The Final Days: Orillia

(From now through the end of the campaign next week, I’ll be with the Liberal tour. Regular reports should appear here irregularly.)

Another casual but scripted stroll, this time through a farmer’s market in downtown Orillia. Midday crowd was courteous and keen. People stood seven-deep to watch Mr. Dion give a short press conference. 

The candidate clapped along with a three-piece band of long-haired children (one girl on piano, another on violin, the brother on guitar, their nouveau hippie father encouraging them on), accepted some gourmet dog biscuits and chatted with a woman selling tomatoes.

The crowd cheered his answers to reporters’ questions. And when one correspondent suggested Mr. Dion might not be prime minister on Wednesday morning, the crowd booed. Dion admonished them to respect freedom of the press.

“It wasn’t this big when that other guy came… that guy from New Brunswick,” a woman standing behind a vegetable stand remarked to her friend. “What was his name?”

She and the friend conferred, eventually seeming to recall the mystery politician.

“Brian Tobin,” the woman concluded.