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Guergis works the comeback trail

The former cabinet minister is fighting for her political life against the full might of the Tory electoral machine


 
Working the comeback trail

Photograph by Colin OConnor

The familiar war colours still grace her signs—white block letters and crimson ribbons, on a background of Tory blue. But the word “Independent” lies spray-stencilled beneath Helena Guergis’s name, while blots of paint covering the Conservative party logo summon to mind a bandage on an open wound. “It’s Conservative against conservative around here,” says Guergis, summing up one of the most bitter constituency battles of the federal election. Not only is she fighting for her political life, says the former junior cabinet minister, she’s doing so against the full might of the Tory electoral machine.

No surprise. Since the uproar surrounding the arrest and lobbying activities of her husband, Rahim Jaffer, Guergis has been one of Stephen Harper’s biggest headaches, demanding that the Prime Minister reveal his reasons for punting her from caucus while insisting she remains a big-C Conservative—in spirit if not on paper. Harper’s office cited unspecified allegations of misconduct on Guergis’s part when it expelled her in April 2010, but a subsequent review by RCMP found no evidence of wrongdoing. Still, the Conservatives refused to re-admit her to the party fold, and last month her old constituency association held a nomination meeting to replace her.

Judging by the campaign muscle they’ve sent the new candidate, a pediatric surgeon named Kellie Leitch, the party brain trust would dearly love to see Guergis gone. At least six Tory heavyweights have swung through the farm country of Simcoe-Grey in recent days, including Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Minister of State for Seniors Julian Fantino. Tory icon Hugh Segal has also dropped by for photo ops. So has Pamela Wallin, the Conservative senator and former broadcaster.

On the strategy side, Leitch has been drawing on the wisdom of friends like Jeff Bangs, a veteran campaigner for the Ontario Progressive Conservatives, along with former Ontario premier Bill Davis.

That’s a lot of firepower to throw at one party-less candidate. But Guergis remained defiant this week during an interview at her home in Angus, Ont. “Harper does not want to lose to me,” she told Maclean’s. “It would be embarrassing for him. It would be a strong message that, yes, we like Conservatives in Simcoe-Grey, but we’re not impressed with Harper’s own behaviour. I’m not surprised to see him putting an extra effort in.”

Getting election-ready wasn’t easy, Guergis admits. She’d spent most of last year rebutting tales of her tantrum at the Charlottetown Airport, along with reports she got abnormally favourable terms on a mortgage on her Ottawa home (“False,” she says of the latter). As if that weren’t enough, she gave birth four months ago to her son Zavier and began juggling her duties as an MP with motherhood.

Now, with the campaign under way, Jaffer has slipped into Mr. Mom mode, greeting a visitor to their house wearing sweatpants, with a mild case of bed-head and the infant in his arms. Guergis has her campaign chops back. For days, she’s been attacking Leitch’s shallow roots in the constituency, while promising to vote with the Tories in the Commons if she is elected. Leitch counters that she’s lived five years in Creemore, Ont., and dismisses Guergis’s attempts to portray herself as a de facto Tory. “The voters aren’t fooled,” she told Maclean’s. “They know there’s one Conservative candidate, they’re supportive of the Conservative party. I think they’ll base their vote on that.”

The danger, of course, is that some won’t. Guergis’s expulsion drove a deep wedge into the party’s local riding association; a similar reaction among right-of-centre voters could result in a victory for Liberal challenger Alex Smardenka, the NDP’s Katy Austin or Green candidate Jace Metheral.

Guergis acknowledges this risk, but portrays her candidacy as a necessary response to a Prime Minister she says puts his electoral fortunes before all political considerations. “I haven’t done anything to deserve this disastrous treatment,” she says, the colour rising in her cheeks. “I’ve worked incredibly hard and I’m standing up—not just for democracy, which all Canadians value, but also for myself.”


 

Guergis works the comeback trail

  1. This comment was deleted.

    • what is a "patrongage trough"?

  2. She won't be reelected, she became her worst enemy!

  3. She won't be reelected, she became her worst enemy!

    • I agree, and I think still think there is more than we know about this story.I think Harper has not told it all, all but she should go very carfeul

    • I watched her media scrum today, and I think she handled it rather well.
      I'm surprised you're not standing up for a fellow sister, who got played by the mans rules…

      • I'm with you, SamDavies. Not a Conservative, not a Guergis fan — but the way she's been treated — becoming a joke across the country when we now know the allegations were trumped up — is just plain wrong.

        Harper is a fan of incrementalism. I wonder if the incremental shrinking of his ethics will ever catch up with him.

        • Yeah. We're on the same page. I'm not a fan, but I do believe that after so many years of service, she deserved more than to be thrown under a bus as such. I feel ashamed for believing he had tossed her out for what I believed were sound reasons.

      • But Harper, he's so dreeeeeeeeeeamy! And oh so smart!

        • And those killer dimples!

        • What's his shoe size? You know what they say… ;)

      • SamDavies, I believe on an individual man or woman.

        I strongly disagree about her handling well her media scrum. She is incompetent at best.

        Even though she had a very valid reason to be upset, she became her very own enemy, she needed patience instead she went babbling non stop every interview she could have done, she did. She won't be reelected and she won't be able to sue anybody, I posted one of her interviews here and it was another even better where she informs the PM was going to meet with her but she cancelled, can't find that one but she screwed up her chances, she probably would be back with the tories had she chosen better words. You can stand up for yourself, comeback on top with the right words.

