Happy holidays (II)

Four years ago tomorrow, Stephen Harper made a campaign stop in Winnipeg, where he outlined his party’s vision for arctic sovereignty. The next day he had a photo op at a Toys R Us in Calgary. He then took three days off for Christmas, before resuming his campaign on Dec. 27.

After the jump, a CP dispatch from Dec. 19, 2005, explaining the Mr. Harper’s schedule for the 2005 holidays.

Party leaders won’t take much time off campaign during the holidays
Canadian Press Newswire
Mon Dec 19 2005
Section: National General News

OTTAWA (CP) _ Party leaders will barely have time to digest their Christmas turkey before hitting the campaign trail once again.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper seems to be the most eager to return to the hustings after Christmas and that’s already giving his rivals indigestion.

Tory campaign spokesman Yaroslav Baran said Harper will spend Dec. 24, 25 and 26 with his young family in his Calgary riding.

The national leader’s tour will resume Dec. 27, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than usual.

Harper plans to attend some events and visit a few ridings to shore up Conservative support and rally the troops. Baran said he’ll take another brief break for New Year’s eve and New Year’s day with the campaign resuming at full speed Jan. 2 for the sprint to voting day Jan. 23.

Baran scoffed at the suggestion few voters will be paying attention to politics during the holiday period.

“People don’t just eat turkey for 10 days,” he said.

Paul Martin’s plans aren’t yet firm, other than that he will celebrate Christmas at the family farm in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.

But if Harper campaigns during the holidays, Liberal spokesman Ken Polk said “it’s a fair assumption” the prime minister will do the same.

“I think you can expect we’re not going to let the Liberal presence be absent from the air waves,” said Polk.

Jack Layton, the New Democratic Party leader, is so far planning to take the most time off. Spokesman Jamey Heath said Layton’s campaign will shut down for six days, Dec. 23-28, to give the leader time with his family in Toronto.

And even after that, Heath said Layton will stick to “light seasonal events” _ a Chinese banquet in his riding, skating in the square in front of Toronto City Hall _ until after New Year’s Day. He may also travel to New Brunswick but only to attend events such as holiday tea parties in seniors’ homes.

“There’ll be no podium, no speeches,” said Heath.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe’s holiday plans were not clear Monday. Spokespeople for his campaign did not return calls.

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