And They Just Keep Coming: #CPC’s Tim Laidler’s Campaign in Port Moody-Coquitlam

A couple of items recently came to my attention following the recent all-candidates meetings in the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam this past week.  While I could have added this items to the A Campaign to Forget Post, I thought that they warranted a post on their own.

First, Conservative candidate Tim Laidler’s comments from the recent Chamber of Commerce Debate concerning his observations of marijuana usage in University made Robert Jago’s video “Conservative Candidates Share Weird Views About Marijuana”.

Robert Jago you may remember is the blogger who runs Meet the Harper Gang Website, a valuable resource for those interested in researching the quality of the Conservative candidates these days.  Mr. Jago also you may remember posted materials that lead to the dropping of two Conservative candidates.

Recently an article was published by the National Observer alleging connections between Mr. Laidler’s nomination campaign and a consultant for Kinder Morgan.  The article can be found here.  This article subsequently inspired a petition and action campaign by the group SumOfUs that can be found here.  SumofUs also initiated a radio campaign which has been the subject of objections from Mr. Laidler’s campaign.  Below is a screen shot of the top of Sum of Us page.

Sum of Us Page

In addition, Mr. Laidler’s comments from the Burquitlam debate were fact-checked resulting in this Letter to the Vancouver Sun on Oct. 14, 2015:

Letter to editor

Subsequent to the publishing of the letter to the editor in the Vancouver Sun, this table (which contained numerous factually incorrect and inflammatory comments/statements) was sent to Conservative supporters in the riding.  Where exactly does it say on the NDP platform that they are against all resource developments?  What page is that on?  Which specific vote in Parliament was regarding Evergreen line funding you may ask? etc., etc.

Table from CPC

I could go on but it is somewhat pointless at this point.  Apparently exaggerations and inaccuracies are just a routine part of the Conservative campaign strategy locally.

A Campaign to Forget

It has been in many ways a campaign to forget for Tim Laidler, the Conservative candidate in the newly-established riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam.

First, there was the notice of the Annual General Meeting for the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam in which the name of the riding was repeatedly misspelled).

Redacted Notice

Then there was the page on the Turf Mark Holland website (TMH2.org) that posted a webpage encouraging support for Mr. Laidler (likely without his knowledge) that by implication associated him with some of the more extreme elements of the anti-gun control lobby (reproduced below and since deleted) since those with moderate views do not tend to garner endorsements and support from these kinds of websites.

Tim Laidler Page

Then there was the use of this very awkward and cringeworthy picture that appeared as part of a sponsored ad on Facebook showing Mr. Laidler with Steven Harper and a young Asian girl with the ad talking about families yet there is no family in the shot. Awkward.

Helping Families

Then there was the line of questioning in parliament where mentor James Moore had to defend Mr. Laidler after being identified repeatedly photo bombing numerous taxpayer funded events including the arrival of Indian Prime Minister Modi at the airport in Vancouver, an official government funding announcement in Vancouver with Minister Candice Bergen, the official PMO Chinese Lunar New Year event in Richmond, etc., leading him to be the subject of media scrutiny and forcing James Moore, the former Minister of Obfuscation, to deliver this ridiculous non-responce in Parliament:

Then there was the revelation that prior to retiring from the military, that Mr. Laidler’s candidacy for the Conservatives was possibly in violation of the DND and CF Code of Values and Ethics.

Then there was this campaign sign that was put up on Aug. 1, 2015, the day before the writ was actually dropped, advertising a candidate for an election that hadn’t been called yet in a riding that didn’t exist yet.

IMG_20150801_113439-7

Then after the campaign signs went up, Tim Laidler’s campaign signs were apparently intentionally targeted and the subject of repeated vandalism.

Then there was the campaign office location selection gaffe where the choice of the campaign office location lent itself to some embarrassing sign placements by rivals.