        Someone at my office said today she is very emotional, she is hormonal, well I have been pregnant five times and l know a thing or two about hormones and believe is not a good excuse, you need to have your head on your shoulders especially when you hold such a public position, if anything is more questionable your mental health, this scrum will backfire (By the way, I am in PR and advertising none of my colleagues or I will ever allowed any of our clients do this, if we did they should fire us for incompetents)
        http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/08/06/helena-guergis

        Another thing I predict a divorce and more scandals from Jaffer.

  4. I don't live in her riding but I would like to see her win just because she's plucky and she has been so horribly mistreated by the Prime Minister. A little humble pie would do him a world of good!

  5. I don't live in her riding but I would like to see her win just because she's plucky and she has been so horribly mistreated by the Prime Minister. A little humble pie would do him a world of good!

    • I would vote for her if I lived in her riding.

      • Sure you would, even how she treated the people at the airport.Shouting at them throwing her shoes. I think this lady has problems

      • I would've been with you on that, except for her stated plans to vote along Conservative party lines. If re-elected, she would've been in an amazing position to vote per constituency's wishes, and instead she'll squander the opportunity just to get into Harper's good books.

  6. She hates people. Don't be fooled by her smile.

  7. She hates people. Don't be fooled by her smile.

    • In many ways she fit right in with Harper's party until she became a liability and it wasn't worth keeping her around.

  8. I would vote for her if I lived in her riding.

  9. Hopefully, Harper holds a rally there. It would be great fun if Guergis showed up (preferably with Zavier) to wish him well.

  10. Hopefully, Harper holds a rally there. It would be great fun if Guergis showed up (preferably with Zavier) to wish him well.

    • He is cute but not even that will give her an advantage her media scrum today will backfire, sorry but it is my job I know what I am talking about : )

      • How do you imagine it can backfire… she has nothing to lose.

        • Perception as a public figure is your number one asset and she is obviously emotionally unstable, perhaps she has a valid reason but nobody wants someone like that representing them, would you be ok?

          She needed to be strong and determined (sp?) needed to show her strengths not her weakness, you can be a victimized but not a victim, IMO it cost her. Not a good choice of words.

  11. With the timely release last night (using the very legal Access to Information protocol) of the letter Harper's minion wrote to the Elliott of the Mounties outlining outrageous charges against Ms Guergis – none of them substantiated with even a scintilla of evidence – isn't it now high time that Mr. Harper offered the long-overdue apology that Ms Guergis deserves? Moreover, it would be an appropriate (if unlikely) act of contritement on the part of the Tories to ask their official candidate in the riding to pull out of the race.

  12. With the timely release last night (using the very legal Access to Information protocol) of the letter Harper's minion wrote to the Elliott of the Mounties outlining outrageous charges against Ms Guergis – none of them substantiated with even a scintilla of evidence – isn't it now high time that Mr. Harper offered the long-overdue apology that Ms Guergis deserves? Moreover, it would be an appropriate (if unlikely) act of contritement on the part of the Tories to ask their official candidate in the riding to pull out of the race.

    • No – there's no need for an apology. This is politics, not a court of law, and Guergis had become a lightning rod for bad optics. It's also easy to forget that the media and opposition politicians were all too ready to believe (and attempt to capitalize on) those allegations at the time.

    • Harper will never apologize to her. Never. It's just not in his dna.

      Although if she won her riding…and it was a minority situation…who knows? Surely he has no ethics, and she would be hungry to get back to her fold. Such as they are.

    • How come when there is a convicted criminal in the CPC fold, everyone thinks, it is their fault – they had to have known. But with this situation, everyone assumes, 'poor Helen – treated so badly'. Did it ever occur to people that there is more to the story than we know. There might not be proven criminal activities, but Harper might be privy to information that lets him know that she is bad for the party image. If nothing else, her husband was using her email address, and pretending he was still in government (I am sure I read that, and if I am mistaken, I apologize). Had she stayed with the CPC, and a scandal followed in the future, these same people would blame the conservatives or not have seeing it coming. Maybe the fact that she was thrown out will prove to be a good thing, as she and/or Jaffir weren't able to cause trouble.

      I am always amazed that people are so ready to ass-you-me

      • "Did it ever occur to people that there is more to the story than we know."

        No. You know why? Because Harper told Canadians he reported her serious conduct to the RCMP, and it turned out what he reported was a bunch of bullsh**. Even if I were inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, he certainly would not get it here where it has been established so clearly the facts do not support his claims.

        • That is kind of what I am saying, there isn't enough proof to charge her, but enough people in Ottawa know things that were going on, and that is all that is needed.
          Are you saying that an MP would need to be criminally charged and convicted before a leader should expel them from the party?

          • Why on earth would you conclude that from my comment? I am saying Harper relied on allegations he knew were unsubstantiated gossip. Only idiots believe if something is said it must be true.

            Harper lies all the time. Why would this be any different?

          • so you believe 'Harper lies all the time'. This means that you might as well not discuss him anymore. If that is your fallback statement, then there really is no point.
            Harper was well within his right to boot her. Her husband was a liability to her, and would have been a liability to the CPC. There doesn't need to be criminal charges, that is what I am saying. All that needs to happen is a political party has to feel that a MP can and will cause harm to them and the government. Out the door they go. Helena and Jaffer were drunk on power, and it was probably only a matter of time until something happened. That you don't know the information of why it happened is crying shame, I guess, but you don't need to know.

