04.15.2011 06:52 AM

KCCCC Day 21: Anatomy of a scandal


  • …and the scandal, naturally, is in the “yes” of the beholder: Last night, CBC News broke this story about former Conservative cabinet minister Helena Guergis.  Said the CBC:  “CBC News has learned that the “serious allegations” Prime Minister Stephen Harper referred to last year in connection with former Conservative MP Helena Guergis included unsubstantiated claims of fraud, extortion and involvement with prostitutes.  But a letter written by a Harper aide and obtained by CBC News states that the Prime Minister’s Office learned the allegations had been made by a Toronto private investigator. The letter also reveals the allegations were not based on any hard evidence.”
  • Get that?  Neat trick: The story details – in as much salacious detail as possible – the stuff that someone, somewhere, was saying about Guergis.  The story tells you all about it!  And then it notes, almost as an afterthought, that the allegations – which the CBC has succeeded in Krazy-Gluing to your brain – weren’t based on any “hard evidence.” But, dammit, we’re going to give you all the dirt anyway, even if it is total bullshit!
  • I used to be an investigative reporter. At the Ottawa Citizen and the Calgary Herald. There is virtually nothing I have done in my life that was as rewarding.  I probed the suspicious deaths at the Hospital for Sick Kids (and concluded there were no murders), and kickbacks at the Ottawa Courthouse (and succeeded in getting the most senior official there removed from his job).  In my experience, you can’t just run with a single document as big page one scoop.  You need more than that – you need context. And you need to closely examine the motives of the person who ultimately gave you the document, very carefully.  Ask yourself – and the answer in anonymous source stories, the answer is almost always “yes” – this: “Am I being used?”
  • The context here is crucial. It’s the middle of an election campaign, for the love of God: do you think – just for a minute – that a story like this landing in the middle of said election campaign is, well, a bit suspicious? Does it mean, perhaps, that Guergis’ independent challenge of the Conservative Party’s candidate might be getting traction?  That running with this story, as CBC did, assists the Conservative government which, not coincidentally, is ultimately responsible for the CBC’s fiscal health?
  • Here are some questions that could have been asked: Why was Guergis fired, and her reputation destroyed, for unproven gossip about prostitutes – when Bruce Carson, in proven fact, waltzed into Stephen Harper’s 24 Sussex with a hooker, and later introduced another hooker to half of cabinet?  Why was he given a big patronage appointment, for which he apparently lobbied without registering?  Why was he given the big PMO office – him, a convicted fraudster who served time? And why was Guergis ground into meat, and then thrown to the dogs?  If I get a private detective to pass along a few rumours to the RCMP and/or a CPC lawyer about the after-hours lives of John Baird, John Kenney and Rob Anders, will that mean their careers will be over, too?  Not on your life. She’s a girl. They’re all boys.
  • More is found: Here and here and here.  It’s going to be “the story of the day” on the campaign trail – says, naturally, the CBC.  I carry no brief for Helena Guergis.  I hope the Liberal candidate wins (and perhaps he was on the way to doing so, before this).  But this “story” truly is a scandal – not for what Guergis did (because it’s now clear she was fired without cause).  It’s a scandal for what was done to her. And for what is still being done to her.  By the CPC, by the CBC, by others.

 

110 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    I’m suprised this isn’t talked about more” Conservatives want to dump Guelph U student votes
    http://www.guelphmercury.com/news/local/article/517010–conservatives-ask-elections-canada-to-nullify-votes-cast-at-u-of-g-wednesday

    • Jeff says:

      Could be because it was a polling station not sanctioned by Elections Canada, combined with other various violations of the Canada Elections Act such as partisan materials located at the polling station.

      http://guelphmercury.blogs.com/files/letter-to-p.-boutet-dated-april-14-2011.pdf

      • Mike says:

        It may not have been an official advance poll but it was a “Special poll.” This is the third election that Elections Canada has had a special poll at the U of G and the first time that the Cons have complained. They are now also trying to suppress further votes at York University as well now! Everyone needs to stand together and tell the CONS that vote suppression is not legal, and that Canadians will not tolerate vote suppression! Further, if this is allowed, I am sure that the CONS will try more US republican tricks like suppressing minorities, demand voter ID cards, reduce polling stations, etc. Be very careful here as we are now talking about the most basic fundamental rights we have. I am sure that if Harper ever got a majority, these rights we all take for granted will be destroyed by these Harper Goons.

        • Jeff says:

          See above reply to “E”. As well the letter states “no advance poll or other form of polling had been sanctioned by Elections Canada”. A “Special Poll” would seem to me to fall under “other form of polling”. So unless the letter is misrepresenting the conversation with the official from Elections Canada, it would seem the poll may well have been unsanctioned.

          • James Bow says:

            The thing is, it was legally possible to vote in Guelph on April 13 by special ballot. You can vote at any time up to 6 p.m. on the Tuesday before voting day at any Elections Canada office. If you’re supposed to vote in a riding you can’t access, you can still participate through the use of a special ballot. This ballot requires you to write down the name of the candidate you are voting for, put that ballot in a sealed unmarked envelope, and put _that_ envelope in a second envelope declaring your name, the riding you’re voting in, and a declaration that you have not voted before in this election, and you will not try to vote again.

