04.14.2010 11:49 AM

Enough is enough (with interesting updates and comments)

I, like everyone else, have been having a grand old time with this Rahim-Helena stuff. On my web site, on radio and on TV, I’ve been having a go at them, too.  Yuk yuk.

Enough, as they say, is enough. For starters, this “news” story – which even reputable news aggregators have headlined, and which I am only linking to in the hope that you will feel as I do – is a goddamned disgrace. It is disgusting. How, in God’s name, is this anyone’s business other the than the couple in question? How? Shame on the “journalists” who considered this newsworthy.

We have to be better than this.

And while we are on the subject of this ill-fated couple, here’s another contrarian opinion: the police completely screwed up the Jaffer case. Thee was no conspiracy, there was no dirty deal: the cops screwed up, big time. As CBC revealed this morning, the charges got tossed because the police wouldn’t let the former Conservative MP speak to a lawyer when he was under arrest – one of the most fundamental constitutional rights there is.  They’re lucky they got the  careless driving charge to stick, in fact.  They’re fools.

Personally, I now believe the Guergis-Jaffer thing is getting really, really out of control. And, quite frankly, it looks bad on us – not them.

Therefore, I’m off it for a while.  Mob scenes don’t appeal to me, much.

UPDATE: The original headline, below, has now been amended.  Good call.

UPDATER: The news outlet has pulled the story and headline, apparently due to the commentary on this web site.  See that commentary here.

78 Comments

  1. Peggy Kirkpatrick says:

    Warren-you got it!! Congratulations and you need Donolo’s job!!!

  2. Eugene Parks says:

    Let the facts play themselves out.

  3. Eugene Parks says:

    I just read the link you provided; if true, that is none of our business. However, I would not assume it to be true.

    Regardless, she does not get a pass on the other part of the story/allegation and the RCMP does have to follow through.

  4. Tony Veltri says:

    Thanks for the link Warren. Even though it originates at a competing local paper. I do give them full credit.

    “We have to be better than this.”

    You set such a high bar.

    Tony Veltri
    New Tecumseth Free Press Online
    Alliston

    • Warren says:

      Now that we have you, here, Tony, let’s get you on the record: why do you think a woman’s miscarriages is news? Do you plan to write, now, about local abortions, unplanned pregnancies, and who lost their virginity to whom? Why not, if not?

      Is that sort of thing news, to you? Seems like it. Seems like you proudly regard it as news, in fact. No?

      We await your answer.

      • Tony Veltri says:

        Let me make clear first that I am not the author of the miscarriage revelations or is my news site. The New Tecumseth Times is one of two print publications that I compete against for readers and ad dollars in our market. This morning their top story was about Helena Guergis and it contained all the tidbits that I referenced with all credit to the Times. The Times, if you were familiar with our community, also had the “exclusive” with Rahim the same afternoon after his plea bargain court date.

        Read the editorial at this link http://tinyurl.com/y2yfwbh It’s from the King Sentinel but it’s part of the same chain that owns the New Tecumseth Times.

        In the same way that all the national media was quoting CTV News’ big scoop on the “third party” allegations” I followed a similar path at our local level with this morning’s information believing firmly that the miscarriage information was floated out there for a reason.

        In fact, I was aware of all the medical matters referenced in the Times piece except for the miscarriages, and not a peep out of me.

        Also in fact, I was the only news site that didn’t even report on Rahim’s arrest. I can assure you that I would not still be in business covering news in New Tecumseth online, yet, selling advertising, if I took cheap shots like you’re suggesting.

        I do agree with you that the Guergis Jaffer affair has gone haywire, and like you, am caught up in it. Ms. Guergis is after all my MP.

        Thanks for the space.

        Tony

      • Ben says:

        The original article (in the King Township Sentinel) which made all of these revelations appeared to have been written by a member of Geurgis’s family. They used the term “we” when referring to a lot of the various details of her personal life.

    • allegra fortissima says:

      “You set such a high bar.” Yes, fortunately Warren Kinsella does! I give that paper NO CREDIT at all!!!

  5. Mulletaur says:

    You make valid points in both cases, Warren. Unfortunately, we still don’t know why the Prime Minister made a complaint to the RCMP about his own Minister.

