BC Liberal MLA Linda Reimer On Tolerating Those Less Fortunate

Over the past few months, the BC Liberal Party has been releasing candidate-specific, feel good propaganda videos in the “Meet the Insert Name” video series presumably in an attempt to make the candidates for the party of health firings, “Triple Delete”, “Quick Wins”, unlimited big money donation, Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunt, Kinder Morgan etc. appear largely more human and sympathetic.  The videos all largely share the same format: soothing elevator music playing while the candidate talks about themselves, their accomplishments, and what they stand for and represent over a combination of video montages and still photographs.  This past week it was Linda Reimer, the incumbent MLA for Port Moody-Coquitlam’s turn.  Here’s the video as posted on the BC Liberal official party website and released on April 2, 2017 (Spoiler: be sure watch it right to the end).

So did you catch that near the end?

At 1:41 she says “Because I felt fortunate, when I look at people whose lives aren’t as good as mine, I have a great tolerance and understanding of them” (emphasis mine).

Here’s the last part again, clipped.

And yes she did say tolerance.  She literally said that she tolerates those less fortunate than her.  Quite unbelievable really.

For a party that is trying to shake the perception of being the uncaring party of the rich and entitled, the party of the bus pass clawbacks, the party that refuses to substantially raise fixed income rates, etc., it is hard to believe that this tone deaf statement to the plight of those less fortunate didn’t hit the cutting room floor.  Think about that for a second, irrespective of the candidate earnestly saying it and believing it (which is another thing altogether), this statement would have had to make it past, the video director, the campaign manager, and then ultimately through the BC Liberal Party’s own vetting services before being posted on the party website.  All of these different potential opportunities for someone to raise their hand and say, “Linda, you can’t say that even if you believe that” or “Oh Linda, that really could be misinterpreted” and nobody, not one person, stepped up to say no?  What exactly does that say about the candidate, the candidate’s campaign, and ultimately the party infrastructure itself?  It says that everyone involved sees absolutely nothing wrong with that particular statement.  As someone on social media pointed out, this is not an off-hand, off-camera quip that was captured clandestinely on tape.  This is a presumably fully vetted official campaign video presumably full approved and vetted by the party brass and the party’s highly paid communication gurus/experts.

The release of the clipped video understandably caused a swirl of controversy on social media.  Here’s a few select comments that were posted:

Not exactly the type of publicity what you would be hoping for if you were running the re-election campaign.

Subsequent to the initial fury caused on social media, the candidate’s campaign manager and the Director of Issues Management for the BC Government took to social media to express their displeasure with the BC Green Party (singling out them for some reason which was curious as they clearly were not alone on this expressing criticism) both saying below that tolerance is a good quality.

Why yes it is, but tolerance implies that what ever you are tolerating is unpleasant at worst and something that you don’t agree with (at a minimum).  Tolerance does not imply in any way, sympathy or empathy.  Not one bit.

Here’s the definition of tolerance for those who may still be confused.

Talk about doubling down (very typical of the BC Liberal Party when faced with anything that doesn’t make them look bad) and not realizing the magnitude or the essence of the error in posting that particular comment as part of the video.

So rather than taking the video down, taking your lumps, and apologizing for the quite obvious faux pas, the candidate, the candidate’s campaign manager, and the BC Liberal party itself appear to be quite content with letting the video stand as is, thereby representing a testament to the tone death nature of the BC Liberal Party to those less fortunate and a testament to the arrogance of a party that can do no wrong.  The election hasn’t even started yet and the Reimer campaign already has one major misstep under its belt.  Well done folks.

All in all, the ultimate goal of campaign videos such as these is to raise the awareness of the candidate.  To that end, one could argue that the video did achieve that goal but clearly not in the way that the video was originally intended.   I’m sorry but the statement “there is no such thing as bad publicity” does not apply to election campaigns, especially for a candidate in a riding that was only won by 437 votes.  In a tight race, an incident like this in isolation could be enough to cost you the election.  Not a great start to the campaign for the BC Liberals in the riding of Port Moody-Coquitlam.  That’s for sure.  We’ll have to see if this is an isolated incident or part of a larger pattern of campaign gaffs as the campaign moves forward.  Given the response to this incident, I am suspecting that latter will be more likely true rather than the former.

Edit (April 12, 2017): Subsequent to the publishing of the original post Press Progress picked up on Ms. Reimer’s comments and included them as part of a post on the attitudes of the BC Liberals to those less fortunate (AKA the tolerated).   Good to see that Ms. Reimer’s video and comments are getting national attention.

Screenshot from Press Progress post.
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7 thoughts on “BC Liberal MLA Linda Reimer On Tolerating Those Less Fortunate

  1. Seeing as the BC Liberal party has helped create more unfortunate people with their policies, they should be ‘tolerant’. We have the lowest minimum wage, highest poverty rate, and people on disability are existing on roughly $900 a month. Those unfortunate enough to need welfare are forced to choose between rent, food and heat. Part time, low wage & temporary jobs have proliferated under the BC Liberals.

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  2. One of the basic tenets of modern fascism is an actual contempt for the poor – an ideology that goes way beyond mere cruelty and callousness towards people who are disadvantaged. This comment by Reimer is a sign that our present BC LIberal government has become a “fascist” government. If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, it IS a duck. It is time to be honest about the LIberal party of BC. Only when we are honest can we kick their sorry asses out of BC political life forever! ———– Doreen Gee

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    • I’m so glad that she wasn’t re-elected! This Neo-Liberal &/or Fascist has some dangerous ideas!
      Hope she ends poverty-stricken herself and homeless!

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  3. How generous of you to have tolerance and understanding of those less fortunate. REALLY, spoken with true BC Liberal self serving, self entitled arrogance. Instead of “tolerance” how about compassion and TRUE understanding. YOUR BC Liberal party has kept the disable living 43% BELOW poverty. BC has the 2nd highest child poverty rate in Canada yet your party thinks nothing of flaunting their cash 4 access fund raisers at $10 thou a plate/table dinners. That amount is what disable because of YOUR gov only get for an entire year. YOUR let them eat cake arrogance is a prime example why many are living on the streets. YOUR BC libs gov has not increase housing rates for disable and IA in 10 yrs and still expect them to find housing for $375mth all the while MLAs get $1000+mth taxpayer funded housing allowance and your Minister Stilwell had the audacity to say that MLAs would have trouble finding housing for that amount. However when she was asked by CBC radio how she expects disable to find housing for the $375mth BC Libs allow them she said they would have to make sacrifices. Clearly Ms Remier, you appear well endoctrinated to the BC Lib arrogances towards the less fortunate, that madame, BCers don’t need 4 more yrs of. IF as you say your “UDERSTANDING” the less fortunate, then try living on ONLY what YOUR BC Libs allow the disable for at least 3mths. THEN and only THEN can you state you truly UNDERSTAND. Till then please save your BCLib party rhetoric.

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  4. Who gets to “tolerate” is about structure power. It illuminates who thinks they are in a position of ingrained privilege

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  5. […] Unfortunately, neither of the clips above or her overall performance during the all candidates debate go anywhere to dispelling the perception perpetuated by her actual campaign video and this portion of it specifically (see below) (whether rightly or wrongly acquired), that she is entitled, out of touch, and only representative of a very narrow segment of the population (as previously discussed in the post BC Liberal MLA Linda Reimer On Tolerating Those Less Fortunate). […]

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