Conservatives should make the most of January

The quiet political season will end with a thud on Jan. 27


Patrick Doyle/CP

“This contract is being cancelled.” —Jake Enwright, a spokesman for Industry Minister James Moore

Stephen Harper’s team is assumed to be in a collectively bad mood because, for months, they’ve deflected and denied the PM’s role in Senate skullduggery and, as one year gave way to another, looked awful in the polls. These are not banner times for the Tories, who are once again bickering among themselves in Calgary, where the years-old tradition of occasionally challenging MP Rob Anders for the party’s nomination has once again taken its turn in the sunshine.

Shove those increasingly chronic distractions to the side, though, and the government’s had a reasonably controlled month. The small fires on this week’s front pages are, for the most part so far, here today, gone tomorrow.

The Globe and Mail fronts a story about first responders hoping the feds will craft emergency plans not just for oil-related rail disasters, but all manner of flammable liquid. Lisa Raitt, the transport minister, can stickhandle that demand with her eyes closed. The Toronto Star trumpets a story about a $420,000 federal contract that was released into the world for only a day before Industry Minister James Moore nixed it. The contract would have sought advice on how to bolster Canadian manufacturing fortunes during trade negotiations. Don’t need to spend the dough, says Moore. The Ottawa Citizen reports salacious details of alleged electoral fraud on the part of MP Dean Del Mastro’s family. The Peterborough conservative, formerly a Conservative, is already booted from caucus.

No, so far, the government has spent 2014 muddling on through. The Senate’s demons are, currently, of no concern. But the reprieve can’t last, of course. The House of Commons reconvenes on Jan. 27. Before we know it, the yelling will begin anew, the finger-pointing and the rhetoric just as we remembered, and it’ll be game time all over again. Enjoy your January, conservative defence specialists.


Globe: Municipal leaders and first responders want the feds to plan for more than crude derailments.

Post: Hillary Clinton allegedly ranked her political friends and enemies according to their loyalty.

Star: The feds nixed a contract that would have advised how to bolster manufacturing in trade deals.

Citizen: Investigators executed a search warrant at a company owned by MP Dean Del Mastro‘s cousin.

CBC: The feds’ advertising of a job grant that doesn’t exist cost taxpayers $2.5 million.

CTV: Quebec’s government is opening public hearings into its values charter later today.

NNW: See the Ottawa Citizen


Near: Defence department auditors reported on the social struggles faced by relocated military families.

Far: Dozens were killed in Baghdad car bomb attacks after UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon visited Iraq.

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Conservatives should make the most of January

  1. Has anyone noticed lately, that steven harper is starting to emulate his panda bears, you can only look at him from 30 feet away.

    • Whaaat? No words from you in support of Neil Young and his Harper bashing. I wonder why.

      • im not really into music the way most are, but if it takes awareness of how our oil is being produced in this country because this government want to suppress information, than Neil has my vote, but I don’t totally agree with shutting down the oil sands(we can try to find balance). This “No Brainer ” attitude, destroying vital information in the science world and its ” my way or the highway ” attitude dosnt cut the mustard for me either, and its also a little too Orwellian for me. Depriving citizens of information, is a crime, and smells of some kind of cover-up, Neil Youngs statements are considered democracy(citizens voicing their concerns, not breaking laws to suit your cause), and finally, I would go to a Neil Young concert any day over listening to some hurdy gurdy man(harper)trying to regain the confidence of the people he tries to demonize each day..

        • Yeah, it’s not like Neil Young is demonizing anyone . . .

      • Your boss is gonna be mad when he finds out you’re moonlighting with Neil. Best get back on track with …whaaat about Justin?…

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Has anyone noticed you don’t know enough to start your sentence with a capital letter. No one likes a grammar nazi NotRick.

        • Mine was a typo, his makes clear he doesn’t know how to spell the PMs name. Now go find a life that doesn’t involve trolling me 12 hours a day.

          • The reason I dont spell Steven Harpers name way you do or the way Steve would like me to, is, to bug people like you. And just what I thought, you bit for it.

          • And he’s simply too lazy to fix it. Do you ever tire of getting it wrong?
            [Note to self, read post below and above first.]
            12 hours a day eh. Did have to dig down much into your tuthiness bag to retrieve that one?

      • Is it spelled….D I c k h e a d?

  2. Whaaaaaaaat?? No words from Nick on how Neil Young has spoken out against the bad, bad Harper?

    Perhaps Nick agrees with me that the more we listen to Neil Young, the better Harper sounds. LOL.

    If I were Nick I would be very quiet about Neil Young too.

    • I have to be honest Francien, i may have had a few words of indifference to what this author used to publish, but after reading quite a few of his pieces, i also come to realize that this author is of the most non partisans reporters ive read, he like a lot more authors here, just try to publish the story and try not to be the story, and they dont create stories, they just report stories. Im not saying i like everything they print, but I find Macleans to be a very well balanced magazine.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • Wouid you rather he wrote: enjoy your stupid comment of the day NotRick?

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Hey, life is full of disappointment. I’m sure you dreamed you’d be more than than an email spammer who created a fake internet persona, complete with social networking pages, in order to pretend he was a bank manager, who spends his time demonstrating a pathological inability to be honest or comprehend written comments.

          • Am i getting to you today or something? Take a deep breath and troll onward.

          • NotRick on the Tim Hudak thread:

            “OMG LOL FTW You Go Girl! Do you guys hold weekly circle jerks where you come up with brilliant ways you to reaffirm each others vapid stupidity…”

            “LOL Okay, so you call the Tories “deep thinkers” and then you can’t get yourself to come up with a single job creation strategy…”

            “Ohhhhhhh!!!!! You really burned me there!!!! Where do you get your incredible wit?!?!”

