Greg Thompson steps away -

Greg Thompson steps away


The Veterans Affairs Minister announces his departure from cabinet and eventual departure from politics.

“I want to leave on my own terms and with a good record,” Thompson said as he sat is his small constituency office on Milltown Boulevard in St. Stephen. “I’m one of the few members of Parliament who never had to take back a statement, who never had to apologize, and who never insulted individuals or groups in this country. I’ve always played by the rules that I believe elected politicians should play by, and I have been always very respectful of the political process.”


Greg Thompson steps away

  1. Greg T. sounds like he's being pushed to make room for MacKay at Veterans and Bernier somewhere else.

  2. Like most of Harper's ministers: never heard of or from before an untimely exit.

    • You say that as if it's a bad thing. On the contrary, with Conservative ministers, that's a sign he's a good guy!

  3. I have been always very respectful of the political process

    Old school – don't blame him

  4. I'm sure this can somehow be spun into another scandal of the decade.

    It's been a few weeks now with the old scandal of the decade, which in turn had been a few weeks since the last.

    Gotta stay fresh, guys.

    • What are you trying to hide…

  5. Since we know with near certainty the words "prorogue" will likely not be uttered along with the words "new record", "gold medal", "Crosby" "Canada's Number One",

    since we are not even close to the Olympics and prorogue is already becoming boring even for rabid partisans,

    perhaps we can all hope that the words "Greg Thompson steps away [gate]" may have a chance.

    Who knows? I say go for it!

    • Do you get paid to work on the weekends…

      If you relaxed some, you will live longer. Might even find a good mood occasionally.

  6. The only scandal is that Harper has one less competant cabinet minister. Few remain.

    • From what I understand, Thompson cared about the vets and did a good job. Fair's fair.

  7. I'm betting that he was going to retire anyway, so it's interesting that he should make this statement; a parting shot across the bow of the good ship Conservative.

    He COULD have just said he was retiring to spend more time with his family, pursue other opportunities, etc., etc.. But he didn't.

    This is not a "gate", or any kind of scandal. But it IS interesting. If our "esteemed" PM is saying "My way or the highway", I wonder how many others will chose the road to redemption.

  8. Martin, did you bother to read the link? Or is it just easier to assume it's all about Harper?

    Seriously, some of you guys should consider getting help, or rabies shots or something.

    • I read the link, and the part that stood out for me was the quote above. My take was that he is less than impressed by Harper's disrespect for the political process.

      I am with Martin on this one.

      But perhaps you can take your own advice. The type of knee jerk reaction you disply in your post does not make you convincing.

      • Well I read the link too, and both you and Martin should read it again.

    • As a matter of fact, I DID read the link! He DID say that he thought that his "political" relationship with his wife, Linda, was the most important to him.

      I think that, like many of us, he's just fed up with the conduct of politics these days. Since Harper is PM and therefore in the best position to demonstrate leadership in this area, I think it's fair to say he's making at least an oblique reference to Harper, not "alone", but amongst others. He does go on to say, in the article, that he respects Harper and values his relationship with Harper. However, he goes on to say that is electoral success was due to him being a hard worker for his constituency, NOT because he was a conservative.

      My initial post on this was pretty innocuous and a bit speculative. I DID say I didn't think this was a "scandal" or a "-gate", but "interesting". Your angry and bitter response was over the top, and is indicative of why many people are skeptical of the "virtues" of a Conservative majority government. You're not helping your cause, although I suppose you mean well.

      • Martin, re-read your original comment.

        My response was bitter and angry? Why, because I said it's not all about Harper, all the time? The guy is 62. He's been on the job for over a decade, he's a cancer survivor, etc. Why can't he just retire? And how did his comments appear to be "a shot across the bow"?

        My remark about the need for rabies shots may have been over the top, but it gets a bit tiring to have everything, from aid to Haiti to a guy retiring and SAYING it wasn't about Harper, somehow being turned into it being about Harper in the comments.

        Sometimes, what appears on the surface to be innocuous is just that.

        As for Harper himself, the "yeah, he's a jerk but at least he's MY jerk" argument lost all favour with me a while ago, so I'm no Harper apologist. That doesn't mean, however, that every move he makes is the result of evil machinations.

  9. " I've always played by the rules that I believe elected politicians should play by, and I have been always very respectful of the political process.”

    Sounds like yet another chattering elitist disgusted by Harper's prorogation tactic.

    We gotta do something about all these elitists. They're everywhere!

  10. I can't believe I'm even asking this, and I have no factual basis for doing so, but given the level of cynicism we're dealing with, I am compelled to speculate — what are the chances Rick Hillier gets the Newfoundland and Labrador senate seat and takes the VA minister's job?

  11. Mr. Thompson was a excellent minster, in a portfolio that is very overlooked.

    Odds on Benard Lord running in Mr.Thompson's riding next election?

    • There never has been a PM from NB. Although McKenna and Lord are frequently considered as ones who could get there, neither really steps up to the plate federally.

      • R.B Bennett was the 11th Prime Minister of Canada. He was from Hopewell Hill, New Brunswick.

        • True…but he represented Calgary in the House of Commons.

          BTW…Harper's (another Calgary MP) father hailed from Moncton although Steve grew up in Etobicoke.

  12. Harper-haters, read the article:

    ''The affable, easy-going MP, who has represented his New Brunswick constituency since 1988,
    made it clear he has no grudges with Harper or the Conservative government.''

    ''The ties between Harper and Thompson have deep roots. Thompson was the only Atlantic Canadian Progressive Conservative MP to support Harper's leadership bid for the newly merged Conservative party.''

