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BTC: Say goodnight, Boo Boo (Day Two)


 

The latest on the misplaced dossier from the Globe. “Many relatively routine documents get stamped classified inside the government, and some Conservative government figures and bureaucrats were privately skeptical that misplacing an anodyne briefing note, even one with a classified tag, would lead to a minister’s dismissal. Either Mr. Bernier left behind secrets far more sensitive than suggested publicly, they said, or Mr. Harper used a relatively minor incident to axe the minister over repeated gaffes and Ms. Couillard’s embarrassing interview on Quebec television.”

***

The Globe says David Emerson won’t be expected to handle both his own portfolio and Foreign Affairs and Tony Clement may fill whichever post he vacates. CTV offers that Emerson will lose International Trade and keep Foreign Affairs. The network’s sources further the suggestion that Jim Prentice and Jim Flaherty will switch spots, while Helena Guergis will be demoted. (See previous thoughts on this.)

***

The Post’s Jonathan Kay argues that the rise and fall of Maxime Bernier is proof positive that our system doesn’t work and we should move towards one that encourages the Prime Minister to appoint cabinet ministers from outside caucus. The paper’s editorial board then goes a step further and suggests Michael Fortier should be held up as an example of what great minister can be found from the ranks of the unelected.

It’d be interesting to know whether the ed board ran that last one by anyone in Ottawa before asserting as much. Last time we heard from Mr. Fortier he was altogether hilariously attempting to out Stephane Dion as a closet separatist.

Kay’s more general point only holds credibility if you assume that Mr. Bernier was the most qualified individual in caucus for the job and the Prime Minister was for that reason, and that reason only, compelled to nominate him. And if you believe that, you obviously hold the Conservative caucus in far poorer esteem than even the government’s most mean-spirited critics.

***

McGill’s Antonia Maioni on the demise of Bernier. “He’s sort of the pinup boy for the Conservative Party. (Bernier) was someone with whom Quebecers could identify—and say ‘Ah ha! that’s the Conservative Party in Quebec.’ He was the face of the Conservative party.”

***

The Prime Minister, responding to Ms. Couillard’s claim of bed bugs. “I have absolutely no reason to believe it’s true.”

Former CSIS director Reid Morden. “”I think it’s somebody’s 15 minutes of fame, listening to her interviews on the thing.”

Former RCMP officer Chris Mathers. “”I find her story remarkable. I’d like to see the evidence of a device being planted, or talk to the technicians, before I’d even begin to believe her.”

***

Carleton professor Martin Rudner. “There are genuine adversaries out there, especially in the domain of foreign affairs, who would want to find ways of anticipating, pre-empting and countering Canadian foreign-policy initiatives. In that sense, you want cabinet to be secure and you want ministerial and departmental documentation to be secure.”

***

Watch today’s episode of Politics with Don Newman (archived here) and compare Thomas Mulcair’s comments with Peter Van Loan’s talking points. Are we sure the NDP deputy isn’t actively campaigning for the Foreign Affairs portfolio?

***

Later in that same episode, Newman speaks with Michel Juneau-Katsuya, a former CSIS agent. After dismissing the suggestion of bed bug, Juneau-Katsuya begins to speculate on what might have happened here and the conversation turns rather ominously. “What we have here,” he says at one point, “is an extremely troubled story.”

***

The latest on Quebec from the Globe. “Mr. Bernier’s resignation is a blow to the Action Démocratique du Quebec, the official opposition party in the province. It has lost an influential cabinet minister in Mr. Harper’s government and one who has always been strongly supportive of right-wing policies similar to those of the ADQ. However, party insiders were quick to point out that the personal relationship between ADQ Leader Mario Dumont and the Prime Minister goes back to the days when Mr. Harper was head of the National Citizens Coalition. The ADQ contends that personal ties between the two leaders remain unchanged despite Mr. Bernier’s resignation.”

***

Elsewhere… The CBC with the Prime Minister in Paris. Bernard Landry comments. Jean Charest laments. Canwest reviews the foreign coverage. The Danish foreign minister jokes. Terence Corcoran offers Mr. Bernier a little solace. The Canadian Labour Congress asks for Mr. Flaherty to follow Mr. Bernier. The vaguely related press release of the day. And the official party line on Ms. Couillard’s assertion that the Conservatives were interested in her nomination.


 

BTC: Say goodnight, Boo Boo (Day Two)

  1. I would like to offer my retroactive resignation to Paul Martin. Like Maxime Bernier, I sometimes left documents marked “Confidential” lying around while working in government. That’s because almost every single thing produced by the bureaucracy is labeled “Confidential.” (Maybe it makes them feel like spies!) Some documents were even marked “Secret,” which is one step up from “Confidential.” Of course this means that these papers must have been highly sensitive even though to me they looked like the bureaucracy’s first draft of a three-minute after-dinner address in which Canada would be described as a great country with great potential and great people who are great. Wouldn’t want THAT to fall into the wrong hands.

  2. A positive note for Harper…

    This sets a precedent to axe anyone who leaves a confidential document lying around. Could make clearing his enemies out a little easier.

    A negative note for Harper…

    This sets a precedent to axe anyone who leaves a confidential document lying around. Could make keeping his friends around a little tougher.

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