[Rushtalk] Whining Liberals from Canada Head to Women’s March on Washington to Protest Trump

Carl Spitzer cwsiv at juno.com
Sun Jan 22 08:14:39 MST 2017


Canadians Head to Women’s March on Washington to Protest Trump
“We want this not to happen in Canada." 
By Noah Lanard on January 11, 2017 

Photograph courtesy Canadian Womens' March. 
There were five spots left on the second Toronto bus when I spoke with
Marissa McTasney. She’s been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm. McTasney is
organizing six buses for Canadians coming to DC for the Women’s March on
Washington. The goal is to show solidarity with their “American sisters”
and send a message that Canada rejects Donald Trump’s brand of populism.

“This is not a fun weekend away … This is a really important movement,”
McTasney tells Washingtonian. She is the founder and president of Moxie
Trades and creator of the “original pink work boot.”

On November 11, McTasney created an online event to see how many
Canadians were interested in going to the march. The next morning, she
had 100 signups. There are now at least nine buses, including three from
other groups and possibly a third from Toronto, coming from Canada. The
buses are making back-to-back overnight trips so marchers don’t have to
pay for hotel rooms, which organizers say will allow more women
participate. (The tickets cost about $130 US.) There are also 11 sister
marches happening across Canada for those who can’t make it south. 

McTasney says she has never marched or protested before. It’s
“definitely the rhetoric” that fueled Trump’s rise that’s motivating
her. She’s concerned that it may drift north.

Kellie Leitch—a Canadian member of parliament running to be leader of
Canada’s Conservative Party—is positioning herself as a Canadian Trump.
“Tonight, our American cousins threw out the elites and elected Donald
Trump as their next president. It’s an exciting message and one that we
need delivered in Canada, as well,” she wrote in an election-night email
to supporters. Leitch has been criticized for proposing a test to screen
immigrants for “Canadian values.” More recently, she’s called out the
“cynicism and tut-tutting of the out-of-touch elite who think everything
you believe is wrong.” 

Leitch’s campaign manager, Nick Kouvalis, is best known as the man
who helped bring the world Rob Ford. In Toronto, Kouvalis took advantage
of suburban resentment of downtown bohemians to elect a crack-smoking
populist. It was an impressive feat in a city that has been called “New
York run by the Swiss.” (Toronto’s five major suburban districts are
part of a combined voting district.) With Leitch, Kouvalis is trying to
take that populism to the rest of Canada. It seems to be working.
A November poll gave Leitch a slight lead in the Conservative leadership

The message frightens Women’s March organizers like Penelope Chester
Starr, an American who has lived in Canada since 2008. “Populism is a
very effective strategy. It’s very easy to say stop the gravy train,” as
Ford did, but “the question of whether or not there is one is
different,” she says. 

The organizers are trying to keep the message
positive. Starr says she had no idea what she was getting into when she
signed up as a co-leader; she was just trying to cope with a sense of
despair. Since then, she’s been pulling long nights and fielding 25
calls a day on top of her day job. It’s turned out to be “an amazing way
to to channel a lot of angst,” she says.

Starr says she’s marching to send a message that Canadian women reject
Trump’s politics. “We want this not to happen in Canada. So we’re going
to stand up and we’re going to say as Canadians, we won’t stand for this
kind of discrimination, hatred, injustice, bigotry in our country,” she

After the march, the women will try to keep that spirit alive. “We don’t
know what we’re going to be doing yet, starting January 22nd, but we
know that we have this groundswell of support,” Starr says. “We have a
ton of enthusiasm and a lot of energy. And we want to do something.”




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