Campaign Sign Placement

Then there was the badly photoshopped sign that appeared in internal riding party propaganda which leaked out and became the subject of subject of local and national media posts (see here and here) as detailed in the post here.

sign-compare-900x365

Then there was the Terry Fox funding announcement/photo-op gaffe with James Moore and Laureen Harper which I’m sure all sounded good originally but then went horribly wrong where Mr. Laidler’s mentor James Moore was caught incorrectly stating that the Fox Family was fully supportive of the funding announcement stated in reference to the Fox Family, that “They’re enthusiastic and they think it’s great.”  Mr. Moore then doubled down on his apparently incorrect statement a full 17 hours later on his personal Facebook account after Mr. Moore had more than ample time to reconsider his words after initially being questioned about the nature of the Fox family’s support for the announcement (see below).

Moore Lie

The claim that they were “enthusiastic” and that they thought it was “great” was quickly denied by the Fox family with a Fox family friend suggesting that:

“There is no place in the fight against cancer for politics. This (the announcement) is poor taste, bad timing and so wrong on so many levels. Also to say the family was enthusiastic is incorrect, to say the least. I would be remiss if I did not say something.”

Subsequently, the Terry Fox funding announcement was of course widely criticized by the Fox family and others as well as  local media and editorial boards, with many lamenting on the brazen Conservative politicization of the Terry Fox Foundation’s campaign.

Happy

Then there was the rather odd photo-op in Port Moody at which no member of the public was allowed to attend and to which only a few select media were invited.  A missed opportunity it seems.  However, given that it was only a few days after the Terry Fox Foundation announcement gaffe, I suppose that is understandable.

prime-minister-harper

Then there were the gaffes at the recent Chamber of Commerce all-candidates debates including when Mr. Laidler suggested that he had had friends in University that had tried marijuana and ended up in the Psych Ward (as seen at 12:10 in Part II).

In the same debate, Mr. Laidler inexplicitly felt the need to try to refight the last Port Moody civic election (of all things) by bringing up (repeatedly at 3:14 and 6:00 in Part II) the accusation that Fin Donnelly had run a slates of candidates in the civic elections in Coquitlam and Port Moody and had meddled in civic politics locally (something repeatedly denied by Mr. Donnelly and described by two local pundits in the Tri-City News as a “Red Herring”).  I had no idea that the Conservative Party of Canada was so concerned about civic elections.  Do they take such an interest in all civic elections?  The meddling comment from Mr. Laidler is especially rich coming from Mr. Laidler considering that Mr. Laidler himself as the declared Conservative candidate at the time for the riding had meddled in civic politics by repeatedly posting tweets to local media concerning the local election thereby clearly meddling in local politics.

meddling

Tweet

The comment is also a bit rich considering that one of the members of the Executive of the local Conservative riding association appears to have been heavily involved in the “NoSlateTriCities” print and social media campaign during the last civic elections in Port Moody and Coquitlam as detailed here which incidentally appears to have been largely funded by local developers including Wesbild, Polygon Homes, etc.

No Slates tweet

Then there was the revelation that Mr. Laidler hired as his campaign manager for his nomination campaign a consultant who works for Kinder Morgan.

Most recently, it appears that an official letter was recently sent out from Tim Laidler’s campaign (dated Oct 2. 2015) (see below) asking for support for Mr. Laidler but which also contained misleading information regarding the other candidates in the riding and which also talks about “income spitting” (rather than income splitting presumably) (see second to last paragraph).

Laidler letter

While I know that “income spitting” is obviously a typo and I’m sure that there are many, many on this blog (believe me I know as I keep finding them all the time), this letter represents an official communication from an official Federal party during an election.  Surely someone could have proofread and fact-checked the letter before it left the office?  Then again, I suppose if the Conservative party HQ can do it as seen below (see below) and the PMO can do it (see below), why would we or should we expect any different from the party at the local level?