  6. Steve V says:

    Couldn’t agree more! This issue is morphing into a TMZ story, and the Liberals would be wise to distance themselves quickly. There is no political upside here, or at least none that will be borne from us hammering away.

  7. There are such bigger stories in Ottawa being ignored right now that one has to wonder what’s wrong with the press gallery.

  8. Tony Veltri says:

    As well, the fact that the miscarriages are mentioned in the New Tecumseth Times articles suggests to us that know what’s happening in our community, that the information was put out there on purpose to try and stir up some sympathy for our Ms. Guergis. I can assure you their reporter would not have published such claims without a wink and nod. The New Tecumseth Times is just a middle name for the Simcoe Grey Conservative Riding Association Newsletter.

    • bigcitylib says:

      The NT story is adapted from an editorial in the King Township Sentinel, which seems to contain exclusive material straight from H. Guergis herself. So, yeah, I think this was put out there deliberately as per Mr. Veltri’s last comment. As for what’s left aafter this bit, well there is still the PI story (PI presumably tied to the CPoC or why else would they report to PMO?), and all the contacts between Jaffer, his business partners, and people within the Tory gov., including H. Guergis. I think these should all be reported upon and followed up by opposition.

      • Warren says:

        Buddy, look at the bloody headline. How in the name of God is that in any way news? She’s a Conservative, and I’m not wild about Conservatives, but this is out of frigging control, no?

        • Tony Veltri says:

          Point well taken on the headline. Because I can, its been amended.

        • Eugene Parks says:

          Warren, YES the story is out of control. But Warren get a grip; you know the headline is in the public domain for a reason but you don’t know whose reason and you don’t know if it is true or not… shining a light on it does not change the situation or help stay focused on the important issues. Someone wanted you to shine a light on it and you did.

  9. Brian says:

    I agree 100% with respect to that particular story.

    Although I’m not sure on your overall conclusion; from where I’m sitting, it’s turning out bad for *everybody*…

  10. Jeff Jedras says:

    Trace it back Warren and you’ll see the personal revelations, which I agree are no one’s business, originated in a newspaper editorial in Guergis’ hope-riding written to defend her. It offered up the information as part of her defence, apparently to elicit sympathy for her plight. And I doubt it would have been done without support from her camp. So while I agree the information is out of bounds, let’s keep in mind where it’s coming from and how it’s being used, shall we?

    As for the police conduct, I’m no lawyer. And I believe in civil liberties. The strip search seems unjustifiable. As for access to a lawyer, speaking as a layman, if the obligations of the police here are really so onerous, we need to revisit the legislation. They let him call two lawyers of his choice, there was no answer. They suggested he call a legal aid hotline, which he did, receiving legal advice. They then proceeded to administer the breathalyzer tests, which I understand they have to do in a very limited amount of time to be viable. During the test, one of the first lawyers called back, and was told they could talk once the test was done.

    If the legal experts say that’s wrong, I accept that. But as a layman, I’m puzzled. It wasn’t one of his first two choices, but he did talk to a lawyer before the test. And having to re-start the test could make it useless, rendering the potential key piece of evidence useless. Just what are the police to do? It’s not fair to say the police didn’t let him speak to a lawyer. They let him call two, speak to a third, then speak to one of the first two after the test.

    If I’m in this situation, can I just say I can’t reach my lawyer and stall until the test can no longer be done, ensuring there’s no evidence against me? It all strikes me as rather odd.

    Also, let’s set aside the legal stuff here for a minute. The fact the charges were dropped doesn’t mean the drugs never existed, or that he didn’t indeed blow over the legal limit.

  11. Jim says:

    Warren (or others here) – One thing that bugs me is that no-one is questioning the statement by the Guergis camp that it is “common practice” for MP’s to provide a taxpayer funded blackberry, phone number, and parliamentary e-mail address to spouses and/or family members. I don’t believe this to be the case (I believe that the blackberries typically go to people such as the chief parliamentary assistant or other key staffers), but no-one seems to have challenged it, suggesting that it may be true.

    Anyone care to confirm or rebut the claim?

  12. Winnipegger says:

    It does seem likely that the info about the reproductive issues was leaked to the New Tecumseth Times, by Helena or one of her associates. I say that given the timing of what’s going on, they are desperate and trying to bring about “some sympathy” as was noted above by Tony. Would we be hearing about this if her numerous self-inflicted problems of recent didn’t happen? I doubt it.

