The meaning of Guergis (II)


After asking for Ms. Guergis’ resignation, the Liberals up the ante slightly.

Liberals are calling on Transport Minister John Baird to launch a formal investigation into the Helena Guergis incident at the Charlottetown airport and to assure Canadians that the security tapes will not be destroyed as part of routine procedure at the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

The Liberal Party has filed an Access to Information request for copies of the security video tapes of the February 19th episode involving Minister Guergis’ attack on airport personnel and her inappropriate attempts to force open locked gates. The Liberals have also asked for copies of any incident reports filed by CATSA or any other airport authority.


The meaning of Guergis (II)

  1. It's hard to tell what's worse: Guergis's shameless airport tantrum or the Liberals' shameless attempt to milk it for all it's worth.

    • The former. She deserves the latter.

    • Funny, I read this and asked myself "Self, what would you say if the parties involved were reversed?"

      I think I would spend my time cursing the imaginary Liberal MP for being such an a-hole and handing the Conservatives such a juicy opportunity. And you know the Cons would squeeze every last drop of political benefit from something like this.

      Yup, it's shameless and it's cheap politics. But if they don't capitalize on things like this, the Libs are resigning themselves to permanent second place status. After Oily the Spot, the Conservatives deserve whatever cheap attacks they face.

      • Isn't that exactly why Canadian politics is such a depraved gong show in the first place? Every party has the same attitude: "Sure, it's shameless and cheap politics, but since our opponents did {some other low blow} they deserve whatever cheap attacks we can throw at them."

        It's a vicious cycle encouraged by media coverage that thrives on gutter politics. It's not going to get any better if the Conservatives or the Liberals or the NDP or the Bloc keep blaming the other guys to rationalize their own debauchery.

        • It didn't have to be that way. Harper could have looked into his magic mirror before delving down this road and said "You had an option, sir. You could have said, 'I am not going to do it." Instead, he chose to dash off a seductive note to Emerson, stuff Fourtier into a comfy senate seat, scratch off that promisey thing about income trusts, dash out that anti-committee getting-along novella and chose the strawberry-stuffed donut over the danish.

          • This was a problem long before Harper became PM. It was a problem under Martin and Chretien as well. I have no interest in cataloguing the hundreds of examples of gutter politics in the last 15 years. Suffice it to say that all the parties have been wallowing in muck for a long time.

          • True, gutter politics are nothing new in Canada.

            But – as I wind up pointing out so frequently lately – Harper is pushing the limits both in quality and quantity. You may find individual examples from the Chretien, Mulroney or Trudeau era of comparable gutter politics, but can you point to such a sustained, strategic application? And surely you see the Conservatives pushing the envelope – the novel use of Ten Percenters, attack ads targeting Dion run in the off-season, the deliberate interference with Parliamentary committees, calling an opposition MP a "Taliban lover" in the House of Parliament.

            Come on, do I really need to make the case here? Whatever gutter politics existed in Canada in the past, we're in a new era. Surely you agree that, were the parties reversed, the Conservatives would make the most of a Liberal MP's tantrum. If the deadlocked Liberals fail to make some headlines out of this, they're simply not doing their jobs.

          • "This was a problem long before Harper became PM."

            I never got tax-payer funded flyers calling opposition parties pro-child predator, pro-terrorist and anti-Semitic before Harper came to power.

          • Excellent point. What's different now is how shameless these guys are.

          • When I voted Conservative in 2006, I sincerely hoped that Mr. Harper would be the one who solved this 'problem'. Silly me.

            I guess we are damned to repeat this cycle until the end of days. Who knows, a year or two from now, someone will probably say, "This was a problem long before Ignatieff became PM. It was a problem under Harper and Martin as well. If two is the limit of past references, you clearly just need to drop the oldest predecesssor.

            Nothing changes, and they wonder why we are cynical.

          • So your saying….THE LIBERALS DID IT TOO?

        • If I were her, I'd be more concerned about getting put on someone's intl. no-fly list.

        • to a certain degree, for sure. but i don't think this is that.

          she should face some sort of consequence for what she did. we can have a debate as to what is appropriate and all that. of course. but the point here is that to the degree that the party/government refuse to penalize her, they are implicitly sanctioning here behaviour. to the degree that is the case, then it is perfectly reasonable to ensure voters are made aware of the what the governing party finds acceptable in terms of their members behaviour.

    • They're simply trying to help her find her ass. It apparently was worked off somewhere on the island.

    • Would you prefer the tantrum remained on the outside of the news? That the Canadian public not have the opportunity to be aware of a cabinet minister attempting to use their position to grant them special treatment?

      • I never said it wasn't newsworthy. I wasn't complaining about media coverage – I was complaining about the Liberals' attempt to milk it for all it's worth. I'm not sure how I could have been any clearer.

        • Name a moment like this when a politician/political party didn't use it as a cudgel on their opponent.
          That being said, how refreshing it would be if one of the opposition had just said "very unfortunate and likely regrettable human moment for Ms. Guergis. Who hasn't had a crappy day – one on her birthday, no less – and felt no one was giving a whit about them?"
          I personally think that a meltdown of this nature is understandable under her circumstances; but let's face it, one of us doing the same at an airport would not earn us any sympathy or less-stinging taser blasts…

        • Crit, they are milking it, it's true. But if they didn't — well, we wouldn't know anything about the incident, would we? And I do think she needs some comeuppance. She and her husband are turning Canadian politics into a joke.

          I am a Liberal supporter, but I live in SK, and am surrounded by conservative friends. They think she needs to be disciplined officially too.

          And I for one would LOVE to see some video of that little circus. I bet seeing it is more shocking than reading about it.

