The Conservative Party’s new leader Erin O’Toole hasn’t shown much respect for British Columbia.
In fact, O’Toole has been downright insulting!!
On the night O’Toole was elected as the party’s new leader, he didn’t mention BC in his acceptance speech.
Despite the VERY late hour, he had enough time to reach out to Quebeckers three times in his remarks, pointed to Ontario’s importance, and included the Maritimes and Alberta in his honourable mentions.
Not a word to British Columbians, Canada’s third most populous province and home of the country’s third largest city.
Not a word.
The following day, O’Toole was on the phone introducing himself to various Premiers, including Alberta and Saskatchewan and announced to reporters, Quebec was so important to him, Premier Francois Legault will be getting a personal visit, not just a phone call.
But judging by every piece of coverage I saw that Monday (actually searched for it) there was NO call that day to BC Premier John Horgan.
They probably did speak … a day or two later … but BC was SNUBBED … not a priority.
Sure seemed insulting to me: second class treatment from the new Conservative Leader for the province that could hold the key to which party forms government in the next election.
A typical Eastern politician I thought: O’Toole is Montreal born, and after serving in the Canadian military mostly in the Maritimes, became a Toronto Bay Street lawyer and now serves as an Ontario MP.
His first Senior staff appointments a few days later confirmed my worst impressions.
O’Toole’s five key Senior staff positions, … hugely important in gate-keeping and helping the Leader focus his direction and priorities … ALL went to politically experienced and professionally connected Easterners: three Ontarians, one Quebecker and one Nova Scotian.
Not one from BC!
Getting the picture of where YOU stand in the Conservative Leader’s “new” vision?
Not yet? Well, perhaps O’Toole’s announcement Tuesday of his Shadow Cabinet will help.
From the Conservative Party’s own website, here is his full “House of Commons Leadership Team”:
- Deputy Leader: Hon. Candice Bergen (Portage – Lisgar, Manitoba)
- Quebec Political Lieutenant: Richard Martel (Chicoutimi – Le Fjord, Quebec)
- House Leader of the Official Opposition: Gérard Deltell (Louis-Saint-Laurent, Quebec)
- Chief Opposition Whip: Blake Richards (Banff – Airdrie, Alberta)
- Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition: Karen Vecchio (Elgin – Middlesex – London, Ontario)
- Deputy Opposition Whip: Alex Ruff (Bruce – Grey – Owen Sound, Ontario)
- Caucus-Party Liaison: Hon. Tim Uppal (Edmonton Mill Woods, Alberta)
- Question Period Coordinator: Eric Duncan (Stormont – Dundas – South Glengarry, Ontario)
- National Caucus Chair: Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard, Alberta)
Again, in O’Toole’s view, not a single British Columbian is worthy of being a “Leader”!
Perhaps we can hope that one or some of them have at some point VISITED our province? Or have RELATIVES working here? Or parents, grandparents RETIRED here?
With a Shadow Cabinet of 43 … there are British Columbia MPs among them … but again, NOT ONE in a top post, according to O’Toole’s own party!!!
If you’d like to play the new Tory Game “Spot the British Columbian!) here’s a link to the full list: https://www.conservative.ca/erin-otoole-announces-conservative-shadow-cabinet/.
How is O’Toole getting away with this?
Because our Media … especially our “national” media … see the country from an overwhelming Ontario and Quebec point of view.
Imagine what would happen if Ontario or Quebec were EVER treated the way O’Toole has treated. BC!!!
It wouldn’t even occur to the “national” Media to see/notice or even care if British Columbia is included, respected or insulted, excluded and denied even a modicum of fairness in how the powers and favours of “national” appointments (and spending) are allocated.
As for our BC media and their pundits …well, I’ll leave it to them …and to you … to explain how/why they’ve MISSED all the signs, signals and slights BC has already received at the hands of the Conservatives’ new Leader.
And No , I’m not going back to Ottawa to give BC bold media presence and attention again … but somebody should!
(Reminder: You can get First Alerts to all new topics on this BC-based Blog by following @harveyoberfeld.ca on Twitter. No spam, just First Alerts to new postings.)