Tory crowd drowns out question about support from man acquitted in Air India
By Steven Chase
Conservative partisans deliberately drowned out a journalist’s question to Mr. Harper during a Greater Toronto Area campaign stop Saturday as he was being asked about a Vancouver candidate’s endorsement by a man acquitted in the Air India bombing.
The Tory Leader stood quietly while members of his staff and a crowd of about 500 at a Coptic Christian centre clapped and cheered loudly to prevent a CBC reporter from quizzing him further on his defence of Vancouver South candidate Wai Young.
The Liberals have complained about an early April parents’ meeting at Khalsa School in the Vancouver area, saying Ripudaman Singh Malik was present and urged attendees to vote for Ms. Young and not Grit candidate Ujjal Dosanjh.
Ms. Young has said she didn’t know of Mr. Malik’s background or his relationship with the Khalsa school, which he helped found.
Mr. Harper repeated this defence Saturday but ignored a follow-up question on the matter.
“She attended in good faith. She has been very clear. She and her campaign have no links and do not welcome in any way Mr. Malik into this party,” the Conservative Leader said.
“We’re absolutely clear about that.”
A reporter tried to press Mr. Harper on, this asking whether he “really believed” that Ms. Young would not know Mr. Malik, who’s been in the public spotlight for decades due to scrutiny on him after the 1985 airplane bombing that claimed 329 lives.
But the Conservative Leader refused to answer this follow-up query, waiting as the crowd at the Coptic Christian Centre in Mississauga applauded and cheered him for about 60 seconds.
It’s the first time a Conservative crowd has purposely drowned out a reporter’s question of Mr. Harper during the 41st election campaign.
Tory staffers encouraged the crowd. Among those doing so was Marc-Andre Plouffe, who before the campaign was a senior advisor in the Prime Minister's Office. . . .
harper and his supporters, shutting down opposing viewpoints at every opportunity
What a convenient little microcosm of the Harper Government™.