Helena Guergis resigns (Updated) - Macleans.ca

Helena Guergis resigns (Updated)

Controversial junior minister steps down from cabinet and gets booted from the Conservative caucus


Embattled Conservative MP Helena Guergis has resigned from her job as minister of state for the status of women. The MP for Simcoe-Grey has come under fire in recent weeks, most recently over her husband Rahim Jaffer’s business dealings, as well as for a tantrum she threw at a PEI airport. In a statement to reporters, Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed Guergis had indeed stepped down and that former cabinet minister Rona Ambrose would take over Guergis’s portfolio. Harper also said the Ethics Commissioner and the RCMP would be investigating unspecified “serious allegations” involving Guergis that came to the attention of his office Thursday night. In the meantime, Guergis will no longer be welcome to sit with the Conservative caucus.

UPDATE: The CBC has obtained the full text of an email sent out by Guergis in advance of the announcement:

April 9, 2010

This morning, I tendered my resignation as Minister of State for Status of Women to the Prime Minister which he accepted.

The past 9 months have been a very difficult time for me. I have made mistakes for which I have apologised. I want the people of PEI to know that when I spoke emotionally I was speaking about the airport as I would never insult my father’s birthplace. I apologise again. I have worked hard for Canadian women and I am proud of my record of my accomplishments on their behalf.

I will continue in my position as MP for Simcoe-Grey and continue to serve my community.

Helena Guergis, MP Simcoe Grey


CBC News

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Helena Guergis resigns (Updated)

  1. It was inevitable.

    • Wow, surprised it was a 9pm news announcement.

    • Pretty much, considering the night before it was reported that while the PMO wouldn't fire her, if she chose to resign there'd be much rejoicing. How do you seriously continue with that on record?

      What's funny is Harper trying to run to the front of this now like he's leading the parade.

      • I have a feeling that it doesn't matter what Harper did (didn't), you would be criticizing him.

        • Not quite. I've given him due credit for a couple of things.. but it's pretty rare and far between, I'll admit.

          However, I tend to think that's because of him, not me.

  2. I read she already has the nomination for her riding — wonder if she'll run? And win??

    • If she dares to run…and then wins, that riding is in question for its integrity, its ability to reason and its respect for the Canadian Government

      • Of course the same can be said of most ridings in Toronto.

        • I don't think so, they are done, I wonder what her writing praises staff have to say now about this "supercouple"

    • You never know, Bernier kept his riding after the scandal he was in.

      • That was one scandal. This is two, plus two attached to her husband, plus one mini-expense issue. And she ain't in a swing seat in Quebec.

  3. Good.

    But this should do nothing to close the file. Jaffer – and any other Tory allegedly acting in violation of the Accountability Act – should now be subject to a full federal investigation, starting with a record of contacts between him, others, and pertinent government offices.

    • Totally agree and I suspect it will.

  4. Why is the PM bothering to hold a press conference for this? I'd go with a sparse press release instead.

    • To look decisive.

      Since his politics first, integrity last approach didn't work so well on that front so far.

  5. So she's staying on record that the airport is a hell hole?

    • II thought the same, I couldn't believe I was reading that!

      • Extraordinary!
        The letter looks as though it was written very quickly and with insufficient care.
        I think it indicates just how isolated Guergis must be.

        • You are probably right, it must be sad to have such a public fall!

  6. Who will take her cabinet post? Cheryl Gallant?

    • Rona Ambrose would take over Guergis's portfolio. I guess you didn't read the whole article.

    • Rona Ambrose.

      In related news, Shelly Glover has legally changed her surname to Havisham.

      • Why

    • Yes Kevin..the replacement will be Ambose.
      Lets hope the riding opens up the nomination process to replace her as a candidate….luckily the PM has the final say in the acceptance of candidates..he can reject the nominee is he chooses and here, he should choose to do so.

