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Layton visits Quebeckians

This Magazine Staff

A big orange bus rolled into the tony hamlet of Westmount this afternoon. It was a brief pit stop on a day that saw three, count ’em three, party leaders descend on Montreal.
Jack Layton was here to put in an appearance with star NDP candidate Anne Lagace Dowson, a former CBC radio host and likely the NDPs best hope to win another seat in Quebec.
Inside her headquarters a Buddha sat on the mantle next to a pile of End ATM Fees stickers. Perhaps a little Zen would be welcomed. Lagace Dowson had been running in a byelection before the general election call meant extending her campaign another five weeks.
Here is how things unfolded:
1:10 pm – The Layton travelling road show unloaded and set up.
1:20 pm – Lagace Dowson walked in bearing a bouquet of gladioli, orange of course.
1:49 pm – A party organizer was overheard asking “Where are all the people? This is not enough people.”
1:50 pm – A bus bearing media and party organizers pulled up. Suddenly there were a lot more people.
2:10 pm – Jack Layton arrived to much fanfare. The guy is charisma personified.

Once inside, among chants of “Layton Premier Ministre,” Layton promoted his environmental plan which had been unveiled earlier in the day.
There was plenty of back patting for Quebeckers, whom Layton referred to as leaders on the environment. And there were the requisite references to his childhood growing up outside of Montreal. (Many federal politicians like to play up their connection to Montreal, it gives them street cred.)
I will write more analysis about the environmental policy in coming posts. For now, here are a few photos from the event.
PS: The money sound bite:
“It look likes the sweater has come off. You cannot cover up an agenda with something fuzzy like a sweater.” That was Laytons response to a reporter asking him about Harpers charm offensive and somewhat less than charming behaviour of the past few days. Reporters in the scrum did not take kindly to Harpers use of force to remove them this morning.

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