Powell, Protest and Peacekeepers
Torontoist snagged a free ticket to the Colin Powell, Frank McKenna love in at Roy Thomson Hall last night. Before we walked into the event we were greeted by this small group of protesters which Torontoist must admit were a bit anemic looking. Maybe it was the windy weather, or the short notice (one of the protesters admitted to only hearing about the event the day before), but Torontoist have seen much bigger peace protests in recent weeks so we’re a little puzzled at the low turnout.
Frank McKenna, former ambassador to the US and former Liberal leadership frontrunner warmed up the crowd talking about the US-Canadian relationship and describing it as a “benign neglect.” In an audience full of bankers and the well-heeled (tickets were going for around $200 and the main sponsors were CIBC and the National Post) McKenna was speaking to a friendly audience and as Frank was talking about the Liberal economic record (eight surpluses, envy of the G8, yada yada yada) he sounded as if he was channelling Paul Martin.
The media is reporting on Powell’s comments on Canada’s role in Afghanistan but we think the big news item should’ve been that Powell does a frighteningly good Ronald Reagan impression. Overall Powell’s statements were safe and positive. No daggers came out, no complaints about Powell’s turfing by his bosses, he even dodged the question about his infamous UN briefing, trotting out the line that he was only using the best intel that he had at the time. All and all, it was a bit yawn inducing.