Secretive Conservative MP deluges Whitehorse with flyers

Who is Rod Bruinooge? Many Yukoners know his name, but few have met him. He’s pushing Conservative Party policy to local residents through…

Who is Rod Bruinooge?

Many Yukoners know his name, but few have met him.

He’s pushing Conservative Party policy to local residents through pamphlets sent to city homes.

But you won’t see him knocking on doors in the territory.

He’s a Conservative MP running for re-election in the riding of Winnipeg South.

And despite his apparent focus on Whitehorse residents, it’s not clear if he knows where to find the city on a map.

MPs are entitled to communicate with voters, said Bruinooge spokesperson Miranda Novak.

But he’s doing it through the mail. He wouldn’t speak with a local reporter.

“It’s not as though he’s an MP with particular interest in Whitehorse,” said Novak from Winnipeg.

Bruinooge was not available for comment. Novak refused to allow even a couple questions.

“He’s only doing local media right now,” said Novak, who referred all inquiries to party headquarters in Ottawa.

“(Fliers are) not directly from him,” she said.

The campaign-like flyers suggest a Conservative government will protect their $1,200 child-care benefit, guarantee a strong military and end the long-gun registry.

In all cases, they suggest the other national leaders, like Liberal Stephane Dion, would take a different approach.

The flyers and postage were paid for by the people of Canada through the Conservative’s office budget.

Which is why, legally, Bruinooge’s name must be on the flier.

An elected MP must OK parliamentary budget spending on mailouts to other ridings.

Although she initially identified herself as Bruinooge’s communications person at the beginning of an interview, she refused to give her last name at its conclusion.

“I don’t think you need that,” she said.

A call to Bruinooge’s Parliamentary office confirmed her last name.

The black-and-white fliers are short on policy detail, letting slogans do the work.

A flier promoting the Conservative child-care benefit was recently mailed.

On the front, above Harper, it says, “Keep it.”

Above Liberal Leader Stephane Dion are the words, “Lose it.”

Each flier, whether it’s about Arctic sovereignty, gun control or military spending, asks the reader which federal party leader is “on the right track.”

A ballot-style graphic includes headshots of Harper, Dion, NDP Leader Jack Layton, and Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, and beside each is a box to mark the choice.

The reader is supposed to cut out the postcard size response and sent it back to Bruinooge.

“It’s not as though Rod Bruinooge has a specific interest in Whitehorse, it’s that the people deserve to hear from all parties,” said Novak.

Bruinooge is participating in the “10-per cent program,” said Mike Storeshaw, a spokesperson with the Conservative Party.

An MP can use part of the budget allocated to elected officials to send fliers to 10 per cent of households in a different riding.

Storeshaw could not confirm how many fliers Bruinooge sent.

“The numbers and limits are set by the House of Commons,” he said.

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