February 7, 2006


Mounties, military warm to Tories: Hillier blasts controversial Liberal ad (BRUCE CAMPION-SMITH, 2/01/06, Toronto Star)

Gen. Rick Hillier, the head of Canada's armed forces, has waded hip deep into federal politics, warmly praising Stephen Harper's ambitious proposals for the military — including a call for Arctic icebreakers — while slamming a Liberal election ad that "insulted" Canadian troops.

The outspoken general didn't mince words in condemning the controversial ad that used ominous music and drumbeats to darkly portray Harper's plan to boost troops in Canadian cities to assist in disaster relief.

"I, like almost every other man and woman in uniform — and I heard from thousands of them and their families — were insulted by that commercial," Hillier told reporters yesterday.

The ad appeared on the federal Liberal party website on Jan. 10, the night of the final leaders' debate. The spot was yanked by the Liberals before it ever aired in English Canada.

And on the day Hillier took on the outgoing government, Harper had a public handshake with RCMP Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, a man some Liberals say influenced the election. Midway through the campaign, Zaccardelli confirmed there was an investigation into whether there was a leak of a government announcement of a tax break into income trusts.

Zaccardelli, who was on hand for Hillier's remarks in the morning, held a 45-minute meeting with Harper at RCMP headquarters, giving the Conservative prime minister-designate a tour of the Mounties' child exploitation task force.

The two also stood together for the news cameras with a group of officers from the RCMP, OPP and Ottawa city police, and talked about Mountie history before a statue of former Northwest Mounted Police commissioner James Farquharson MacLeod.

A high-ranking Liberal fumed that the photo opportunity "raises a lot of questions" about the relationship between Harper — whose party had criticized the RCMP for dragging its feet in investigations involving the Liberals — and the senior leadership of the national police force.

Robert D. Kaplan has written about the similar phenomena in the U.S.--it can't be good in the long run for parties of the Left to so estrange themselves from those charged with providing our domestic and national security.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 7, 2006 12:00 AM

Off the subject ... and off the wall, but I wonder what offense the Scot's Harson family apparently committed?

Posted by: Genecis at February 7, 2006 10:23 AM

This isthe quintessential Tranzi problem. They have abjured robe and sword. they cannot maintain power -- anywhere.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 7, 2006 4:21 PM