    If planting this piece is the case, assuming it would have been leaked by Helena or a close personal associate who acted on instructions from her. Doubt very much it would have come from a health care provider, if it did, it would be a serious violation of personal health information laws.

    It should go without saying that it would be truly disgraceful if Helena or her associates invented the stuff about reproductive problems. Doubt that is the case, I’d like to think that not even Conservative politicos/Helena/Helena’s staff would sink that low.

    ****

    Also think you make a good point, Warren. The Libs should focus on the real and big issues of concern facing Canada. Since much of the media clearly is focused on going for Guergis’ and Jaffer’s jugular, no need for the Libs to be a full-out mob participant. One or two questions in QP is reasonable about the nature of the RCMP investigation, then move on.

  13. smelter rat says:

    The Crown made a spineless call on this one. She should have put what she had before a judge and let the law take it’s course. As had been pointed out, he did in fact speak to a lawyer, as is his right. Anyone with blow on their person should not be surprised by a strip search. Do you think the police were going to take the chance that he was carrying if they were intending to lodge him? That would have made a nice headline.

  14. Eugene Parks says:

    Warren writes: The editor just contacted me to say they agreed with me, and changed the headline. Do I still need to get a grip?”

    Yes, I think so. The newspaper is climbing down because like most here they recognize this discussion should not be happening. More deeply, they and you should also recognize that you don’t even know that it is true… this is a discussion that should not have happened about something that may never have happened floated to serve a purpose that does not merit attention.

    • Eugene Parks says:

      Warren, I would suggest that once the newspaper changes the story or removes it that you do the same with this thread. This story is someone’s sucker punch and its best not to give it to whomever that is.

      • Eugene Parks says:

        at this moment, you are the only publisher of that headline

      • ST says:

        It doesn’t look like New Tecumseth Free Press Online is a newspaper. It has no print version.
        Other than the Times/Sentinel, it seems most newspapers in Simcoe-Grey have left the miscarriage issue alone.

  15. gretschfan says:

    That was my reaction as well, Warren. This isn’t news, it’s gossip and of a kind that is cruel in a way only some can truly know. Journalism wants to know why it’s being put out of business? Today’s headlines help answer that. People don’t take you seriously anymore when you put out a product bereft of professionalism.

  16. Brian says:

    Look, the MPCC hearings with Colvin have turned into a circus, where Colvin isn’t allowed to testify about what the phrasing of the warnings he wrote because it’s too secret for public knowledge, even though the hearings ARE about the warnings he wrote.

    Let’s move on to that circus instead! There’s enough circus in Ottawa right now for everyone.

  17. Patagonia says:

    The “enough is enough” point for me was Saturday’s Toronto Sun front cover: http://www.torontosunsucks.com/2010/04/sun-puts-ass-in-class.html
    An all-time low that takes away from the legitimate issues of holding public office.

  18. Tony Veltri says:

    Upon reflection, thanks to this dialogue, I pulled the story. It’s not my style to run a story like that, so thanks for the wake-up. I got swept up in the mania.

    Otherwise, I’m getting word now that Helena and Rahim may be holed up at a residence in Angus.

    Tony

    • Warren says:

      Tony, thanks for letting us know, and for your decision.

      (If you want to contact Tony, to thank him or otherwise, he’s at:newtecumseth@gmail.com)

      • Patchouli says:

        I want to commend him for that here on your site, Warren, since that’s where the dialogue has taken place. I respect that Tony Veltri joined this dialogue, and responded in an appropriate way.

        If indeed that very private and personal information was released by Guergis and/or her own people, shame on them too for trying to manipulate the public emotions.

        No matter who brings such a story forward, it should be ignored.

  19. Connoisseur says:

    Interesting…this miscarriage tidbit isn’t in the Alliston, Barrie or Owen Sound papers.

  20. Aurelia says:

    Thank you for printing this post Warren. I haven’t liked any of the allegations against being made against Guergis because they all seemed unfounded, personal, and some were frankly stupid. Not one seemed to have an ounce of political anything.

