11.09.2013 07:29 PM

In Sunday’s Sun: Office of the Primely Insane

Langevin Block is a big, old government building, squatting at the corner of Elgin and Wellington streets in Ottawa. If you’ve been to Ottawa, you’ve probably seen it.

Historically, Langevin has housed the office of the prime minister. More recently, it has become a place that offers shelter to the politically insane.

The people who work there came up with the idea of appointing Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau to the Senate — which was clearly crazy. They are the same people who devised a top-secret plan to reimburse Duffy for thousands in inappropriate expenses, and then expect him to shut up about it.

Expecting Mike Duffy to shut up about anything is also crazy.

However, the definitive proof that Langevin is an institution for insane political people came to us last week.

It appears the denizens of Langevin Block apparently started circulating talking points to the effect that Justin Trudeau’s admitted pot use was synonymous with Rob Ford’s crack use.


Now, it might sound like the Prime Minister’s Office is, er, on crack, I know. Likening marijuana to crack cocaine is nutty. But it appears that the people who work in PMO are doing just that, which makes them all insane.

Last week, a reporter from Yahoo! News contacted me, sheepishly, saying an editor wanted to compare smoking pot to smoking crack. My considered, measured response: “That’s stupid.”

Later the same day, a Sun News Network prime time host, Brian Lilley, asked me substantially the same question. We talked about Toronto’s crackhead conservative mayor, and then Brian said: “Let’s turn to the other elected official who has admitted to using drugs, Justin Trudeau.”

He went on: “Justin Trudeau admitted that, as an elected official, he used illegal drugs. Rob Ford admitted that, as an elected official, he did illegal drugs. Same, same.”

Same, same? Um, no, no. That’s crazy, crazy.

Let’s get the hand puppets out for the benefit of PMO’s mentally defective people, so they can follow along.

1. Pot is a soft drug. Virtually everyone in Canada above the age of 16 has tried it.

2. Crack cocaine is a hard drug. Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford, has used it.

3. Pot is illegal, but many police forces don’t even investigate folks for simple possession anymore, let alone prosecute them. Plenty of court decisions have held that our pot laws are of no force and effect.

4. Crack cocaine is a Schedule One drug in the Criminal Code. Sale and possession of crack is always prosecuted in Canada. It kills people — those who use it and (often) those involved in its sale. It is evil.

5. Polls show lots of people think pot should be decriminalized and/or legalized. Nobody thinks crack should be.

See, PMO? They’re not the “same, same.”

They’re “different, different.”

PMO’s motives in cooking up this insane communications non-strategy are clear, even to someone cooking up crack. They want everyone to forget Stephen Harper and Rob Ford are conservative fishing buddies and that they have had a long-standing bromance going on.

They also want to do something — anything — to pull down Justin Trudeau’s poll numbers. Trudeau’s Grits have been trouncing Harper’s Reformatories in successive polls for months.

If things keep going the way they are, Trudeau is headed to 24 Sussex, and Harper is headed back to shilling for shadowy far-right interests in Calgary.

Serbs say it is like comparing grandmothers and toads. Romanians, comparing cows to a pair of longjohns. The Welsh, comparing honey to butter. To the Brits, it’s comparing chalk and cheese. Us, apples and oranges.

To wit, as rhetorical or political device, pot cannot be compared to crack.

It does, however, provide conclusive evidence about the mental state of the occupants of PMO’s Langevin Block.

They’re insane.


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    Arnold Murphy says:

    apple orange apple orange apple orange

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    debs says:

    lol…thank you for posting this article. I suggest those that think pot smoking and crack smoking are the same…go visit a crack house and see the lost souls that are barely living. Then go watch cheech and chong for thc8e potsmoking at its most hardcore and ridiculous. Pot smokers dont end up killing themselves in a short few years.

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    mark says:

    This post is giving too much credit to these PMO staffers. Most of the (certifiably) insane people I know have a reasonable grasp on reality at least some of the time.

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    doris says:

    Unfortunately this strategy amongst the great unwashed will work, nothing sticks to these guys. Ford Nayshun won’t believe anything bad of Robo or of Stephen, they are gods and do you know why – the other guys are such shitty alternatives. Just listen to Jerry Agar excuse Ford because he hates Olivia Chow, just listen to Ford Nayshuners prattle on about Miller because he raised their taxes. In their minds there is no comparison and they ain’t switching.

