Sunday, January 27, 2008

A closer look at Brian "Undertaker" McGarry

McGarry shown with climate change denier John Baird and failed defense minister Gordon O'Conner.

Brian "Undertaker" McGarry, is the Conservative candidate for Ottawa Centre. He is apparently a "Red Tory", as described by the yahoo's at the Free Dominion board, and I believe he endorsed the openly gay Alex Munter for mayor of Ottawa in the last municipal election. Now Ottawa Centre does tend to be a left leaning riding, so running a Red Tory makes some sense (Keith Fountain, the previous Conservative candidate, was vocally pro-gay marriage).
But what about McGarry's actual experience and positions? Well, he runs a funeral service (thus the name undertaker), and once sued a rival company over an ad he found offensive, was on the Regional Council, is the Montfort Hospital Foundation (which you may remember as the francophone hospital the Mike Harris government hated) he flip flopped on running for mayor because he didn't want to split the right-wing vote, and most interestingly, took part in a Rural Council of Ottawa-Carleton rally at city hall.
The Rural Council is linked to the radical, anti-urban, Randy Hillier-led Lanark Landowners Association. As well, it openly links to sites like Free Dominion, which features an anti-Human Rights Commission splash ad. When McGarry spoke at a city hall rally, he also shared the stage with Tony Walker, an anti-environmental legislation activist, Gerry Kamenz, for Ontario Federation of Agriculture, who delivered a vicious attack on urban Ottawa (of which Ottawa Centre is, and for the record, the OFA opposes animal rights legislation, humane societies, the gun registry, and increasing minimum wage), the radical Rural Revolution (which has at times used near-separatist rhetoric) figure Jack MacLaren, and Bob Broomfield, who compared urban officials to "the KGB or the Gestapo".
So who is the real undertaker? An urbane, pro gay marriage Red Tory, or a rural radical not fit to deal with complex urban issues facing Ottawa Centre? As Ottawa Centre is a two horse race between NDP MP Paul Dewar (or Paul Didn't, as he is called to in circles critical of his lack of interest in real Ottawa Centre issues other than issuing constant press releases in an effort to gain headlines) and the strong and credible Penny Collenette for the Liberals, urban Conservatives should reject the two faced Undertaker, and help Penny move Ottawa Centre forward.

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