    Having suffered multiple miscarriages, I resent the implication that anyone would lie about it, or that it would have to be “leaked” to be known about. Lots of people announce they are pregnant after seeing a heartbeat on an ultrasound, which can be as early as 6 weeks. And it is perfectly standard to tell the entire world that you are pregnant after 12 weeks or 3 months. Everyone does it, it’s perfectly normal, because lots of women show after that, and it’s pretty rare to lose a baby after that. And losing a baby at 16 weeks is not something anyone can hide easily. It requires a hospital admission, or several clinic visits.

    So guess what? Half the damn town would know, and likely did know, and gossiped about it everywhere. And they told the paper.

    But even if it was her, so what? Why can’t she tell people? What the hell? The fact is that a miscarriage at 16 weeks is very emotionally difficult and if you think it might not have affected her, or that it was somehow unreasonable for anyone to have that reaction, well, that’s not logical. We ask parliamentarians to work and never ever take sick leave even when they normally would qualify ( Women are allowed up to 10 weeks sick leave under EI rules, after having a miscarriage ). Those rules exist for medical reasons, and for compassionate reasons. But MPs don’t get that because we don’t let them. And then we are shocked when they get ill, and have emotional breakdowns?

    And no I don’t think the RCMP allegations are going to turn out to be anything either. Anyone can make an allegation, in fact, lots have made allegations against Liberals in the past. Right before an election as I recall. But by the time the RCMP investigates, it takes forever, and even after everyone is cleared, no one cares and all the world remembers is whispered crap about supposed wrongdoing.

    This is all bullshit, it always has been.

    I hope everyone leaves her alone, and drops all of this.

    • Jan says:

      MP’s can’t take sick leave? I don’t believe that’s true. Anyone know?

      • Aurelia says:

        MPs can only take time off if they are paired to miss a vote, which in a majority parliament is easier, and often is done to help friends across the aisle, but rarely in a minority. Otherwise, no. They, like their staff serve at the “will of the crown”, meaning that they can be fired at any time, for any reason, with no benefits. They do not have EI, and staff there are not covered by WCB, Ontario labour laws, federal labour laws, human rights leg. (There are supposedly equivalent laws to protect staff, but they don’t do anything for MPs)

        Federal MPs have missed the births and deaths of their children, (yes I can name two, no i won’t here, but Warren could name several I bet), the graduations, the illnesses, the weddings, everything. There is a reason they have such high divorce rates, and so many quit to get to know their children.

        Don’t you remember Chuck Cadman showing up for his last vote, dying of cancer? How about Carolyn Parrish coming in a wheelchair that same day? Or the NDP MP having to bring her newborn into the House because she had no maternity leave, and could not leave a baby that small with a sitter?

        MPs from every party go through shit to serve the public. If Canadians had any idea….

  21. Tony Veltri says:

    New Tecumseth Times part of York Simcoe Group headquartered in Beeton. They have papers in King Township, Innisfil, Caledon.

    • Sandra says:

      Two wrongs don’t make a right. Wrong for the author of this letter to discuss this very personal issue and wrong for it to be published.

  22. Kevin Ames says:

    Warren,

    The law is quite clear, you have a right to speak to a lawyer and Mr. Jaffer did speak to the lawyer on the legal aid advice line. You don’t have the right to speak to a specific lawyer! Mr. Jaffer tried and failed to reach two lawyers when he couldn’t reach either of them he was given the legal aid number and received the telephone advice that most accused receive. I’m surprised that the Crown backed down on the impaired charge.

    • Nasty Bob says:

      In fact you do have a right to speak with a specific lawyer – with in reason ( e.g. if it is with in the 2 hour presumption period from the time of driving). You are correct that he did speak to “a” lawyer but not counsel of choice. If his lawyer(s) only returned the call at or near the 2 hour limit the police would have probably been okay in not putting the call through and likely would have taken the matter to trial and let a judge decide whether or not his right to counsel was violated. Even if that .08 charge was tossed “right to counsel” issues would not have had any effect on the cocaine charge and it should have proceeded ( although there were other issues – it was, apparently, not found on his person but in a jacket in the car-that may have made it harder for the crown to prove)

      What was fatal to this case was the strip-search he was subjected to. Strip searches incident to arrest are legal but in very limited circumstances – none of which were apparent in this case. Because of the humiliating nature of such searches and the highly intrusive invasion of privacy courts will most often stay all charges that result from the arrest when a strip search is found to be unreasonable.

