Stephen Harper and Canada, a love story (II) - Macleans.ca

Stephen Harper and Canada, a love story (II)

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After Paul Martin’s campaign mocked Mr. Harper’s response to a question about love of country, Jason Kenney demanded an apology for the attack of Mr. Harper’s patriotism. He then cast aspersions on Mr. Martin’s.

A Tory MP holding up a Liberian flag as a prop ripped into Paul Martin for calling into question Stephen Harper’s love of Canada. The war of words over patriotism continued yesterday, with Paul Martin’s corporate past coming back to haunt him. “When the prime minister was the owner of Canada Steamship Lines, when he was the president and CEO of CSL, he took down the Canadian flag off those ships and put up flags of convenience for the Bahamas, Liberia and other tax-dodging regimes,” recalled Jason Kenney. “So why is it the prime minister is all full of fire and brimstone when it comes to questioning the patriotism of his opponents, but he’s all too ready to treat the Canadian flag like one of convenience when it comes to protecting his own financial interests?”

Mr. Harper responded himself in a speech to supporters. The following is from Susan Riley’s account at the time.

Martin was merciless, commenting that, unlike Harper, he has no trouble with the question: “I love Canada,” he roared. “Le Canada, c’est mons pays.” … In an attempt to clarify, a more animated Harper later rounded on his critics at a rally for Conservative candidates on Merivale Road. Liberals believe, he said, that “people who don’t vote Liberal, don’t love their country. This is what we’ve got to expect. It is mean and it saddens me. I believe Liberals do love this country, but they love power too much.”