Treacherousness is in the eye of the beholder


Last week, Peter Kent used the term “treacherous” to describe the “course of leaving the domestic debate and heading abroad to attack a legitimate Canadian resource which is being responsibly developed and regulated.” In the two days after, Conservative MPs used the phrase “anti-Canada” to describe the trip of two NDP MPs to Washington.

Today in QP, Mr. Kent returned to the adjective with the following for the NDP’s Megan Leslie.

Mr. Speaker, I welcome my colleague back from her treacherous adventure abroad. I am sure Canadian workers and our resource industries will rest much more quietly now that she is back in this place.

There are at least two definitions of treacherous—”hazardous” and treasonous”—that could conceivably be applied here. This second reference by Mr. Kent seems to me to be closer to “hazardous,” if only when heard with the sarcastic tone Mr. Kent used to say it. The first reference seemed to me at the time to be closer to “treasonous” (though I was not there to hear his tone at the time). A commenter in this thread did beg to differ. Still now, I think it seems to imply treason, though I suppose it could merely be an unfortunately timed attempt at withering sarcasm. (I remain fairly confident that the implication of  the phrase “anti-Canada” is fairly clear.)

For the sake of clearing up any and all misunderstandings, I’ve sent an email to Mr. Kent’s office seeking clarification as to his exact meaning.


Treacherousness is in the eye of the beholder

  1. It would seem that Trudeau had Kent pegged.  The man is simply stupid.

    • That’s a treacherous thing to say.

      • But true nevertheless. Thick as two planks.

        • Thick as two planks? He is at least 10 times thicker than that.

          • I know, but I didn’t like to tamper with the wording of an old saying.

          • You’re only as good as the talking points you’re given.  Prentice was on tv today, away from Harps talking points, Seemed to have a functioning brain, wouldn’t have known it while he was doing the talking head routine.  He was defending the oil sands, of course,  but doing such a better job than when he was in the government.  If Harper wasn’t such a dumbass he would see the talent he has around him. Instead he has idiots like Poilievre representing him.

          • During his time in the Harper cabinet, Prentice always struck me as being a bit embarrassed by some of the things he was required to say. Maybe that’s why he left. 

            I don’t get the same impression from Kent.

    • Great. First we have the personal injury lawyer running Finance and now we have Ron Burgundy running Environment.

  2. Last week Joe Oliver was saying similar things. I missed either of them criticizing John McCain for putting down Obama for delaying the pipeline decision,  while attending that Halifax love in.

  3.  Email to P. Kent: Can you explain to the journalist what treachery is and what is the difference between its impact at low altitude and high altitude?

  4. It’s sad to see a public figure once respected for his credible commentary on the news of the day reduced to a shameless purveyor of propaganda. I was tempted to use the word “whore” in this comment, but that would be unseemly.

    • I feel the same way about Kelly Leitch, who is a doctor, and humiliates herself by getting up and reading out the stupid ‘low tax plan blah blah blah’ crap day after day.  You have to wonder what kind of programming these people are being put through to humiliate themselves this way.

      • And why she would leave her fulfilling career as a pediatrician to lie for Harper.

  5. I wonder if the ndp are on to the fact yet that this is all part of a pattern of tory messaging. At some time or other they elected to go with the strategy of branding the dippers as unCanadian. This is just an extension of that strategy. I am tempted to call it a brilliant if gutterball strategy worthy of chessmaster Harper, except for the fact it is in fact the only option in their playbook. Seriously, they have nothing else. Endeavour whether through messaging, flag maneuvers, up with the Queen or ordering over-priced mal functional inappropriate for Arctic theatre warplanes to Brand the dasterdly ndp as treacherous, unpatriotic commies and union dupes. These guys got nothing else, and yet we continue to be baffled by their BS . They’re frat boys left alone in the house without adult supervision, with no ability to self limit.
    I can’t wait for dad to get home.

    • Also expect: “Why, if Jack Layton were alive today, he’d no doubt be a Harper Conservative.”

        • I can’t stand the way Harper and his ilk have misappropriated the English language. They’ve taken common everyday words like liberal, union, intellectual, socialist, latte, etc. and turned them into cuss words. 

  6. Poor Mr. Kent. I guess he’s finding all those years as a stenographer ill-perpared him to actually think.

  7. Shouldn’t the speaker be doing something about casual usage of the word treacherous to describe a sitting member?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Bueller?

  8. From the ‘this thread’ link – GreatwallsofFire comment:
    “Here’s another prediction: Wherry will soon post some further anti-CPC inanity and you and your sycophantic ilk will respond with unbridled delight.”


    • There are quality pundits writing about this stuff everyday, from Simpson to Wells to Coyne, Dellacourt, Gartner, Lawrence, Hebert, to Kay and Ibbotson. The real question is if you believe that what are you doing here?

      • Actually I think Aaron does a terrific job of “stirring the pot” – gets me going, lol!
        Just could not help posting that past comment as it was so appropriate from the comments above.  :-)

        • You’re something in the way of being an old pot stirrer youself, aren’t you? :)

          I sometimes wish i could step outside my comfort zone more often[ macleans]. I tried SDA once – man you need asbestos underwear to survive in there as a liberal. I miss Styne [ like i miss my last root canal.] But it was fun to go over the top under shell fire alongside good old Jack battling the Stynites – most of whom typed with their thumbs. Wonder where he is thse days? Probably lurking outside the whitehouse with an automatic rifle.[ just kidding Mark. You’d likely shoot yourself and claim O did it personally]

      • Did you see the number of communications staffers working for the PMO?  I’d feel sorry for those people if I thought they were trolling Aaron for free.

  9. It seems to me to be crystal clear that the word “treacherous” is being used quite deliberately here to imply “treasonous” without going so far as to say “treasonous”.  To my mind it’s obvious that the only reason Kent is using “treacherous” is because he knows he’d get in trouble for saying “treasonous” even though he really wants to say “treasonous”.

    It’s like commenters on the left who call the Tories “fascists” when they really want to call them “Nazis”, but they know that they’d get in trouble for that, so they stick with “fascist”.

  10. And, when the next US Republican politician tours the tar sands and contradicts his administration’s policies about them, will Kent also call him or her “treasonous?” (and, why didn’t he last time?)

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