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Say goodnight, Boo Boo (Weekend Edition)


 

So while the Globe advances the Berner/Couillard story on several fronts this weekend (see below), the Post opts for a single story. And then manages to bury the lede. For convenience, here’s the third sentence: “But a slim majority, 55%, also want the RCMP to investigate whether Mr. Bernier breached national security, and they want the Mounties to delve into his relationship with Julie Couillard, according to a new poll.”

Support for an RCMP investigation is highest in Alberta and only in Atlantic Canada did support fall below 50%.

And yet, Ipsos Reid’s John Wright manages to make lemonade of it all. “If anything, this may have been the linchpin for changing the face of the government and actually getting on with the business of government.”

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Semi-rhetorical question: If what Mr. Bernier and Ms. Couillard had was a “business deal,” is it not now impossible, or at least incorrect, for the government to claim this is a personal matter and, therefore, beyond Prime Ministerial purview?

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Speaking of occupational matters, you might be wondering, what is Ms. Couillard’s primary business pursuit? Good question. The Globe dispatched three reporters to figure that out. Their collective conclusion: “In an interview in a Quebec gossip magazine this week, Ms. Couillard refers to herself as a businesswoman. Like much else about her, the claim is murky.”

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The Globe’s Rheal Seguin speaks to a source close to Maurice Boucher: “Mr. Boucher still believes that Ms. Couillard played an important role in turning Mr. Sirois into a police informant and that the two became key informants. Those close to the Hells Angels explained that the spouses of the members are well informed about the biker gang. They often meet, exchange information and are well aware of the dubious activities taking place involving their spouses. Ms. Couillard would have been privy to those conversations, according to the source who added that Mr. Boucher was not surprised to hear that she revealed a microphone had been placed in her mattress.

“Based on his experience in the underworld and what he knew about Ms. Couillard, the source said Mr. Boucher believed that she placed the microphone in the mattress herself as a means to record sensitive conversations as part of her information-gathering activities. Ms. Couillard was unavailable for comment.”

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CP counters with comment from Guy Ouelette, Couillard’s alleged contact. “Ouellette told The Canadian Press on Saturday he has never met Couillard and was ‘very surprised’ to hear someone say she was a police informant.”

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Brian Laghi on the Harper approach to public relations: “If the problem were simply the fact that politicians can sometimes be unapproachable and unfriendly, Mr. Harper’s office shouldn’t be too concerned. It’s when stonewalling starts to look like incompetence that the Conservative government should worry.”

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U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins “discusses” the Bernier affair. For whatever it’s worth, the matter does not appear to have been mentioned at any of the State Department’s briefings this week.

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Conservative James Bezan comments on the fall of Max. “I think it’s unfortunate. I know that Maxime regrets this. However he knows he made a mistake—and resigned because of it. I feel badly for him. I think of him as a good friend. I don’t think any of us sensed this was going to happen. There are, though, rules and responsibilities.”

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The Bloc’s Serge Menard links Bernier’s failure to the Prime Minister’s competency. Michael Ignatieff narrowed in on this point too. “I used to meet a number of people who would tell you ‘the Prime Minister is an unpleasant fellow and I don’t like him much, but at least he’s competent.’ Now people are beginning to wonder whether that’s actually the case.”

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Wesley Wark in the Citizen. “The departmental review needs to uncover the facts of this bizarre matter in a properly detailed and forensic manner. The questions are obvious ones: what classified documents exactly went missing (we know they were part of a briefing book for the NATO summit in Bucharest in the spring)?; how did they go missing and who is responsible?; why was the document loss not reported for a period of five weeks?; and finally, what security vulnerabilities might have resulted?”

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And on the cabinet shuffle front… Nova Scotia Tories are excited at the prospect of a promotion for Gerald Keddy. A Manitoba Tory declares Vic Toews to be doomed.


 

Say goodnight, Boo Boo (Weekend Edition)

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