Politics
2 min

The world can wait – Harper needs a double-double photo op

So while world leaders are assembled at the United Nations, talks about climate change and the world economy are all ramping up, where was Stephen Harper? In Oakville, Ontario – to celebrate the return of Tim Horton’s head office to Canada. Err, three months ago.

And look! Photo ops! And listen to the great talk about how our great corporate tax structure in Canada lured them back across the border. Following that, Harper had his press secretary send out a pissy little email to reporters about how awful it was that Ignatieff was picking on Harper for this photo op, and how MP Bonnie Crombie’s carrying a United Nations flag outside of said photo op was essentially picketing a Canadian economic success story, and their priority is the economy, damn it, and the Liberals are just a bunch of stupid-heads who would have plunged us into an election by now. And only one particular adjective in there was editorialising.

Meanwhile, there was a boycott of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech at the UN, which Canada was announcing loudly that it was part of. Add to that, the climate change plan that Harper wants to sign onto is full of loopholes that would allow all manner of fictional reductions to go through that aren’t actually happening (kind of like how the big financial meltdown lf last year played out, no?). But hey – it’s important for Harper to show off his Tim Horton’s credentials to the domestic audience, right?

The investigation into the Economic Action Plan website continues, this time by Maclean’s intrepid Kady O’Malley, who tries to track down exactly who is paying for that website – you know, the one that totally didn’t have photos of Harper all over it (even though it did). And lo and behold, neither the Department of Finance nor PCO is claiming ownership. And just what is that $2 million advertising tender that went out?

We finally have an American Ambassador to Canada confirmed after what – only nine months? Nice to know that we’re a priority on Obama’s list of important relationships and that we’re not, you know, being taken for granted or anything.

There’s a feud brewing between the Liberals in the Montreal riding of Outremont, where Ignatieff’s current Quebec lieutenant, Denis Coderre, has managed to sideline an attempt by his old rival Martin Cauchon to reclaim the riding he used to hold. Cauchon was once Chrétien’s justice minister, and he was responsible for bringing forward legislation on same-sex marriage and decriminalising marijuana (the latter of which didn’t make it through before Harper came into power). Ignatieff says he wants to appoint an accomplished female candidate in the spot, but he still has plans for Cauchon in the party. He just won’t say what those plans are. Nevertheless, conspiracy theories already abound that the “right” side of the party is trying to silence progressive voices.

And finally, the Green Party has released a series of ads on YouTube, made by their own supporters. It’s cute and earnest – but I doubt they’ll really compete with the ads of the other major parties when it comes to an election.

Up today: Michael Ignatieff and Gerard Kennedy plan to reveal their report on the government’s “Economic Inaction Plan.” Cute title, and also pretty damning figures if what they say is right.