    "Very few teams are successful if they don't work hard and have a good coach who brings a level of discipline to the organization. That's what the prime minister does. He's very disciplined and he brings that discipline to the organization of government and to members of Parliament and members of cabinet. He leads by example."

    • The first paragraph you provided increases my support for Harper.

      The last paragraph you provided decreases my support for Harper.

      • Leading by example lessens your opinion of our Prime Minister?

        • Well, "He leads by example." is actually the last sentence of the third paragraph, and a short sentence at that; it doesn't really capture the theme of the paragraph. (Still, to answer your question, I am a strong supporter of 'Leading by example.' and I can even agree that in a narrow sense Harper is good at that skill.)

          It is the topic of Harper's discipline that causes my support for Harper to decrease; governments do 'business' on behalf of all the citizens, and I favour government 'business' being open to scrutiny by all citizens. The discipline that Harper brings to bear goes against this idea.

    • Yeah yeah, just because he's not burning his bridges doesn't take away the significance of his remarks about the importance of being "respectful of the political process". He's clearly signaling to people that he does not support the prorogation. Makes sense since he has to go back to New Brunswick now and the old-style Progressive Conservative voters can't be happy with Harper's tactics.

  13. Wherry's quotes sound like Mr Thompson is referring to other East Coast politicians,
    like Danny Williams and MPs that had to apologize,
    like Robert Thibault

    • Like Gerald Keddy?

  14. Ms Heponer, don’t you have MP related duties to perform?

  15. Nope,

    I say, scandal.

    Didn't have to apologize [gate].

    It'll be up there with pooping puffingate, shook his son's handgate, black humourgate, spend stimulus in own riding gate, wafergate, save the poor taliban gate, and prorogue gate.

    Now that we've established its worthy,

    time for Wherry to post 19 consecutive posts on the matter.

    • (Yawn)
      Seriously, why do you exist?
      Why do you come here almost every day and post?

      • He gets paid by the word by the PMO.

        (bonus for words of more than two syllables ;-)

      • To remind Liberals that the world does not revolve around them…..

    • I appreciate that to many here, ninteeen or so posts on the same faux scandal attacking conservatives, in "scandal" after "scandal" – each accompanied by a feast of accusations and smears by commenters including comparisons that this democratic government (in minority status no less) is a "dictatorship",

      is the preferred level and manner of discourse,

      but to many others,

      such is more than worthy of mockery.

      • "Expectations kill joy", as a wise counsellor once told me.

        The Conservatives came to (limited) power partly on the promise of doing politics differently than the previous regime. Well, perhaps they have, but it hasn't really been an improvement, has it?

        Conservatives claim to support concurently both "traditional" family values and the free market. Ignoring the fact that "family values" is an extremely nebulous term better defined in the particular than the general, no Conservative has ever acknowledged or attempted to explain the contradiction in that. The free market is generally antithetical to family values in more ways than I can enumerate here.

        When one claims the moral high ground, as the Conservatives did (and some still do) prior to election, the expectation is that you're going to continue to defend that ground. I'm not convinced that has been done consistantly.

        • It isn't too difficult to take the moral high ground when the bar was set by Adscam.
          No raiding of the EI fund to post phony surpluses,
          no slush funds designed to launder taxpayer money back into party coffers.
          If the Harper government did nothing, they would have the moral high ground.

          What morally wrong issue has this government taken?
          These general statements are very very out dated.

          • I would say their actions and statements vis-a-vis CANADIANS in trouble in other countries have been morally questionable. I would say their position vis-a-vis CANADIAN child soldiers imprisoned in Gitmo is morally questionable. I would say running constant campaign-style advertising is morally questionable. Legal, but questionable.
            I would say blocking investigation by parliamentary committees is morally questionable. I would say that suspending parliament through prorogation WHEN THEIR AGENDA WAS INCOMPLETE is morally questionable.

            Most of all, I consider their failure to honour and promote any of their stated platform policies as morally suspect.

          • "It isn't too difficult to take the moral high ground when the bar was set by Adscam.
            No raiding of the EI fund to post phony surpluses,
            no slush funds designed to launder taxpayer money back into party coffers."

            Speaking of very very outdated statements….

          • I can sense wilton and biph staring at their computers waiting for some sense of corresponding response and only getting 'Tilt'…
            Talking points for every occasion, except rational debate.

  16. Oh this humble man has not problem tooting his own horn.

    Ah, senate seat perhaps?

    • I disagree that Thompson tooted his own horn (he's a politician, so the standard is slightly higher than if he were you or me), but according to CBC this morning, he was specifically asked about a senate seat. He didn't rule it out–but he did state, "not right now."

  17. The Conservatives have set themselves up for failure by presenting themselves as the epitome of virtuousness and purity in government. It's little wonder, in this context, that their failings in this regard have been highlighted by their opposition. Better to have stated at the outset, "We're human, we're fallible, we WILL make mistakes, but we will learn from them, improve, and do our best for our country". That's all anyone can reasonably expect.

    While I agree with "biff" that some commentators have gone "over the top" with their "outrage", I don't think that fair criticism of the Conservative government necessarily constitutes an "attack" that has to be defended by circling the wagons and shooting wildly at all oncomers. This "reflexive defensiveness" worries those on the margins of conservative support, and is easily exploited by those suggesting that the Conservatives have something to "hide".

  18. Being able to accept fair criticism, and act on it if necessary, is a sign of maturity in individuals and a necessary component of leadership. Responding to it with the equivalent of "I know I am, but what are you?" doesn't elevate debate or further reasoned discourse.