The last time I saw such a blatant case of political plagiarism was when Melania Trump ripped off Michelle Obama in her address to delegates at the 2015 Republican national convention.
In a letter dated Sept. 2020 by leader of the Opposition Erin O'Toole's to Conservative party members. the wording is often identical, or with one or two words altered, to Peter MacKay's vision statement that was posted online during the recent leadership campaign.
MacKay: "We have been challenged like no other time in this generation."
O'Toole: "COVID-19 has challenged Canadians like no other time in this generation."
MacKay: "Sadly, many lives have been lost, and many more shattered, by the loss of loved ones."
O'Toole: "Many lives have been lost and many more have been shattered by the loss of loved ones."
MacKay: "Jobs have vanished."
O'Toole: "Jobs have vanished."
MacKay: "Small businesses have been devastated."
O'Toole: "Small businesses have been devastated."
MacKay: "Savings have shrunk completely."
O'Toole: "Savings have shrunk completely."
MacKay: "Canada needs conservative ideas and conservative solutions that will work in every part of the country."
O'Toole: "Canada needs Conservative ideas and Conservative solutions that will work in every part of the country." (They changed the punctuation on conservative to upper case.)
Other examples, not supplied in our print edition due to space limitations are as follows:
MacKay: No matter the challenge, the values that define us as Conservatives endure — our sense of optimism, our love and loyalty to our country, the willingness to do the hard work so that Canada will be a better place for the generations that follow.
O'Toole: Whatever the challenge the values that define us as Conservatives endure – our sense of optimism, our love of Canada, and our willingness to do the hard work to make our country a better place for the generations that follow.
MacKay:A new Conservative government will act swiftly, decisively, compassionately - in the interests of all Canadians.
O'Toole: Canadians need a new Conservative Government that will act swiftly, decisively, and compassionately – in the interests of all Canadians.
MacKay: Canada needs conservative ideas and conservative solutions that will work in every part of the country.
O'Toole: Canada needs Conservative ideas and Conservative solutions that will work in every part of the country.
MacKay: We can achieve a more prosperous, more united, and more secure Canada.
O'Toole: It will take all of us working together to achieve a more prosperous, more united, and more secure Canada.
MacKay: My vision is to leave an even better Canada to our children and grandchildren.
O'Toole: My vision is to leave an even better Canada to our children and grandchildren.
O'Toole's signature is on the letter. Obviously, a staffer in the Opposition leader's office needs to be shown the door. Did they think no one would notice?
For side-by-side comparisons, visit: pentictonherald.ca (see Miller column on the trolly of suggested stories.)
So whose vision for Canada did Conservative members just elect — MacKay or O'Toole?
Five cases of inadvertent plagiarism in rock music:
1. "Gotta Give It Up" (Marvin Gaye), "Blurred Lines," (Robin Thicke).
2. "He's Go Fine" (The Chiffons), "My Sweet Lord" (George Harrison).
3. "I Won't Back Down" (Tom Petty), "Stay With Me" (Sam Smith)
4. "Kookaburra," (Marion Sinclair), "Down Under" (Men at Work)
5. "I Want a New Drug" (Huey Lewis), "Ghostbusters" (Ray Parker Jr.). (A clue was producers of "Ghostbusters" first invited Lewis to write the theme song, which he declined in favour of working on "Back to the Future.")
Moving to provincial politics, the NDP called the election, but doesn't seem to have any candidates readily available in several of the Okanagan ridings.
May I suggest for consideration in Westside-Kelowna the name Moyra Baxter. With 25-plus years as a school board trustee, which includes many years as chair of the Central Okanagan board, along with a solid mandate from the voters of Peachland, Moyra is the one individual who can give Liberal Ben Stewart a legitimate run for his money.
Education is a provincial file.
If not, maybe see if Doug Holmes, who wasn't chosen for the Penticton nomination, would consider running next door in West Kelowna.
Much has been said about Premier John Horgan's decision to call an election and — as evident in this week's polling — the majority of British Columbians consider the election to be unnecessary.
What I find troublesome is the shabby treatment of Green party leader Sonia Fursenau. She hasn't even unpacked her boxes after winning the party's nomination and Horgan snaps his fingers for the election.
The premier forgets he's in power because of the Green party's coalition. Former leader Andrew Weaver could have backed Christy Clark and the Liberals or remained status quo, but he chose Horgan. Thanks, but no thanks, Green party members.
Now here's some long-overdue good news. There's a sequel to "Borat" with Sascha Baron Cohen reprising his Golden Globe-winning role as the Kazakhstani journalist. Production has just wrapped.
For the sake of debate, let's accept for the moment U.S. President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claim that Democratic voters will steal ballots and vote multiple times in the election. (I do that at my strata when I see McDonald's or Taco Bell coupons.)
Using Trump's logic, couldn't Republican voters do the same? Wasn't it the president who encouraged his supporters to vote multiple times?
The virtual meetings that were held this week by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities in place of an expensive convention is credence to what I've been saying for the past 10 years. City councils, regional districts and especially school boards don't need to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on junkets to Vancouver when the same can be achieved virtually at a fraction of the cost. Let's hope that post-COVID, this sticks.
Gosh do I miss 2017.
James Miller is managing editor of The Penticton Herald. To contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 250-490-0880, ext. 300.