Excerpts from the Prime Minister’s press conference on the evening of May 26, 2008.
“… this afternoon I received and I accepted Minister Bernier’s resignation from the Cabinet. Minister Bernier has learned and informed me that he left a classified government document in a non secure location. This is a serious error. The Minister has accepted his responsibilities in offering to resign.
“This is about one thing, and that is a failure to uphold expected standards on government documents. It is a very serious mistake regardless of who the Minister is, regardless of personal life, to leave classified documents in an unsecured location. And this is a serious error. The Minister has recognized this error himself and offered to resign.
“Let me just be very clear about this. This is not to do with the Minister’s private life or the life of a private citizen. 99% of which I think is completely off bounds. I don’t think it matters who a Minister is dating. I don’t think it matters anything about the private life of some private citizen. What matters here is that rules respecting government classified documents were broken.
“It obviously was not done on purpose. It was a mistake. But it doesn’t matter. It was clearly done and that has to be treated appropriately. There are precedents and this obviously is a warning to all Ministers.”