Tag Archives: Candice Malcolm

Right-wing Sun News tries to rescue Conservative fortunes in Calgary-Centre.

Justin Trudeau Harvey Locke

Justin Trudeau and Harvey Locke

Just when it seems like Conservative candidate Joan Crockatt was losing ground and a tight three-way contest in the Calgary-Centre by-election, right-wing cable channel Sun News swooped in with news that will stir up the anti-Liberal sentiments among Conservative voters in the riding. Boasting that it has discovered a “breaking exclusive,” the channel roasted Mr. Trudeau for comments made during an interview in late 2010:

“Canada isn’t doing well right now because it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn’t work.”

There is no one who can get angry conservatives worked up in this province like a Trudeau.

Chris Turner Calgary-Centre Green By-election

Chris Turner

Mr. Trudeau is on a leadership tour through British Columbia and Alberta this week, having campaigned with Liberal by-election candidate Harvey Locke in Calgary-Centre and rallying a crowd of more than 400 party faithful in downtown Edmonton.

Following Liberal MP David McGuinty‘s comments earlier this week, the release of Sun News’ “breaking exclusive” of Mr. Trudeau’s two year-old anti-Alberta comments is miraculously well-timed for the Conservatives. It feels as if the Conservative campaign in Calgary-Centre got exactly what it was asking for.

Polling since August has shown Mr. Locke in second place and Green Chris Turner gaining momentum in Calgary-Centre.

Over the course of the campaign, Ms. Crockatt’s has opted to avoid numerous public all-candidate forums in favour of canvassing doors. Interestingly, the campaign found time in its busy schedule yesterday to stop by Sun News studios in Calgary to denounce Mr. Guinty’s comments on a talk show hosted by vicious right-winger Ezra Levant.

Ms. Crockatt’s sudden appearance on the right-wing talk show has everything to do with her campaign’s slip in the polls, which is seen by many to be a result of her campaign’s connections to the right-wing Wildrose Party.

Joan Crockatt Conservative Calgary-Centre By-Election

Joan Crockatt

It should be noted that the connections between Sun News, the federal Conservative Party, and the Wildrose Party are deep.

Sun News has been nothing short of a cheerleader for both the opposition Wildrose Party in Alberta and Conservatives in Ottawa. Even staff appear to be interchangeable. Candice Malcolm, the current Director of Research for Sun News is the former executive assistant to Wildrose leader Danielle Smith and spokesperson for Conservative politician Jason Kenney.

The strong connections between the federal Conservatives and the Wildrose Party is suspected to have driven away many moderate conservatives, who support Alison Redford‘s governing Progressive Conservatives and see the by-election campaign as too closely associated with the hard right-wing provincial party (including campaign manager, William McBeath, is also on staff with the Wildrose Party). These connections are believe to have contributed to near evaporation of the 40% margin of victory that former MP Lee Richardson earned in the 2011 election.

Threehundredeight.com analyst Eric Grenier has looked beyond the politics and has analyzed the numbers, and his a recent post, he suggests that more disenchanted Conservative voters are shifting to the Greens, rather than the Liberals.

This movement of Tories to the Greens in Calgary-Centre seems to be supported by Donal O’Beirne, the former president of the Conservative association in Calgary-North East, who has endorsed Mr. Turner, and the launch of a new Facebook Group, “Progressive Conservatives 4 Turner“, which sprung up this week.

One senior provincial Tory suggested to me this week that the Wildrose Party now “controls almost the entire federal Conservative Party in Alberta,” suggesting that the split between the provincial and federal Tory parties will be very difficult to mend.

If the Conservatives are not able to win the riding on the November 26 vote, or even if the results are close, the by-election should be a warning to the Ottawa Tories that their support of the Wildrose Party could cause moderate Albertans to park their votes elsewhere.

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A new poll was released by Return on Insight today. The poll shows Mr. Crockatt with 37% to 32% for Mr. Locke and 17% for Mr. Turner.

While I am naturally skeptical of all polls, I am immediately skeptical of this poll due to ROI owner Bruce Cameron‘s close connections to the Liberal campaign in Calgary-Centre (watch this video from October 21, 2012, where Mr. Locke talks about the work Mr. Cameron is doing for his campaign).

jason kenney: deputy premier thomas lukaszuk is a complete and utter a-hole.

Mark one point against civility in politics.

