John Ivison: Them’s fighting words. We’ve reached the trash-talk phase of the campaign


We have reached the trash-talk phase of the election campaign, where the main contenders hurl increasingly preposterous insults at one another, like fading boxers. Justin Trudeau didn’t quite resort to Muhammad Ali’s famous line about Smokin’ Joe Frazier — “(Frazier) has two chances, slim and none, and slim just left town.” But he painted an unattractive, apocalyptic vision of Canada under an Erin O’Toole government. “I’m going to let him and his proxies in the anti-vax movement, in the gun lobby, in the anti-choice crowd to continue to attack me. I’m going to stay focused on Canadians,” he said. In fact, Trudeau has not taken the high road. At a rally in Oakville, Ont., the previous evening, he looked like he might go up like a helium balloon, such was the enthusiasm of his evangelism. O’Toole’s opposition to mandatory vaccination makes no sense, he said. “But you know who it does make sense for? The far right anti-vax wing of his own party and the mobs of anti-vaxxers harassing doctors, nurses, waiters and business owners. He (O’Toole) said there is room for them in his big tent party.

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