MP slapped for subliminal support
Published Saturday, July 23, 2011 10:35AM MDT
MP Rob Anders is in the hot seat after he dropped a conservative leadership candidate's name several times during a funding announcement for affordable housing in Calgary on Thursday.
Anders started the speech by saying "we are going to play an interesting game here today. I am going to deliver the speech but in any place the bureaucrats have written something I'm not entirely comfortable saying I'm going to insert my own phrase."
The phrase he was talking about turned out to be "I'm supporting Morton."
Anders inserted his support for the conservative leadership candidate nine times during his three and a half minute housing speech.
Federal Human Resources Minister Diane Finley says Anders was speaking on her behalf and that she is disappointed in her fellow MP.
"It was inappropriate for him to mix personal provincial politics with a federal announcement," said Finley.
Political scientists say Anders' little game was misguided and wrong.
"It's a question of do you turn an official government event into a partisan political advertisement. I think that was wrong," said David Taras, Mount Royal University Political Scientist.
Staff at Ted Morton's headquarters are not too happy with the endorsement either.
"An inappropriate mix of government business and Alberta leadership politics. Wrong place, wrong time. It just shouldn't have happened," said Sam Armstrong, Ted Morton's leadership campaign Chair.
The Prime Minister's office was also less than impressed by Anders' antics.
Harper's Director of Communications told CTV news "Provincial leadership race politics should not be raised during government announcements."
This is the first time that the federal Tories have spoken out against Anders' actions.