ILLUSTRATIONS: Is it time to give Jerry Bance a break? After all, he’s raised the tone of Conservative discourse in Toronto, and raised our national profile abroad. (Image grabbed from the CBC, just as Mr. Bance reaches for the cup.) Below: Mr. Bance in happier times, with both his hands where you can see them; former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

It may seem counterintuitive, but Jerry Bance has actually improved the tone of Conservative public discourse in Canada.

Lots of people are having a merry old time on social media with the former Conservative candidate and his cuppa pee, but, personally, I think we ought to thank the guy for raising the tone considerably from what we have come to expect from Conservative politicians in the Metro Toronto area., which as Canada’s media capital sets the bar for the rest of the country.

Yeah, I know, #peegate was “trending” for a spell there on Twitter, whatever the heck that’s supposed to mean, and even people like NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair were using the opportunity to make little jokes about the Harper Conservatives’ love for trickle-down theories about how the economy is supposed to work.

But, seriously, people, isn’t this a significant improvement over Rob Ford?

Admit it! I mean, while Mr. Bance was captured in a CBC video sting three years ago micturating in a client’s teacup when he was supposed to be fixing the plumbing, he wasn’t smoking crack cocaine nor was he an addict of crack cocaine. He wasn’t in “one of my drunken stupors” and he wasn’t making sexually offensive references. By contrast, all those things were part of former Toronto mayor Ford’s internationally renowned public repertoire.

Notwithstanding the fact “pee” and “sting” are concepts no one wants to hear in proximity to one another, all Mr. Bance really did was make use of an available teacup to deal with an urgent personal need. If it hadn’t been for those sneaky busybodies at the CBC, who as the CFIB would tell you have no understanding of the daily challenges faced by small business people, not to mention business people with small bladders, he could have been on his way to a valued career in public life.

Instead, he’s watching it all go down the toilet – where, come to think of it, if it had gone three years ago, everything would be OK now. This is another reason for Conservatives to hate the CBC, which will probably have to pay for it if Prime Minister Stephen Harper manages to get re-elected on Oct. 19.

This story may explain why all through the Labour Day weekend members of the Conservative Perpetual Outrage Brigade were acting as if someone had peed in their cornflakes.

Like Mr. Ford, Mr. Bance has become an international sensation – his misadventure, like those of the former mayor, is one of those rare Canadian political stories that has captured the imagination of the international media, this time without giving the impression we’re a nation of crackheads. The onomatopoeic PBS network in the United States had it in its news stream it, as did the BBC. The talk show circuit may be next.

So give the man his due. He made a splash for Canada internationally at the same time as he significantly improved the tone of political discourse among Canadian Conservatives. In addition, he has provided a credible argument for those of us who, for hygienic reasons, prefer to drink our Tim Hortons (sic) from a disposable cup. *

What’s not to like about this?

I mean, seriously, would Rob Ford have rinsed out the cup?

* The well-known Canadian journalist who left a yellow liquid in my teacup in a Calgary Herald hazing ritual, circa 1973, knows what I am talking about. Later the claim was made it was just apple juice. Regardless, the trauma remains. This post also appears on

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  1. Here are some more questions.

    1 – Would Rob Ford have actually used a cup?
    2 – Which other CPC candidates have been; pissing in cups; making citizens arrests with the handcuffs that they just happen to be carrying; making prank phones calls etc? And then there is the whole voter suppression gig from the last election and what is being done now?
    3 – Hasn’t the Harper government and his minions been (metaphorically) pissing and shitting in Canadians cornflakes on a regular basis?

    *Since your disclosing, I will share that I once has a client declare – very loudly – that I was shitting in his cereal. I wasn’t sure whether I should laugh or feel insulted.

    Only 6 more weeks.

  2. “The onomatopoeic PBS network….” – laugh out loud. Hilarious post. Stephen Harper’s legacy – the man who brought comedy to Canadian election campaigns.

  3. Mr. Harper says that his party has high standards, so I was wondering how Mr. Dutaud and Mr. Bance and Mr. Gibourd passed the ‘screening’ process.I figured it out, Jason Kenney supported Mr. Bance, Mr. Dutaud presumably qualified because he was not associated with the CBC and Gilles Gibourd doesn’t like First Nation women. Therefore, they must be representative of Harper’s base – people like Earl Cowan. This lot needs to be gone on October 19th

  4. There is a much bigger story here that no ones seems to get. Jerry Bance’s behaviour was caught on camera and broadcasted on a major news network in 2012. Yet, no one brought it up as he was maneuvering to become the Neocon representative in his riding between 2012 and now -3 years.

    You don’t win the right to represent a party in a riding overnight. In fact it may take years to accomplish. Yet, none of the so-called journalists brought up the story, which by the way was very public. Why didn’t the press bring it up as Bance was trying to vie for the privilege of running for office? Was the press asleep, or were they silenced?

    What of the Conservative machine? How come they didn’t do their due diligence? How is it possible they missed this. Well, I guess it is possible none of them watch the CBC and chose instead to view Fox News.

    To me it’s not what Bance did that is the story. The real story is the fact that it was made public in 2012 on TV, but it only prevents him from running in 2015. That’s 3 years later. It really make me wonder what we will learn about the present group of Neocons in three years from now. Pretty scary!

    1. “What of the Conservative machine? How come they didn’t do their due diligence? How is it possible they missed this. Well, I guess it is possible none of them watch the CBC and chose instead to view Fox News.”

      Stevie says he does not watch CBC. That gives him “plausible deniability”. (Because the Conservative machine would be disloyal and disobedient if they watched CBC.)

  5. Thank you all for excellent comments this morning. A short commentary on the commentary:

    To Northern Loon: I had the same thought about Mr. Ford. Probably he would have just peed in the corner, all the horrible details being caught by the camera. And then not apologized. But I quailed at saying it aloud. There are bound to be voter-suppression techniques used again this time, but they will not involve calls about polling stations having been moved. Look for wholesale, ugly challenges to the right of certain citizens to vote, some of whom will give up and go home or back to their precarious jobs without voting.

    To Maria: This is a very good point. Things like loving guns and hating identifiable groups of citizens do appeal to the Tory base, and I believe are not just overlooked, but encouraged (with suitable room for denials and explanations) so, unfortunately, your conclusion about the representativeness of these candidates is probably justified.

    To Athabascan: Since the simple explanation is usually the right one, I would go with “because they were asleep” as the more likely.

    In conclusion, I would caution readers not to exult too much in these revelations, irresistibly funny as some of them are, because there are very likely people with ugly events in their past running for every party. There are just too many seats in Parliament for any party running a full slate to keep them all out. Say what you will about the Conservatives, they know to fight with knives in alleys, and you can count on it they will be smart enough to wait until a name with a sordid history attached to a New Democrat or a Liberal cannot be removed from the ballot before they go public. If and when that happens, we will say the same things about the party’s selection process (what WERE they thinking?) and the Cons will say, “Well, at least we dealt with our problem candidates.” Every party reaps what it sows.

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