‘The same respect for their privacy as other Canadians’


A statement from Liberal Senator James Cowan.

My friend and colleague the Honourable Senator Joyce Fairbairn, P.C., has been the subject of considerable media attention in the past few days. Senator Fairbairn has devoted a good part of her long and distinguished public life to helping persons with disabilities.

Unfortunately, Senator Fairbairn has developed health challenges of her own, as a result of which she will be unable to take up her legislative duties when the Senate resumes sitting in late September and will go on sick leave. With the help and support of her family, friends and advisers, she is dealing with her situation and in the most appropriate manner.

Members of Parliament, like everyone else, have health issues from time to time and deserve the same respect for their privacy as other Canadians.

I am sure that I speak for all of her friends on Parliament Hill and across Canada when I wish her the very best in these trying circumstances.


‘The same respect for their privacy as other Canadians’

  1. The Liberals have gone all Weekend at Bernie’s in the Canadian Senate! -).

    That and don’t let your 20-year old daughters anywhere near a Liberal Senator.

    • I trust adversity and pain will always stay away from your door.

      • And Vic Toews

      • Look, the Liberals are trying to keep a few staffers employed for a couple of more years, rather than let Alberta have an actual capable senator represent them.

        The comment has nothing to do with Senator Fairbairn, since it is not her that is doing this, but the Liberal Party is mocking Canadian democracy, while abusively using an ill person for political purposes.

        And yes, I’ve had a lot of adversity and pain, and I expect that I will have a lot more before my final number comes up.

        • By an actual capable Senator, you mean a Harper-appointed stooge who will do exactly what he or she is told to do. Senator Fairbairn has apparently lost her faculties through disease. Harper’s Senators have voluntarily abandoned theirs.

          • Senators from Alberta are elected.

          • I hear that North Korea has similar elections.

    • Or a Public Safety Minister. Careful with the finger pointing.

      • A 20 y.o. is getting a little long-in-the-tooth for Vic.

        • Yeah, by that point most have given up on their babysitting careers.

    • I see now that she’s 23. That’s way too old for Vic.

  2. Anyone who has dealt with someone as this disease slowly begins and then progresses almost imperceptibly would never launch into the kind of personal attacks against Fairbairn and those near her who have faced horribly difficult decisions this year, as we have seen this week.
    How low can the Harper/Conservative attack machine go? And how can their hangers on and easy followers be such unthinking dupes?

    • I have to ask; who exactly is attacking Fairbairn?
      I’ve seen a lot of people questioning the judgement and the ethics of the Liberal Party for using an incapacitated woman as a seat warmer, but I’ve seen no-one anywhere launch any personal attacks on the Senator herself. All this outraged reaction from some quarters looks like nothing so much as a pre-emptive move to try to stifle discussion. It’s not working and it makes the people who engage in it seem creepy and goulish.

      • They are USING her. Worse. How could anyone sink so low as to use an Alzheimer’s victim to advance a partisan political agenda. For God’s sake, she is till alive!

        • So those horrible Brand X partisans are USING her by talking about her situation – respectfully – while Brand Y partisans who were (not) USING her by having her sit – legally incompetant – as a benchwarmer in the Senate, for months. And you are offended – nay! outraged to the point of open sores – by the despicable partisanship of which brand is it again?… Brand X. The Brand that is commenting on the action that was taken by the other Brand.
          So the act itself was entirely kosher, totally on the level, respectable as all get out. But to comment on the act is horrid, despicable and beneath contempt?
          Is that about right.?

      • Bingo. For evidence, see one Warren Kinsella.

        It is possible to criticize the Liberals for allowing Fairbairn to continue to vote and authorize spending (I believe I saw a figure of $85K?) while they knew she was legally incompetent, without criticizing Fairbairn. I also have not seen a single attack directed against her.

  3. THE


    story blows the lid off the scandal of sleaze, stupidity and rank sloth that is
    the office of the Honourable James Cowan, Q.C., B.A., LL.B., LL.M., LL.D., aka
    the putative leader of the opposition in the Senate.

    has to wonder what state of mind Cowan was in when he willingly allowed the
    Honourable Joyce Fairbairn – a senator declared to be mentally incompetent – to
    vote on issues of national importance … for months on end!

    Instead of showing leadership, principle and judgement, seems Cowan let
    his senior aide convince him to abuse and exploit an honourable woman. How he let this
    happen is hard to fathom, but I’ll venture a theory: insecure over his lack of
    true political and parliamentary skills and experience, Cowan, who never really
    seemed to be in charge, became the vassal/puppet of senior aides of limited,
    shopworn and semi-literate ability.

    one might dub Kermit, ‘Fuzzy’ and Miss Piggy … I wonder if any of them put in
    more than a 15 hour work week.

    So, with only junior staffers left to
    answer the phone, no one is around to focus on serious issues – like Senator
    Fairbairn’s inability to deal with the nation’s business because she suffers
    from dementia.

    The case was mishandled, not out of misplaced delicacy; it was botched
    by the jaded opportunism, incompetence and stunning depravity of senior aides/hacks
    whose best days semm far behind them, and by the gross neglect of a man ill-suited
    to politics or leadership functions in the Senate.

    Clear proof that it’s time to fire the
    hacks and flunkies, muck out the barn in that precinct of moral decrepitude and
    administrative decay — and relieve the
    Honourable James Cowan of “leadership” duties he’s obviously not up to …