1. Viral video meets doctored document. A Conservative MP is shaking his head over the Liberal obsession with Bev Oda, arguing more Canadians are interested in a 10-year-old girl covering Lady Gaga's latest song than the intrigue around the Minister of International Co-operation.
The MP, who asked not to be named, said he hasn't received one email or telephone call from a constituent angry over whether Ms. Oda misled Parliament or who exactly inserted the word “not” into a CIDA funding recommendation.
“The public outside of blind partisans is not listening – 22,000 people have signed [the Liberals’] little petition while 10 million have listened to the little girl from Winnipeg cover a Lady Gaga song over a shorter period of time (she's very good by the way),” the Tory argued.
“It's a sad statement when joining a petition is a click and they point to 22,000 people signing up as something significant,” the MP added. “People calling the office or sending an e-mail, that indicates a groundswell and support, like the [usage-based Internet billing] issue which flooded the office a couple of weeks ago.”
And he couldn’t resist trumpeting the latest string of positive polling news for the government. A Nanos Research poll conducted for The Globe and released this week shows the Tories 13 point ahead of the Liberals with Michael Ignatieff’s leadership approval ratings slumping badly.
“At least Dion staked out an issue (the environment) that he intended to own,” the MP said. “What is Ignatieff's issue that he intends to own? Out tax-and-spend the NDP and chase Bev Oda?”
The Tory bluster comes as the Liberals send New Brunswick MP Dominic LeBlanc in front of the parliamentary press gallery Wednesday to talk about what they see as the Conservative government's culture of deceit and secrecy.
“Today we're going to be talking about how the Conservatives aren't just hiding facts when it comes to Bev Oda,” a senior Ignatieff official told The Globe, “they're refusing to disclose their multi-billion dollar spending plans for stealth fighters and US-style mega-prisons.”
2. Do the math. The Conservatives are trying to turn the tables on the Liberals, arguing the opposition is misleading Canadians – “again.”
A memo sent to supporters by Conservative strategists says there are discrepancies in a press release issued by Michael Ignatieff’s team claiming that a proposed freight fee by the Obama administration will cost Canadians “$42-billion in taxes.”
Liberal international trade critic Martha Hall Findlay held a press conference on the issue Tuesday.
“In order for that to be true, more than $56-trillion in goods would have to flow from Canada to the U.S. each year. That kind of trade would be great for business but it is a far cry from reality,” the memo says.
According to the Tories, more than $1.6-billion crosses the border in trade every day. They go on to say that the “Ignatieff Liberals are deliberately misleading Canadians in an attempt to justify their out of touch position on our trade talks with President Obama.”
The Liberals complain the Harper government has revealed few substantive details on a proposed deal to further integrate the Canada-U.S. border. Is the criticism starting to sting the Tories, given the push-back over the Grit press release?