          • Oda, Kenney, Etc, Etc……Carson

  13. No – there's no need for an apology. This is politics, not a court of law, and Guergis had become a lightning rod for bad optics. It's also easy to forget that the media and opposition politicians were all too ready to believe (and attempt to capitalize on) those allegations at the time.

  14. I hate her ,crying,baby,liabitily husband,lies, I live in Collindwood,I vote Dr.kellie leitch.I want a fresh air.

  15. I agree, and I think still think there is more than we know about this story.I think Harper has not told it all, all but she should go very carfeul

  16. Sure you would, even how she treated the people at the airport.Shouting at them throwing her shoes. I think this lady has problems

  17. Oh cry me a river – I love how many of the same people that would have been shouting "resign" a year ago, now embrace Guergis as a damsel in distress (it works both ways too – once upon a time Warren Kinsella was liked by many Tories because of his sniping at the Martin government).

    Nobody has a right to be a Conservative MP. If somebody endangers the agenda of the government, it is absolutely appropriate to get rid of them, whether the accusations are just or not. That is the choice governments have to make – to have their days dogged by accusations, or to take care of business.

  18. Oh cry me a river – I love how many of the same people that would have been shouting "resign" a year ago, now embrace Guergis as a damsel in distress (it works both ways too – once upon a time Warren Kinsella was liked by many Tories because of his sniping at the Martin government).

    Nobody has a right to be a Conservative MP. If somebody endangers the agenda of the government, it is absolutely appropriate to get rid of them, whether the accusations are just or not. That is the choice governments have to make – to have their days dogged by accusations, or to take care of business.

    • Fair enough… but if she's been cleared of wrongdoing, and she was 'good enough' to be in the Conservative Party before, why isn't she now? I don't fault Harper for kicking her out at the time… but I don't get not accepting her back when she's been exonerated.

      • For much the same reason that Adam Giambrone is not mayor of Toronto. Guergis didn't commit any criminal acts, but she showed bad judgment, and tarnished her brand. People will always be suspicious of her as a result (incidentally it goes beyond just her and Jaffer, voters turfed out three of her relatives in municipal elections last year).

        I think the comparison with Carson is unfair. Carson was a crook, but he served his time and by all accounts he was very good at his job (for obvious reasons, Conrad Black is just about the only person willing to go to bat for Carson in the press). Guergis is not a crook, but exhibited bad judgment, and was a lousy minister. When Ignatieff attacks the former and defends the latter, I really have to question his liberal commitment to the idea of rehabilitation and redemption.

        • Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning Iggy's obvious (yet hardly surprising) opportunism. But her ouster was based on those allegations, and those allegations were proven to be unfounded. I'm a big believer in getting rid of cabinet ministers who are in the midst of being investigated, or who come under a cloud of suspicion. But, if the allegations are proven not to be true, you welcome them back… if not to cabinet, at least to caucus. I didn't expect Guergis to come back to cabinet, but I did figure she'd get back into caucus.

          • Politics is a high-stakes game, and there are a lot of people who'd like to stand for election as an MP. You don't necessarily earn a do-over, particularly not if you've got a record of causing headaches for your party leader and haven't provided much benefit in return.

          • Do-over? She didn't 'do' anything wrong in the first place.

          • Hence the reason, she is not allowed a do-over… to get a do-over you really do need a do to do-over.

    • I just enjoy the drama.

    • Here is your problem.

      Harper had plenty of opportunity to fire her for the reasons cited by the opposition when they were "shouting" at him to fire her. But he didn't. He could have – but he didn't.

      Instead of appearing as though he was doing something the opposition demanded he do, he invented some criminal allegations and then told the entire country that is why he was firing her.

      • You well know that ministers rarely get fired when they are in the crosshairs of the opposition – they get quietly shuffled out a few months later. It is entirely possible that Guergis was a dead woman walking before the allegations broke.

  19. Fair enough… but if she's been cleared of wrongdoing, and she was 'good enough' to be in the Conservative Party before, why isn't she now? I don't fault Harper for kicking her out at the time… but I don't get not accepting her back when she's been exonerated.

  20. what is a "patrongage trough"?

  21. I get a kick out of the Liberals and the Star on this issue. The Star prints a sensational story, the Liberals pounce on it and demand she get turfed. Harper fires her. The Star and Liberals then claim Harper is a meany for doing so.

    classic.

  22. I was feeling sorry for her for a while, when she was putting out fires because of her husband and vicious attacks from the opposition. But once she did the CBC Mansbridge interview…….

    Not exactly the best way to go about mending fences.

  23. I get a kick out of the Liberals and the Star on this issue. The Star prints a sensational story, the Liberals pounce on it and demand she get turfed. Harper fires her. The Star and Liberals then claim Harper is a meany for doing so.

    classic.

    • The liberals and other opposition parties said, she should be relieved of her ministerial duties pending an inquiry. I know the CONS. don't like the truth getting in their ways of doing things. Bruce Carson inspite of his five convictions was given front seat access to very important, Country business. I know the CONS. love the low-lives of society, just maybe those mega prisons will come in handy soon especially with the RCMP investigations of several CONS. officials of breaking our laws.

