Wherever he goes, there are sometimes hundreds of people wanting to get a picture with him. At one event, I saw him stand there while people flashed bulbs in his eyes for almost one hour.
Well, the Conservatives have a political 'rock star' as well: Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. The only difference with Kenney, however, is that his stardom is with the ethnic communities.
The Toronto Star shadowed Kenney last weekend when someone from the Chinese community told them that Kenney was "the Justin Bieber of Canadian politics."
He wasn't exaggerating — at least not completely.
"During a jam-packed itinerary stretching across the GTA on a recent Saturday, Kenney was mobbed by excited shoppers at the Pacific Mall in Markham, grabbed on Toronto streets by supporters for impromptu photos, cheered by hundreds at a Tibetan New Year celebration and showered with confetti at a gala dinner.
For Kenney it’s all in a day’s work. As point man for the Conservative Party with Canada’s ethnic community and as minister of immigration and multiculturalism, he has worked assiduously to gain support for both himself and the party."
The significance of Kenney's 'fame' within in the ethnic communities is that it sets him up for a leadership run for the Conservatives once Stephen Harper steps down. Insiders will tell you that Kenney has ambitions on Canada's top job.
So, in a one-member one vote leadership race, Kenney would have a leg-up — because of his ethnic supporters — against potential leadership rivals such as James Moore, Peter MacKay or Christian Paradis.
Nobody is suggesting that Stephen Harper is leaving politics any time soon.
But, in the meantime, Kenney is solidifying his base and ingratiating himself to ethnic Canada.
(Photo courtesy of dalailama.com)
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