampede

  37. Is it wrong to say that anyone who dresses like that looks hokey? :)

    And I am from the west.

  38. so you are saying that the only way to show support of a certain group is to give an organization that may or may not have it's members best interest at heart money? I am not knocking the above organization at all, I know nothing about it, but I dislike the idea that to 'support' any group, we have to give a special interest group money. Maybe we should stop funding all special interest groups, and support the citizens by lowering taxes. Can't do that – that's not support.

  39. so you are saying that the only way to show support of a certain group is to give an organization that may or may not have it's members best interest at heart money? I am not knocking the above organization at all, I know nothing about it, but I dislike the idea that to 'support' any group, we have to give a special interest group money. Maybe we should stop funding all special interest groups, and support the citizens by lowering taxes. Can't do that – that's not support.

  40. I agree with Keith. I am a Harper supporter, but I don't like people being slammed. If you have the proof, show it, if you don't, retract your statement.

  41. Replying to indygestion

    that wasn't good – it was dumb – a real cartoonist could have made it funny

    do you own that website?

  42. Replying to indygestion

    that wasn't good – it was dumb – a real cartoonist could have made it funny

    do you own that website?

  43. I think we all have to be honest and admit this is a non-issue. It is a photo op, and all parties do this. It would be the same if they said that wanted a bunch of little kids, or a bunch of army personnel.

    We have an election going on. Can we have the media report issues that matter?

    Actually, there appears to be a bit of a slant here. Don't you think it would have been more appropriate to say 'ethnic dress', not 'costume'. Costume gives it a meaner connotation, when you just read the headline. Do ethnic people prefer that we call it a costume?

  44. I think we all have to be honest and admit this is a non-issue. It is a photo op, and all parties do this. It would be the same if they said that wanted a bunch of little kids, or a bunch of army personnel.

    We have an election going on. Can we have the media report issues that matter?

    Actually, there appears to be a bit of a slant here. Don't you think it would have been more appropriate to say 'ethnic dress', not 'costume'. Costume gives it a meaner connotation, when you just read the headline. Do ethnic people prefer that we call it a costume?

    • So if they had called it 'ethnic dress' like everyone else does instead of 'folklore costume' it would have made it okay. That's what bothers me. If the liberals or NDP had done this nobody would care, or at most congratulate them for respecting Canada's 'cultural diversity'.

  45. The thin-skinned Proud Canadian blow-hard is replicated for the millionth time on the maclean's blog

  46. I dunno, I can see why some people would find it offensive to have their traditional garb referred to as "folklore costume".

  47. Imagine someone was encouraging catholic priests to come out in their "folklore costumes".

    You really think they wouldn't take offense?

  48. Oh you got me!

  49. While the left leaning media desperately searches for yet another faux scandal to gin up – this one being the CPC daring to do a "photo op", something done by all parties, in all elections, since the first democratic election was held,

    they carefully stay away from reporting "on the ground" stories around the subject area – 905.

    Why?

    Because they put a lie to the media narrative. There is no "outcry" in the ethnic ridings. Oh sure the media will find a liberal supporter or two and highlight them as evidence of the outcry.

    In fact, those ridings are turning solidly conservative. The following story is not for the liberal feint of heart, or for those who wish to stay comfortably in the leftist media bubble of faux reality:
    http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/l_ia

  50. While the left leaning media desperately searches for yet another faux scandal to gin up – this one being the CPC daring to do a "photo op", something done by all parties, in all elections, since the first democratic election was held,

    they carefully stay away from reporting "on the ground" stories around the subject area – 905.

    Why?

    Because they put a lie to the media narrative. There is no "outcry" in the ethnic ridings. Oh sure the media will find a liberal supporter or two and highlight them as evidence of the outcry.

    In fact, those ridings are turning solidly conservative. The following story is not for the liberal feint of heart, or for those who wish to stay comfortably in the leftist media bubble of faux reality:
    http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/l_ia

  51. Also note that the above "news" must come from a columnist?

    Note how he's commenting on things that actually haven't been reported on?