  24. I just enjoy the drama.

  25. I watched her media scrum today, and I think she handled it rather well.
    I'm surprised you're not standing up for a fellow sister, who got played by the mans rules…

  26. You might also want to learn how to communicate more effectively. Just sayin….

  27. You might also want to learn how to communicate more effectively. Just sayin….

    • Thanks Sam! I, too, live in "Collindwood"…but I have a Guergis sign on my lawn!!

  28. Wow! Harper and his inner circle has taken political victimization to a whole new level. This is a case of pure injustice towards Ms. Guergis ( who still remains a devout Christian) just because her husband happens to be a Muslim. While convicted felons like Mr Carson remain as close aides to the PM, Ms Guergis incurred the full wrath of Mr Harper on charges with no evidence to back them up. Whatever is the outcome, Ms Guergis is a brave woman to take this whole issue front on and not give up

    First Ms. Guergis and later Ms Aslam ( The so-called " Facebook Girl"),….whats happening Canada? I strongly believe Mr Harper and his well known "political friends" are trying to sideline a specific community and those who have any connection with it from all walks of Canadian society and committed on taking the country down a dangerous path. I plead to all Canadians to see the truth and vote this government out on May 2!

  29. Wow! Harper and his inner circle has taken political victimization to a whole new level. This is a case of pure injustice towards Ms. Guergis ( who still remains a devout Christian) just because her husband happens to be a Muslim. While convicted felons like Mr Carson remain as close aides to the PM, Ms Guergis incurred the full wrath of Mr Harper on charges with no evidence to back them up. Whatever is the outcome, Ms Guergis is a brave woman to take this whole issue front on and not give up

    First Ms. Guergis and later Ms Aslam ( The so-called " Facebook Girl"),….whats happening Canada? I strongly believe Mr Harper and his well known "political friends" are trying to sideline a specific community and those who have any connection with it from all walks of Canadian society and committed on taking the country down a dangerous path. I plead to all Canadians to see the truth and vote this government out on May 2!

    • now this is about Islam – that is quite a stretch.

  30. For much the same reason that Adam Giambrone is not mayor of Toronto. Guergis didn't commit any criminal acts, but she showed bad judgment, and tarnished her brand. People will always be suspicious of her as a result (incidentally it goes beyond just her and Jaffer, voters turfed out three of her relatives in municipal elections last year).

    I think the comparison with Carson is unfair. Carson was a crook, but he served his time and by all accounts he was very good at his job (for obvious reasons, Conrad Black is just about the only person willing to go to bat for Carson in the press). Guergis is not a crook, but exhibited bad judgment, and was a lousy minister. When Ignatieff attacks the former and defends the latter, I really have to question his liberal commitment to the idea of rehabilitation and redemption.

  31. Dictatorship with minority!

    Majority?! LOL! can you imagine the Harper regime with a majority government?! SCARY!.

  32. You're asserting this is a religious thing when there's a wealth of evidence pointing towards more obvious explanations?

  33. I'm with you, SamDavies. Not a Conservative, not a Guergis fan — but the way she's been treated — becoming a joke across the country when we now know the allegations were trumped up — is just plain wrong.

    Harper is a fan of incrementalism. I wonder if the incremental shrinking of his ethics will ever catch up with him.

  34. You know, janie, that was proven to be really exaggerated; you did follow the story to its end, right?

    Even Peter Mansbridge watched the video from the airport and said there was no tantrum. Yes she was frustrated and pi$$y, but the truth was not told there.

  35. Harper will never apologize to her. Never. It's just not in his dna.

    Although if she won her riding…and it was a minority situation…who knows? Surely he has no ethics, and she would be hungry to get back to her fold. Such as they are.

  36. This is about the Liberals now?

    Focus, please.

  37. I think by now she's pretty sure those fences aren't going to get mended, so she's fighting for her job. Which she won, fair and square and democratically.

    But as I said above, what do you think will happen if she wins her seat and harper has a slim minority? New fence?

  38. Don't get me wrong, I'm not condoning Iggy's obvious (yet hardly surprising) opportunism. But her ouster was based on those allegations, and those allegations were proven to be unfounded. I'm a big believer in getting rid of cabinet ministers who are in the midst of being investigated, or who come under a cloud of suspicion. But, if the allegations are proven not to be true, you welcome them back… if not to cabinet, at least to caucus. I didn't expect Guergis to come back to cabinet, but I did figure she'd get back into caucus.

  39. Yes,Atomic Walrus, however unfortunate and contrary to Canadian values this is. Its about time we call a spade a spade.

    You have to ask yourself these questions: If there is hard evidence to the accusations against her then why isn't this issue been brought to the court's attention? And lets just assume even if there is a slightest element of truth to the accusations then why is Ms Guergis been persecuted the way she is? You have bigger "convicted" criminals running Mr Harper's government.

    Also, the source of the accusations, a private investigator himself denies any substance to the charges brought forward.

    The track record of Mr Harper's treatment towards a certain community, his staunch support for a particular lobby and his undemocratic leanings gives me all the right reasons to believe this. Here, I have laid it all out for you, do you need any further evidence?

    On May 2nd, we have to make a choice between Harper or Canadian values. I know what choice I will be making that day.

  40. Yes,Atomic Walrus, however unfortunate and contrary to Canadian values this is. Its about time we call a spade a spade.

    You have to ask yourself these questions: If there is hard evidence to the accusations against her then why isn't this issue been brought to the court's attention? And lets just assume even if there is a slightest element of truth to the accusations then why is Ms Guergis been persecuted the way she is? You have bigger "convicted" criminals running Mr Harper's government.

