More scattered thoughts on the whole Bernier thing - Macleans.ca

More scattered thoughts on the whole Bernier thing

by

For the record, the full text of Bernier’s letter of resignation, with my thoughts after the jump:

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister
Room 313-S, Centre Block
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Prime Minister,

This is to inform you that I am resigning my post as Minister of Foreign Affairs, effective immediately.

I informed you late this afternoon that last night I became aware that I had left behind classified government documents at a private residence.

Prime Minister, the security breach that occurred was my fault and my fault alone and I take full responsibility for my actions. I have asked the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to conduct a thorough review of the situation.

Thank you for the trust you have shown in me. I will do everything I can to serve the government well in my capacity as Member of Parliament.

Yours truly,

Maxime Bernier

First of all, if Bernier found out over the weekend, why did he wait until this afternoon to tell the Prime Minister? What was he doing for the last 24 hours or so, other than putting off that fateful phone call to PMO? (Not that you can really blame him for wanting to avoid that particular conversation. I mean, would you want to be the one to ruin Stephen Harper’s big day as a world statesman, in front of the Ukrainian president, no less?)

If this document was so very sensitive, why didn’t the then-minister notice it was gone until his ex-girlfriend’s lawyers showed up to return it to the department? Was it just a copy? Did he really just forget it at her apartment, or did he deliberately leave it there, under the assumption that he’d be back?

Why did Bernier wait until after his meeting with Harper to put his resignation in writing? Was he hoping that his verbal offer would be rejected?

Finally, his final act as minister, apparently, was to order that the department conduct a “thorough review of the situation.” What are the chances that the resulting report will eventually be made public?