      The police should have known better as there was just such a case in Ontario only 3 months before his arrest where impaired charges were stayed due to an unreasonable strip search.

      I think he could have saved himself and his wife much of their current troubles if he had come clean at his sentencing and admitted he was lucky that the police engaged in such egregious conduct and the result was no different than any citizen would have received. By not doing so he left the impression that he “caught a break” because of who he was. That naturally fueled a desire in the public and media to search for other examples of preferential – the rules don’t apply to me- behaviour by this ” power” couple.

      • Warren says:

        Folks, not only is Nasty Bob a great lawyer – he was a great manager to a certain punk rock band, as well!

        • smelter rat says:

          Oh please. if I’m caught with a bag of coke that just happens to be in the glove box of my car, does anyone seriously believe i won’t be charged with possession?

          • Nasty Bob says:

            Yes you probably would be charged – as was Rahim- but if was not your car – and it wasn’t Rahim’s – and if you hired me ( apparently I’m a great lawyer *blush*) you wouldn’t be convicted because I know what the crown has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to establish possession. Even if it was your car you still may have a chance of getting off ( depending upon how they came to discover the coke).

            It’s a little different in the actual case because the coke was found in a jacket in the car and he was the only one in the vehicle. The crown would still have to establish knowledge and control of the coke – plus some search issues arise (apart from the strip search). Those are certainly not insurmountable obstacles to a conviction but it’s not the open and shut case one would have if the coke was found on the actual person in a lawful search incident to arrest.

          • Terry says:

            I’m not all that familiar with police training and procedures, but these seem like fairly egregious rookie mistakes.

            Almost makes you wonder …

  23. Cathy says:

    Good thing more Ontarians have no idea where New Tecumseth even is let alone grace their media with readership.
    Nice catch Warren, and you’re right this just gives all journalists a bad rap.

  24. Eugene Parks says:

    Again Warren, you are the only one who is publishing the headline; the newspaper has removed it, so should you.

  25. Eugene Parks says:

    I said that! And remind you, the headline is not known fact.

    I’d only continue to publish it if (and only if) we have reasonable evidence that the headline both came from Guergis’ camp and it is a lie. Then that camp should pay for it.

    Otherwise, if should come down. The headline is offensive on so very many levels. And I say again to you: If it was it was wrong for the newspaper to publish it; you are also wrong to continue to publish it.

    I respect your moral outrage on this matter; it is well placed. I’m questioning the continued publication of the offensive material.

    Cheers Eugene

    PS: Warren, you did a superior job of getting the newspaper to climb down and take it down.

  26. MW says:

    Does anybody else remember what happened when Jaffer got caught in the impersonation stunt on the radio? How he cried his little tears and made his little speech in the house about how sorry he was… and talked about his parents…and how everybody just got all mushy and everybody backed off the story?

    Well.. the whole thing was a lie. Johnston was ordered to go on the radio by Jaffer. The reason being that Jaffer was too busy with his little coffee shop enterprise to do his job and read his briefings… so he would not have been able to answer the questions that the radio show was set up to talk with him about… BUT that is NOT how Jaffer and Johnston played it —

    They both played this game of trying to spin the situation so they could look better… Johnston fell on his sword… (and it was whispered that he only did this out of a really strong sense of loyalty… and it was also strongly implied that by taking the fall for Jaffer, he could eventually come back to politics with his reputation intact amongst those who knew what the *real story* was)…
    Meanwhile – Jaffer pretended to be ignorant of what Johnston had done… and then claimed that the only reason he lied to cover it up was ALSO out of a misplaced sense of loyalty….

    So.. the way the story was spun… it was just boys being boys… fun and hinjinks.. no big deal.. they haven’t really done anything wrong… they just got carried away in a situation — and the truth is.. they are actually REALLY great guys who are very loyal and can be counted on to be loyal in the future… AND — when Jaffer got up in the house and talked about his parents… and shed a few tears in the middle of the apology that wasn’t really an apology — (Because he was still lying about what had actually happened) – he got a pass.

    The media gave them BOTH a pass… pundits chuckled about it and yucked it up.

    I was astounded at the time… (having been told by somebody who heard about the true version of events straight from Johnston’s mouth) that this was the response to the situation… Surely – people should take a good hard long look at an MP that would demonstrate this kind of deceit and duplicity — not to mention indicating a really profound lack of sound judgement….

