Christian Paradis’ choice of lodging

Less than a week after he was scolded by the ethics commissioner for his dealings with Rahim Jaffer, it is revealed that Christian Paradis spent an optically questionable weekend hunting moose.

CTV News has learned that in 2009, when Paradis was public works minister, he stayed at the lodge of Marcel Aubut, the former owner of the Quebec Nordiques. At that time, Aubut, who is now president of the Canadian Olympic Committee, was lobbying Ottawa to help fund a $400-million arena in Quebec City.




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Christian Paradis’ choice of lodging

  1. Given that the funding request didn’t go through, this really isn’t much of an issue for me.  It’s obvious the minister maintained enough integrity to not allow the trip to sway him. I’m actually pretty cool with politicians taking advantage of people trying to influence/bribe them and then not going along with it. If it happened often enough, maybe the people would stop trying it.

    •  Do you get that kind of access to a minister?

      • Irrelevant. Read what I wrote.

        •  I know what you wrote.

      • Went through the CTV story and couldn’t find any confirmation Paradis had been “invited” to stay there by Aubut, nor that Aubut was part of the group at the lodge that weekend.  By your reasoning, does the fact the local MLA once bought lemonade from my kid’s stand mean I have special access to a minister?

        •  See…Con-spiracy

    • I don’t agree.  Conflict of interest rules are also to ensure the process is seen to be free of bias.  Did Paradis know with certainty the request would fail when he accepted the invitation?  What if the request (this one, some one we haven’t heard of, or some future case) is actually in Canadian’s best interest and should be funded?  Would one then say, well, screw Canadians and don’t do what is best because Paradis visibly cozied up with that group and personally benefitted?  

      Having a position of authority and influence comes with a responsibility to maintain a fair environment.  It is not too much to ask that one’s hunting trips do not compromise the appearance of fairness and lack of bias.

      The way to have people stop trying is to have politicians simply say no and to ensure they face consequences when they say yes.

      • True enough. I am basing my response on an assumption that the matter had already been internally decided when he took the trip.

        Perhaps it’s just a sign that I’m already resigning myself to the corruption of the CPC — giving up looking at the means that government accomplishes something and instead just concentrating on what’s accomplished.

        Lord knows they don’t seem to give a crap about how they do it, nor do their supporters, and since they’re in a majority, constantly screaming about it only makes ourselves hoarse. 

        Repeated action with zero results is not only futile, it’s irrational. 

        So what else can we do?

        • Oh, Thwim: they got to you.  Try to resist.  I felt like you seem to right after the election — no wind in my sails and a feeling of resignation against fighting the tide.  There, I’ve mixed up several nautical sea metaphors for you — hoist the rigging, Thwim, and keep going forward.  Rick Mercer hasn’t ceased to rant, now has he?

          • Thanks for reminding me he’s on tonight.  He is always good for the morale. 

        • So what else can we do?
          yes, resist, resist, resist and expect better.  At least that is what I keep telling myself.  Although I feel if they don’t really resolve anything about the 2011 election fraud, I can’t say for sure that I will bother voting in the next round.

          • Oh I’ll always vote. Tha’ts the one place where it can make a difference.  Just between votes I might just have to hunker down and hope for the best.

          • What we can do is get together (all the people supporting non-Conservative parties) and in a select 15% of ridings that were won by Conservatives, oust them by running just one candidate.

            Yeah, Cullen didn’t win.  But the idea is still very much alive.  Cooperate for Canada!

        • Take up our quarrel with the foeTo you, from failing hands, we throwThe torch: be yours to hold it high

  2. At this point, whether Paradis is guilty or not is, in the short term, irrelevant. He has already been found guily of one breach; the optics of this second incident will do nothing to help his party, and will likely hinder his ability to do his job effectively as he will be spending time trying to clear his name.

    He would be wise to tender his resignation in order to spend time trying to clear his name and to avoid further embarrassing his party.

    That would be the correct and proper thing to do, but given the party he represents, it is most likely that they will continue to simply deny and obsfuscate.

  3. Just finished my lunchtime reading and I must say we’re picky here in Canada.  This is such small potatoes compared to what’s happening in Britain – oh la la … Surprising that the Cameron government manages to hold on to power, which I guess puts some perspective to Paradis getting away with small offences. 

  4. Why does the CTV article’s
    statement “Aubut is in China,
    but his spokesman Dimitri Soudas said…” bring to mind incestuous?

    • Good catch, and “incestuous” indeed!  I was focused on the fact that Paradis apparently packed sandwiches from home, maybe a thermos of coffee, to avoid any conflict of interest.

    • Further reports indicate that Aubut did make a pitch (albeit brief) on that trip (Maybe Paradis had his fingers in his ears and cried “la la la la la .  . . “?).

      Once again, my default position of assuming Soudas is not telling the truth has proven to be reliable.  In fact I usually think of him whenever I hear the phrase “Nothing could be further from the truth”.

      Also I wonder, in this situation who is Soudas spokesmanning for?  The old boss or the new?  Incestuous indeed.

    • It’s a small world isn’t it, you can’t swing a cat without hitting one of Harps peeps.  He has done a lot in 6 years. 

  5. From the link: “Paradis’ office confirmed that he spent two nights at the lodge, and he was in a group that successfully hunted a moose. However, his office insisted that the minister took his own gear and supplied his own food.
    “I don’t care if he brought his sleeping bag,” Garneau said. “It is totally inappropriate to accept an invitation in these circumstances.”"

    I wonder if he ate alone in his room, with his sandwiches brought from home (and wrapped in wax paper).

    • LOL: Feschuk says on twitter that it isn’t lobbying if you bring your own condiments.

      • Maybe Democracy Watch will comment.  As I recall they were convinced that a former minister of Foreign Affairs was in conflict of interest when he let a former colleague stay at his Paris apartment.  It was a conflict of interest according to DW when the the minister provided the condiments and lodging.

    • I’m imagining him with his little coleman stove and pup tent, whittling sticks to cook his weiners. Yeah, right. Isn’t he the guy that got his cashmere coat stolen at a dubious fundraiser?

      • He only replaced it with a cashmere coat; the one that was “stolen” was “kashmere.”   Some sort of synthetic shitagum, I guess.

  6. “Paradis Lost”  The man is a Fool’s Paradis.

  7. It’s now easier to keep track of those in the harper government ™ who are not corrupt or liars or cheats. 

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