Just in time for a Federal Election, Craig Chandler has decided that it was a good time to set sail for Ontario by blazing his way into Conservative MP Helena Guergis' riding of Simcoe-Grey to do some anti-Mayoral campaigning in the Town of Collingwood (something that I can only imagine Guergis is ecstatic about -- read: sarcasm).
A right-wing talk radio host and Executive Director of the Calgary-based Progressive Group for Independent Business, Chandler fell into the national spotlight a year ago when he was dumped as the Conservative candidate in Calgary-Egmont after writing a controversial rant against new Albertans on an online webboard and getting into trouble with the Alberta Human Rights Commission. Known for his less than mainstream views, Chandler has previously run for the Reform Party in Hamilton-Mountain in 1993 and for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003.
Now in Ontario, Chandler and PGIB affiliate David Crutcher are running a media smear campaign and mass phone attack against Collingwood Mayor Chris Carrier. According to the Collingwood Enterprise-Bulletin, PGIB has accused Carrier of being "anti-business" following the Town's decision to fine two companies who were dumping more waste into the local sewage system than local bylaws permitted. One of the two companies, Collingwood Ethanol, is connected to Chandler's father, Bruce Chandler. Ontario's Ministry of Environment has also laid 17 charges against the company.
PGIBs accusations against Mayor Carrier have confused Collingwood blogger and businessman Rick Crouch, who offered these comments:
“You must ask yourself, is it realistic or sensible for any of us to believe that a Mayor or any politician for that matter would have an “anti-business” mandate. Hardly and that’s where the hilarity in PGIB’s accusations begin and end.”Radio Free Collingwood has also been following the story and offers a couple of posts detailing PGIBs activities in the Ontario town.
Though I'm not sure what effect, if any, Chandler's campaign could have on the Conservative campaign in the Simcoe region, I'm sure that even the thought Chandler being within 100 kilometers of battleground Ontario could make even the most seasoned Conservative veteran organizer a bit nervous.