    So… I look at this leak about Helena’s miscarriages… and It reminds me of Jaffer going on about his parents and trying to evoke sympathy to try and sway people from judging them too harshly — and I have nothing but contempt..

    and I have absolutely NO doubt in my mind that this news WAS leaked from the Jaffer/Guergis camp… because WHO in their right mind that was trying to sandbag them would leak something like that???? Seriously think about that.

    This info was leaked and is being used to try and garner sympathy.
    And ordinarily I would have a LOT of sympathy…
    But I’ve saw how Jaffer used the “Oh.. feel sorry for me…” card before AND how gullible the media and punditocracy was about it… and I feel nothing about the news.

    The jaffer’s have played you Warren.
    And they got EXACTLY the response that they wanted by releasing this news.

    I don’t care about the miscarriages.. and I agree that it’s in very bad taste…
    And I certainly would not support a paper that covered it..
    I applaud your desire to see this kind of thing kept out of the papers..
    But at the same time… I think it would be a VERY interesting followup to determine
    exactly HOW they got this bit of information, and would be even more revealing of the
    character of these two people.

    • LindaL says:

      “Surely – people should take a good hard long look at an MP that would demonstrate this kind of deceit and duplicity — not to mention indicating a really profound lack of sound judgement….”

      People did take a hard long look — and Jaffer was booted out.

      Now, surely you realize that there are two different people here. Jaffer pulled a stunt, but I think it is unfair to paint Helena with the same brush. The worst that we KNOW she did was get angry at the airport. She and her husband may be two peas in a pod, but she might also be discovering that she married a jerk. Lots of women marry cads and would be mortified to find that others judged them on the basis of their husband’s behaviour.

      • MW says:

        Booted out… then after an appropriate time in the doghouse brought back.. AND THEN… elevated to the position of Chair of the Conservative Caucus in 2006.

  27. Elizabeth says:

    Have not seen the article in question – but I did see in passing, somewhere, some reference to a miscarriage, and I reported the posting. That goes beyond the pale, and it had to have come from someone who knew her.

    I suspect that her former colleagues are trying to sink her as fast as possible, just intuition. I’m sure the Communications Dir isn’t her best friend. I’m not her biggest fan, but I recognize that she’s being scapegoated now. Goats get sacrificed. Harper spends a lot of time refinishing his Teflon coating — making sure nothing sticks to him, that is his MO, along with the secrecy and control – nothing can be seen as his fault. The word “appropriate” has been worn to a nub by him. I’m beginning to hear South Park voices when I read the transcript of what the Tories say in HoC.
    My big concern is the fact that drugs were found at all – because I know enough to realize that’s indicative of a bigger problem, somewhere, somehow. I’m sure there are lots of Tories who are doing things they shouldn’t be doing, and of course they want to give them the boot asap, and as scandalously as possible, to prevent anyone from taking them seriously; when they write a book, which I hope they do.

    And (thinking about the physical effects that stress can have); I’m wondering about the effect about her marriage, and her daughter. I think Helena should really take the status of women thing seriously now – and use her crisis to get stronger, and not be a Tory.
    Read “Fierce Conversations”, http://www.fierceinc.com/
    and “The Cost of Bad Behaviour” (incivility in organizations, how to recognize it, and what the $$ cost is, plus health cost), and this article on surviving crises, think of Tiger Woods:
    http://www.economist.com/business-finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15866025

    I can’t believe that someone would bring up her health issues. Someone wrote a piece in the Star about the lousy treatment that women get in the Harper cabinet; it’s being carried to medieval levels now.

    However, I do think it’s time the PM told everyone what’s going on – including who hired the PI? Maybe Harper makes a habit of hiring PI’s, and watching his MPs? Even my daughter, who’s 19, pointed out that actually, having a PI on her is an infringeing on her rights to a private life.

    • Jim says:

      “However, I do think it’s time the PM told everyone what’s going on – including who hired the PI? Maybe Harper makes a habit of hiring PI’s, and watching his MPs? Even my daughter, who’s 19, pointed out that actually, having a PI on her is an infringeing on her rights to a private life.”