  7. In one way I want to say good riddance on another : I wonder about the precedent here – do we allow the chummed waters the liberal party likes to swim around in dictate who sits in the cabinet .. after all .. she didn't really do anything deserving to be fired maybe left out of next shuffle .. as it was her stupid husband who fed the Lib's the perfect and undoubtably irresistable shark bait – there is no way the hyper partisans would let this go as it defines the liberal party right now – the endless search for pseudo-scandal of the day du jour : no wonder the lib's don't have a chance in hades of winning an election any time soon as they spend all their time on what did he know, when did he know or not know or she might have siad this then again maybe it was that – sooner or later the party has to get it's act together as it is starting to look petty and mean spirited in otherowrds they are looking just like their oppostion according to their own rules!. so go ahead thumb down am awaiting!

    • This MP..as a representative of the government of Canada…voted in by her peers…..broke security at an airport and had a temper tantrum. That is now what we expect from our elected officials…much less the representative of the Status of Women. There should also be a portfolio for Status of Men. She did do something illegal…she refused to be put through security at an airport..that is against the law..if I had done that, I would not have been allowed on that plane.

    • "…she didn't really do anything deserving to be fired…"

      She allowed her husband to use her parliamentary email address to conduct business. That seems like a serious breach to me, and there is no excuse for it.

      • Popsiclone, the RCMP has been called by the PMO it has to be serious! At the same time Ignatieffs approach is so wrong, he doesn't get it that the right answers would have him leading the polls, this pitty approach is ruining him!

    • "there is no way the hyper partisans would let this go as it defines the liberal party"

      Forgot about Ruby Dahlia did you? The Con attack dogs were out then.

    • The sniff test?
      If the roles were reversed and Stephen Harper was the OLO do you think he wouldn't have beem howling for the minister's blood?

  8. She became an embarrassment to Mr Harper and has paid the price.
    Serving her up to the Ethics Commissioner and the RCMP will greatly enhance Mr Harper's cred as a pillar of accountability.
    Clearly, he is one Boss you do not want to plss off

    • Bravo….he is made out to be so soft but he is making the right decisions..when he needs to react he does…he doesnt jump according to the other parties…or the press…he is staying the course, and is certainly correct here but should have moved sooner on her resignation..she should have been removed for her behaviour at the airport..not because of an allegation that her husband is in the wrong..he has proved himself unworthy by his own actions…her actions should be treated the same..she was wrong…she embarrased herself and women in general..broke security protocol, abused her postion as MP to waste money on personal items..and has unfortunately married a foolish young man who is not finished making mistake after mistake..the first being his fraudulent appearance on a radio broadcast while he attended a family funciton…..he should have cancelled the radio appearance instead of sending a standin…what a liar….if you dont remember this incident, look it up.

      • i agree, this is a man you want on your side!

  9. When I saw the news about the affair at security at the airport I thought that she was certainly not a good representative for status of women….so I am happy she has to resign but it is looking like it is because of Rahims antics she must leave cabinet…I think there is ample reason for her to leave based on her own behaviour..lets not blame Rahim for her bahaviour..she is the one at fault…I wrote my own letter to Mr Harper…I see he has done what is right..but for the wrong reason. There should be a status of men portfolio…they need it more than any woman.

    • Look as wrong as it was what she did at the airport ( I do believe when you are in public service your manners are a duty and should go the extra mile to do that to make sure to serve that way!) everyone deserves a second chance we all have bad days, and she was given one, even though she didn't embrace it with humility and kindness, the golden opportunity here (I personally didn't like her attitude and thought she should go). But she didn't seem to have done anything illegal, until now.

      • She tried to claim personal clothing, purses, jogging outfits, etc. as campaign costs in the 2008 election.

        • Yeah, that's bad. I don't understand why they do this, I believe if you choose public service you should have a very high moral standard of living, this is a very unforgiving business, you are under scrutiny always.

  10. "she didn't really do anything deserving to be fired maybe left out of next shuffle"

    Apparently, the Prime Minister believes he has probable cause to think otherwise, or else he wouldn't be wasting the RCMP's time, would he?

