Liberals trying to reshape
the Conservative Leadership race

di Joe Volpe del June 24, 2022

TORONTO – The Conservative Leadership race seems to be taking an un-anticipated turn. Liberal senati (experienced wise persons) are taking an active interest in supporting and promoting one Conservative candidate, Scott Aitchison, MP for Parry Sound Muskoka in Ontario.

Former long-time MP Dennis Mills, who was also a member of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) under Pierre Trudeau, arranged for a meet-and-greet fund-raising event at a downtown Toronto Restaurant on Mr Aitchison’s behalf (in the pic above). The locale is well known as the “go to place” for the politically connected and for networking with “those in the know”. There is never a shortage of power brokers unafraid to be noticed.

Mr. Mills has never been accused of shyness. Those who might be confused about his organizational prowess or his devotion to traditional party principles should remember that he almost single-handily created a mystique around Jean Chretien in the Liberal leadership race of 1984, converting him from a distant “dark horse”, in a race among political giants, into a contender.

Thursday, without mincing words, Mr. Mills introduced Scott Aitchison as the next Prime Minister, the next Conservative prime minister of Canada. Yes, you read that correctly. He was impressed with the former mayor’s calm, confident, competent approach to decision making. Everyone was invited to check him out for themselves.

It seemed to this observer they did not need much convincing – they knew when they accepted the invitation to attend. He did not disappoint the audience.

Aitchison’s message was cogent and to the point. He was seeking the leadership, and with it the eventual opportunity to form the next government, because current conditions demand a leadership willing to build a team founded on competence and merit, ready and able to implement and supervise solutions to problems facing the citizenry.

It was a traditional, Liberal, message for pragmatic stable management of the country. The audience lapped it up. They know something about merit, competence and results-driven decisions.

From among them, I recognized many super-achievers from the film and cultural arts sectors, representatives of major development and construction industry, the finance industry, sports entertainment sector, former staffers to senior federal Ministers, innovators in agri-food distribution and in environmental systems management. Last, but not least there were active lawyers, former municipal politicians, three former Members of Parliament and one former Senator – all Liberals.

The gathering is not likely to turn the Conservative Leadership campaign on its head, but it is one more signal that the next federal election is increasingly appearing to be a “change election”.

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