            This makes sense for university students, many of whom are supposed to vote in ridings other than the one the university is located in. References to sealed envelopes also suggests that what was happening here was not an advance poll, but a place to cast special ballots. Theoretically, it’s no more illegal than if the students of Guelph organized a “Walk to Vote” campaign to take the 700-or-so students clear across town to the Elections Canada office to vote.

            So I think the question comes down to who actually said what to whom. The special ballot poll does not appear to be illegal as the Conservatives claimed, but if an Elections Canada official said what he said, he certainly sowed a lot of confusion into the mix and he probably deserves to step down. If it’s more a series of misunderstandings, however, I hope that the Conservative campaign backs down gracefully and allows the 700 or so students who lined up in good faith to vote to maintain their say in the political process.

            This is starting to get some traction locally at least, but it’s limited by the fact that Elections Canada is still investigating, and won’t comment until things are finished. Hopefully that’s soon. Like, this afternoon.

        • The “communications director” was recently a student at UoG. Let’s cut him and youth in general some slack and place the blame where it truly belongs… at the feet of Harper, and his people like Doug Finley, Tom Flanagan (while he was in the core), John Baird, James Moore, Pierre Poilievre, Laurie Hawn, Jenni Byrne – the pit bulls of Conservative politics who care more about winning than how. This particular Conservative operative was either following orders or was following by examples set by his party’s elite.

          As a student, and like all of us, Sona has many lessons yet to learn in life. Hopefully Mr. Sona will in the future put more value on the principles of democracy than simply playing the game hard for his team. The two — democracy and winning — are not equivalent. Unfortunately for us all, all political parties but particularly notably Team Harper have as an effect of their gamesmanship turned our democratic process into something of a farce.

          We can and must do better. Perhaps Mr. Sona will learn a lesson from this unfolding experience and become an advocate for a truly democratic process.

          (Incidentally… elsewhere in this comment stream I forgot to mention another linkage between the attempt to steal/block ballots and David Emerson… Helena Guergis was David Emerson’s very first Parliamentary Secretary as a newly minted Conservative.)

          • Namesake says:

            altho’ he was taking some courses at guelph, maybe just as a reason to spy on the campus, kady notes that he’s in the Govt employee directory as having worked for the MP Rob Moore:

            “While I’m on accuracy patrol, Michael Sona is in GEDS as asstnt to @RobMoore_CPC, NOT @JamesMoore_org. cc//@jeffjedras @JamesDBowie #elxn41
            by kady via twitter at 2:17 PM”

      • JS Rothwell says:

        Yeah great excuse for a Tory mp reaching for a ballot box. Shades of Ferdinand Marcos there

        • Namesake says:

          it was the debate-avoiding CPC candidate’s Communications Director who was throwing the hissy fit, by the by, not the candidate himself.

          • JS Rothwell says:

            corrected… but does that really change things much? Trying to grab a ballot box is about as bad as it gets in an election regardless. And a communications director? The fool should understand optics to say the least. And he’s earned fool.

          • Namesake says:

            agreed; just setting the record straight about WHICH Con operative was doing the thuggery.

            Note, this was the same group that had the R.CPC.M.P. turf out the Youth Vote Flash Mob members out of the Harper camp meeting last week.

            And BTW, not only was this a legitimately sanctioned advance poll, as the Guelph Mercury paper makes clear (for the third gen. election in a row), but the President of the U. of Guelph was on board with it, as well: even agreeing to paint his face, er, blue, in an Avatar (the movie) themed promotion of people power, if it attracted enough voters.

            http://thwapschoolyard.blogspot.com/2011/04/why-did-harpercons-disrupt-guelph.html

      • Mike says:

        Just because someone claims a polling station is illegal doesn’t make it so, nor can I say that the Conservatives seem to have any respect for the electoral process when their first step was to send a goon in to try and physically take possession of an official ballot box.

        • nic coivert says:

          This is the sorry Tory story of the day.

          Shades of Florida.

        • Harper and his minions have a history of tampering with the electoral process.

          Some here may remember Harper and David Emerson as being the poster children for theft of ballots.

          For those who don’t remember, Emerson campaigned hard in the Vancouver-Kingsway riding on the Liberal platform, calling out the Conservatives at every turn as the worst sort of mean people. Vancouver-Kingsway itself had not legitimately voted in a Conservative since the 1950s. Emerson while campaigning was a senior cabinet minister in the last Paul Martin Liberal government and *the* senior politician in B.C. and on the strength of all of that was re-elected in Election 2006 on January 23rd.

          In his acceptance speech Emerson vowed to constituents to represent them well as a member of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and exclaimed that he’d be “Stephen Harper’s worst enemy” when he got back to Ottawa.

          Secretly and before even 24 hours had elapsed, Emerson was negotiating with Harper and his minions to ‘cross the floor’, a first in Canadian parliamentary history – there was yet no floor to cross.

