An industry minister named Sue


Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre rose this afternoon to ask Peter MacKay about the proposed purchase of some military aircraft. After MacKay had dismissed the question, Coderre turned to Industry Minister Tony Clement to ask about a potential conflict of interest.

“We know that there is a delay caused by the industry minister,” he said. “We already know that the former minister of defence worked for Hill & Knowlton, the lobby firm that promoted EADS’ CASA-295, a competitor of Alenia’s C-27J. Interestingly enough, now, the current chief of staff of the industry minister, William King, has been senior vice-president for the very same firm. Would the Mindistry of Industry assure this House that his chief of staff was not involved in any meetings with Public Works and National Defence for that bid and that he recused himself from that file?”

Clement was unimpressed.

“Mr. Speaker, I have only been in this House for just over three years. That is the lowest of the low. That is outrageous. I demand he retract it and apologize. He is skimming the bottom of the barrel,” he said, sounding positively besmirched. “The member should say that outside this House and then we will talk about the lawsuit that will prevail, I am sure.”

At this, he gestured towards the door. His mates on the government side applauded proudly.

Shortly after Question Period, Denis Coderre wandered into the House foyer and made his way to the microphone.

“Tony Clement m’a demandé de répéter la question outside,” he said.

And so he did.


An industry minister named Sue

  1. I keep reading the question over and over again, trying to figure out how it could *possibly* be considered defamatory, what with being a *question* and all.

    • I’m just wondering if, given Clement’s hilariously over the top reaction, there isn’t some validity to Coderre’s question. Methinks that when one doth protest too much…….

    • I keep reading the answer over and over and can’t figure out how you skim the bottom of a barrel.

    • I agree with Kady. What exactly is Clement even demanding that Coderre retract???

      I read Coderre’s paragraph above as “Statement of fact. Statement of fact. Statement of fact. Reasonably benign question.” Is Clement really insisting that a question (asked during QUESTION Period) be retracted? Not to mention, it’s a pretty benign question. Corderre’s not even really implying anything, other than that government officials (or their senior staff) should probably recuse themselves if there might be even the APPEARANCE of bias or conflict with regard to that staff members involvement in a process (such as a process involving a company that you were once a senior executive for). Is that notion now so anathema to the Tories that Cabinet Ministers have to get apoplectic at the very suggestion? So much for “Canada’s New Government” and the new era of openness, transparency, and unflinching “err on the side of caution” ethics (not that that didn’t die, oh, two or three years ago…).

      I look forward to the lawsuit though. Clement all but promised us a lawsuit on the floor of the House of Commons. As a taxpayer, I insist that Clement sue Coderre, the Liberal Party, Michael Ignatieff and Socrates (for, you know, his whole emphasis on questions…).

      Please, please, PLEASE let there be a lawsuit!!!

    • *Sounds like* he knew the answer before he asked the question*
      this is a new form of notation.
      *..*……* is for explaining
      and *..* *..* is for not *really* *explaining*
      i just can’t follow it unless I break it down this way.

    • So one of them is scraping the bottom of the barrel, and the other one is skimming off the top?

      • Yep. Settled.

      • lol.

  2. i got the impression that Clement was scared; not good. more scandale.

  3. My guess he’s hoping for a veiled faux suit, followed by some bluster, pre-empted by a withdrawal of the suit with a thin confidentiality agreement that none of this shall be uttered again. Hey, it worked once…

  4. Excellent idea! Sue him! Keep this story out of the paper till after the next election. Then the parties involved can settle.

    Democracy in action!

    • No, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
      Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest.

  5. or at least more defamation lawsuits! exactly what we need? yar.

  6. Question: Can we the public sue these bozos?

  7. I love when politicians threaten lawsuits if a member repeats a question outside the House. Unless that politican is himself a lawyer with some real knowledge (unlike most of the MP’s), they shouldn’t say things like that, those fools.

  8. Isn’t that an old trick from Maverick?

    Get the guy bothering you to step outside and then stay inside and have another drink?

    • LOL,

      Is Clement still sitting at his desk on the floor of the House even at this moment.

      I can just see him now, mumbling at his desk. “I’m totally gonna sue somebody, just as soon as I leave the Chamber. Say, can someone bring me a sleeping bag???”

  9. I certainly can have my issues and concerns about Coderre but well done for standing up to these unaccountable fake tough guys.

    We saw in November that as soon as you stand up to them, they will crater. And fast.

    We continue to see them try the same stuff like they just can’t help themselves, like Harper threatening an election if Parliament doesn’t give him his personal slush fund.

    At the same time, we have Conservative MP after Conservative MP outright lying in Parliament – Poilievre on the Cadman tapes and bribery, Lois Brown a few days agao – but refusing to repeat what they boldly accuse in the House.

    Harper, I will admit, does sometimes act like a Prime Minister, but often he acts and his caucus almost always acts like they are in opposition. And opposition at a high school mock Parliament at that.

  10. Clement is not the sharpest knife in the cabinet, which is saying something considering the surfeit of blunt pieces of cutlery the Cons have at their disposal.

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