Quebec will not be a priority for the Conservative Canadian Prime Minister during the next four years of his comfortable majority rule. That was the message Stephen Harper sent with his appointment this week of Angelo Persichilli as the new director of communications in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
Persichilli, a former Toronto Star columnist, doesn’t speak French. French is not just one of Canada’s two official languages. Together with English, it’s also Canada’s founding language. Is there a better way to show Quebec the political middle finger?
But Quebec’s departure from the PM’s scheme of things leaves no void. Enter the ethnic vote. Canadian ethnic groups, particularly those in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) transformed themselves into key voting blocs for Conservatives during the May 2 Federal election. They delivered Harper the coveted parliamentary majority. And now the Conservatives seek to consolidate this new-found relationship.
Communication will be key. That’s where Persichilli comes in. A former editor of the Italian-language newspaper Corriere Canadese, Persichilli has strong connections with the “ethnic media” in Canada. According to the Toronto Star, he also worked as a “weekly commentator for Omni-TV” where he “coordinated Chinese, Italian and Portuguese programming.
The day Stephen Harper will become Prime Minister for all Canadians is yet to come.