          The net effect is that Harper and Emerson effectively stole every one of those ballots, took them to a back alley, and set them on fire. It was as if no vote counted. Not a single person got what they voted for. Bernard Shapiro, Canada’s ethics commissioner at the time, wouldn’t go so far to call the ballots stolen but did allow that the sordid affair made many citizens, not just in Vancouver-Kingsway I would add, feel “that their vote—the cornerstone of our democratic system—was somehow devalued, if not betrayed.”

          Bottom line: When someone makes the claim that Stephen Harper doesn’t respect the electoral process, they are standing on firm ground.

          In the end Harper’s gambit did not deliver the Conservatives any inroads into Vancouver, although Stephane Dion almost did.

          • pomo says:

            Why aren’t people being reminded of this now? This was a truly contemptible act and a real F.U. to all the people who voted for Emerson, who campaigned explicitly against the kind of nasty, bullying politics of the Harper Cons. Shouldn’t this be more explicitly part of the narrative?

            Drip drip drip…the dripping goes back a ways beyond the stories of ballot boxes being strong armed and people being kicked out of rallies for having the wrong facebook friends.

        • Namesake says:

          “Student Claire Whalen was just about to receive her ballot just before 5 p.m. when the episode unfolded.

          ‘That’s when a guy came up and said it was an illegal polling station and that he was confiscating the ballots. And then he tried to take (the ballot box),’ Whalen said.”

      • Elections Canada rules: University of Guelpf votes are valid.

        Yay.

        Conservative attempt to thwart democracy: 0, Students seeking to express themselves in our democracy: 1

  2. MontrealElite says:

    Helena out

    In and out senators in.

    Welcome to Harperland

  3. bell says:

    I suspect any PM with those types of accusations put in front of him or her would have done the same thing. If he decided to keep her and then there was an inevitable leak of the accusations he would have been roasted by the opposition.

    The press has been a major dissapointment for me. They get lead around by any ofo the parties like a puppy chasing a dog biscuit. They then whine that the campaign isn’t about real issues or policy. They really look pathetic and should be embarassed. What the CBC did doesn’t surprise me. Its just consistent with how the entire press core covering the campagns has been acting. I believe most people just tune them out now.

  4. MontrealElite says:

    Here’s the real Mao!

    http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=9c6b53f6-f0a2-4eca-93bb-559023144731

    Jeebus, what was he smuggling under there?

  5. Jeff says:

    I’m a typically conservative voter but for the first time in my life I’m actually in the undecided camp this time and I’ll be voting in one of the districts with a former MP, former Senator trying to reclaim the MP from the two faced Liberal incumbent.

    That said, I can’t see how anyone could interpret the timing of this to be of any benefit to Conservatives.

    Sexism in the conservative caucus is laughable. Give me a break.

    Liberals have never tried to remove a candidate that they didn’t want in the party?

    The timing of this, the way it was presented makes the conservatives look vindictive for doing something that is there prerogative to do, just like it is for any party. At the same time it again casts doubts on her character in the middle of an election campaign.

    So tell me, how is this beneficial to anyone except the Liberal candidate?

    • pomojen says:

      Not sure I understand the “sexism is laughable” thing….are you saying that it’s laughable to suggest it exists? Or laughable that this is news….

      As a thinking, voting person who happens to also be a woman, my observation is that only the blindly partisan in any party deny that sexism exists, deeply embedded in the system. It’s still a battle and it’s worth fighting. Same can be said for people of colour, differing ability, LGBT folks, etc etc…Politics in Canada is still mostly white, mostly male, mostly straight (or closeted) and mostly privileged. We need politicians to more closely reflect Canadian society. I don’t care if they are conservative, liberal, NDP, Bloc…whatever.

      PS – anyone remember that this is the same person who threw shoes and berated staff at the Charlottetown Airport? I didn’t think so. Would have been hard to believe at that time that there would be something else to remember her by a little bit down the road. I feel for her. But I would not vote for her.

    • JS Rothwell says:

      “I?m actually in the undecided camp this time and I?ll be voting in one of the districts with a former MP, former Senator trying to reclaim the MP from the two faced Liberal incumbent.”

      ha ha so are your choices Tory and not voting? That was a pretty partisan bit of proving you arent undecided Jeff. Nice try. You need to practice a lot more before you can get paid for your comments.

  6. J.G. Love says:

    I don’t get how the reporting helps the cons. Will CBC relly actaully reap the benefits for running it as wk suggests?

  7. Cam says:

    The truth prevails.

    I am not a fan of Ms. Guergis, and as much as I would like the Liberal Candidate to win, I would see it as fitting to see Ms. Guergis get elected as an independent in her riding.

  8. Dr.J says:

    Come on Warren, the CBC do not like the CPC period with the daily “gossip shots” from the PPG. The MSM in general, do not report anymore, it is more of a gossip story which the likes of the National Enquirier or TMZ would be very proud of. Regarding the CBC and their funding dam right it should be cut or even better yet sold off, make it like TVO, cheap and informative,as it is nowadays it costs tax payers over a BILLION a year to operate and they are the most secretive government dept with regards of access to information, just ask your employer at QMI…besides why does the CBC own and operate multiple TV and radio stations all at an operating loss? In the real business world they would be history plain and simple, ok the CBC rant is over…time for my meds!!

