03 December 2008

Hearn on BQ: "There are some really fine people in the Bloc."

The Bond Papers Wayback Machine is a useful thing.

Well, useful for people like your humble e-scribbler.

Not so useful for the people - like Conservatives - who hope people have really poor memories.

Former federal fish minister Loyola Hearn turned up on local radio today talking about the evils of cuddling up to the Bloc Quebecois. Hearn has grave concerns.  The country might break up.

You will recall Hearn as one of the architects behind the merger that created the Conservative Party and put Stephen Harper in the Prime Minister's Office.

Not surprising then that he is telling us all how nasty those separatists are and how dangerous it is to get in bed with them.

So nasty in fact that back in 2004 when the Conservatives tried a group grope with Gilles Duceppe and his colleagues, the Blockies balked but Loyola kept trying to keep the flames of minority coalition passion alive.

No "one foot on the floor" thing for Loyola:

“I have no problem with the fact they are there to look after Quebec, I’m there to look after Newfoundland, and the six other MPs also, and if we’re not we shouldn’t be there,” Hearn told The Sunday Independent. [Full text below]

...

"There are some really fine people in the Bloc, you know," says Hearn. "Probably more so than any other party … quality individuals."

When asked about Quebec’s ongoing contention that Labrador is part of Quebec and not Newfoundland, Hearn says it’s a claim that sounds strangely familiar.

“It’s no more than us disputing the nose and tail of the Grand Banks.”

...

“We should take a lesson from the Bloc in dedicated support for your province. However, if the screw tightens where you’re looking to put forward your separatist views, then government can’t give into those wishes,” says Hearn.

Yes, even the sacrosanct Labrador border would not stand in the way of the Conservative march to power in 2004 using every possible means, including trying to avoid having an election.

It's time like this when immortal words about Conservatives come to mind:

They have to lie — the truth isn’t their friend right now. Get angry. Mock them mercilessly; they’ve earned it. ...You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!

There are times when condescension and mockery are called for.

Loyola proves it.

-srbp-

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Conservatives on the Bloc

By Jeff Ducharme (St. John's)
The Independent
Sunday, July 04, 2004

Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe may have already put the kibosh
on a coalition with the Conservatives, but St. John’s South MP Loyola
Hearn says it could work.

"I have no problem with the fact they are there to look after Quebec,
I’m there to look after Newfoundland, and the six other MPs also, and
if we’re not we shouldn’t be there," Hearn told The Sunday Independent.

Hearn won a tightly contested battle for the federal riding of St.
John’s South in the June 28th federal election. The incumbent Hearn
beat Liberal challenger and political neophyte Siobhan Coady by a
scant 1,500 votes in a race that came down to the wire. Hearn calls
the battle the toughest of his long political career.

Prime Minister Paul Martin barely maintained his grasp on power
winning 135 seats compared to Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s 99
seats. If the Conservatives could cozy up to the Bloc and their 54
seats, the two parties could control the House of Commons with a total
of 153 votes between them. The Liberals and NDP could have a narrow
advantage with a combined 154 seats.

“We’ve indicated all along that we’re willing to work on an issue-by-
issue basis,” deputy Conservative leader Peter MacKay told CTV’s
Question Period the day before voters went to the polls.

But the Conservatives may have a hard time forming any type of
coalition with the Bloc. Duceppe and his party oppose the
Conservative’s platform of scrapping the Kyoto Accord and its anti-
abortion stance.

“There are some really fine people in the Bloc, you know,” says
Hearn. “Probably more so than any other party … quality individuals.”

Hearn credits Bloc MPs as being among the first to support his private
member’s bill calling for custodial management of the Grand Banks.

Natural Resources Minister John Efford found himself mired in a storm
of criticism because he avoided the vote, saying if he had voted for
the bill he would have been thrown out of cabinet.

“The earliest to come on board and some of the strongest supporters
were people from the Bloc,” says Hearn.

When asked about Quebec’s ongoing contention that Labrador is part of
Quebec and not Newfoundland, Hearn says it’s a claim that sounds
strangely familiar.

“It’s no more than us disputing the nose and tail of the Grand Banks.”

Hearn says any coalition with the Bloc is touchy considering the
anchor of the party’s platform is Quebec sovereignty and the erosion
of Confederation.

“We should take a lesson from the Bloc in dedicated support for your
province. However, if the screw tightens where you’re looking to put
forward your separatist views, then government can’t give into those
wishes,” says Hearn.

If the Bloc and the Conservatives do find themselves in bed together
when Parliament reconvenes, Hearn says it would likely be done on an
issue-by-issue basis.

“We’re talking the same language — most of the time.”

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