Here they go again. The Conservatives are about to turn a positive news story into a negative one. The bright lights on the Conservative side have decided to call Justin Trudeau and David McGuinty before the House of Commons Natural Resources committee to explain their negative comments about Alberta. Comments that both McGuinty and Trudeau have already apologized for and which in addition, led to McGuinty resigning from his critic's portfolio.
One would think someone in PMO would have figured out that they have already won this round. They forced an apology from both men, and they won the press war just prior to a byelection which they also won. In addition, they have some great quotes for a future election attack ad. So why go on a witch hunt? Why the zealous overkill?
I bet Justin Trudeau can't believe his good fortune. In his wildest dreams he could never have imagined that a House of Commons committee would haul him in to testify about his comments even though they had nothing to do with natural resources. He must be jumping with joy at this request to appear before the committee. The Conservatives have handed him a gift. They have validated both his and the opposition parties attack lines. What better example of a draconian government that is abusive, heavy-handed and petty could they ask for?
Can you imagine the media coverage the Conservatives have given Trudeau? Every reporter on the Hill will be there and there will almost certainly be live coverage of his testimony. Every time the Conservatives cut off one of his comments or when they gang up on him, they will be validating for the public their pettiness.
They have also given Trudeau a chance to read a statement into the record, what a wonderful opportunity for him to take the Conservatives to task. I bet he can't believe his good fortune and I am sure he will be only too eager to testify.
Last week, Albertans and Albertan MPs were the victims of clearly stupid comments made by Trudeau and McGuinty. The Conservative side has now given Trudeau the opportunity to reverse the role and play the victim to the Conservatives heavy handed approach. If he plays his cards right, he will be able to milk this throughout his leadership bid, and if he wins, right up to the next election.
It would be interesting to know who dreamt up this "Star Chamber" exercise.
Do the Conservatives believe voters won't see them as being vindictive and petty? Do they actually think they will win the media war when Trudeau testifies? Do they honestly believe MPs should be held accountable before a committee for divisive comments they made about a region of the country, even if those comments were made years ago? If they do, can the Conservative chair of the committee tell us when a certain MP by the name of Stephen Harper will appear before the committee to explain his "culture of defeat" comments about Atlantic Canada?