  9. Mike London says:

    It disgusts me that Pamela Wallin and Hugh Segal have been in that riding to try and give the Tory candidate a boost. She didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t know how these senior Tories live with themselves.

  10. Malcolm Barry says:

    Harper was always mean spirited and continues to be. He wants loyalty but gives none and will throw you under the bus or train when he feels like it. He is definitely a stranger to the truth and is up to the Voters to give him the hook.

    • Curtis in Calgary says:

      Agreed. Just ask Jim Hawkes, Preston Manning and others how loyal ole Stevie is. It’s all about Stevie all of the time.

      Discussion, disagreement and negotiation among civil individuals and groups is at the heart of a healthy democracy. It’s behaviour like this is—and Harper has a LONG history of this kind of ad hominen attacks backed up with nothing more than innuendo—why so many Canadians have grave concerns about this self-serving, control freak of a PM. I knew and debated the core of the Harper cabal and, other than sucking long and hard on the public teat, they haven’t changed a bit. I know them well. They were bitter 20 years. They’re still bitter. They were sanctimonious 20 year olds. They’re still sanctimonious. They were arrogant 20 year olds. They’re still arrogant. Virtually all of them looked for a career in politics living off the public purse while condemning those who dared accept almost any level of government services. That is the definition of hypocrisy.

      When Harper, Baird, MacKay, Polievre, Day, Anlonczy, Anders, Clement, Flaherty and others actually try working in the private sector, actually try to be entrepreneur and start a business with nothing from nothing, then maybe we can say they have some real-world experience. At least the likes of Mulroney, Trudeau, Stanfield, Martin, Ignatieff, and many other politicians from all parties past and present had experience outside of politics for a significant portion of their working lives. Sure some were high-priced lawyers, some were managers but their life dreams were not living off the public purse. They still don’t discuss, they lecture. Disagreement was and is not tolerated. Negotiation and compromise are anathema to them. They condemn virtually anyone who benefits from government services yet most of them have never had a job outside of politics. They’re nothing more than the “professional politicians” that they used to condemn, only worse.

      Stephen Harper – professional politician and egomaniac
      John Baird – professional politician and loud Harper acolyte (obviously some form of compensation)
      Peter MacKay – professional politician
      Stockwell Day – professional politician
      Jim Flaherty – professional politician
      Tony Clement – professional politician
      Jason Kenny – professional politician who doesn’t know the definition of impartiality in the media (or elsewhere)
      Pierre Poilievre- professional politician and SMUG personified
      Rob Anders – professional politician and a BIG TIME BIGOT

      NONE of them are “Here for you.”

      • Cynical says:

        Actually, yes. As would pretty much any reasonable person with broad life experience and a balanced view of the universe. It never ceases to amaze me how many good candidates surface, having had rich and varied careers in business, law, academia or the public service. Why they would associate with time-servers such as those listed above is beyond me.
        Each party has people like those listed, but somehow the Cons seem to attract the worst of them. So yes, why would a person with a career as distinguished and full of potential as Michael Ignatieff’s give it up to be abused in public by wankers like these. Because, actually, I think he is here for us.
        He isn’t perfect, but he’s a damn site better than the Harpster.

        • MCBellecourt says:

          No, Ignatieff is not a politician. Hasn’t mastered the art of baffling us with bullshit yet.

          And that’s why I like the guy.

      • Curtis in Calgary says:

        I guess I was too subtle for you Gord.

      • smelter rat says:

        Wrong again, Gord. You must be used to it by now though.

      • Yeah – facts don’t seem to play a big part in politics.

  11. MontrealElite says:

    Hmmm I wonder if Harper will defund the CBC?

    I wonder if Harper will gut the Canada Health Act

    I wonder if Harper will allow deregulation and allow the banks to merge like he wanted to when he was in opposition.

    Plant those seeds LPC.

    Take Tommy Boy Flanagan’s advice to heart.

    • George says:

      Because taxpayers fund the CBC it is THEY who are the networks boss. Perhaps it is taxpayers who should fire the network?
      But then again maybe a little competition by way of SunTV will do the trick and bleed what’s left of CBC viewership numbers into a much better representation of what matters to Canadians.

      Anyone know if Eastlink will carry SunTV?

  12. A. Bo says:

    Warren please delete my comment.

  13. jack says:

    Guergis’ only hope is to swing for the fences. She better have some good info and be able to prove it. Claiming sexism won’t be enough. Harper and company will throw her under the bus and highlight these allegations even more. He will be seen with many females today and his wife will be in the photo ops.

    He will be calm and dismissive.

    She better bring it all at her presser today.

    Hopefully she has good advice and knows what she’s doing.

    BUT even do why would any woman vote for harper. Guergis is exactly right. No male would be treated like that by harper.

    And as an aside, I commented a couple of weeks back on polling samples. I still get called every day. Every single day. The odds of that if there is random sampling have to be nearly zero.

    • MCBellecourt says:

      She pretty much did. She emphasized (and rightly so) that she was denied due process and suffered character assassination because of allegations she didn’t even get to know the nature of. She decried the fact that she was never given the information needed or the chance to defend herself.