Prime Minster

CCAxBUZWEAICt8O

With less than a week left in the campaign, I’m going to have to keep this blog post open and update it as we go in order to accommodate additional gaffes.  Don’t get me wrong though as there have been many positive highlights for Mr. Laidler in the campaign including repeated endorsements from high level Conservative party members including the Prime Minister himself and being able to work with one of the largest war chests in the country (search here if you are interested).  It remains to be seen though whether Mr. Laidler and his campaign can pull the current campaign out of its current tailspin and secure a victory despite all the numerous gaffes detailed above.  Some of the obvious pandering announcements targeted at least in part to the sizable local Korean population in the riding and various other efforts at vote pandering to the Korean community (such as that below) may help.

Pandering moore

Stranger things have happened and you can never, ever underestimate the Conservative war machine especially in an area that has traditionally voted Conservative.  You do so at your own peril as we have seen repeatedly over the past few elections.  Will a campaign with a decided focus on doorknocking be able to overcome a mean-spirited, fear-based campaign on the part of the Conservative Party and their leader Stephen Harper?  That remains to be seen.  Up to you Tri-City voters.  The seal training has already begun if that is what you are looking for.

Seals

A New Conservative Reality: The Conservatives and the Use of Photoshop (Badly)

PP Image
Press Progress just posted (on September 23rd) a comical post highlighting what appears to be a farcical attempt by Tim Laidler’s campaign to Photoshop Tim Laidler’s name over another Conservative candidate’s sign for promotional purposes.  Have a look here.  Below is the original context of the photo in question.   Vancitybuzz.com also subsequently posted on the same topic.  It’s all very funny until you consider this: If Mr. Laidler is willing to be part of something like this during an election campaign, what would he be capable of should he ever make it to Ottawa?  Some food for thought.

laidler-email

laidler-beforeafter
Press Progress comparison graphic.
sign-compare-900x365
Vancitybuzz.com comparison graphic

Some more photos from the event showing the Thind sign present.

To add

Too add 2

Too ad 3

What this incident shows is that if reality doesn’t fit and it suits you as a Conservative, just Photoshop it (badly) and make it part of the new Conservative reality.  Maybe no one will notice?  Again, if people like this are willing to do these kinds of actions as part of an election campaign (and against a candidate from their own party no less), what would they do once in Ottawa?  Why would we ever let them back into Ottawa?  We have already seen that ethics are not the Conservatives’ strong point.  Fool me thrice?

Edit: Subsequent to the publishing of the Press Progress and Vancity Buzz posts, the following statement appeared on the Vancity Buzz post:

UPDATE: A representative from Tim Laidler’s election campaign has confirmed to Vancity Buzz that a communications volunteer did in fact photoshop Laidler’s name over top of another candidate’s sign, but that “no harm or misrepresentation was intended”.

“…no misrepresentation was intended”? Really? Looks exactly like intended misrepresentation to me.

I must say that I do feel for the communications volunteer in question as that probably was not a good day for them (when the graphic came to light and the posts began to appear).  However, that said, the fact is that there is no way that that graphic like that should have left the office.  It is a failing of the campaign manager and the candidate in question to not attend to and/or review everything that leaves the office with the candidate’s name on it.  It is not a failing of the communications volunteer as I’m sure they were only trying to help.  The incident instead speaks to poor internal communications and a lack of attention to details, something that you would hope someone seeking office at the highest level would be good at. Identifying the source of the graphic as a communications volunteer also speaks to a lack of taking responsibility for the campaign by those in charge. The campaign essentially just hung the volunteer out to dry.  For the communication volunteer, that must not have felt very good.  Not cool.

 

 

 

Polling Results in the Riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam (Updated)

Today (August 20, 2015) I became aware of what appears to be first poll results from the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam.  The poll, which was apparently commissioned privately by the group Leadnow and conducted by Environics, took place between August 15-18.  The summary results of the poll are posted on their website here (and reproduced below).

Polling Data?