A reply-all email from Calgary-Southeast Conservative Member of Parliament and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney about Progressive Conservative Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk has given Albertans a glimpse at how split the Conservative movement in our province has become.

From the Edmonton Journal:

Kenney wrote the invective last Wednesday at 5:02 p.m. in response to an email sent from the office of MP Blaine Calkins, chairman of the federal Conservatives Alberta caucus, who wanted to know if Kenney and other MPs from Alberta would meet with Lukaszuk.

“Honourable Thomas Lukaszuk, deputy premier of Alberta will be in Ottawa on Thursday, June 21st, 2012 and is requesting a lunch or dinner with caucus,” says the email written by Calkins’ legislative assistant at 4:57 p.m. “Mr. Calkins will not be able to host this event as he has prior commitments, but would like to see if there is any caucus member who would be willing to host this event for the deputy premier.”

Kenney shot back a response just five minutes later, but instead of sending it only to Calkins’ office, he inadvertently sent it to everyone in the 26-member federal Alberta caucus, plus assistants: “I say a definite ‘no’ to Lukaszyk. I don’t think it makes sense to create a precedent to do a special caucus meeting for every visiting minister from the provincial government. Plus he is a complete and utter asshole.”

Relations between politicians from the two Conservative parties has been frayed since a number of federal Conservative Party MPs and many federal Conservative Party activists put their support behind the now-Official Opposition Wildrose Party in the recent provincial election.

During the election, Minister Kenney is reported to have said that “any attempt to hurt Wildrose by linking them to old Reform movement will backfire.”

Minister Kenney’s former spokesperson, Candice Malcolm, returned to Alberta earlier this year to work for the Wildrose Party during the election campaign. Minister Kenney’s Regional Affairs Director is Peggy Anderson, who served with Danielle Smith on the Calgary Board of Education from 1998 until the dysfunctional board was dissolved by Learning Minister Lyle Oberg in 1999.

Update: Minister Kenney has apologized.

is rob anders only supportin’ morton? anders loyalists flocking to wildrose.

Proving again why he should never be trusted with the responsibility to stand-in for a cabinet minister at a press conference, Calgary-West Member of Parliament Rob Anders, inappropriately used his time at the podium to boast his support for Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Ted Morton.

This is hardly the first time Mr. Anders has displayed such buffoonery. Before he was an MP, he worked as a professional heckler with the Oklahoma Republicans.

The inappropriate Mr. Anders is well-known for a hardcore right-wing conservative views. Many Canadians may remember him as the only MP to vote against making Nelson Mandela an honorary citizen of Canada. He defended his actions by stating that Mr. Mandela was a communist and a terrorist and later refused to take a phone call from the former President of South Africa.

Despite his comments that his support for Dr. Morton is an effort to “avoid a civil war in the province of Alberta over the next election,” his recent public support of the Wildrose’s Danielle Smith suggests that he is simply interested in supporting conservatives that fit his ideological brand.

A significant number of Anders loyalists on Conservative Party of Canada board of directors in Calgary-West (not to be confused with the former board) are also hitching their political careers to Ms. Smith’s party.

Mr. Anders’ former Riding President Andrew Constantinidis is the nominated Wildrose candidate in the provincial constituency of Calgary-West. Mr. Anders constituency assistant Russell Hillier is seeking the Wildrose nomination in Calgary-North West (As noted in my previous post, Mr. Hillier is also a founder of the anti-immigration and anti-multicultualism group Canadian Culture and Integration Society). Another member of Mr. Anders’ board of directors, Tim Dyck, is seeking the Wildrose nomination in Calgary-Bow. The three Wildrose candidates were given a platform to speak at Mr. Anders’ recent Calgary Stampede BBQ.

Other members of Mr. Anders’ constituency organization are also prominent members of the Wildrose. Peter Csillag is a Vice-President of the Wildrose Campus Club at the University of Calgary. John DeRinzy is the President Wildrose association in Calgary-Bow. Hermina Dykxhoorn is the Vice-President Policy for the Wildrose association in Calgary-West. Paul Hamnett is the Vice-President Communications of the Wildrose association in Calgary-West. Until recently, Candice Malcolm was the Executive Assistant to Ms. Smith. Joseph Zamuda is the Treasurer of the Wildrose association Calgary-West.

After almost forty-years of PC governments, Albertans are in the mood for political change. I have a hard time believing that most Albertans have the appetite for the type of change that Rob Anders and his loyalists have in mind.