Adam Beach is a lot of things – good actor, handsome and charming, clearly committed to Manitoba’s aboriginal people.
What he isn’t is politically articulate. I spoke briefly with him Monday during his second appearance on behalf of a Tory candidate, Point Douglas Tory John Vernaus. I had trouble getting a substantial quote from him that made sense.
I asked him several times why he was supporting the Tories and failed to get a cogent answer. He said the Tories will do better by First Nations, but couldn’t provide specific reasons why the NDP had fallen short or what he believed the Conservatives would do. He did mention one thing - the Lake St. Martin flood, which has left hundreds of band members stuck in hotels in Winnipeg. Beach said it was clear to him the Tories were ready to commit money and act "within a matter of days" on that file.
I asked him about the devolution of child welfare to aboriginal-agencies and the idea of a power line down the east side of Lake Winnipeg – two issues where the Tories have taken positions that put them at odds with some First Nations bands and political organisations.
"You’re never going to satisfy everyone," said Beach as a small huddle of fans gathered outside the door. "My priority is giving back."
Beach says he is moving to Winnipeg next month to devote half his time to helping out inner-city youth, an area where I think he suggested the Tories would do better. He was unable to describe his specific plans, saying he hadn’t yet been able to put them into words. "Actions speak louder than words," he said. And he hinted that, once his plans become clear, it will also be clear why they mesh with the Tories’.