Details concerning the poll can be found here.  The results suggest that the NDP’s Fin Donnelly is currently leading in the riding with 54% of the decided vote, followed by the Conservatives’ Tim Laidler in second place with 27%, the Liberal’s Jessie Adcock with 14%, and the Green Party’s Marcus Madsen with 5%.  These values are interesting as they largely mimic the projections provided by ThreeHundredEight.com (reproduced below) which suggest that the NDP’s Fin Donnelly is currently leading in the race with a median estimate of 45% of the vote (range 43.2% – 48.7%) followed by the Conservatives’ Tim Laidler with a median estimate of 32% (range 30.4% – 35.2%), the Liberals’ Jessie Adcock with a median estimate of 16.5% (range 14.9% – 17.7%), and the Green Party’s Marcus Madsen with a median estimate of 5.4% (range 4.9% – 5.8%), and “other” with an estimate of 1.1% (range 0.4% – 1.3%).  The ThreeHundredEight.com website currently estimates that there is a 78% chance of a NDP win in the riding.  A NDP win for the riding is also the predicted result according to the ElectionPrediction.org website.

308 Estimate

Now, a few caveats must be expressed about the Leadnow poll results and the projection provided by ThreeHundredEight.com.  First of all, it must be remembered that we are still very, very early in the campaign with almost none of the candidates having quite yet hit their stride campaignwise.  Moreover, as a local pundit will I’m sure be quick to point out, we have the experience in our recent memory locally where the polls were decidedly incorrect (cast your mind back to the Province headline that said Adrian Dix could kick a dog and still get elected below).

dixcover

Past experience has shown us that campaigners on all sides should not be complacent in regards to the polling result provided by Leadnow and/or the projection put forth by ThreeHundredEight.com as we still have a long, long way to go in this race.  That said, the Leadnow poll results and the ThreeHundredEight.com are useful in themselves as they at the very least, provide a baseline from which subsequent polling results may be compared and evaluated.

Edit: A second Environics poll conducted Sep. 18-21 was recently published for the riding and can be found here.   The second poll shows the NDP dropping by 13 points but still maintaining a 7 point lead over their nearest rival the Conservatives, who gained 7 points and are now sitting at 34% according to the poll.   The Liberals increased their support by 5 points and are now sitting at 19% while the Greens have increased their support by 2 points and now sit at 7%.  Overall the results indicate the same relative placement in terms of the standings in the race and an overall tightening of the race.   At the same time, the poll also suggests that a substantial undecided vote still remains.  One must remember that this second batch of polling data would have taken into account the NDP Syrian refugee controversy with the effects of that now being factored in.  Conversely, the poll took place before the Conservatives’ politicization of the Terry Fox announcement, which will likely affect the local Conservative vote, especially amongst right-leaning swing voters.

Second poll

Most Recent Data
Most recent polling data projected against 2011 results.

The above graphic displays the most recent results plotted against the results from 2011 showing a slight increase in NDP and Green support from 2011, a drop in Conservative support since 2011, and an increase in Liberal support since 2011.

My prediction?  Looking forward and barring any major gaffes, I am expecting a strong surge in Liberal support in the riding given the recent performance of the Liberals nationally and as such, in my opinion we are very likely to see a split on the right in the riding with a fairly substantial core NDP vote in Coquitlam augmented by a core NDP support in Port Moody/Anmore likely carrying the day.  On the right, the two Port Moody/Anmore-based Liberal and Conservative candidates will likely split the vote in what has traditionally been a Conservative area.  That said, irrespective of what happens in Port Moody/Anmore, it should be remembered that Coquitlam numerically dominates the Port Moody/Anmore area so ultimately whoever carries Coquitlam will likely, as I say, carry the day and at least for the moment, for various reasons, it appears that that likely will be the NDP.  Only time will tell of course. Just ask Adrian Dix.

 

Port Moody-Coquitlam 2015 Election Blog

 

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High Resolution PDF Map of the Riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam

Port Moody-Coquitlam Riding Statistics (2012)

Pundit Guide’s Profile of the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam

Welcome to the Port Moody-Coquitlam 2015 election blog.  Blog posts and articles of interest to the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam concerning the upcoming Federal election will be posted here.