    As Norm Spector noted astutely, the media are now "redoubling" and "retripling" efforts to take down Harper, the worse Iggy does.

    The media actively campaigning for Iggy is the scandal of our generation.

  52. Also note that the above "news" must come from a columnist?

    Note how he's commenting on things that actually haven't been reported on?

    As Norm Spector noted astutely, the media are now "redoubling" and "retripling" efforts to take down Harper, the worse Iggy does.

    The media actively campaigning for Iggy is the scandal of our generation.

  53. And it goes on and on and on. When will people in this country wake up. Get out and vote and get this guy out, because the one thing he doesn't want to see is a big voter turn out. The less people vote, the less the youth vote the greater chance for the conservative party to win again. VOTE!!!!!

  54. And it goes on and on and on. When will people in this country wake up. Get out and vote and get this guy out, because the one thing he doesn't want to see is a big voter turn out. The less people vote, the less the youth vote the greater chance for the conservative party to win again. VOTE!!!!!

  55. Has Borys actually said anything? Scanning through the media, I was expecting to at the least hear a quote from the incumbent, but have seen/heard nothing yet.

  56. No, not really. Liberals have been getting people to do it for decades. Except it's typically referred to as "showing off our cultural diversity" instead of "photo op".

  57. This is somehow different then the liberals or the NDP? The fact is, is that white people are the ethnic majority, so most public events are going to usually be mostly made up of white people, unless such an event is specifically targeted towards a certain group. Using the 'theres so many white people' argument is a straw man.

  58. So if they had called it 'ethnic dress' like everyone else does instead of 'folklore costume' it would have made it okay. That's what bothers me. If the liberals or NDP had done this nobody would care, or at most congratulate them for respecting Canada's 'cultural diversity'.

  59. Well yes, I didn't expect you'd see the problem.

    Hint: Most of us with some amount of sensitivity understand that calling traditional garb a "costume", or the traditions they're based on "folklore" is generally offensive.

  60. Well yes, I didn't expect you'd see the problem.

    Hint: Most of us with some amount of sensitivity understand that calling traditional garb a "costume", or the traditions they're based on "folklore" is generally offensive.

  61. Ok, as an ethnic minority, university-educated immigrant, I find THAT offensive.
    You mean we should only be counted to show up and take part when the political party in power buys us out?
    Celebrating heritage shouldn't need funding – my heritage is strong enough and proud enough that we can pay our own way. Or is that un-Canadian?

    Having read the e-mail, I'm offended that this is even being viewed as a scandal.
    Or perhaps it's only scandalous when the Conservatives do it (and not the Liberals or NDP, because unlike the Conservatives, they are entitled to ethnic support)?

  62. Ok, as an ethnic minority, university-educated immigrant, I find THAT offensive.
    You mean we should only be counted to show up and take part when the political party in power buys us out?
    Celebrating heritage shouldn't need funding – my heritage is strong enough and proud enough that we can pay our own way. Or is that un-Canadian?

    Having read the e-mail, I'm offended that this is even being viewed as a scandal.
    Or perhaps it's only scandalous when the Conservatives do it (and not the Liberals or NDP, because unlike the Conservatives, they are entitled to ethnic support)?

  63. Except when the "ethnic" is of Arab origins born in canaDDDDA, remember Mr. Khadhr?

  64. Conservatives are traditionally racist and bigots, it is their core ideology.

  65. Michael Ignatieff shouldn't even be in the election as he is appointed to the position of a "leader" by the Party Bosses of the party which used to be Liberal Party of Canada, many eons ago. Hope all the Party Bosses of that lobby group vote hor him.

  66. Trolls are traditionally shallow and opinionated.

  67. Why should we taxpayers give our hard-earned money to the Arab Federation, or any other special interest group??

  68. Why should we taxpayers give our hard-earned money to the Arab Federation, or any other special interest group??

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