UPDATED: If you're going to spin, at least get your facts straight: Ryan Sparrow Mistweets. Again. - Macleans.ca

UPDATED: If you’re going to spin, at least get your facts straight: Ryan Sparrow Mistweets. Again.

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UPDATED: NEW MATERIAL IN BOLD

More lessons in how not to score political points and rebuild your credibility with the media, courtesy of Conservative misspokesperson Ryan Sparrow, with extraneous internal dialogue as imagined by ITQ, not that there’s much chance you’d mistake it for anything else:

OMG, you guys! Check out what happened at Agriculture committee this morning!

From: “Ryan Sparrow”
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 11:11:50
To:undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject:

The agriculture committee just passed a motion condemning the carbon tax
because of the effect on farmers. The Liberal MPs split on the vote,
with three MPs, Wayne Easter, Omar Alghabra and Lloyd St. Amand voting with the Conservatives to pass the motion.

This is just another sign of a liberal split in caucus for Dion’s tax on everything……

For your reference the motion text states:

That the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food urges the
Government of Canada to ensure Canadian
farmers are not saddled with a carbon tax which would further increase
their input costs and hurt their competitiveness
vis-a-vis their American competitors.

Let me know if you need anything else.

Ryan

That’s right, the Liberal caucus SPLIT on a motion condemning the carbon tax! Even Dion’s caucus is against his Permanent Tax on Everything! Can this be the end for our hapless everything-taxer?

A few minutes later:

Yeah, so remember that haha-gotcha motion that I blastmailed out to every reporter on my contact list this morning? The one that I said showed a split in the Liberal caucus over the carbon tax? Turns out that wasn’t quite what happened. The Liberals amended it to call for a study on what effect a carbon tax would have on farmers, and then voted in favour of the amended motion. But really, that’s practically the same thing, right? Right? Guys?

From: “Ryan Sparrow”
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 12:13:53
To:undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject:

Here is the final version of the motion in committee which was passed with the help of three liberals.

“That the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food study the negative effects of a carbon tax or broad based environment tax and ensure Canadian farmers are not saddled with a carbon tax which would further increase their input costs and hurt their competitiveness vis-a-vis their American competitors.”

At this point, it’s not clear whether any Liberals actually voted against the amended motion, since there are only four of them on the committee. I’d ask Ryan Sparrow, but — yeah, I’ll just wait for the minutes instead. It’ll save time in the long run.

UPDATE: Serves me right for foolishly believing that Ryan Sparrow had finally come clean with the full story of what really happened at the Agriculture committee. As it turns out, he seems to have accidentally added the word “negative” when copying and pasting the text of the motion as passed. Just an oversight, I’m sure. Anyway, here is the real, honest to goodness, verified-by-people-who-aren’t-Ryan-Sparrow final wording of the motion:

That the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food study the effects of a carbon tax or any broad based environmental tax and ensure that Canadian Farmers are not saddled with a carbon tax which would further increase their input costs and hurt their competitiveness.

It was, as reported earlier, supported by the Liberals, with the exception of Ken Boshkoff, who – I’m told – was suspicious that the Conservatives had an ulterior motive, and balked at voting in favour of even the amended motion. (Note to Ken’s colleagues: Next time, listen to him.)