More gaffes, TPP news

By Ian Capstick · October 2, 2015

The Media Narrative

I didn’t think this campaign of candidate gaffes could get any weirder. Last night two CPC candidates found themselves the focus of truly bizarre allegations and proved me wrong.

BuzzFeed Canada reported, “incumbent Conservative MP Rick Dykstra was photographed drinking with multiple high school-aged girls at a nightclub last month. One girl, who was 16 at the time, now says she was offered VIP service if she claimed it never happened.”

Not to be outdone, the Toronto Sun is reporting, “a construction worker has pressed assault charges against MP and former Toronto Police chief Julian Fantino for allegedly smearing ketchup on his behind during a raid in 1973.”

Both articles will leave you shaking your head in disbelief.

I’ll be clear, I don’t think either story is a game changer for the election. It’s just a demonstration  of how this long campaign has provided a lot of time for online researchers, reporters and partisans to dig up and disseminate the strangest collection of quasi-controversies and so-called gaffes. You can place a safe bet on a few more of these oddities popping up before election day and yesterday’s revelations will take up much airspace today.

The TPP continues to be a major focus of coverage. The Atlanta ministerial talks are progressing and haven’t stalled. This is leading experts to suggest a higher likelihood of a successful deal. That does not make it a fait accompli as there are several ongoing legal challenges in New Zealand and other countries will require legislative or executive ratification, including Canada. In other words, it’s not a done deal until we get a new government in place.

It’s a big 72 hours in Quebec coming up for the NDP. They need to see a strong performance by Mulcair heading into the final leg of the campaign. He has two major chances to solidify his lead in the province: tonight’s TVA debate and the blockbuster talk show Tout le monde en parle on Sunday night.

Mulcair needs to gently massage the niqab message and land some solid rhetorical points on Harper.

Selected Headlines

International TPP news and views:

Other useful news:

Top Column Today

Peter Clark, one of Canada’s leading international trade strategists, is in Atlanta, Georgia and writes, “ministers in Atlanta seem determined to close the unending negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement by Saturday this week. The odds are now 60/40 that Ministers will not need to reconvene in November.” He concludes by rightly pointing out “many of the issues to be addressed in the TPP have already been addressed in implementing NAFTA and subsequent trade agreements. But many will be new and may well be problematic. So the process itself may be routine but the path to ratification may not be particularly smooth. The devil is in the details, and we will soon be asked to shake hands with the TPP devils.”

A full collection of election opinions worth reading can be found on National Newswatch.

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