      It was not Harper (or the Conservatives) who hired the PI. He was working for a third-party who is pursuing civil action against Gilani. When the Star story broke on Thursday, the lawyer representing said third-party contacted counsel for the CPC, who contacted the PMO from there.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    She could look on the bright side. She’s out now, and her husband is out now — before the Reformaties really do become a train wreck.

    She didn’t have to desert a sinking ship – she was thrown off, with a lifeboat. 🙂 Can watch proceedings from a distance.

  29. Derek Lipman says:

    Very interesting comments here.

    Why can’t the media start hammering the government about what really matters, such as their failure to enact legislation freeing up access to information. Guy “Common Sense Revolution” Giorno claims that information is the “oxygen” of a democracy. If that is so, then the patient (Canada) is slowly dying on the doctor’s watch.

  30. Eugene Parks says:

    As for me, as I said at the top: ” I would not assume it to be true”. A few of us beleive some got sucker punched with a questionable story but now everyone here is nearly entirely on the same page: The consensus seems to be that the leak came from her camp; and only a few here (maybe close to none) believe the story is true. Everyone thinks it was dumb to run such a story, even if true

  31. gretschfan says:

    In other news (re. the photo) hey Warren when the heck did you finally decide to leave the dark side of computing and get a Mac?

  32. JDC says:

    As someone who has seen this sort of trash on this madhunt.com site before it comes as no great surprise to me that the site would stoop this low. Mr. Veltri has killed off attempted suicide victims before their time among other journalistic atrocities over the years.

    He doesn’t give a bad name to journalists however, as he isn’t one. He’s a blogger who plies his trade and sells ads with such gossip.

    And “they did it first, I just copied them,” is not a valid defense for real journalists.

    • Tony Veltri says:

      JDC is president of my fan club. Prematurely killing off someone who jumped in front of a train, and had to be carefully removed, and you’re labelled for life. I note this morning that the Toronto Star has made the miscarriage front page news.

  33. MW says:

    “Maybe Harper makes a habit of hiring PI’s, and watching his MPs? Even my daughter, who’s 19, pointed out that actually, having a PI on her is an infringeing on her rights to a private life.”

    I could be wrong about this — but as I recall it, it was the Reformers that first really started this business of hiring PIs… There was some weird guy who leaked the “Sidewinder” report – and claimed to have dug up some stuff on Chretien… and for a time there, Logan Day was working as an amateur sleuth – when Stockwell day was leader.

    Maybe Warren can remember if the Liberals ever engaged in this sort of thing.

  34. Elizabeth says:

    I don’t remember about the Reform Party doing it, but I wasn’t paying such close attention then as I am now. Any hiring of PIs should certainly be investigated and made public; unless they get someone from the outside to pay for it.

    I recall stories from the Olympics – a man who was an anti-Olympics crusader, said his friends were followed by plainclothes cops, and that they had their cellphone numbers, waited for them outside classrooms and asked them questions about him – even though they weren’t even interested in the Olympics. None of this was investigated beyond reporting it.

    There was a Jewish woman who was in the news because she got a Rosh Hashanah card from Harper – and wondered how on earth did he know her name, her middle name, and that she was Jewish? She said that she was uncomfortable being on a list – and upset about it.
    I have wondered ever since then, and have actually felt that it’s possible that they know who I am and where I post things. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve ever felt like this – and I’m ancient, born in 1950; dad was in the Navy and was with the Royal Navy for a while – we always felt about Canada that it was one country, and the safest place in the world. I have never, ever felt a government to have a sort of unfriendly presence like this one, that what I say or do is going to be watched; that my citizenship could be under attack, and that sort of thing. It’s just a creepy feeling, but where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.

    I’m starting to wonder if Jaffer was set up somehow, (he would be a good mark since he already had a track record of being foolish); had cocaine planted on him – the police knew what was coming up – maybe the PMO talked to Gillani first . . and trashing Guergis would put the finishing touches on it.
    See what paranoia comes up when you don’t know what’s going on? 🙂 I’d certainly love to know what the political climate within the Con party is like. Wouldn’t want to experience it, but I bet there are problems, favouritism etc.

    I hope the whole thing comes down from the inside, BIG avalanche.

    • Jim says:

      Okay, this thread has officially hit rock bottom. As I noted above, the PI had nothing to do with the CPC, he was investigating Gillani on behalf of a third-party. Your paranoia just makes those with legitimate concerns about Harper’s style of government look like tinfoil hat “troofers”.

