06.02.2016 07:08 AM

My additional reaction to the Hunter Tootoo case

Seriously, guys: fish or cut bait.  If you have an allegation to make, make it. But it’s not particularly fair to condemn a guy for the fact that you don’t have evidence he did something wrong.


  1. Pat says:

    Day after day coverage of this only reaffirms the perception that the Ottawa press gallery is little else but a gossipy knitting circle of tut-tutting hens.

    • Michael S says:

      Like Elbowgate. Anyone living in the real rough and tumble Darwinian world looks at this and goes: “hmm, he’s getting treatment, good”.

      For addiction you start with Nobody Died and then everything above that is bonus.

      Wish him well, the hardest part of it is the first step, wish others I know had his guts.

  2. JH says:

    Press leeches just looking for a headline as they continue to drown in red ink.
    Hey did you like the way your wife’s pal Rempel handed CBC its butt? Great!
    Like to see your comment on that.

  3. Kevin says:

    The vultures need to back the f*ck off and let the guy get to rehab.

    • Warren says:

      Okay, sure. I agree. But I’m curious: did you take that position with Rob Ford? I ask only because folks who are saying “nothing to see here, move along” took decidedly different positions when it came to Ford.

      • jon says:

        Good point. I have to also wonder why the PM’s response to Tootoo’s problem was clearly different to his response to O’Regan’s addiction. For me, it’s Trudeau’s inconsistency fanning the flames.

      • Kevin says:

        Yes, in terms o his addictions. The accompanying sideshow of council-chamber and network talk-show clowning is another story. I think Ford goaded the media more than they goaded him. Minister Tootoo has made the wise decision to step aside and deal with his problem.

      • smelter rat says:

        The difference is that Ford was never serious about going to rehab. He certainly didn’t follow the program. It was a pr move.

      • Francis says:

        But those are entirely different situations:

        Ford insisted on remaining in his positions with all the powers that came with it. It took a significant piece of undeniable and damning evidence to instigate a barrage of questions that ultimately led to the public confirming what had already been suggested by the initial story.

        Tootoo was a relatively low profile politician despite being a cabinet minister and I would be shocked in anyone outside his immediate circle new of his addiction issues. Once it got a boiling, Tootoo stepped away from his position and power entirely and severed all connection, thereby releasing his from the scrutiny that is placed on one in a position of power.

        In Tootoo’s case, there is no basis for the misleading line of questions from the media; i.e. no picture, no prior incident, no obvious behaviour. Nothing has warranted this level of suspicion and definitely no basis for treating him like a gossip commodity.

  4. Michael S says:

    Like Elbowgate. Anyone living in the real rough and tumble Darwinian world looks at this and goes: “hmm, he’s getting treatment, good”.

    For addiction you start with Nobody Died and then everything above that is bonus.

    Wish him well, the hardest part of it is the first step, wish others I know had his guts.

    The difference with Ford is that he resisted rehab for years despite pleas.

  5. Michael S says:

    JADP: Imagine how unbeatable Rob Ford would have been had he got in front of all this crack stuff and exited rehab successfully?

  6. lori says:

    think the difference with ford was there was evidence he was drinking and driving, offense behaviour towards women and minorities, et all, people would’ve been far more gracious if he had accepted some responsibility and gone to rehab earlier, and it might have saved his life in the end seeking medical help far earlier sadly. However we have not seen anything on that scale with Tootoo and for the record, as someone who has seen someone die due to their addictions (my ex) our son has paid the price for years. I wanted Ford to get help not for partisan reasons, but for human ones. The children will never be the same.

  7. doconnor says:

    Being a member of caucus isn’t a big additional responsability on top of being an MP and quitting caucus hasn’t been done in the past in situations like these. It is usually only done if there is a scandal the party wants to distance itself from or a policy or leader an MP wants to distance themselves from.