    Also, the source of the accusations, a private investigator himself denies any substance to the charges brought forward.

    The track record of Mr Harper's treatment towards a certain community, his staunch support for a particular lobby and his undemocratic leanings gives me all the right reasons to believe this. Here, I have laid it all out for you, do you need any further evidence?

    On May 2nd, we have to make a choice between Harper or Canadian values. I know what choice I will be making that day.

    • You have laid out your opinion, but haven't given any evidence.

      Harper has the right to kick someone out of the CPC for giving it a bad name, or if he thinks they will in the future. Same as any party leader, and we would expect that from all of the.

      Let's be clear, this is a party that needs more seats – the easy thing would be to invite her back. There is a valid reason, you will probably never hear it, though. It has nothing to do with religion.

      • Carson, Oda,Kenny, Nuke girl , etc., etc……..

  41. I try not to follow peter mansbridge anywhere They are all over the map with this story.

  42. I try not to follow peter mansbridge anywhere They are all over the map with this story.

  43. I thought his answers were clear and decisive when asked about her on the election trap, I mean trail. Really, peolpe that come out to hear the PM, and we have the rabble, media asking him about this .If she did coke, do you think she would own up to it.

  44. Hard to say. She is running as an independent but still a conservative.

    Maybe a restraining order that Jaffer is not allowed within 500' of the HoC??

  45. Hard to say. She is running as an independent but still a conservative.

    Maybe a restraining order that Jaffer is not allowed within 500' of the HoC??

    • Or maybe a welcome mat with their hers and Jaffer's initials entwined for the front hall of their new home?

      • Oh Patchouli that'll never happen, Jaffer has shot every door there is not a chance of any MP of any stripe will even return a call. Now having said that, why doesn't Ignatieff invites her to be a Liberal he is all about fairness and democracy!

        • The liberals can field much stronger candidates than HG. Sadly, she only looks good as a CPC rep.

  46. That's no excuse for saying stuff that's been proven to be untrue.

    So where do you read your news? CPC website?

  47. Or maybe a welcome mat with their hers and Jaffer's initials entwined for the front hall of their new home?

  48. Helena: Your irrational outbursts at the Charlottetown airport contrasted with your weepy, pity me, little girl voice with Mansbridge scream instability and your boss did his best to save you from yourself.

  49. Helena: Your irrational outbursts at the Charlottetown airport contrasted with your weepy, pity me, little girl voice with Mansbridge scream instability and your boss did his best to save you from yourself.

  50. But Harper, he's so dreeeeeeeeeeamy! And oh so smart!

  51. At least she pushed back when told to join in adscam. Remember voters – you can probably get most of the same policies, without the attacks on democracy by voting for Ms. Guergis.

  52. At least she pushed back when told to join in adscam. Remember voters – you can probably get most of the same policies, without the attacks on democracy by voting for Ms. Guergis.

  53. If you can't say anything nice, Mr. Clement….

  54. If you can't say anything nice, Mr. Clement….

  55. How come when there is a convicted criminal in the CPC fold, everyone thinks, it is their fault – they had to have known. But with this situation, everyone assumes, 'poor Helen – treated so badly'. Did it ever occur to people that there is more to the story than we know. There might not be proven criminal activities, but Harper might be privy to information that lets him know that she is bad for the party image. If nothing else, her husband was using her email address, and pretending he was still in government (I am sure I read that, and if I am mistaken, I apologize). Had she stayed with the CPC, and a scandal followed in the future, these same people would blame the conservatives or not have seeing it coming. Maybe the fact that she was thrown out will prove to be a good thing, as she and/or Jaffir weren't able to cause trouble.

    I am always amazed that people are so ready to ass-you-me

  56. now this is about Islam – that is quite a stretch.

  57. You have laid out your opinion, but haven't given any evidence.

    Harper has the right to kick someone out of the CPC for giving it a bad name, or if he thinks they will in the future. Same as any party leader, and we would expect that from all of the.

    Let's be clear, this is a party that needs more seats – the easy thing would be to invite her back. There is a valid reason, you will probably never hear it, though. It has nothing to do with religion.

  58. The PM's comments today (Friday) are a clear indicator as to how things work in Harperland. He couldn't even bring himself to use Ms Guergis' name instead referring to "the individual in question". Everything is black or white, no shades of grey whatsoever. Once you've been shunned by the party you become an unperson immediately, for life. Forgiveness is unknown, mercy is never shown. Fundamentalists/fanatics of all types exhibit this type of behaviour and Harper and company fit the mold to a tee.

  59. The PM's comments today (Friday) are a clear indicator as to how things work in Harperland. He couldn't even bring himself to use Ms Guergis' name instead referring to "the individual in question". Everything is black or white, no shades of grey whatsoever. Once you've been shunned by the party you become an unperson immediately, for life. Forgiveness is unknown, mercy is never shown. Fundamentalists/fanatics of all types exhibit this type of behaviour and Harper and company fit the mold to a tee.

  60. I'm sure his answers were clear and decisive. And utterly self-serving and only tangentially fact based, if at all.

  61. I'm sure his answers were clear and decisive. And utterly self-serving and only tangentially fact based, if at all.

  62. I would've been with you on that, except for her stated plans to vote along Conservative party lines. If re-elected, she would've been in an amazing position to vote per constituency's wishes, and instead she'll squander the opportunity just to get into Harper's good books.