      The current government holds political views that are very slightly to the right of the previous Liberal minority government, and somewhat more to the right of the previous Liberal majority government. Some of the members of the current government are jerks. A small percentage hold political views that most Canadians would find to be destructive and distasteful. The same could be said about both the Chretien and Martin caucuses (one even ran for the party leadership in 1989). Developing ridiculous conspiracy theories only undermines thoughtful opposition to the current government.

      1) The anti-Olympics protesters were investigated as part of the RCMP’s broad security sweep. The tactics may have been heavy-handed, but they are to be expected in the post-9/11 security environment and would have occurred in exactly the same manner if Martin or Dion were Prime Minister.

      2) The Rosh Hashanah cards are examples of tacky, identity-based pandering. Its also an example of the “segmented marketing” approach to politics which most major political parties use. The fact is that our personal information can be found on many, many databases that any organization (including the Conservative Party of Canada) can purchase and use for their own ends. I understand how this feels vaguely creepy but, again, it is not specific to the current Conservative government. It was hardly some devious list and wasn’t even that accurate, as non-Jews living in areas with large Jewish populations also received the cards (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080907/election2008_cards_080910/20080910?s_name=election2008)

      3) I wouldn’t worry about the unfriendly creep of the government into your posts/thoughts unless, of course, you are a stand-up comedian, evangelical preacher, or right-wing polemicist. Ahem. Seriously, though, concerns about privacy and government control of opinions are, as with the above, far broader than Stephen Harper or the CPC. Indeed, it would seem that those on the right side of the political spectrum (Steyn, Boisson, Coulter, Levant) have been the targets of such government intrusiveness, and not nice Liberals from downtown ridings. This is not an endorsement of the extreme free speech crowd, just some perspective to consider.

      4) The idea that the PMO set-up Jaffer is so far beyond stupid that it doesn’t merit a reasoned response. Honestly, get a grip.

      5) You want the “whole thing” to come down from the inside? Why? So we can have yet another government elected because we’re “throwing the bums out” in response to an overblown scandal, rather than electing a party with ideas and visions that match our own? How well did that work out for us in 2006? Shouldn’t we want more than that as voters? I don’t like Guergis or that type of “professional politician” who’s only career has been building their political powerbases and resume. They exist in every political party (see Giambrone, Adam) and I don’t shed a single tear when they fall from grace. The idea that this is unique to the CPC and that the government should fall because of these two venal clowns is ridiculous and distracts from valid criticisms of the Harper record.

      Personally, I do not believe that the Harper government deserves re-election, but I am not sold on the current Liberal leader either. I want to see a vision for this country that isn’t based on how much the current guy sucks, but rather how the Opposition could do better. I am a classic Canadian centrist, although I probably lean more to the right than most of WK’s readers (although only slightly so). A Progressive Conservative, if you will. This nutty “The Harper Cons Are the Most Evil, Right-Wing Nut-Jobs in the Western Hemisphere” type of ranting just makes me want to through my arms up in frustration.

  35. Elizabeth says:

    Does anyone know what Wikileaks is about, and whether they’ve ever obtained info from the Canadian government? I wonder if the Con government is afraid of that happening, with Afghanistan, and Jaffer.

  36. Aurelia says:

    Just commenting again to say that yes, it is reasonable that lots would gossip about her miscarriage. After all, everyone she knew would know she was pregnant after 12 weeks. And then not pregnant. Every pregnancy and miscarriage I had was the subject of wild speculation behind my back. (Never to my face) Because people are cruel and stupid. That’s why.

    Oh yeah, except no one on this thread believes there are any mean gossips in the world, anywhere. Anyone look in the mirror lately?

  37. J. Coates says:

    Am I the only heterosexual male who thinks Sarah Palin is cute?

  38. hugger says:

    One contrarian to another, I agree.

  39. Elizabeth says:

    This is kinda funny though:

    http://www2.canada.com/langleyadvance/news/opinion/story.html?id=fc555814-4a99-4987-b514-58f42685d871

    “Your tittle-tattlers, and those who listen to slander, by my good will should all be hanged–the former by their tongues, the latter by the ears.”

  40. Elizabeth says:

    But – this could have ended in tragedy, so she really should be out of politics anyway:

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/01/16/dion-afghanistan.html

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