Tease the day: David McGuinty pays the price - Macleans.ca

Tease the day: David McGuinty pays the price

Conservatives pounced on the Liberal miscue. And it paid off. As usual.

CP/Patrick Doyle

For some reason, I dismissed David McGuinty’s flippant remarks the other day as basically irrelevant. Here’s what I forgot: Ottawa loves to watch people insert their feet into their own mouths on the national stage.

As you’ve probably heard, the Ottawa MP lashed out at Alberta Conservatives on the natural resources committee for “jealously guarding” the energy sector and not thinking in the national interest. He told them, in more than a few words, to go back to their own province, where he suggested they run for town council—preferably in a community that is deeply affected by the oilsands.

He’s since apologized and resigned as his party’s energy critic. Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae also apologized.

Those comments might have been out of line, but I thought they’d fade away, lost in the sea of partisan discord. Then I remembered the significance of the upcoming byelection in Calgary Centre. Recall that a couple of polls, the accuracy of which have been subject to some dispute, say there’s a chance the Liberals—or the Greens, in fairness—could maybe knock off the Conservatives. The ruling party could sure use a scary quote to scare off that threat, right?

Enter David McGuinty. This morning, three national papers carry his objectionable quotes in larger print than yesterday—right on their front pages, no less. Once again, the Conservative spin machine, whether or not it even had to try this time, scores points against the party it so loves to hate. Boy, are they good.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the tentative ceasefire reached between the Israelis and Hamas. The National Post also fronts the ceasefire. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with both sides in the simmering conflict claiming victory. The Ottawa Citizen leads with Ontario Liberal MP David McGuinty’s apology for remarks aimed at Conservative MPs. iPolitics fronts a pun-filled guide to Liberal MP Marc Garneau’s prospective run for the Liberal leadership. National Newswatch showcases a CBC News story based on a Nanos poll that says Prime Minister Stephen Harper is seen as the most competent federal leader.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Reserve troops. An ombudsman’s report warns the federal government that if it’s not careful, reserve troops will soon become second-class soldiers to the regular force. 2. Syrian opposition. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says the feds won’t recognize a Syrian opposition group formally until it’s clear it supports religious minorities.
3. Mohamed Harkat. The feds and accused terrorist Mohamed Harkat have sparred for years in various courts. The feds want him deported. Now, both sides want a Supreme Court hearing. 4. Haitian aboriginals. Ottawa-area aboriginal leaders are concerned about the actions of Leo Shetush, who attempted to confer the rights of Algonquians on a group of Haitian-Canadians.

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