It’s not my fault, Sir Charles

Gary MacDougall
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Even The Guardian owned by Sir Charles Dalton would have trouble ignoring some of the shenanigans going on in federal and provincial Conservative circles these days.

Somewhere Sir Charles Dalton is spinning in his grave at the news stories being published in The Guardian these days about his beloved Conservative party.

Early in the 19th century, Sir Charles — who was well-heeled courtesy of the lucrative silver fox industry —wanted to start a newspaper with a decidedly Tory bent. After all, the Liberals of the day had their paper, The Patriot, so why shouldn’t the Tories?

But instead of starting a new paper, Sir Charles was persuaded to purchase an existing one: The Guardian. It is safe to say that for a number of years, The Guardian walked a rigid Tory path.

But even Sir Charles’ newspaper would have trouble ignoring some of the shenanigans going on in federal and provincial circles these days.

Some of the events support the old saying that the truth is stranger than fiction. Another more modern phrase is one that was directed at former national Conservative leader, and briefly prime minister, Joe Clark. It was said that he never  missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

A review of recent political news reveals a string of bad news for the Tories and a free ride for the governing P.E.I. Liberals since no one can take their eyes off the Conservatives.

We had, until a few days ago, a provincial party leader who had clearly lost the support of her party and Islanders in general. The circumstances that led to that may not have been entirely Olive Crane’s fault, but politics is about power, not popularity, and she lost the power struggle, plain and simple.

This has happened to many politicians. Ask John Turner, Joe Clark, Paul Martin, Wayne Carew; it’s a long list.

Rather than take the high road on her way out the door, Crane mucked up what little unity there was in the party by claiming the Opposition leader’s role. Everyone apart from The Wizard of Oz’s Straw Man realized that would be problematic for the incoming interim party leader.

Then, after stepping down as Opposition leader, Crane is widely suspected of orchestrating an MLA caucus vote to install an ally, Hal Perry, as Opposition leader. So now the Island PCs have two leaders: Perry and interim party leader Steven Myers.

Again, the Straw Man is the only one who doesn’t see a problem with that.

Then it was the turn of federal Conservatives to grab the spotlight.

Senator Mike Duffy became the butt of political jokes when it was revealed he isn’t a full-time resident of P.E.I. in spite of his well-documented protestations to the contrary.

NDP MP Charlie Angus said Duffy and Anne of Green Gables have something in common; they are both fictional P.E.I. characters. The CBC’s Rex Murphy also mocked the P.E.I. senator on The National Thursday night.


Add to the public ridicule the embarrassing TV footage that showed Duffy trying to sneak away from reporters in Halifax by going through a restaurant kitchen.

Outside of the fact many Islanders fundamentally feel that a person who doesn’t live here should not represent them, the issue of his residency wouldn’t be as big an issue if Duffy hadn’t claimed thousands of dollars from the public purse for having to maintain a residence in Ottawa when he is ‘away’ from P.E.I.

It looks like a double whammy by the senator. First, he insults our intelligence and then he assaults our pocketbook.

Then on Wednesday night, P.E.I.’s representative in the federal cabinet, Gail Shea, bolted from her seat in the House of Commons just as MPs were about to vote on an NDP motion to reverse Conservative changes to the EI program. It was an extremely partisan motion but it seems Shea didn’t like the optics of having to support the unpopular EI changes.

All of which leaves me in search of a Ouija Board or a medium. I need to get in touch with Sir Charles.

I would plead with him that The Guardian, while much changed from his ownership days, has not turned into a Liberal news organ. If he disagreed I’d challenge him to tell me how he could sugar-coat what has been happening with Conservatives on the provincial and federal levels.

Organizations: Island PCs, CBC, House of Commons NDP Ouija Board

Geographic location: P.E.I., Green Gables, Halifax Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • Sarandah
    February 13, 2013 - 12:38

    "... The Guardian, while much changed from his ownership days, has not turned into a Liberal news organ". Therein lies the problem. Whether you spin or slant the news left and right, then you are biased. That serves neither the public, the readers, or The Guardian's best interests.

  • bewildered
    February 11, 2013 - 07:12

    I read that Robert Ghiz and U.P.E.I. President Allah went on a trip to Egypt and Turkey,( Taxpayers money) while at the same time reading Eastern Graphic there was a story on two harassment charges against President Allah!!! Why was there not a story in the Guardian about this mess!! Could it be another cover-up MR. Premier????

    • Chucker
      February 14, 2013 - 09:47

      Yes there was a story but Ghiz declined comment. The Guardian has not pursued Ghiz to account for his vacation courtesy of the PEI taxpayer. Also, Guardian, why do you put some editorials on line and not others? Where is the electoral reform reform editorial? For example.

  • Chris
    February 10, 2013 - 15:24

    Mike Duffy is trying to put islanders back under the absentee landlord system of hundreds of years ago when people from outside PEI told the dumb Islanders they couldn't own their own land. Mike Duffy and in some regards Gail Shea really need to be dealt with by their Boss Steven Harper. Harper needs to show Duffy what he does with fraudsters and fire him and Gail Shea needs to be sent back to her riding Fulltime so she can better understand her voters and what they believe in and need. These two are embarassments not just to the Conservative Party but also ti PEI and in many regards to even Canada.

