The Conservative leak

Image via CBC
Image via CBC

Conservative candidate relieved of a little more than his duties

By Davie Wong, Contributor

Everyone’s had those moments where, out of nowhere, we really need to go. It’s as if our bladder has suddenly burst open. What I’m talking about is the sudden I-need-to-go-and-I-need-to-go-now feeling.

For former Conservative candidate Jerry Bance that moment was three years ago in 2012, while he was performing maintenance on appliances in a customer’s home. The normal reaction would be to go to the washroom and relieve himself, right? Well unfortunately, Bance couldn’t wait. His solution was to grab the nearest coffee mug and urinate in it. Umm, gross.

He poured his mess down the drain, rinsed out the cup, and returned to fixing the appliance, as if it never happened. It would have stayed like that, too, if not for the hidden cameras that caught him in the act.

It turns out the job he was working was a set up for the CBC show Marketplace. They had set up hidden cameras as part of a story on home repair companies. The show decided to go through with the video footage and the embarrassing incident was aired on March 2, 2012.

The footage has come up more recently due to Bance’s decision to run for a riding under the Conservative Party. Rivals have dug up the footage in an effort to discredit him. Well, it worked. Shortly after Bance issued a statement apologizing for his behaviour, a spokeswoman of the Conservative Party announced that Bance would not be running in his riding. It seemed like they’d patched the leak, but it was too late. The damage was already done.

The social media community had gotten wind of the incident and by Sunday night, September 6, #peegate—as they had labeled it—was one of the trendiest hashtags across Canada. Canadians across the country used the label to take jabs and make puns (many of which are better than my own) at Bance, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and the Conservative Party.

Ironically, it was a welcome distraction for the Prime Minister, who has been getting heat from the Mike Duffy trial ever since it started.

The conversation has now shifted from the topic of Mike Duffy and deceit, to just how out of touch Harper is with his own party. Surely, with all the attention given to a candidate’s past and social media interaction, something this big should have been spotted.

Unfortunately, these leaks do happen. Opposition leaders Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau have both taken their stances on this situation.

Trudeau ridiculed Harper as he spoke to a crowd of roughly 300 supporters in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, calling the Prime Minister “out of touch” and saying that he “can’t be bothered to find out” what was happening in his own party. These comments are quite ironic as it was not too long ago that Trudeau himself was in the hot seat for one of his candidate’s unsavory comments on social media.

Meanwhile, Mulcair took advantage of the situation to throw out a few bad puns aimed at Harper and the Conservative Party. The leader of the NDP knows all too well what it’s like to be in the hot seat as it was recently that his party was involved in a spending scandal. His sympathy was well noted in his decision to not pursue the topic any further.

While this particular scandal is bound to lose momentum and fizzle out, it’s definitely one of the more memorable scandals of late. There is no doubt that this will be the cause of laughter for many Canadians, long into the future.