      Worse still, though, the press were duped into doing Harper’s dirty work in that character assassination. Listen to the CBC War Room Podcast, in which Geurgis participated, and you will detect a lot of suppressed anger in the three-man panel. Even though none of them said they were duped, one expressed regret at some of the reporting he did, and another could barely contain his obvious anger at the whole damned thing.

      Her press conference and the following podcast were pretty explosive–and mainly because of the denial of due process–and, as Geurgis said, if it could happen to her, it can happen to anybody.

      I’m not a fan of hers, nor do I agree with her political leanings, but as a Canadian citizen, I must say, she made some pretty powerful points here–and raised very valid–and disturbing, questions here.

  14. George says:

    It doesn’t appear from the responses so far that anyone bothered to understand the points of your post Warren. Too bad because you hit this one out of the park today!

  15. Ted H says:

    I heard the CBC clip on the radio this morning. PM Harper pronounced her name Ger-gis when I believe the correct pronunciation is George-is. You would think that after all that time she sat as a junior cabinet minister he would know how to correctly prounounce her name. I would class that as disrespect.

  16. Dave Wells says:

    You posted an article from World Net Daily. There’s some good, clean journalism for you. Are you a birther too?

  17. Kephalos says:

    The Cons have elevated this tactic to an art-style. Call it political slandering. They did it to Goodale on the income trust file, they have been doing it to Iggy with their “Not here for you” ads. And now they’re doing it to Guergis.

    No doubt they’re doing it to Guergis because they fear losing the riding. How interesting, eh?

    • Namesake says:

      And as a Twitterer reminds us today, they also did it to Remy Beauregard of Rights & Democracy, who died of a stress-related heart attack from the ordeal,

      and who was totally vindicated by the overly expensive & multiply delayed audit that his Harper-appointed persecutors commissioned to try to vindicate their usurping him; as Paul Wells summarizes here:

      “[The audit] shows what Beauregard’s defenders have long asserted: that the agency was run without scandal, and without unusually lax management, even before his arrival; that he was taking clear steps to improve its management; and that specific claims against him and his staff from Gauthier and others hold no water. In short, that Rémy Beauregard died while fighting back against an unfounded witch hunt perpetrated by scoundrels who today stand unmasked and humiliated. The government of Canada under Stephen Harper and his minister Lawrence Cannon today continues to support those scoundrels, to its shame and ours as citizens.”

      http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/12/16/rights-and-democracy-rest-in-peace-remy-beauregard/

  18. JM says:

    Hypothetical: If she is re-elected as an independent conservative (as she is described on CBC) and Harper is one seat short of a majority, would she be invited back in? And how do you think she would respond?

    • Lance says:

      If they are one seat shy of a majority, I’m sure that there would be at least one Liberal (or ANY MP) that would be willing to cross, at which point, they wouldn’t need her.

  19. JH says:

    I have long contended the Lame Stream Media is a nest of rats for the most part and lost credibility a long time ago with the general public. They have become tabloid journalists as WK can well attest, having been targeted by at least one himself. What is so strange is that the CBC, given it’s left of center bias, after making the access request and getting the info, would have done the story now. Surely they don’t think in the minds of the public this is going to hurt the Conservatives? What it has done is changed the channel again for another day, from whatever the Opposition parties wanted to focus on and basically eliminated any policy discussions that the voter might be interested in.
    BTW Any PM faced with such accusations would have had to act, or otherwise he’d be censured for not doing so. I don’t care which political party he belonged to. Anyone who denies that, simply is too partisan to think straight. As to whether Harper’s actions were the appropriate ones, well that’s up for debate.
    regards
    your local Con Troll

  20. dave says:

    I agree with those who say that the PMO had to do something after the allegations arrived. Seems to me that a reasonable option would have been to ask the minister to step aside pending the RCMP investigation. However, they decided, on the basis of their lawyer’s (Hamilton, is it?) information, to fire her from cabinet, and then exclude her from caucus.

    What struck me as the ch_ckenshit behaviour was what the boys in the PMO did when the investigation turned up nothing. They simply clammed up with their, “No! I don’t have to say! No! Ask her why we done it! I ain’t sayin nothin!”

    These are the guys who are now leading us in two overseas wars, and in a crack down on crime.

  21. ReidReid says:

    The context here is crucial. It’s the middle of an election campaign, for the love of God: do you think – just for a minute – that a story like this landing in the middle of said election campaign is, well, a bit suspicious? Does it mean, perhaps, that Guergis’ independent challenge of the Conservative Party’s candidate might be getting traction?

    Nice try Warren. God you guys are desperate. Trying to spin this like the story is a CPC plant and the Lib luvin’ CBC is in bed with them.

    Too bad it was actually Guergis who contacted the CBC with the story.

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/975194–harper-s-campaign-making-moves-with-majority-in-sight

    Unless you think the (Red)Star is in bed with the CPC as well?

    Guergis, who obtained the details of the allegations against her for the first time through the Access to Information Act, released the documents Thursday night to the CBC.

    She is holding a news conference Friday to discuss the matter in her riding, where she is running for re-election and facing strong competition from the candidate selected by the Tories to replace her.

    It appears the new mother, who is married to former high-profile Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer, is declaring war against her former colleagues, and blaming the Tory leader personally for her ordeal.

