Yesterday I referred to the funny interview on CFRA with Conservative warrior and former (current?) Rick Chiarelli employee Alex Lewis. In case you have better things to do than listen to 24 minutes of inane dialogue, I’ll provide you with a synopsis.
The first quarter of the interview features the host trying to fill dead air by talking about the weather and making excuses for Alex’s tardiness – “he must be having trouble finding a parking space.” He also take a few shots at Bells Corners – “it’s just missing something that I can’t really put my finger on” – and comparing it unfavourably to Barrhaven.
Around the 9:00 mark the CFRA guys get to the new smoking bylaw, mentioning that Alex had been invited on the show because he had generated some buzz by criticizing the mayor. Alex cited Jim’s desire to protect non-smokers from deadly second-hand smoke as an example of Big Liberal Government running roughshod over the right of God-fearing Conservative smokers and bar owners to do whatever they damn well please.
Jim doesn’t take well to being criticized, so Alex had better watch his back. Presumably Rick, Pierre, Rusty and Lisa gave him the green light to diss Mr. Big, but they’ll cut him loose in a second if need be.
Finally, at around the 10:00 mark of the show, Alex rushes into the studio, blaming his lateness on all the sidewalks in the market that should be converted into parking lots to serve car-owners. He also takes a shot at his hated Liberal enemy Bob Chiarelli, implying that it’s somehow Bob’s fault for not providing enough funding to keep Alex from being late. Huh?
Out of breath from taking the stairs up to the studio (and a nasty nicotine habit?) Alex fumbles the first question, boasting that Rick’s Master Plan is to promote Bells Corners “as a shopping district,” which seems kind of vague, and then claiming that a costly “retail gap assessment survey” will solve everything by helping the BIA decide which big box stores they should try to woo to Bells Corners.
Alex confirmed what you already read a long time ago on this blog, that our Zellers is NOT going to be converted to a Target – the Hazledean and Bayshore Zellers stores will both become Targets, so they don’t need a third store in the same area.
Then the new CFRA reporter (the same one who mistakenly reported that a posh new community centre opened this week in Bells Corners) asked him about his Twitter “argument” with the mayor. Alex opined that maybe it’s time governments stopped “coming into businesses and telling them what it is that they can and can’t do with private property.” I guess he misses the good old days when people could light up everywhere.
A bit later, Alex drops another groaner, demonstrating the Barrhaven resident’s shaky grasp on local geography: “within the next four years, we’ll have 10,000 DND workers moving into Bells Corners.”
It’s rich that Alex uses Conservative Tea Party rhetoric about the evils of big government to defend smokers’ rights. Today both the Citizen and the Sun published scathing editorials trashing the PM for his new Big Brother legislation which would give police, spies and federal bureaucrats the power to monitor our internet usage without judicial oversight. Anyone who questions the move towards 1984 is demonized as being on the side of the child pornographers.
“There is no excuse for this kind of intrusion on the privacy rights of Canadians and certainly not one from a government that says it champions the idea that the federal government ought to respect individual liberties and rights,” thunders the Sun.
The Citizen agrees, lambasting the Tories for “acting like schoolyard bullies” for questioning the loyalty of anyone who doesn’t like giving the green light to torturers and government snooping.
You have to wonder if Alex knows what’s he doing. Sure, the bar owners on the Bells Corners BIA executive will give him a pat of the head, but you can’t assume that ALL of the Bells Corners businesspeople (whom Alex supposedly represents) will be pleased with his pro-smoking campaign (somebody told me he appeared on his father-in-law’s TV station at noon today and on a Rogers show this evening).
Not ALL Bells Corners business owners are Conservative true believers either, so Alex’s blatant partisanship may end up biting him in the butts, the ones he’ll no longer be able to smoke on the sidewalk in front of his sad little BIA office.