  63. These guys are not conservatives – true conservatives died a while ago – The conservatives are the Canadian version of America's tea party – Wake up Canada it's our future – Frankly give me a parliament of independents representing the people of Canada. I thought cons represent the faithful – faithful to what – corruption.

  64. These guys are not conservatives – true conservatives died a while ago – The conservatives are the Canadian version of America%E2%80%99s tea party – Wake up Canada it%E2%80%99s our future – Frankly give me a parliament of independents representing the people of Canada. I thought cons represent the faithful – faithful to what – corruption.

  65. These guys are not conservatives – true conservatives died a while ago – The conservatives are the Canadian version of America's tea party – Wake up Canada it's our future – Frankly give me a parliament of independents representing the people of Canada. I thought cons represent the faithful – faithful to what – corruption.

    • Can't have said it better.

    • Very well said. Independents would at least represent their riding instead of being a lapdog for the PMO's office.

  66. Too bad she is not in my electoral district so that I don't vote for her.

  67. Too bad she is not in my electoral district so that I don't vote for her.

  68. And those killer dimples!

  69. Media:

    Guergis in CPC – evil witch

    Guergis out of CPC – poor victim of CPC machine.

    While the examples of the lefist media becoming unhinged with Harper hatred are almost countless, the storyline intstantly transforming Guergis once she became "correctly" anti-Harper is near the top.

  70. Media:

    Guergis in CPC – evil witch

    Guergis out of CPC – poor victim of CPC machine.

    While the examples of the lefist media becoming unhinged with Harper hatred are almost countless, the storyline intstantly transforming Guergis once she became "correctly" anti-Harper is near the top.

    • Oh look. Biff is lying again.

  71. "Did it ever occur to people that there is more to the story than we know."

    No. You know why? Because Harper told Canadians he reported her serious conduct to the RCMP, and it turned out what he reported was a bunch of bullsh**. Even if I were inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, he certainly would not get it here where it has been established so clearly the facts do not support his claims.

  72. Sure you do.

  73. Sure you do.

  74. Here is your problem.

    Harper had plenty of opportunity to fire her for the reasons cited by the opposition when they were "shouting" at him to fire her. But he didn't. He could have – but he didn't.

    Instead of appearing as though he was doing something the opposition demanded he do, he invented some criminal allegations and then told the entire country that is why he was firing her.

  75. SamDavies, I believe on an individual man or woman.

    I strongly disagree about her handling well her media scrum. She is incompetent at best.

    Even though she had a very valid reason to be upset, she became her very own enemy, she needed patience instead she went babbling non stop every interview she could have done, she did. She won't be reelected and she won't be able to sue anybody, I posted one of her interviews here and it was another even better where she informs the PM was going to meet with her but she cancelled, can't find that one but she screwed up her chances, she probably would be back with the tories had she chosen better words. You can stand up for yourself, comeback on top with the right words.

    Someone at my office said today she is very emotional, she is hormonal, well I have been pregnant five times and l know a thing or two about hormones and believe is not a good excuse, you need to have your head on your shoulders especially when you hold such a public position, if anything is more questionable your mental health, this scrum will backfire (By the way, I am in PR and advertising none of my colleagues or I will ever allowed any of our clients do this, if we did they should fire us for incompetents)
    http://www2.macleans.ca/2010/08/06/helena-guergis

    Another thing I predict a divorce and more scandals from Jaffer.

  76. Oh look. Biff is lying again.

  77. He is cute but not even that will give her an advantage her media scrum today will backfire, sorry but it is my job I know what I am talking about : )

  78. Then why are they talking about it?

  79. Then why are they talking about it?

    • wooosh!

  80. In many ways she fit right in with Harper's party until she became a liability and it wasn't worth keeping her around.

  81. How do you imagine it can backfire… she has nothing to lose.

  82. wooosh!

  83. Oh Patchouli that'll never happen, Jaffer has shot every door there is not a chance of any MP of any stripe will even return a call. Now having said that, why doesn't Ignatieff invites her to be a Liberal he is all about fairness and democracy!

  84. Who said Helena was found to have had political issues which means she is not welcome back into the Conservative party? Harper.
    Who supported her when she was having difficulties performing her Ministerial duties adequately?
    Harper.
    Who was the person who appointed her to a position to which she was not suited?
    Harper.
    Who had the chance to shuffle cabinet portfolios at any time?
    Harper
    Who chose to treat her with contempt and disdain the first time he got some damaging information about her behavior?
    Harper.
    Who could have informed her of the charges being investigated by the RCMP about her?
    Harper.
    Who could have shown class by acknowledging the unjust actions taken toward Helena?
    Harper.
    Who chose to display behavior which, as a male, I find reprehensible simply from the point that one does not treat any individual with this level of contempt, male or female. Oh right, who doesn't show this contempt for males? Bruce Carson's name comes up here.
    Harper

  85. Who said Helena was found to have had political issues which means she is not welcome back into the Conservative party? Harper.
    Who supported her when she was having difficulties performing her Ministerial duties adequately?
    Harper.
    Who was the person who appointed her to a position to which she was not suited?
    Harper.
    Who had the chance to shuffle cabinet portfolios at any time?
    Harper
    Who chose to treat her with contempt and disdain the first time he got some damaging information about her behavior?
    Harper.
    Who could have informed her of the charges being investigated by the RCMP about her?
    Harper.
    Who could have shown class by acknowledging the unjust actions taken toward Helena?
    Harper.
    Who chose to display behavior which, as a male, I find reprehensible simply from the point that one does not treat any individual with this level of contempt, male or female. Oh right, who doesn%E2%80%99t show this contempt for males? Bruce Carson%E2%80%99s name comes up here.
    Harper

