Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Guy Giorno: Conservative campaign "script-writer"

This is from the Harper Index. No doubt to pull the wool over the public's eyes the rhetoric will be toned down if that is thought necessary to win votes. Harper of course has touted himself as a great environmentalist as well as a great human rights advocate. Next he will be the Canadian equivalent of the Great Helmsman but steering a rightward course.

Giorno, Guy - To be Conservative campaign "script-writer"

Former Mike Harris heavyweight helped organize anti-Kyoto front group supported by John Baird in 2002.

OTTAWA, November 19, 2007: Last week the Ottawa weekly newspaper Hill Times reported that Guy Giorno, one of the architects and top commanders of Ontario's radically right-wing "Common Sense Revolution" government under Mike Harris is writing the campaign script for Stephen Harper's next election campaign.

Giorno, a corporate lawyer and lobbyist, was one of the hard-liners in the Harris years, along with with prominent Conservatives like Tom Long, Leslie Noble and Deb Hutton. Giorno's and Hutton's names came up prominently in the inquiry into the death of Dudley George in Ipperwash, Ontario in 1995 in connection with a native protest that was brutally suppressed by politically-driven police action.

Giorno works with the law firm Fasken Martineu, which says he is "widely recognized as Canada's leading expert on lobbying legislation and lobbyist registration law" on its website.

In 2002, Toronto's NOW Magazine reported on a meeting in that city by a what proved to be a short-lived industry front group called the Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions (CCRES). This organization was formed to oppose the Kyoto agreement on climate change. Giorno worked with lobbying firm National Public Relations, which set up the organization. The CCRES folded less than a year later.

"There were speeches by coalition organizers, and a particularly passionate Ontario energy minister, John Baird, made his anti-Kyoto rallying cry," reported Greenpeace campaigner John Matlow. "Needless to say, the audience was very receptive." Baird went on to get elected federally and to become Stephen Harper's environment minister.

Matlow reported that two days later, Giorno exposed his hand "by sending every MPP at Queen's Park an e-mail suggesting what they might say in op-ed news pieces or letters to their constituents about Kyoto. Then Liberal and NDP members, for whom the missive was obviously not intended, were sent a second e-mail that read, 'Unfortunately, materials from the Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions were sent to your office in error in a previous e-mail. I do apologize for any inconvenience.'"

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