Apparently, Nikki Holland will only deny smokes for votes until then
Ontario voters eager to hear the truth about the allegations that Liberal Party of Ontario Vice-President (Operations) bribing homeless people with cigarettes will only have to wait until the cows come home.
In reality, they're more than just "allegations". Audio recorded of Holland's comments have her admission in full.
"If anyone repeats this, I'll deny it until the cows come home," Holland remarked. "I have gone to a shelter in the riding of St Paul's with a carton of smokes and said 'I'll give them to you after you vote'. I have done that."
Once the recording came to light, Holland set about doing precisely what she said she would do: denying it. The recording has made that more than just a little awkward.
To account for that, Holland is claiming that what she said was "a joke". But there doesn't seem to be much reason to believe her.
She's also tried to spin the issue back on her political opponents by insisting that the NDP and Conservative Party do the same.
In the most amusing twist yet, Premier Dalton McGuinty responded not by doing what would have been expected of someone in his delicate position -- either collecting Holland's resignation or firing her from at least the campaign -- but has publicly accepted her apology.
"It was a bad joke in poor taste," McGuinty remarked. "She apologized for it."
It simply doesn't pass the laugh test.
It's only the most recent incident in a gaffe-ridden election campaign for McGuinty's Liberals, one that featured a staged photo-op at a closed factory and a lawsuit brought against the Ontario government by one of the very green energy companies McGuinty is championing as the future of the Ontario economy.
McGuinty's explanation for the staged photo-op didn't pass the laugh test, nor does his explanation for this scandal.
Especially damning is that Holland delivered these remarks at a training seminar for Liberal Party campaign workers. Even if Holland were joking -- and no one believes that she was -- if there are any Liberal campaign workers currently bribing homeless people with cigarettes, we know where they got the idea.
Nikki Holland cannot stay on as VP (Operations) of the Ontario Liberals, and if Dalton McGuinty continues to parrot her disingenuous explanation, he cannot stay on as leader of the party.
Both must go, before the cows come home.