  22. Guergis is acquitting herself quite well.

    Depending on what clips of Guergis are replayed throughout this news cycle, it is hard to imagine this story and her performance not hurting Harper.

    She’s had the info for two weeks; her sense of timing ins’t off at all. 😉

    • que sera sera says:

      I totally agree. Harper looks like a thug and a bully with zero respect for due process. The fact that a convicted fraudster was elevated to the highest levels of the PMO, with zero sanction, while Guergis was thrown under the bus for her HUSBAND’S actions, tells this female voter that not only is Harper an idiot, but he has no respect for women.

      Women have known abusive men like Harper all our lives. Guergis is reminding us of that fact.

    • Here is quite a compelling segment – audio only – from CBC Power and Politics.

      Helena Guergis makes a statement, later engages Jamie Watt. Scott Reid, Ian Capstick also participate.

      http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/ppwarroom_20110415_71941.mp3

      Reid gives not quite a full apology for going after her somewhere around 18:30 minutes.

      Watt seems to make it clear that Guergis was declared persona no grata and leaves the impression that his boss Stephen Harper enjoys vendettas.

  23. jack says:

    Well, first reports are she is accusing the pmo of a smear campaign. Big deal. She either got bad advice or acted on impulse it seems.

    If you call a press conf in an election with “more information”, it meets to be explosive, factual and relevant. If you comment its gender based, better back that up too, maybe by highlighting the defending of all the women’s advocacy groups.

    But at first glance ………nothing new.

  24. fritz says:

    The problem with Ms. Guergis and Mr. Jaffer is that they are not sympathetic couple. If this had happened to a duo without the colourful backgrounds of Guergis/Jaffer there would be a much harsher judgement of Harper’s actions; which are indefensible on their face.

    I expect the opposition parties will make some comments about how unfairly she has been treated but really be thinking good riddance to them all.

  25. Namesake says:

    It was ^NOT a “fine rebuttal” for Powers to whine, “But what would you do in his place?”

    The unearthed letter by Harper’s hatchet man Ray Novak just confirms what most had concluded before:

    Harper and his circle exercised some extraordinarily bad judgment in throwing Guergis under the bus the way he did.

    It was all based on the testimony of the not entirely reputable P.I. Derrick Snowdy, who briefed the CPC’s lawyer that in the process of investigation of that other businessman or lobbyist that was tied up in this, he’d come across a Jaffer / Guergis connection, and “the optics didn’t look good.”

    But Snowdy himself was always very clear that he didn’t have — and that he told the CPC lawyer this — ANY evidence about Guergis’ own involvement in some of the seamier elements (the proverbial busty hooker the alleged drug was allegedly snorted off of) — he’d just heard a rumour about it.

    Nevertheless, apparently that was enough for the lawyer to assume the worst and for Harper to fire her from both Cabinet and caucus solely on the basis of that rumour. Because the optics didn’t look good. Which, as the aggrieved Ms. Guergis has just pointed out, is a violation of due process, which

    “[goes] against the very core of what our principles of justice are built on, [and even after being cleared of the charges], the Prime Minister’s Office still made it seem as though I was guilty of something even after I had been proven innocent.”

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/story/2011/04/15/cv-election-day21.html

  26. Robert W says:

    This is a very big deal. It looks like US voter suppression strategies have migrated to Canada. SAD!

  27. Bruce Wayne says:

    “It’s a scandal for what was done to her. And for what is still being done to her. By the CPC, by the CBC, by others.”

    By others I’m assuming you mean the Liberal party right? They were among the loudest screaming for her head.

      • M says:

        Disagree – I know it’s difficult, but we can’t conflate:

        A) the Opposition calling for the head of a Cabinet Minister embroiled in allegations of influence peddling;

        with

        B) the Tories turfing and smearing one of their own (female) caucus members with sleazy unsubstantiated allegations of hookers and blow.

        Particularly in circumstances where one of the PM’s closest (male) advisors was given a free pass on his disbarrment from the legal profession and criminal record for fraud. It’s about sex and sexism.

        • Raymond says:

          If allegations of “hookers and blow” had been made public after the Charlottetown airport incident, after the husbands DUI with ‘white powder’, after the allegations of shady business deals, after the revelation of the husband using her MP office perks, and while she was still a CPC MP, you people would have gone into absolute frothing hystrionics to see her given the boot, evidence or not. MI and WE (along with every non-conservative poster on the Canadian blogosphere) loudly demanded her resignation after the airport meltdown…one month later SH made that a reality. Now you have the audacity to call her a victim? Really? Do you remotely appreciate how hypocritical you look? She threw herself under the bus when she married that loser.

  28. Cam says:

    I think Ms. Guergis is the game changer! Throw on top of that the Guelph election issue and we shall see. Game on.

    • Wayne says:

      Yes, yes!! This will be the one. I can feel it in my bones!!

      Please. This is like what, the 4th or 5th game changer you nice folks on the left have pinned your hopes on?

    • Bruce Wayne says:

      Nobody outside of partisan politics cares.