    • Meh. If a Liberal had thrown a tantrum at an airport, the Conservatives would have created an entire web site for it.

      • What she did is terrible but the Libs just go overboard and actually that annoys most voters, their whinning!

        • wouldn't you love to see that tape, Claudia? I know I would.

        • Claudia — read avr's comment, below. Now THAT'S whining!

          • Lol!

  2. A lot of Conservatives I know wouldn't don't seem to be too upset at the prospect of Guergis leaving cabinet. Apparently she has a history of treating staff incredibly badly, and has revolving door in her office.

  3. “Ms. Guergis has failed to answer the calls for her resignation, and her government continues to condone her conduct by backing her up, even though Canadian regulations say that her level of verbal abuse and disorderly conduct could result in a criminal record, hefty fines or even imprisonment,” said Ms. Neville.

    “Ms. Guergis should not be afforded special treatment because of her status as minister. In fact, she should be held to an even higher standard than the average Canadian. Her behaviour must be properly assessed,” said Ms. Neville.

    Pro forma implausible demands for resignations at the mildest provocation are one thing – a hallowed parliamentary tradition, even – but the humourless, witch-hunting tone here is mind-boggling.

    • Blowing up is one thing.

      Swinging your nameplate is another.

  4. avr, would you have gotten away with this behaviour? would have even made your flight, let alone be not escorted out by security?

  5. "Liberals are calling on Transport Minister John Baird to launch a formal investigation into the Helena Guergis incident at the Charlottetown airport…"

    Really! Why bother? We all know her behaviour was dispicable, all of PEI knows by now, and i'm sure the general population knows by now. Calling for her head is fine. But really she's about as welcome as another winter dump, in the maritimes right now…at some point you gotta shrug and say:" #$%^ing politicians think they're gods or something"! Voters will remember her all right.

    • Because when the party turns a blind eye they own it and when they use power to make it go away its worse. That's why bother.

    • Personally, I just want to see the footage of a no-talent cabinet minister throwing her freakin' boots at a Charlottetown airline employee.

      It will be a rare peek into Helena Guergis: the woman, the beauty contest winner, the senior politician. And the voters in her riding can make their decisions based on better information than they've ever had before.

      • Well, i have no objection to seeing HG on youtube or something…humiliation/mockery is called for…but i don't want to see a return to the scandal a day stuff of last year. The opposition has some good cards right now…Parliament must fight and so forth…and arguably the media in its corner, don't squander it by overplaying the outrage stuff…Guergis is small potatoes.

        • While I struggle to truly disagree with you, taking down a cabinet minister is never small potatoes as it calls into question the judgment of the PM.

          Harper would never miss such an opportunity, and neither will his successor. Ignatieff needs a del Mastro, somebody who will stand up and shamelessly play the Greek chorus to Ignatieff's wounded, disappointed questioning of the PM's leadership.

          You may be right, and the Liberals may be overplaying this. But if the shoe were on the other foot, Con supporters would be braying for blood. At this point, I'd like to be convinced that Ignatieff can go for the throat when the opportunity presents itself, rather than second-guessing himself.

          • I forgot she's a cabinet minister…so what do i know?

      • You forgot Helena Guergis: the bed and bath retail specialist.

        Yeah I just wanna see the tape too. Probe – shmobe.

        I need to determine if she said "hellhole" or "shithole."

    • Am the only one who finds it amusing that the Liberals want John Baird investigating someone else's poor behaviour?

  6. I don't know what's worse. Their politics or your complaining about it.

  7. Silly. Let her hang around to provide intermittent cringe headlines. Serves a more useful
    social function that way. And a continuing reminder about how humble and polite we all are.

  8. Perhaps, if she behaved like this in Vancouver, she would have been tasered.

  9. Maybe we should put Guergis on a no-fly list, and she can ride a greyhound around for a year

    • They have a zero tolerance policy on tantrums now too.

  10. I think the video should be produced for its sheer entertainment value. You Tube awaits!

    Or maybe there's a Spike TV series in it, with various politicians behaving badly in public. Polzilla? Atilla the Minister?

  11. Tony, that would be karma and justice in action.

  12. As I've seen written elsewhere, if a random brown man had acted the same way at any airport, not only would the flight not be held up for him, but he would still be in jail, perhaps with a few bruises, or worse.

  13. Our Dear Leader was chuckling when he appointed a former beauty queen as the minister responsible for womens' issues…..
    When in turn, she realizes that (besides having to work on her birthday!) there is nothing material to do in her job but make lonely winter visits to distant Canadian communities to give out cheques to non-beauty-pageant-oriented womens' groups it creates an explosive situation…

    Oh Dear Leader, others are now chuckling…

  14. This coming from the party with a nude actress / slave driver MP. The Liberals are getting uppity and it's time Stevie Joe Harper laid down the pimp hand, as the lefties say. If I were PMO CoS I'd post an intern at the Air Canada lounge at MacDonald Cartier airport and wait – say what you will about Guergis but at least she was sober enough to get on the plane, unlike some Liberal cabinet ministers.

    • yes, sobriety excuses cursing, rudeness, and entitlement much more than drunkeness.

      Is there anything you won't apologize for on behalf of your beloved cons, or claim Libs did it too?

      That's the best you got? Why not just say she's an idiot, and get on with it?


    I had two jobs, I lived on the red isle
    Polite and friendly- everything with a smile,
    One Friday night in my hometown airport
    In walked a girl whose temper was quite short
    She yelled at me and it was turning quite mean
    She said she once was a small beauty queen
    I heard a voice inside me say
    She ain't pretty she just looks that way…

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