  86. Who said Helena was found to have had political issues which means she is not welcome back into the Conservative party? Harper.
    Who supported her when she was having difficulties performing her Ministerial duties adequately?
    Harper.
    Who was the person who appointed her to a position to which she was not suited?
    Harper.
    Who had the chance to shuffle cabinet portfolios at any time?
    Harper
    Who chose to treat her with contempt and disdain the first time he got some damaging information about her behavior?
    Harper.
    Who could have informed her of the charges being investigated by the RCMP about her?
    Harper.
    Who could have shown class by acknowledging the unjust actions taken toward Helena?
    Harper.
    Who chose to display behavior which, as a male, I find reprehensible simply from the point that one does not treat any individual with this level of contempt, male or female. Oh right, who doesn't show this contempt for males? Bruce Carson's name comes up here.
    Harper

  87. That is kind of what I am saying, there isn't enough proof to charge her, but enough people in Ottawa know things that were going on, and that is all that is needed.
    Are you saying that an MP would need to be criminally charged and convicted before a leader should expel them from the party?

  88. Perception as a public figure is your number one asset and she is obviously emotionally unstable, perhaps she has a valid reason but nobody wants someone like that representing them, would you be ok?

    She needed to be strong and determined (sp?) needed to show her strengths not her weakness, you can be a victimized but not a victim, IMO it cost her. Not a good choice of words.

  89. I just sick of her, end of the story.

  90. I just sick of her, end of the story.

  91. Why on earth would you conclude that from my comment? I am saying Harper relied on allegations he knew were unsubstantiated gossip. Only idiots believe if something is said it must be true.

    Harper lies all the time. Why would this be any different?

  92. so you believe 'Harper lies all the time'. This means that you might as well not discuss him anymore. If that is your fallback statement, then there really is no point.
    Harper was well within his right to boot her. Her husband was a liability to her, and would have been a liability to the CPC. There doesn't need to be criminal charges, that is what I am saying. All that needs to happen is a political party has to feel that a MP can and will cause harm to them and the government. Out the door they go. Helena and Jaffer were drunk on power, and it was probably only a matter of time until something happened. That you don't know the information of why it happened is crying shame, I guess, but you don't need to know.

  93. Just to clarify – I'm totally not a fan of the former barbie doll cabinet minister.
    I think she is a total ditz, and that she has simply been following the family path of entitlement.
    The fact that she was a cabinet member representing the status of women was almost a sick joke,
    keeping in mind how she was always strategically placed behind the PM to serve as eye candy.

    When the poop hit the fan, I was calling for blood, and was thrilled when Harper cut her loose.
    Finally, he seemed to be willing to do the right thing despite the possible negative consequences.

    Alas – as has been the case several times, I gave him far too much credit. You can love or hate Helena,
    but she really did not deserve to be treated the way she was treated. She was/is an elected MP for her riding with many years of service, during which she loyally towed the party line, and did as she was told. Does all that time and service mean nothing? Does it not in the least warrant more loyalty and support than she was given? When Harper ditched her, I thought he had done this based on actual evidence, where in reality, he kicked her down when she was at her weakest, and all on the basis of allegations. Like a leech, he sucked all he could out of her, and when there seemed to be little left, he crushed her. As much as I dislike Helena, I find Harper's behaviour much more repugnant.

    I very much disagree with your analysis of her patience. If anything, I was actually impressed/confused by how loyal she remained to Harper and the Conservatives, given that she had been thrown under a bus by them. I wondered how hard it must have been for her to restrain herself from lashing back. Instead, she kept voting alongside the party, even when the gov't was brought down. I felt sorry for her, and identified with her vulnerability, for what it is like to be a woman living in a mans world, where one has to subject oneself to different rules in order to try and survive.

    Too many women are used and abused in a world that is still largely ruled by men. And while I think Helena is herself a fool and NOT at all a strong role model for women, no one deserves to be treated as such. In my life, I've been in positions of power where I worked with people that I did not like and often did not agree with. There were times when these people were at their weakest, where I could have easily smothered them. I think I am a better person for not doing so. It's just not the right way to do things…

  94. What's his shoe size? You know what they say… ;)

  95. Yeah. We're on the same page. I'm not a fan, but I do believe that after so many years of service, she deserved more than to be thrown under a bus as such. I feel ashamed for believing he had tossed her out for what I believed were sound reasons.

  96. Politics is a high-stakes game, and there are a lot of people who'd like to stand for election as an MP. You don't necessarily earn a do-over, particularly not if you've got a record of causing headaches for your party leader and haven't provided much benefit in return.

