Inside Politics

You can't change where you were born

 Prime Minister Stephen Harper poses for a photo at his 30th high school reunion in Etobicoke, Ont., Sept. 27, 2008. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

That was in evidence this morning in Ottawa, when Government House Leader John Baird said "Toronto Elites" are behind the opposition's support for the federal long-gun registry.

Baird also called Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and NDP Leader Jack Layton "The two Toronto leaders."

Its an interesting choice of language -- one that the Conservatives hope will drive more support to their party.

Say "Toronto" to the rest of the country and almost instantly you see the distaste on people's faces. It's a place many Canadians love to hate, or at least make fun of.

The Conservatives themselves haven't held a seat in the city of Toronto since 1993, so it's an easy target.

The trouble is Stephen Harper was born and raised in Toronto -- specifically, Leaside for his early years, and then Etobicoke. He even attended his high school reunion in the middle of the 2008 election campaign.

So, while Jack Layton was born in Montreal and Michael Ignatieff was born in Toronto, Stephen Harper is the first prime minister to hail from Toronto.

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