This afternoon in Guergis

by Aaron Wherry

Mr. Jaffer used Ms. Guergis’ ministerial chauffeur. The ethics commissioner won’t investigate whatever allegations were forwarded to her by the Prime Minister’s Office. Mr. Jaffer’s business partner says Mr. Jaffer and Ms. Guergis are unfairly under seige. The Liberals, meanwhile, are asking questions about a company linked to said business partner.




Browse

This afternoon in Guergis

  1. You have to ask. Do the wives of male MPs get to use office space, communication equipment, staff or limo?

    • I'm sure they have, on occasion. I don't think there has been anything wrong with this either.
      The biggest problem here is the fact that he is a former MP who is kinda sorta still passing himself off as an MP.
      The ethics are very mixed.

    • Since the Bernier scandal, we have learned male MPs can select a dishy woman, call her his "spouse" and put her on the travel roster for taxpayers to pick up the dime for his doxy's travel. Wouldn't you think Rahim would just be embarrassed showing up to use her office after losing his?

      • You mean on trips like this?

        OTTAWA — High-flying former Conservative cabinet minister Helena Guergis racked up nearly a quarter of a million dollars in travel and hospitality expenses during her brief career as a parliamentary secretary and minister of state.

        According to proactive disclosure reports, Guergis charged taxpayers for $273,158 for the period from May 2006 to mid-February 2010. In 2008, as Canada was heading into a recession, Guergis spent $113,429 with trips to destinations that included Beijing, Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, Belize, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia, El Salvador, New Delhi, Miami, Jamaica, Barbados and Mexico City.
        http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2010/04/12/

    • As I recall, Mila Mulroney was given her own office space. There was some controversy over it at the time, but she wasn't using it to operate her own company.

  2. Hey, for he current tuition at the Executive MBA at U of Alberta of $58,000 do you get at least one class in Business Ethics?

    If not, I've got just the case study of two 2009 grads for the 2010 class…

    • Business ethics is a sop for the masses — "we don't need no stinking ethics" is the order of the day among the privileged class.

    • I've been under the impression that the ethics component for all MBA's has been removed and replaced with "Spin 101".

      • The class of 2009 is very supportive, however

        March 12th on Guergis' flat UN speech:

        Pat Vargas, executive director of a shelter organization called A Safe Place, was one of three official NGO delegates invited to join Guergis on the floor.

        She said all the speeches were well-received and that she was unaware of the silence from the balcony. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/779264

        Today with Taber:

        Pat Vargas, the executive director of an Edmonton-area women's shelter, A Safe Place, says Ms. Guergis listened and understood. The former minister convinced her cabinet colleagues to support $1-million in funding to support the establishment of Uniting to End Violence against Women, a national network for women's shelters.

        “She was a fighter,” said Ms. Vargas, who is a veteran worker in the field. “I'm sure that it might not be easy in an all-conservative party to be pushing women's issues, to be pushing to giving money to shelters.”

        Ms. Vargas, who first met Ms. Guergis when they were doing their MBAs together in Alberta, described her as an “awesome minister.” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/otta

        • Nice catch!

  3. He denies that they were lobbying for money but then admits "…he and Jaffer met with Brian Jean, the parliamentary secretary to Transport Minister John Baird, to try to get information about the $1 billion Green Infrastructure Fund."

    I'm sorry, but meeting with the parliamentary secretary to the minister in charge of spending the money is called lobbying, whether it was effective in getting money or not. One of them, probably the one whose website talked about helping people get money from the government, should have been registered as a lobbyist, and Brian Jean should have reported the interaction so that the rest of us know who is trying to influence our government.

    • My favourite part of that article:

      “Rahim is buddies with Brian Jean,” said Glemaud. “It's true. But did you ever ask yourself what power Brian Jean has? Brian doesn't have any power whatsoever to get any grant whatsoever to get anything on this file …"

      Classic!

    • "I'm sorry, but meeting with the parliamentary secretary to the minister in charge of spending the money is called lobbying, whether it was effective in getting money or not. "

      Is that correct? I was under the impression that PS weren't included in the definition.

      • Lobbying Act says

        "5. (1) An individual shall file with the Commissioner, in the prescribed form and manner, a return setting out the information referred to in subsection (2), if the individual, for payment, on behalf of any person or organization (in this section referred to as the “client”), undertakes to

        (a) communicate with a public office holder in respect of"

        (It goes on to list a series of circumstances including seeking government grants, which is what Jean's account of their meeting amounted to)

        • Ok but is a PS considered a public office holder?

          • I'll let you look up the definitions if you still don't think this should be considered lobbying.

            In this case the Parliamentary Secretary actually had a responsibility for vetting applications delegated to him by the senior minister, so even if it somehow isn't lobbying technically (yours to prove) the onus is still on the government to be transparent and to have a mechanism in place to alert Canadians when some self-interested person is attempting to influence the government and get some of our money.

  4. Or the wishfull thinking was really unthinking.

    • It's a dope opera!

    • A soap opera titled "As the Stomach Churns…"

    • Never ceases to amaze me what gets the opposition, especially the Liberals, excited these days. Offering Canadians a viable governing alternative, or even effective opposition, doesn't seem to be on the list.

  5. It looks like Guergis et al are not following the PMO talking points.

    • But oddly enough, they are following the PMO doing points.

  6. I think if Lobbyist, politicians, civil servants and anyone else involved in trying to buy political favor directly or indirectly should have a minimum 20 yrs in medium federal prison and not some minimum security club prison so they would twice before offering or taking money for political favor. Currently such things are only encouraging corruption and corruption cannot and should not be tolerated in our political system. It is time the government and the people took a stand against such palm greasing corruption at all levels of government. I am sad to say that I believe that with the current system our government could be bought for less than a million dollars. One million dollars is not very much money for someone with a particular agenda to push.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *