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Sweater fever is catching. First it
was Stephen Harper who donned a baby blue sweater in the campaign's early days
in a bid to look more relaxed. Now Stephane Dion is adopting the look too.
During a swing through New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island Saturday, Dion
traded his usual suit for casual pants, shirt - and burgundy
He wore the image well as he gave two
rousing speeches and later mingled with supporters.
In fact, Dion seems a changed man since the
debates. Dion, who ditched his TelePrompter a week ago, has been speaking with
more enthusiasm and confidence -- and getting a welcome reception from
"This kind of speech, when I speak with my heart
and my love for my country and my love for P.E.I., I don't need TelePrompters,"
Dion said today, during a stop in Miscouche, P.E.I.
CBC's Rick Mercer joined NDP Leader Jack Layton's campaign today to bring his particular insight to political coverage. Like many, Rick was shocked at at how much the campaigns are charging the media to follow their leaders. "Two thousand dollars a day!!! As it turned out, he arrived in time to have lobster on the plane. This should supply more than a little fodder for his next show.
Conservative leader Stephen Harper arrived about 10 minutes after he was introduced. Crowd gave him another big hand, of course. He apologized for being so late. No explanation. Harper is frequently late for the start of events, but never so conspicuously. His aides deny anything afoot. Tonda MacCharles
Is that a SWAT team? An extraordinary showing of police surveillance officers stood
watch as a diverse group of protestors shouted anti-Harper slogans outside a
Moncton high school when Conservative leader Stephen Harper arrived.
Officers with long-lens cameras perched on the rooftop and shot pictures of the
It merely seemed to raise the protestors' voices if not their spirits.
They included public service workers, anti-war advocates, artists, Acadian
cultural activists, women's groups and widows of victims of Agent Orange.
None were permitted inside as Harper prepared to address a partisan rally of
“Canada will never be the same if Harper gets a majority,” said Paul Leblanc,
an executive of N.B.'s Actra union, there to protest cuts to arts and culture
Inside the show got off to a bumpy false start.
After an enthusiastic pump-up-the-crowd introduction by campaign co-chair
Bernard Lord, people cheered as he introduced the “next prime minister of
But then, no PM.
The applause died, and so did Lord's stand-up routine.
”I'm sure he'll be here soon,” said Lord, sitting down.
“Premature adulation,” quipped a technical operator.
NDP Leader Jack Layton says if he could work with the unpredictable former Toronto mayor Mel Lastman he can work with anybody.
Asked if he could work with a minority government led by Conservative Leader Stephen Harper without plunging Canadians into another election, the former Toronto councillor said: “I have worked with all kind of different players over the years from Mel Lastman right on through.”
Conservative leader Stephen Harper was asked by a reporter if he was prepared to meet the request of a New Brunswick Acadian mayor to recognize the Acadian nation after formally recognizing that status for the Québécois in a united Canada.
“I don’t intend to make a resolution in the House of Commons, but obviously the Acadian nation…and these other francophone communities exist in our country,” said Harper, who is courting votes in Atlantic Canada, with three visits to New Brunswick in the past two days.
Just before he arrived in Moncton, the heart of the "Acadian nation," Harper said "it is an essential part of our national identity and I think we will continue to work to earn the representation of these communities in a strong government and in a united Canada.”
Moments later, Harper struggled with a dry throat in answering a different question. He paused to take a sip of water.
“I’ve got a – uh, something in my throat anyway,” he said.
The expression in English is a “frog in the throat.” Frog, of course, is a pejorative for francophones in English.
“I can’t be politically incorrect,” Harper blurted to a small partisan audience that burst out laughing.
The audience included some francophone supporters in the West Nova riding held now by Acadian, and Liberal, Robert Thibault.
(Quebec reporters were puzzled by all the laughter in the audience. The expression in French is a “chat dans la gorge,” cat in the throat. The quip, and the political correctness, was lost in translation.)
"We will defeat Harper," screams the new NDP signs. This is the latest election message from the buoyed New Democratic campaign. It used to be "strong leadership." Layton is taking this "I'm running to be prime minister" a little too seriously.
The Conservatives could have used a proof reader before they sent out Stephen Harper's Saturday schedule. According to the advisory sent out by campaign headquarters, Harper will be in Moncton, N.B. Saturday afternoon to meet with Daniel "Alain," the party's candidate in the riding of Moncton-Riverview-Dieppe.
Would that be the same Daniel "Allain" - note the two 'l's' named on the election signs around town? We'll go with the spelling on the election signs.
Jack Layton's head is blocking out the sun. The Star's work station on the NDP campaign is blocked on either side by a giant photo of Jack's head. "Look at the Halifax Habour," said a colleague. "What harbour? Are we in Halifax?"
Liberal Leader Stephane Dion levelled a zinger at Stephen Harper today as he questioned why the Conservatives have yet to release their platform, with the campaign soon to hit its final week.
"The mail from Australia is very slow to come," Dion told supporters during a rally Saturday morning in Moncton, N.B.
That's a biting reference to the revelation this week that sections of speech that Harper gave in 2003 had been plagiarized from a speech then Australian Prime Minister John Howard delivered just a few days earlier. A senior Conservative policy advisor says he was responsible for the speech and has resigned.
Meanwhile, Harper is promising to reveal his party's election platform next week, perhaps on Tuesday.