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John Turner backing Harper

(PoliticsWatch posted May 7, 2004) OTTAWA - Journalists did a double take today upon reading a campaign news release from the Conservatives announcing that John Turner will play a prominent role as one of Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's provincial campaign chairs. 

No, Prime Minister Paul Martin isn't having a bad day, as the John Turner in question is not the former Liberal prime minister, but a former Reform Party candidate who lost a bid for the Nunavut riding in 1997.

Turner will be the party's campaign chair in Nunavut. 

"It's no coup," said Conservative communications director Jim Armour. "Well, I mean, John Turner is a coup, but it's not the same coup."

Nationally, the campaign co-chairs will be Conservative MP John Reynolds and Michael Fortier. 

There is also some other high-profile talent at the provincial level. In Alberta, the campaign co-chairs are retiring Conservative MP Deborah Grey and former Reform adviser Rod Love. In Ontario, former Tory finance minister Michael Wilson has been named honourary co-chair, along with PC MPP John Baird. Outgoing Conservative MP Elsie Wayne will be a co-chair in New Brunswick. And former Mulroney cabinet minister John Crosbie is an Honourary co-chair for Newfoundland. 

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