Former Collingwood mayor Chris Carrier turned out to be very prescient in his speech to Conservatives last month: the Wasaga Sun story claiming Kellie Leitch had sent out a “forged” endorsement letter by Warden and Beach mayor Cal Patterson would be in every mailbox in Simcoe-Grey, he warned.
Sure enough, Carrier was correct, as on Wednesday and Thursday a photocopy of the story – along with an outlining of Leitch’s background with that Richard Ivey School of Business, which appears to be some sort of sly nod to Leitch’s commitment to see a multi-tiered health care system in Canada (timely surgery and daily sponge baths by hot nurses for the rich, leeches and two aspirins for the rest of us) – ended up in mailboxes; I gather the anonymously-sent flyers were received in the Beach on Wednesday, while most of Collingwood got them on Thursday.
At the bottom of the crudely-photocopied flyer: Who can you trust?
Couple of things. For one, as we know, the endorsement letter was never ‘forged’; as the E-B reported, Patterson agreed to sign an endorsement letter for Leitch, and had one of his staffers at the county send Team Leitch his signature by email. His problem, in the end, was he didn’t see it prior to it going out to local Conservatives (a fact that gave him an easy ‘out’ when he started to get heat from county residents for publicly endorsing an individual when his political position should be non-partisan).
Secondly, in her speech to local Conservatives the night before the vote to see who the candidate would be, Leitch stated – emphatically – to her support for a heath care system that provided equal access for all, regardless of circumstances, financial or otherwise.
Now, I don’t know who would have sent this out, other than it would have been someone with some bucks (I thought someone had quoted a price, either in the comments section or on Facebook, that Canada Post charges 14 cents a unit for a bulk mail drop). If you estimate there’s about 54,000 households in Simcoe-Grey (based on a population of about 126,000, and 2.something people per household), that works out to roughly $7,500.
Some will accuse Team Smardenka, and I’m sure some would even point the finger at Team Guergis. It may have been mailed out by a candidate supporter intent on bringing Leitch down, without the knowledge of the candidate. Though I doubt it – someone, somewhere, knows just who the heck sent it out.
Regardless, it’s cheesy, cowardly, and wildly inaccurate…