      • Cam says:

        I’m thinking about the movie scene where the truck is teetering on the edge of the bridge – kind of stabilized and holding steady. Then, a gull lands on the wrong end of the truck and the truck plunges off the bridge.

        I guess wishful thinking on my part. I can only hope that sooner or later folks start to see the totality of the nonsense being demonstrated by the Conservatives and Mr. Harper.

  29. Lipman says:

    A very moving press conference. It took a lot of courage to do what she did.

  30. W.B. says:

    She needs support from well known female politicians and other female leaders. It’s a discrimination against women double standard issue. No male cabinet minister would ever be treated this way by the Harper Government. Several women calling the CPAC talk show were very effective, seeing this as a women’s issue, turning point, eye opener etc. Where’s Sheila Copps Olivia Chow, Judy Rebick etc etc.

    • Curtis in Calgary says:

      While I agree with the sentiment and I agree that there’s substance to their sexism, I’ll bet that if ever any male member of caucus or cabinet finally developed a spine and grew set and were, therefore, deemed disloyal to Dear Leader™, the Harper cabal would defame them with insinuation, innuendo and false charges just as swiftly.

  31. Derek K Richards says:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2010/03/31/tor-guergis-liar.html

    We listened to the opposition coalition, another example of them not taking yes for an answer.

  32. Cat says:

    looks like Ignatieff’s going after the wrong guy. This from the current offering from the Hill Times
    “But the big winner from the debates in the short run is NDP Leader Jack Layton—at the expense of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and his party, the Forum Research poll of 2,241 Canadians found.” http://www.thehilltimes.ca/dailyupdate/view/way_open_of_harper_majority_forum_research_nationwide_poll_04-15-2011

  33. jimmyk says:

    Warren what is your view on Apps’ latest musings? He’s quite livid about this whole Guergis affair. Do you agree that this shows that Harper is evil and a monster?

  34. dave says:

    Just a small thing that I can’t figure out about the kerfuffle at U of Guelph; If the Conservs figure something illegal was going on, why would they send a scrutineer?

  35. M says:

    Oh my word – how can anyone listening to this not feel for Guergis?

    http://bit.ly/fIVxOn

    At 15:00 of the CBC Power & Politics podcast, Guergis is confronted by a silly and sophomoric high school team-picking analogy from Conservative spinner Jaime Watt of Navigator. Watt, who calls himself a “friend” of Gurgis, has the gall to tell Guergis she wasn’t a team player and that’s why she’s not welcome in caucus.

    She’s clearly committed to the Conservative cause. No matter how I disagree with her politically, the cruelty and callousness with which Stephen Harper treated one of his own is astonishing. Likely an object lesson for anyone who would dare step out or step “out” from the leader’s shadow.

  36. Ted H says:

    That’s right, there is a German word for them.

    ” Backpfeifengesich” translation ” a face that cries out for a fist”

  37. Bell says:

    I see the latest headline today regarding Iggy is that he is slamming Harper once again this time for the Guelph voting thing. I understand the value of keeping the party you are competing with off message by slamming them every chance you get. What I don’t understand is why Iggy believes that is the best use of his little air time. The prevailing thought is that he needs to sell himself to canadians. Why does he think that the best way to do that is to always be seen complaining about Harper? He has made no headway to date with that approach. If he wants any chance of success he needs to change his message to be a message about himself and the liberals and what they have to offer to canadians. Canadians know what they have in Harper They need to know what they could get with Iggy. He needs to get someone else to do the Harper bashing.

    • George says:

      You’re right Bell but on the other hand Iggy Angry and Wild keeps making Harper look confident and on-message by comparison. Isn’t this a contest by making comparisons?
      The CPC love Iggy Angry because it’s working for them and regular Canadians are just not that in to Ignatieff.

    • Namesake says:

      That’s your “assault”? The wimpy guy who gave the girl involved in this lying “I-pod tax” gatecrashing stunt who was carrying the cupcake tray a little shove that wasn’t even enough to make her break stride and occasioned nothing more than a withering look from her? Which even that u-tube video had to replay four times to even see that anything at all had happened? Don’t be such a suckhole.

      • Namesake says:

        So what is it you think you see in that shaky, incomplete video?

        I thought it was the fellow holding his hands over his mouth who’d given her a tiny shove, but realize now that he didn’t touch her… that he was just laughing and/or gasping about what had happened, and was in fact one of the CPC gang. (Which I shoulda’ realized the first time from the – d’oh – blue shirts.)

        So who did what? ‘Cuz I don’t see anyone making any contact with her in that 12 seconds or so of continuous video.

        But these two other sources say someone knocked the tray out of her hands.

        But even that’s not true, since the tray’s still there in her hands, even after she turns around to glare, so more likely, they just bopped the tray & knocked some of the cupcakes off it (since both news accounts mention some of the cupcakes getting trampled).

        So if it was just the tray that was rapped, no assault.

        And no “insanity”: just histrionics, on your & ‘BC Blue’ s part.

        http://www.lecarillon.ca/home.jsp?id=7&section=news&news_item_id=21272

        http://bcblue.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/video-young-conservative-lady-assaulted-at-liberal-rally/

      • Namesake says:

        well, that explains it: I was watching the girl in the grey sweatshirt, in the middle of the frame, and it was so blurry, I thought the one with the hands on their face behind her — the, ahem, “victim” — was a guy, whom I’d first thought was the one who’d nudged the still-had-the-tray-in-hand one. And I didn’t have the sound on, so didn’t hear her ‘Aah!”

