Was someone after photos of Harper? - Macleans.ca

Was someone after photos of Harper?

Not even the Prime Minister’s own office is safe from the criminal element

Was someone after photos of Harper?

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Stephen Harper is a law-and-order type of guy, a champion of mandatory minimum sentences and tough legislation with names like Investigative Powers for the 21st Century Act. But it turns out that not even the Prime Minister’s own office is safe from the criminal element. Just ask Jason Ransom, his official photographer. Someone stole his computer—right inside the Langevin Block, the PM’s supposedly ultra-secure headquarters.

The heist happened in April 2009, but news of the incident didn’t spread until this week, when Maclean’s started asking questions about an obscure item buried in the latest public accounts of Canada: a $1,298 reimbursement for “theft of personal laptop.”

Ransom (whose wife, Deb, is Harper’s other official photographer) did not respond to an email request for comment, but the PMO did provide some details. Ransom was using his personal Mac that day because his government-issued laptop was being repaired. And at some point—in between snapping behind-the-scenes shots of Harper busy at work—his silver laptop disappeared.

Rest assured, history buffs. Because Ransom always uploads his pics to a main server, none were lost in the robbery. As for the optics—that someone with approved access to Harper’s headquarters has a set of sticky fingers—the Privy Council’s security operations branch launched an internal investigation.

Unfortunately, the culprit was never identified, leaving Ransom little choice but to file a claim.

Bureaucrats can be reimbursed for the loss of personal property, as long as it is “reasonably related to the performance of the servant’s duties at the time of loss.” Said a PMO spokesman: “A legal opinion is required before proceeding with that reimbursement, and a legal opinion was received that recommended the reimbursement. That’s the story.”


Was someone after photos of Harper?

  1. Ooh, can't wait for the inevitable: pics-i-leaks

  2. Probably the LPC looking for some Prop photos.

  3. Presumably the perp just wanted the laptop.

  4. This again highlights a larger problem of security breaches on Parliament Hill.

    In early Dec 2009, Greenpeace activists "made it to the roofs of both the West Block and Centre Block and unfurled protest banners in a high-wire demonstration designed to grab the attention of federal politicians on the opening day of the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen". (http://www.canada.com/business/Greenpeace+Parliament+Hill+protesters+arrested/2312063/story.html)

    To put a positive spin of this, the "good news" is that security on Parliament Hill has plenty of room for improvement!

    However, these security breaches also raise the question of how much "opportunity for security improvement" exists across Canada with our valuable strategic infrastructure and the protection of Canadians?

    To have the PM's office breached in this way should be a wake-up call to both the people responsible for security on the Hill, and the law enforcement services across Canada.

    No one wants a disaster to prompt a review of security on Parliament Hill and across Canada.

    Let's get Canada's security right before a major disaster happens, not after.

  5. Not likely stolen from that bastion of security…
    maybe he lost it somewhere else, like Lisa Raitt left her briefing papers at CTV or her staffer misplaced her cell phone in a Parliament Hill washroom, a camera here and there…….
    this is just one in a list of lost /misplaced/left behind articles….that have become part of the Conservative Reform Party history….don't seem to place a lot of value on things.

  6. What did the legal opinion cost to determine whether or not to cough up thirteen hundred bucks?

  7. Is this an attempt at making our dear PM appear vulnerable?

  8. It was'nt really stolen, just misplaced at the Harper residence, the kid need a little help with his homework so why not borrow a laptop, He makes the rules remember.

    • Your an idiot.

  9. Who would want pictures of Harper but Harper himself? He probably lifted it himself to make it look as though someone, besides himself, would want pictures of him so badly they'd actually commit a crime to get them.

  10. He's a "law and order type of guy" hey?
    Not when the criminal acts involve his party and/or their followers. Law and order is something that applies to others when they cut corners, it's fine if Harper and Co do the same, cos Harper is the decider, well he makes the rules.

  11. AEK, the Prime Minister's office is not on Parliament Hill, rather it is in the Langevin building, which is outside the parliamentary precinct across from the HIll on Wellington Street

    • Fine, but the fact is that a government building's security was breached, at a high level. This makes a joke of the security they provide.

      Have you ever heard the saying "close enough for government work", meaning not the greatest quality, to put it politely?

      Now then, what about all the other government security services that we have, be they federal, provincial or municipal?

      When things go wrong, when things go FUBAR, there are always "experts" to tell us what the problem was after the breach took place, kind of like experts predicting after the fact why the recession occurred.

  12. Theft or Loss?

  13. They're looking for the rest of the "Harper in the tight leather vest" photos that weren't good enough to release?

  14. Maybe the perp needed to refurbish his dartboard..

  15. Send in the Paparazzi!