    What you have to do is hit them in the pocketbook and convince them that sticking with fors and harper will cost them money and they are not convinced buy we have to keep trying.

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    Matt says:

    4. Crack cocaine is a Schedule One drug in the Criminal Code. Sale and possession of crack is always prosecuted in Canada. It kills people — those who use it and (often) those involved in its sale. It is evil.

    Then, shouldn’t Ford be facing possession charges?

    He is on video smoking it. In order for him to have smoked it, he would have had to be in possession of it, no?

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      Iris Mclean says:

      No. And Ford hasn’t been pulled over and checked out for impaired driving either.

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      tf says:

      Just to be fair – the police have confirmed there is a video and it appears that Ford is smoking “something” using a pipe – until we see the video it’s not clear if we can confirm what he’s smoking in there. You can smoke pot using a glass pipe, but it’s more likely crack – but not 100% confirmed.

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        Attack! says:

        The Star’s Robyn Doolittle explained in an interview that the video shows him applying the lighter _below_ the bowl to bring its temperature up to release the gases, as is done with crack

        (rather than above & into the bowl to burn it, as one does with cannabis or tobacco).

        But on the absence of prosecution, a criminal lawyer explains why they probably aren’t pursuing it (cuz likely he’d beat it):


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      Reality.Bites says:

      You can’t prove that a substance is what it appears to be on a video tape.

      Even with Ford’s admission that he’s smoked crack cocaine there is not proof of possession.

      Law just doesn’t work that way. Possession means found by police in the possession of the person being charged. Nothing else.

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    Darwin O'Connor says:

    I think the real difference is that Trudeau admitted to using it, even though he could have easily gotten away with denying it because the reported didn’t know one way or the other. Ford denied it even though the reporter has stonge evidence that he did the drug.

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    !o! says:

    The thing is, they don’t understand how far off side they are in terms of public opinion, and they don’t get why that’s a bad thing.

    Control freaks tend to create echo chambers wherever they go…

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    Ian says:

    If the Tories want to promote the comparison of Ford and Trudeau, let it be pointed out that one of these guys allegedly called the other one a “fag”. It remains an allegation, but I noticed that Mohamed Farah added his testimony to that of the Toronto Star reporters who say they heard it on the video. Let’s see if this is confirmed when the video (or at least the transcript) is released.

    The Tories already abused Dion by using coded language and visuals insulting his masculinity. I’m sick of this primitive high school macho crap from the Tories; it’s depressing that so many Canadians think it doesn’t matter; I hope the media will pay more attention to it. Boys who are on the receiving end of such abuse know that it’s not a small matter, though they often lack the courage, even later in life, to speak publicly about it. It’s not only an issue for gay men.

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      Matt says:

      Easy way around the “fag” remark.

      Ford was drunk and didn’t know what he was saying.

      Don’t laugh. There have been cases where people have successfully claimed extreme intoxication as a defence against sexual assault charges.

      R. v. Daviault in 1994 is one.

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    the salamander hordes says:

    .. on a scale of importance.. in this vast country.. where does a buffoon mayor of Toronto measure versus a Prime Minister that is utilizing omnibus bills to ram through his corporatist agenda? Mayor Ford is a very large red herring being breathlessly trolled and dragged through the mainstream media. How about Kellie Leitch? How about pipelines? First Nations? Canada Pension Plan & Nigel Wright/Onex? Election Fraud? Our veterans? Mackay & spying on Canadians? Temporary seasonal worker manipulations. Dept of Fisheries and Oceans? Who’s grilling Peter Kent for selling our environment out? Christy Clark ?

    Ford is a ridiculous civic figure, negotiates with garbage unions etc
    Harper is a malignant national schemer and controller, obstructing and misinforming a nation

    The bait and switch .. distraction .. is succeeding .. Canada tunes in, is sucked in, and the world laughs along
    Where does the RCMP investigation of our federal government stand ?????? Elections Canada investigation ??????

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      smelter rat says:


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    po'd says:

    “which makes them all insane.” The word I would choose is desperate. They do however know their target audience, and have found no reason to think more highly of them recently than they did before.

    A recent article in the Tyee addresses the core issues for Canadians as I see it and points to both the Ford’s and the Harper Conservatives.

    “There was a time when it was frowned on for the mayor of a major city to smoke crack and hang with shady characters. And while Rob Ford has much to answer for, his supporters in “Ford Nation” have been on a dangerous bender of their own.