    Time for the Conservative Bots to catch up to the official talking points of the day.

  11. No surprises here.

  12. RCMP brought in, but Harper is sure that nobody in the government or his Caucus or his Cabinet is involved. Also, he just became aware of this last night.


    Drug use?

    • The RCMP was called in by Harper because we have learned as Canadians that the RCMP tend to do what the prime minister wants them to do because the PM tends to cover all their asses too…..think ZAc…….Our Harper can't be trusted.

    • Was she one of the busty hookers (in disguise)?

  13. At least there's always the bed and bath business to fall back on when the going gets tough.

    You know, I almost feel sorry for her. I guess it's the Canadian thing to feel for the underdog.


    • I'm sure the familia will take care of her.
      Otherwise – are there any pageants for older women?

  14. It had to be done. Now she needs to deal with Jaffer. The man is a train wreck.

    • Yes, he is. I feel bad for her though, divorce is horrible and this one is going to be very public and messy.

  15. my comments on cbc were moderated when i merely suggested the jaffer dude is out of hand and needs attention to his addictions places such as detox or rehab program would be a start…so now the mrs. is losing her job…embarrassment is tough on the ego so this is probably a message of reconsidering life with these people…all the best to them…transparency and accountability are now the buzz words in politics and in economics and such …it is never too late to get honest

  16. I hate her, she is not going to win in the next election, she is a shame in her own riding.I live in her riding next to her office..

    • Why hate? You should head over next door and give her a hug.
      Just watch out for flying shoes!

  17. hahahahah potty mouth got wats wuz coming to her

  18. She's been suspended from the Conservative caucus? That comes as a surprise, surely. The Star must have stirred up something more serious about her and Jaffer than what we've seen so far.

    • It could be related to Guergis being complicit in her husband's use of her email address to add legitimacy to his influence-peddling charade. Maybe the PMO looked into her email account and realized that the RCMP needed to be notified.

      • This sounds very plausible. Is it within the PMO's power to contact IT services to examine data, or would this not be a privacy violation?

    • As mentioned above, there is the long-shot chance that she was a busty hooker (in disguise).
      Um – I'll get my coat……

      • Hahaha, you never know….

    • I agree entirely. The only other explanation is that Mr Harper wants to be seen as tough in a bit of a crisis. We'll see.

  19. I give this marriage a month, 2 at the most.

  20. The rise of Glover.

  21. Jumped or pushed? There is, perhaps, a significant distinction.

    In any event, she herself is a bit of a loose cannon – and that's just from what we have seen for ourselves. Perhaps it's a bit unfortunate that it is her husband who seems to have done for her, but I cannot think that Mr Harper's calling in the dogs is just for a bit of glossy PR. This one has legs.

    At the same time, the rug may now have been pulled from under Mr Ignatieff. Again.

    • Um….. Received your invite to the party a little late?
      All of this is a result of the article you have linked!

  22. This is another example of being drunk on power. We as taxpayers, and Canadians have been let down by over inflated egos. Let them hang.

  23. Clearly PM Harper would not have publicly taken the action he did with respect to one of his own Caucus members unless he deemed it of vital importance. Helena Guergis, MP for Simcoe Grey, believed herself above the common, ordinary Canadian with her tantrum in PEI and for that alone she should have lost her position with respect to Minister of State – Status of Women.
    That the RCMP have been called to investigate she casts a very dubious shadow and with her husband Jaffer dealings she appears to be involved. How foolish of both to believe they were invincible and could do what they wished without fear of consequences. Similar difficulties were experienced by the BC politicians with some unknowing females tainted due to their their families actions.
    I believe in this case all political parties must recognize in each party there are politicians with reckless behavior.

  24. And gee, can't she use the CANADIAN spelling for apologize — NOT the AMERICAN one?? Yeah, I know it's British-based but that is our heritage! We are different than the United States.

    • Apologise IS the Canadian spelling. Apologize is the US.