It’s already Day Seven; the NDP are in Sudbury, the Conservatives are in New Brunswick and then PEI, and we have no idea where the Liberals will be because they haven’t told us yet.
Harper held another rally yesterday, this time in St John’s, where protesters spelled out “CONTEMPT” in front of the hotel where the event was held. There were a couple of additions to his teleprompter script last night; he added “without raising taxes” to his “Conservatives say yes” call-outs (not that the crowd really joined in this time) and a line about his “double-double” plan for tax relief to stimulate growth. Because he can’t get by without the Tim Hortons schtick. Touting its green credentials, he promised that he would give loan guarantees to the province for the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project if elected – thus infuriating Quebec.
Later last night in London, Ontario, Michael Ignatieff held a town-hall meeting; the packed house had people spilling out into the hallways. Ignatieff said that Harper was acting like a spoiled, tantrum-throwing child who needed a timeout. He gave a shout-out to Ryan Dolby, the NDP candidate who defected to the Liberal camp; discussed his platform planks; and said that he doesn’t want people to vote for him for negative reasons (like stopping Harper), but instead for positive ones (like the good things the Liberals want to do and their respect for democracy). He took questions on the state of clean water on First Nations reserves, his promises to regulate the oil sands and ban bulk water exports, whether the F-35 fighter jets are the right plane for the right price at the right time and the need for a national food strategy.
There was no NDP event last night, as they were on the road to Sudbury.
Burning up the Twitter machine yesterday afternoon: Nova Scotia Conservative Senator Michael MacDonald opined that “CBC reporters Milewski and Ditchburn were like attack dogs afterward – pathetic!” when referring to Harper's earlier press event. (Jennifer Ditchburn, for the record, works for The Canadian Press.) And things went crazy. MacDonald later withdrew the remarks – without apologizing.
There’s been another NDP defection – this time to the Conservatives. (Does three times make this a trend?) A former candidate in Mississauga-Erindale is now backing the Conservative candidate.
The Conservatives are claiming that the Liberals privately turned down the one-on-one debate with Harper, which doesn’t seem to make much sense if you think about it.
Michael Ignatieff promises a better relationship with the press if he's elected, seeing as he used to be a journalist and all.
The head of Amnesty International has called out Harper for his support of the death penalty and his rights record.
And here are some daily CBC reality checks from the campaign trail, which discuss free trade agreements (no mention of Brison snatching victory from the jaws of defeat on the Colombia deal, which was in peril because of Conservative cabinet incompetence); the history of Liberal childcare promises; the lack of guarantees from the provinces on that childcare money; and how candidates appear to be dropping like flies on the campaign trail.