    Mayor Ford’s puzzling popularity in the face of one salacious scandal after another seems propelled by his cheapening of values that appeals to a morally lazy electorate. Like a pair of drunks egging each other on, Ford and his die-hard supporters are enabling each other’s bad behaviour that goes far beyond mere substance abuse. ”

    Avatars for constituent stupidity

    “Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made a career of appealing to the smallest of human sentiments. The latest speech from the throne was notable mainly for its myopic focus on consumer trivialities like cell phone rates and cable costs — as if the highest ideal that Ottawa can aspire to is to make it cheaper to tune in to Honey Boo Boo.

    Many Canadians now have politicians that share their unchallenged values. Harper is spending billions on prisons unencumbered by evidence that crime rates are falling or that incarceration exacerbates criminality. Scientists somewhere are making depressing proclamations about climate change, but who honestly has the energy to think about such things?

    The most affluent generation in human history feels justified in being outraged at having to pay taxes for services, and many leaders are getting elected and re-elected indulging such co-dependent denial. ”


    The rot of course spreads far, and there are many recent examples beyond Ford and Harper nation that have struck not only at our National decency, but our collective intelligence as well. A comment to the above article is worth noting;

    ” Sharon Johnston

    I am reading 1984 by Orwell right now. As you probably know, the leaders of the day kept the ‘proles’ content by distracting them with a steady diet of crap fiction, crap movies, crap everything. ”

    So many have become accustomed to “crap”, it appears to have become the new norm. A fertile garden which is easily tilled, even by remote control.

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      Sezme says:

      re: 1984
      See also Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 for a startlingly prescient vision of reality TV.

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    Chris says:

    I had to laugh when I read this the other day, clearly this moron is on the talking points email blast list:

    “Another opinion from a Northwestern Ontario Mayor on the recent news surrounding Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
    Sioux Lookout’s Dennis Leney says he doesn’t see the big deal with Ford admitting that he has smoked crack cocaine.
    Leney says it would be different if Ford was selling drugs, but this is a case where he admitted to smoking it once.
    When it comes to whether Ford should step down, Leney also points to Justin Trudeau, who admitted a while back to smoking marijuana while holding a seat in parliament, and the fact that he didn’t step down.”

    Like, who on earth could give a fuck about what the Mayor of Sioux Lookout has to say about this?

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    dave says:

    On the other hand, if you can get your base to hold in mind that pot and crack are the same, that crack is evil and therefore pot is evil, then that base will be peachy keen to go along with crime legislation and enforcement that goes after pot with gusto.

    (…hm, if A=B, and B is…maybe I should have taken that Logic 101 course after all…)

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    Sezme says:

    Although I’ve never liked or respected Ford, if he had only tried crack one time as he’s implied (but not stated), I don’t think it would be such a big deal for me. It’s more the probable fact that this happened on many occasions, and the probable fact that when the video was reported, he conspired with his thug buddy Lisi to extort (or worse) the owner of that video. And did so on the City’s dime. And the fact that he lied, lied, lied, and continues to do so, because he cares 1000% more about saving his own political skin than about saving the taxpayer’s money. To compare all of that with a politician freely admitting that he took a puff on a joint once in a while is as ludicrous as comparing it with the Queen having a sip of sherry.

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    Ronald O'Dowd says:


    I don’t give a fuck what people think and readers shouldn’t give a fuck what I THINK either.

    However, every Canadian and person living here has the right to speak his or her mind. That’s the Canadian way — a cherished and precious democratic right. Of all days, tomorrow is the day to think about that and be immensely proud and grateful.

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    dave says:

    Hah! Just caught BBCNews, and guess what story they gave about 5 minutes to in a 1/2 hour news programme.

    I will say, though, I have a bit of empathy for the attitude, ‘Whaddaya mean! My drinking doesn’t have anything to do with anything.’ Sometimes, rather than face up to it, a guy wants to double down and hang on with all his might.

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    frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

    Thats what gets me about so many of my{{{shudder}} former party colleagues and compatriots……..outright hypocrisy……more than a fair share of Reeformers have blown a little weed…..and a few of the front bench ministers have blown something else……but they dont talk about that either……

    I love seeing Cons become desperate……because that really is when they start to circle the wagons and shoot inward…..

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    Hunter Mars says:

    Rutabagas .

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    Elisabeth Lindsay says:

    “shadowy far right interests in Calgary”……Really Warren?……hmmm right under that “far right” Mayor Nenshi`s nose too. Scandalous!!

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