Stephen Harper's Conservatives have put their candidates on election footing by scheduling a campaign training school for March, in time for a possible vote after the next federal budget.
Party officials and candidates were informed of the conference, to be held March 15-18 in Toronto, in an e-mail from Jenni Byrne, a senior adviser in the office of Mr. Harper's chief of staff, Ian Brodie,
Candidates and local officials will be asked to attend a number of tactical training sessions. They include a candidate preparation seminar, which would include everything from how to dress to preparing for an all-candidates debate.
"It's not extraordinary to do this prior to when we assume an election is going to be taking place, either by our hand or someone else's," said another former Conservative candidate who asked not be identified.
Quite an admission, especially when the leader says he will not force an election anytime soon.
I take the above as a clear sign, but what is more striking, the new sense of urgency on the environment:
The Conservative government will attempt to convince Canadians it is serious about fighting global warming by making a flurry of policy announcements on the environment in the next few weeks, including short term targets for greenhouse gas emissions and the repackaging of a number of Liberal initiatives that were cancelled when the Tories took office.
Sources said the government will soon announce a short-term target of 2015,
Why the hurry? I thought we were all working together in committee? Clearly, this committee won't have time to get its work done, because we are heading to an election. The Conservatives are so desperate, they will re-introduce the dreaded Energuide Program and the Liberal renewable strategy- cough, hack:
Meanwhile, sources in Ottawa suggest the Conservatives are also set to release a plan aimed at boosting the use of renewable energy. The plan is said to be a repackaging of a $1-billion renewable power strategy introduced by the former Liberal government in the February, 2005, budget.
Bureaucrats at Natural Resources Canada were conducting consultations and in the midst of developing eligibility criteria, for release last April, when the Conservatives came to power. The program was put on hold as part of a government-wide review of climate change initiatives. But with the Conservatives now facing criticism over the environment, the renewable scheme is back on.
Sources also believe a new version of the former EnerGuide plan will be unveiled. EnerGuide was a retrofit program that offered financial incentives for improved energy efficiency in homes.
I'm not defending the Liberal record, but considering they did "nothing", how is it that you can steal their nothingness? Strange. Anyways, the "flurry" is clearly motivated by the looming election call, with Harper hoping to neutralize his achilles heel. I see the urgency on the environment as proof positive that Harper is taking us to the polls in short order.