  8. James Bowie says:

    +1 what Warren said. Reporters report facts. They investigate facts. They verify facts. They write about the facts they’ve investigated and verified, then they publish them. The people pretending to be reporters who are writing this garbage need to examine their lives.

  9. Peter says:

    It’s fine to dismiss the press and social media as vultures and scandalmongerers at the national level, but what about his constituents and the Nunavut media? Do they have the right to expect further particulars? I feel for the guy and hope he slays his demons, but the hard fact is his decision has cost them much political clout and influence while he continues to benefit from a salary and benefits most of them can only dream of. For we southern Canadians to take the high road of discretion and privacy may be classy, but it’s also cost free.

  10. Cory says:

    If this was just him resigning as a minister due to addiction issues (that alone makes you wonder what he’s addicted to), this would be no big deal. However because of the history of removing somebody from cabinet, for very serious even criminal behavior, it makes it look like they’re trying to hide something.

    And Trudeau has a history with these issues to make us question why this wasn’t following his past pattern.

    Shamus had addiction issues (alcohol), went to rehab but didn’t leave caucus, while two people who did leave caucus were involved in possible sexual harassment incidents (also involving possible alcohol addiction). Makes you wonder why this case is being treated differently and why they aren’t releasing more details like what the addiction was or what the incidents were as they did in previous cases.

  11. SD says:

    I am fine with Hunter Tootoo seeking help with any addiction. I have an issue with the Liberal Party giving a terse explanation with no comment about inviting him back.

    It’s good that the other parties aren’t making an issue of this issue. I am fine with the reporters pursuing the Liberal response further.

  12. Matt says:

    CTV is reporting there was an “incident” at the Liberal convention last weekend. And really, Trudeau’s short and rather terse statement yesterday only put the speculation machine into overdrive.

    I understand the want for privacy, but Tootoo isn’t or should I say wasn’t a backbench MP. He was a Cabinet Minister. That is a position of some power and the Liberals should be a little more forthcoming with details.

    We don’t even know if it’s a alcohol issue. People have just assumed it is.

  13. davie says:

    The Trudeau announcement was a tease. A mention of an addiction treatment, but then, a vague reference to a ‘difficult situation!’
    He resigns from cabinet, fine! He resigns form caucus? Seems a bit much!
    If people are asking questions, perhaps a clarification from Mr ‘open and transparent government’ would help. It sure isn’t going to help a guy looking for recovery to have fuzzy teasing about his actions going on.

    2ndly, in a free society one can criticize the press for not asking questions (destruction of Libya, Trump, …going way back), and then turn around and criticize the press for asking too many questions.

  14. Francis says:

    That tweet sums up my frustration with this situation so perfectly.

    The sanctimony and self-righteousness thats coming from the media about “this being part of our job to get more information” is complete bullshit. Its tabloid-ism at best and its bordering on shameful behaviour. The line of questioning is an attempt to connect dots that don’t exist in hopes of something, no matter how weak, sticks.

    Either do some proper journalism and build up a feasible basis for investigating or move on. You don’t get to manufacture a story just because your imagination is running wild.

  15. Joe says:

    A wise man once said that he would prefer a drunk Churchill to a sober Hitler seven ways from Sunday. I feel similar to this regarding Ford and Tootoo pr any other ‘addict’ that has served publicly. That being said I do hope that former minister Tootoo is successful in getting his addictions under control. At the same time I am curious to know what he did either sober or while under the influence that got him booted (stepped down) by one very terse Justin. Was it clearly out of bounds or was Trudeau just giving him the elbo er the Gordie treatment?

  16. Bo says:

    It is not like Trudeau figured out that Tootoo had a drinking problem this week. It has been widely publicized for years. If it was just a minor relapse then Trudeau would have been much more supportive when removing him from cabinet.

    Obviously something happened at the Liberal convention on the weekend that was serious enough for Trudeau to cut the guy loose abruptly and have the insiders keep their mouths shut. When the details finally get leaked he will claim that he took immediate action and won’t have the baggage of having plaid nice.

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