  97. Do-over? She didn't 'do' anything wrong in the first place.

  98. The liberals can field much stronger candidates than HG. Sadly, she only looks good as a CPC rep.

  99. I love and applaud how The Toronto Star has leaped into action to defend the Helen. The nations largest paper reminds us of its wise, measured, and impartial view on the affairs/views of theToronto Lef…I mean Canada

  100. I love and applaud how The Toronto Star has leaped into action to defend the Helen. The nations largest paper reminds us of its wise, measured, and impartial view on the affairs/views of theToronto Lef…I mean Canada

    • Imagine!!! how badly media such as the Sun sully the good folks' work at The Star

  101. Imagine!!! how badly media such as the Sun sully the good folks' work at The Star

  102. Hopefully The Star will send out the whip-smart Heather Mallick to do a Barbara Walteresque interview with Helen – fair and balanced ofcourse

  103. Hopefully The Star will send out the whip-smart Heather Mallick to do a Barbara Walteresque interview with Helen – fair and balanced ofcourse

  104. The liberals and other opposition parties said, she should be relieved of her ministerial duties pending an inquiry. I know the CONS. don't like the truth getting in their ways of doing things. Bruce Carson inspite of his five convictions was given front seat access to very important, Country business. I know the CONS. love the low-lives of society, just maybe those mega prisons will come in handy soon especially with the RCMP investigations of several CONS. officials of breaking our laws.

  105. Can't have said it better.

  106. Good for you I congratulate you, I have been on the other side I am a VERY strong woman who has been treated poorly by this Men world, so I know a thing or two about that. But will never chose to become a victim au contraire, it does make me stronger, more compassionate and kind.

    But I disagree with the rest of your comment.

  107. Good for you I congratulate you, I have been on the other side I am a VERY strong woman who has been treated poorly by this Men world, so I know a thing or two about that. But will never chose to become a victim au contraire, it does make me stronger, more compassionate and kind.

    But I disagree with the rest of your comment.

  108. Very well said. Independents would at least represent their riding instead of being a lapdog for the PMO's office.

  109. Tears, Baby photo op,toxic husband and never ending CBC interviews.please give me a break.A simple story"employer broke up with employee"what 's story?

  110. You well know that ministers rarely get fired when they are in the crosshairs of the opposition – they get quietly shuffled out a few months later. It is entirely possible that Guergis was a dead woman walking before the allegations broke.

  111. Tears, Baby photo op,toxic husband and never ending CBC interviews.please give me a break.A simple story"employer broke up with employee"what 's story?

  112. Carson, Oda,Kenny, Nuke girl , etc., etc……..

  113. Oda, Kenney, Etc, Etc……Carson

  114. Hence the reason, she is not allowed a do-over… to get a do-over you really do need a do to do-over.

  115. First of all it is not important to me if every slur hurled at Helena Guergis is true or turns out to be true.

    The fact is that the way she was treated is fundamentally wrong and fundamentally un-Canadian. Almost every journalist will at least somewhat admit to that. However, then they go on to say, she should realize that politics is a blood sport, nobody liked her anyway, the stories about her are so bizarre that there is possibly some truth in them, she shouldn't have had the hissy-fit in the PEI airport, the Caucus decided they didn't want her, a political party has every right to kick someone out and so on.

    What I think happened is that someone hired a private investigator to get some dirt on her. It has never been revealed who, to my knowledge. The private investigator turned in his report. The RCMP then investigated, found no wrong doing (in law) and reported on their investigation.

    Ms Guergis managed to acquire all of this information through an Access to Information Request and released it to the public.

    She then, in public, stated that none of the allegations against her in this information were true.

    In a court of law, a defendant's statements have to be believed until there are enough facts put forward to refute the defendant's claims. That is a fundamental requirement in the maintenance of a just society.

    If someone accused you of doing something (but they wouldn't tell you what) and then punished you for it, and then when you eventually found out what the allegations were and then tried to clear your name, and you were told that it doesn't matter what you say because nobody likes you anyway, how would you feel? That's not my Canada. That is third world trumped-up justice.

    If Harper gets away with treating Ms. Guergis in this manner, then everyone should remember that someday this could happen to you as well. (I can just hear Harper say, “Well that's ridiculous.”, his standard response.)

    Well, in my view, it is not ridiculous, it is a national shame.

  116. First of all it is not important to me if every slur hurled at Helena Guergis is true or turns out to be true.

    The fact is that the way she was treated is fundamentally wrong and fundamentally un-Canadian. Almost every journalist will at least somewhat admit to that. However, then they go on to say, she should realize that politics is a blood sport, nobody liked her anyway, the stories about her are so bizarre that there is possibly some truth in them, she shouldn%E2%80%99t have had the hissy-fit in the PEI airport, the Caucus decided they didn%E2%80%99t want her, a political party has every right to kick someone out and so on.

    What I think happened is that someone hired a private investigator to get some dirt on her. It has never been revealed who, to my knowledge. The private investigator turned in his report. The RCMP then investigated, found no wrong doing (in law) and reported on their investigation.

    Ms Guergis managed to acquire all of this information through an Access to Information Request and released it to the public.

    She then, in public, stated that none of the allegations against her in this information were true.

    In a court of law, a defendant%E2%80%99s statements have to be believed until there are enough facts put forward to refute the defendant%E2%80%99s claims. That is a fundamental requirement in the maintenance of a just society.

    If someone accused you of doing something (but they wouldn%E2%80%99t tell you what) and then punished you for it, and then when you eventually found out what the allegations were and then tried to clear your name, and you were told that it doesn%E2%80%99t matter what you say because nobody likes you anyway, how would you feel? That%E2%80%99s not my Canada. That is third world trumped-up justice.

    If Harper gets away with treating Ms. Guergis in this manner, then everyone should remember that someday this could happen to you as well. (I can just hear Harper say, “Well that%E2%80%99s ridiculous.”, his standard response.)

    Well, in my view, it is not ridiculous, it is a national shame.

  117. Well said! Why don't more people grasp this?

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