        That said, I still can’t see the tray flying (guess your video card, monitor, and eyes are better than mine), for the event which is at @2:38 of your new, clearer video, nor can I see the alleged assault, and barely got a glimpse of her even carrying one of those cardboard trays of cupcakes in the first place.

        But if you want to persist in demonizing me for dismissing this brutal cupcake tray assault: be my guest. You weenie.

    • Windsurfer says:

      Don’t go overboard.

      I know someone who was at that gathering and he said “there was a tray of spilled cupcakes.”

      How that translates into the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre is lost on this virtual sodbuster.

  38. Nuklhd says:

    Oh – it turns out that the CPC don’t just pseudo-plagiarize right-wing ads – they also ignore the copyright on the images within.

    http://ipolitics.ca/2011/04/14/conservatives-dont-have-ok-to-use-canada-soviet-hockey-footage-ad-firm/
    http://www.greatesthockeylegends.com/2011/04/pucks-on-net-stephen-harper-is-thief.html

  39. Michael says:

    We’re not really talking about attempted theft of ballots anymore, are we? That’s a really, really big deal…and it’s splitting its time with this total bullshit.

    It’s a double score from the Tory war room.

    • Namesake says:

      not at all:

      first, both we and the media ARE talking — a lot — about both, and weaving them together into the same narrative (and MI and Apps were savvy enough to take advantage of that) — Harper as a contemptuous bully and enemy of democracy — that occasioned the election;

      second, neither story was started by the CPC war room (one was started by Helena G. herself to aid her campaign; the other grew out of Guelph itself by the students affected), neither was managed well by it, and both knocked Harper’s ‘message for the day’ (of belatedly recognizing elder abuse as a serious issue worth addressing) almost completely aside.

  40. John Larocque says:

    Interesting they mention Norquist, who believe it or not has been (fairly) criticized for his isolationist blame America tendencies, and for a cut and run attitude on America’s overseas commitments. US politics being notched up to 11, he was described as some kind of jihadhist fifth columnist by some of America’s leading Neocons. (Norquist has castigated as heretics those who want to remove tax benefits from the system). Buchanan should be treated like the pariah that he is, but he is not. In any case, anybody who tries to package a tax reduction for the wealthy with belt tightening for other people is handing America to four more years of Obama’s Democrats.

  41. patrick Deberg says:

    I’m driving into work today listening to an Ottawa talk show host that is an expert in the Middle East, Politics, local funeral homes and Farm Boy and he refers to the Liberal ad on prime time about health care cuts and public service slashing. He sputters in rightous indignation about how the media as a whole needs to fight this miscarrage of justice and lies put out there by the liberals!! His first caller asks him ” I don’t remember you coming to the defence of the lies when for the last year Harper was telling everyone that Ignatieff was not here for you. ” Cue more sputtering and mouth breathing. “But that was the way it was ! ” ” Could you read his mind? ” Then comes out ” I have to move to another caller.” Next callelr up!! Why its RUSTY BAIRD !! The liberals cut health care, and public jobs. The liberals are bad!!

  42. patrick Deberg says:

    Hey Rusty!!

    Ive got news for you!! I remember when you were a Mike Harris retread and you fired 6000 nurses. The states scored big with that one! How about the finish of your term when their was three meat inspectors in the province and your mantra” let industry police itself” had free enterprise types dragging dead cows to the slaughterhouses in the dead of night to avoid the inspectors. Ring a bell? How about privitizing hydro and killing kids at the mountain chute dam Rusty? Remember you said you couldn’d read your own hydro bill? And the welfare woman that died chained in her house so you could teach her a lesson? Why don’t you hang up your spurs RUSTY !! Cause you can’t ride that 2000 lb bull called Walkerton. I haven’t forgotten a thing RUSTY!! But now you want to be a ” Compassionate Conserative? “(trademark)

  43. R says:

    They need to link with people and diffferent community
    need to go among people talk to them hear thier pain
    pay attention to their complain
    putting long abuse will caused all mental stress hate and crime
    need crime prevention to blance society

    how to link with ethnic people in Canada

    using their ads to local news paper
    that published once a week about 20000
    like you can go to supermarekt of ethinic like

    Afgani Iranian indian russian and even Honese eds has so many different language newspapers

    put ads to different races to those know waht is going on

    supermarkets in china twon supermakrets in Yonge street in Danforth street and scarborough Eglinton st like Greek community

    kinsgtn market even Honest Ed has so many like near Royal york and Dundus has Polish community

    Gerrarld street ofr indian people like Brampton are ksich people and hindu people

    all malls like Dixi malls and Duffrin malls etc… sport center etc..

  44. George says:

    it’s never a good sign when the network that’s been cheerleading like nuts for your candidate is talking about your candidate’s replacement halfway through the campaign.
    is it?http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20110411/ignatieff-liberal-future-110416/20110416?s_name=election2011

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