            “I nominate you for the biggest idiot of all time on the internet.”

            NotRick here: “Have you ever desired more out of life than trolling the internet calling people names? Or is that what you’ve aspired to since you were in grade school? Or are you still in grade school?”


          • You’d never confuse him for Guanilon, that’s for sure.
            Guanilon! Where are you?
            These boards need you!

        • So, how are them 24/7 taxpayer cliffhangers going for your guy
          (steve) ? Do you think taxpayers should be paying for propaganda ? most of your guys(cons) were common frumps before they were elected and got at the trough.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Spending taxpayer money to promote the Conservative government is stealing it to fraudulently help them electorally, Stupie.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Sorry stupie, legislators write laws, not dictionaries.

          • Your government
            (cons) is a waste, period !

    • I hope you weren’t referring to how well Harper sounds musically. Even in his sixties Neil would sound better than Steve if they routed his vocals through a toilet bowl.

      • I wasn’t referring to Young’s or Harper’s musical strengths. I was referring to Neil Young’s child like understanding of reality.

        • Hmmm, well, you’re not exactly qualified to judge the child like understanding of pret’near anyone; in my not so humble opinion.

        • I’m not sure someone that makes multiple comments insisting on discussing a topic which isn’t relevant to the piece in question, a topic which is the subject of another piece on this website(complete with comment section), is in any position to compare anyone else to a child.

        • I’ll take Neil’s Sugar Mountain over your Splenda Mountain, thank you very much.

      • But surely Neil can be a little extreme in his views at times.
        After all, he was less than charitable toward that nice Cortez man.

    • “Perhaps Nick agrees with me that the more we listen to Neil Young, the better Harper sounds. LOL”

      Yeesh, Neil Young is the bar you set for evaluating the PM’s performance?

    • Nobody cares about what Neil Young thinks except his fellow burnt out geriatrics. Don’t worry, he’ll forget where he is a few days and go back home to California.

      • Yeah, those guys and all the people reading the media reports on it.

  3. Puzzlement … has anyone seen Francie and Aaron ( or
    alternatively, “Wherry” ) at the same place at the same time ?
    Seems they both disappeared ( vacation !!) around the same
    time and reappeared around the same time … a coincidence ?
    .. or conspiracy ?

    • Wait till Nick finds out they’re one and the same person, the feathers will fly. That is what you meant right?

      • I think BG means they’ve been having an illicit tryst somewhere, frolicking in the sand and brainstorming how to bump up comments on Aaron’s articles (FV: “What if I plaster crazyarse comments all over everyone else’s comments, Aaron, would that work?”)

        • I’ve long suspected as much. ( at one point I did think she could be Wells tormenting us)
          Well we could all do with a little frolicking and illicit trysting now and then. As long as she doesn’t cramp his style.

          • And visa versa, of course…

          • She certainly gives me a cramp.

          • More of a pain in the lower back region — very very low.

          • More of a brain cramp for me.

    • Maybe not the disease…more like he’s just the main symptom.

    • Context is everything. She meant it like “Bieber Fever”. Harp-burn, I guess?

    • Hmm, the way I read her comment, was that she was naming the “disease” of secrecy after Harper, and noting that it is spreading. But go ahead and try to invent a diversion instead of addressing the issue she raised.

    • More seriously, is there something about the neocon mindset that requires an abandonment of metaphor? You bring to mind those who took Scott Reid’s “kill them dead” column as literal.

      • Not all methaphors are insults. In fact, most of them aren’t. It’s not the metaphor aspect of the phrase that is unpleasant.

    • When Harper wrote about a firewall around Alberta, did you seriously think he was worried about the flames raging in Saskatchewan and B.C.?

      It might surprise you to know that Martin Luther King did not, in fact, climb to a mountaintop.

      • He didn’t!…i may have to reconsider his place in history.

    • When one NFL team “destroys” another, you must weep for the surviving families.

    • Granted, all of this lacks the subtle wordcrafting of “Taliban Jack” and calling opponents pedophile supporters, but do extend a wee bit of poetic leniency to those not as articulate and thoughtful as our current government.

      • Are you one of those people who jump on the “we need more civil discourse” and “we need a functional parliament” and “question period is a farce” bandwagons?

        Seems to me that calling someone a disease is not the right approach towards civility and informed debate.

        • neither is calling Jack Layton Taliban Jack – you conservative numbskulls have no shame

          • I have never called Layton Taliban Jack, so shut the heck up.

    • That’s not possible. All I’ve ever heard from Liberals and Justin Trudeau is that Liberals don’t believe in negative politics. Could it be that Justin Trudeau is just another cynical lying politician? Heaven forbid!

    • Lame! Real lame!
      A 10 year old can see it’s Harper’s addiction to secrecy she is talking about.
      Which rules out most of the conbot and conspiracy crowd around here i suppose.

    • Your grade 8 grammar teacher is on the phone. Something about a remedial grammar lesson? The subject of a sentence? Anyway, she sounded disappointed.

  4. From the NP…

    “Mr. Fenton later told him that Mr. Del Mastro would not give a statement or provide any records but “would co-operate if provided ‘immunity,’” Mr. Lamothe said.”

    “David Del Mastro denied any knowledge of the execution of a search warrant at his company last year.
    “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he said, then added, “Have a good night, you little f—ing motherf—er.”