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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