  • frank white
    February 09, 2013 - 14:31

    while all you rag about this being a pro-liberal piece, i actually read the article, and if anything, i'd say it would be favouring NDP. sick em', partisan losers!

  • Impartial Media Outlets Needed
    February 09, 2013 - 13:09

    Until the Guardian refuses to publish political advertising, or equalizes advertising space/features for all major parties, refusing to take more money from one party than another ... only then will it prove to be an unbiassed publication. This includes news releases written by the government - which are often ads masquerading as news. Journalists need to write the news based on their own investigations of the facts, instead of regurgitating what the government's communications officials send them.

  • Unbalanced approach
    February 09, 2013 - 11:06

    When I read this piece the old saying "methinks thou doth protest too much" came to mind. Instead of trying to trot out some old conservative publisher that's been dead for a 100 years to try and show that the Guardian is not unfairly bashing Tories, how about you just publish the news in a fair and balanced manner. I have no use whatsoever for thieving politicians like Duffy, Brazeau (Tories) or Harb (Liberal) or any of the others and I hope to see them feel the full brunt of the justice system. On the other hand, it is clear that the Guardian has failed to expose the corruption in our current provincial Liberal government. For instance nobody mentioned the fact that Doug Currie was breaching privacy rules by discussing Duffy's application for a health card and posting and liking it on Facebbok. Journalism students from Queens finally outed much of the PNP participants via The Huffington Post. Only the did the Guardian put any real effort into that story. This paper has not published any real details on the Homberg transfer of the Holman Grand including how much of a bath the tradespeople and taxpayers are going to take. Making Olive Crane the story of the year was a joke! Especially in light of some of the stunts pulled by Ghiz et al. such as the HST, Plan B etc. There were letters daily in this paper for months concerning Islanders' outrage over these two particular stories but for some reason the Guardian seemed to think these stories were less important than Islanders being fleeced by our current Liberal government. The article this week concerning Carolyn Bertram recognizing Hal Perry was a joke. Since when does anyone care who she recognizes and is there any precedent for the Guardian having published a story about who the speaker recognizes or was this just a blatant attempt to keep the Tory troubles in the news. In addition, today you have Rick MacLean bashing Olive again. Olive Crane's biggest flaw seems to be that she tried to tell the truth and get details exposed about criminal deeds perpetrated by both the current Liberal government as well as back room manipulators in her own party. Instead of being lauded for this, the Guardian took every available opportunity to ridicule her while giving Ghiz and his gang a free pass on so many crooked deals such as the crooked tourism deals that Stephen Pate and Jack MacAndrew outed. Is it any wonder we can't get honest responsible government when decent people are mocked while criminals get a free ride. Don't bother telling us that you don't have a strong liberal bias, just show us by presenting a balanced approach to the stories you run.

    • Ray Mahar
      February 11, 2013 - 11:03

      Thank you for a Perfect response to the Guardian`s Editorial Liberal bias.

  • Garth Staples
    February 09, 2013 - 10:44

    The Guardian is loaded with local and out of province journalists and cartoonists who feed Islanders a whole lot of 'personal opinions. Journalists publish opinions; just like editors, columnists and commentators. So we get articles in the Guardian that some would consider a grudge against PM Harper who has sent the Liberal Ghiz Govt so much money that they didn't know how to spend it wisely. Don't worry that won't happen again. Me thinks the Managing Editor protests too much. He has seen the enemy and it is ---------------------------------.

  • Ryan Gallant
    February 09, 2013 - 07:59

    He is buried in Tignish. No need to speculate on where he would be spinning in his grave.

  • The press is not being responsible
    February 09, 2013 - 07:24

    Investigative Journalism, is lacking. Publishing press releases is not journalism. The Guardian has allowed the massive financial debt to continue to grow without any comments. Wes Sheridan and Robert Ghiz are destroying our finances as thoroughly as they destroyed our reputation in Immigration world wide. The Guardian is indeed a Charlottetown navel gazing Liberal rag. Look at the most unattractive file photo they use for Stephen Myers yet a studio retouched photo of the darling Prince Ghiz is the file photo for our "Dear" leader.

  • fedup
    February 09, 2013 - 07:10

    Give Redmond his day to embarrass the liberals and conservatives.

  • Alfredd
    February 09, 2013 - 07:05

    who is talking about 'sugar coating' just tell it as it is, --- I guess the Guardian is so used to that when reporting for the liberals, eh? Why has there not been an indept report on the Humbug situation, - is that too touchy, or a report on who went with Ghiz on his trip around the world, what the goal was, and did THEY achieve anything, - and here I don't mean give more of our money away, --- or is that too hard to 'sugar-coat', --- thanks Gary, get on the stick

    February 08, 2013 - 11:43

    Since the Guardian is now a Liberal rag,I think the Liberals should get equal coverage. Let's talk about the Confederation Center, I mean Homburg Centre,the hills are alive with the sound of patronage in Borden, and when all else fails, there is always Plan B.Lets not let the new Liberal owners of the Guardian take a back seat, lets talk about their exploits.