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Which Guelph Cons asked Doug Finley to oust Brent Barr?

There was a piece in the Toronto Star talking about Doug Finley and his role in the Conservative Party. In that piece it mentioned how no Conservative candidate can run without his permission, and it brought up 2 rather specific examples of this – Mark Warner being ousted in Toronto, and Brent Barr in Guelph. The part about Barr is very interesting, because it mentions that Ottawa didn’t act first to oust Barr – but according to 1 Barr supporter, it was some Guelph Conservatives who initiated the complaint:

In late 2007, Guelph Tories had problems with candidate Brent Barr, a business leader. Despite her nomination loss to Barr, party […]

Gloria finally graces Guelph voters with her presence, gets grilled.

Gloria Kovach, Conservative candidate in Guelph,  did finally decide to show up to an all-candidates debate last evening.  I’m pleased to see she finally found it worth her time and the voters time to attend. One of the questions that got brought up last night at that debate was why she was the candidate for Guelph, and not Brent Barr, the duly elected candidate by the local Guelph CPC riding members. You might remember he got unceremoniously removed without any particular reason given by the national Conservative Party. The only “reason” I seem to recall given by the national CPC was that he wasn’t working hard enough to win the riding, which is a pretty lame excuse, in my view. I think they owe the local Guelph CPC riding members a better explanation then that for removing the candidate they felt would best represent them in the riding; it seems to me to be more Conservative control freak tactics, which has been typical of Harper and the national CPC since they came to power.

Needless to say, Gloria wasn’t very comfortable answering that, and I don’t blame her, as she was the direct beneficiary of the move, when she had already lost the nomination to Barr in a fair and square fight.  Whether she knew of this manoeuvrer or not, it’s clear she was the favourite of the national CPC and of Harper, and they were making sure she was the candidate for Guelph, the local CPC riding members wishes be darned. Anyhow, I believe “the phantom in the room” (as the Guelph Mercury blog put it) will continue to haunt Gloria in this campaign, as every other candidate grilled her over this as well as the national CPC for failing to provide a reasonable explanation for Barr’s removal.

From eyewitness reports, Gloria also took her lumps from Liberal candidate Frank Valeriote for being the only councillor to vote against a motion to have Guelph endorse a national campaign asking the federal government for more infrastructure help and to meet their commitments to cities.  Perhaps some who were at the debate might leave additional comments on that and other goings on from last night, but it sounds like the crowd really reacted to that revelation.

In other news,  it seems that Jeff Davidson over at his blog has discovered the Guelph riding president of the CPC has been writing his political opinions on a blog under a pseudonym, and has been asking Gloria in a couple of open letters if she supports his rather right-wing views on certain issues. To find out more, check out some of those links to his site.

Miscellaneous Guelph campaign stuff.

Well, it looks like Liberal bloggers are on the same page as Scott Brison in our various descriptions of what the Conservative caucus acts like:

“I was shocked to read Ms. Kovach’s comments in (the Guelph Mercury Tuesday) on the Truscott case,” Brison said. “Her refusal to comment on an important issue to people in this area and in Canada . . . actually qualifies her very well to be part of the Stephen Harper team, because Stephen Harper likes MPs he can muzzle, he likes MPs he can silence and he likes MPs who are able to subordinate their own opinions and defer to his judgment. “Her fear of […]

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