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Who NOT to bully

We’re going to continue where we left off yesterday on the theme of Conservative bullying. Yesterday it was Madame Supreme Court Justice Beverly Mclachlan who made it clear she wasn’t impressed by Conservative cabinet minister Jason Kenney’s attempt to bully the judiciary into being cowed into ruling for Harper’s policies. Today, the Conservatives are figuring out that perhaps trying to threaten and bully a widow isn’t such a great idea.

This lady and her cause against Canada exporting asbestos (which killed her husband) was wallowing in obscurity until the Conservative Party decided to try and bully her into taking down a party logo she was using on her site to point out who was still allowing the export of asbestos. They of course have the legal right to do so since it’s their trademark symbol, but it was stupid on their part from a PR perspective to do so, in going after a widow who’s paying 300$ per month on a previously little-read website. Now, thanks to the Conservative legal department going overboard, this lady’s cause has been broadcast across the nation to a lot of people who probably weren’t aware Canada was exporting this poison elsewhere.

As it says in the article:

“over the past 72 hours, the Ottawa woman has outsmarted the propaganda arm of the Harper government after it handed her a gift, allowing her to publicize a cause she has championed in honour of her late husband”…Keyserlingk received an email warning from the party’s executive director, Dan Hilton, who told her the use of the logo was unauthorized. “This usage . . . must cease immediately. Failure to do so may result in further action. Please govern yourself accordingly.” ..she says..she will take it down — after a senior member of the Conservative government meets with her to explain the export policy and hear her story. No one from the party has offered such a meeting and they have all but fallen silent since Keyserlingk went public with the threat.

In one fell swoop, the party created a folk hero, brought attention to an issue they don’t like to publicize and came across as bullies.

I’d actually like to thank the CPC for going ahead and doing this. It will be overkill stuff like this that makes every day people aware of what they’re up to and how they act moreso then Question Period or media editorials.

UPDATE @ 6:30 pm: Hmmm.. the logo thing seems to be spreading.. slight variation, but similar.


3 comments to Who NOT to bully

  • It really was a bad way to handle it. Can’t imagine someone giving the lawyer the go ahead on this. I have the logo as my facebook profile pic.

  • I’m not so sure about the legal question. I’d say there’s a solid argument to be made that her use of the logo comes under “fair comment”. If on the other hand the Cons are right about the legal question, then presumably they’re in trouble with respect to some of their attack ads, which showed clips of Liberal leaders with the Liberal logo behind them.

  • The irony of all this is if the Tories had just left the woman alone, she wouldn’t have received any of the publicity that she is now. All the Harper Tories have succeeded in doing is providing her with more publicity for her cause and make themselves look bad in the process.

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