A lot has happened during the past year in Canadian politics and current affairs. Canadians are increasingly speaking up about federal policies, and threats to democracy are raising concern among citizens and experts from coast to coast.

Part four of our “Harper’s Canada” series provides some quick facts on social and political shifts at the local and provincial level.

Even in "liberal" cities and provinces like British Columbia, politics and media are increasingly tied to Conservative federal policy

  • During municipal elections in Vancouver, The Vancouver Sun ran a front-page story about internal polls sponsored by the right-wing Non-Partisan Association (NPA), showing them in a favourable light (Nov. 14, 2011)
  • The poll was conducted by Abingdon Research, owned by former Harper strategist Hamish Marshall, whose partner Kathryn Marshall is the spokesperson for Ethical Oil
  • Campaign Research Inc., the team brought in by the NPA to defeat incumbent party Vision Vancouver, was also behind the successful campaign of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford
  • Recent reports have also linked Campaign Research to campaign training involved in the robo-call scandal, and a "dirty" telephone campaign against a Liberal MP in Quebec
  • Campaign Research partner Nick Kouvalis publicly stated: “We're in the business of getting Conservatives elected and ending Liberal careers. We're good at it.”
  • B.C. premier Christy Clark, current leader of the B.C. Liberal Party, is said to be responsible for a shift towards conservatism in BC
  • Jan. 20, 2012 - Clark hired former Harper strategist Ken Boessenkool as chief of staff, after also hiring another Conservative staffer, pollster Dimitri Pantazopoulos
  • Boessenkool was also formerly a lobbyist for Enbridge
  • When things started heating up about Northern Gateway, Clark said “BC’s coast does not just belong to BC, it belongs to Alberta…” and all the other provinces


For more on “Harper’s Canada”, read VO’s other cheat sheets:

Harper’s Canada: A Conservative government policy cheat sheet
Harper’s Canada: An environmental policy cheat sheet
Harper’s Canada: A public safety and privacy cheat sheet
Harper’s Canada: Threats to democracy