Monday, April 12, 2010

Helena Guergis open thread.


Today looks to be busy so leave any Helena-related scuttlebutt in the comments. Try to keep it to breaking news and, for the love of God, use hyperlinks. Thank you.

WOW, SHE REALLY IS A BITCH
: Yummy. But here's the passage I find odd:

Jaffer had been sending emails using one of Guergis's parliamentary Blackberries address after he had been defeated as an MP in 2008. Her spokesman last week said that was consistent with each parliamentarian being given up to five hand-held devices to use as they saw fit.

Really? In any way "as they saw fit?" I'm fairly sure I read in the last day or two (Prog Blogger?) someone reproducing the actual regulations on the acceptable use of government-issued hand-held devices, and it didn't look like you could do anything you wanted with them.

Link, anyone?

I'M JUST CONFUSED: What the fuck is Guergis talking about here?

Guergis told The Canadian Press on Sunday that she had taken steps to expedite the investigation.

"After speaking with the Prime Minister, I contacted both the Ethics Commissioner and the RCMP to tell them directly that I would co-operate fully in any investigation they launched and asked only one thing: that these allegations -- which are both unfair and untrue -- be dealt with as quickly as due process will allow," Guergis wrote in an email.

Neither Guergis nor Harper's office would expand on what the allegations entailed.

Exactly. It's mind-numbingly irrelevant to categorically deny some allegations if no one knows what the allegations are. In particular, it's truly fucking stupid for Canada's Blogging Tories to hysterically accuse anyone of spreading unfounded allegations about Guergis when they have not the slightest idea what those allegations might be.

HANG ON ... WHO DID THE CALLING? From that CTV article, there's this:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper ousted her from the Conservative government on Friday and called in the Mounties and the Commons ethics commissioner to investigate unnamed allegations against Guergis.

But then there's this:

"After speaking with the Prime Minister, I contacted both the Ethics Commissioner and the RCMP to tell them directly that I would co-operate fully in any investigation they launched and asked only one thing: that these allegations -- which are both unfair and untrue -- be dealt with as quickly as due process will allow," Guergis wrote in an email.

Doesn't that strike you as just a bit odd? I mean, if you've just been tossed from Cabinet, booted from the Caucus and handed off to the cops, wouldn't you think that the wisest course of action would be to get a lawyer and, you know, shut the hell up?

It strikes me that the dumbest thing imaginable is to go public, make those same phone calls and promise that you're ready to be an open book. Because if you've done all that just for the PR value, but quietly start to stonewall behind the scenes, those same authorities are going to be some kind of pissed at having been played like that.

I'm just sayin'.

9 comments:

Moon Rattled said...

Really? In any way "as they saw fit?" I'm fairly sure I read in the last day or two (Prog Blogger?) someone reproducing the actual regulations on the acceptable use...

Treasury Board lists rules for federal public servants using electronic devices and the Internet. While cabinet ministers and MPs are a slightly different kettle of fish than rank and file civil servants, I don't imagine these standards don't apply to them.

Here's the link.
http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/chro-dprh/pol/puen-pure01-eng.asp

This may fit:
Gaining unauthorized access to a computer system: using someone else's password or encryption keys to engage in fraud or obtaining money, goods or services through false representations made on a computer system. See the following Criminal Code provisions: s. 122 (breach of trust by public officer); s. 380 (fraud); s. 361 (false pretences); s. 403 (fraudulent personation); s. 342.1 (unauthorized use of computer systems and obtaining computer services).

But there's a huge list of prohibitive and criminal offenses.

Moon Rattled said...

I should have given you page one.

Treasury Board's Policy on the Use of Electronic Networks
http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/chro-dprh/pol/puen-pure-eng.asp

APPENDIX A
Unlawful activity (non-exhaustive list of examples)
http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/chro-dprh/pol/puen-pure01-eng.asp#appa

Moon Rattled said...

Sorry to leave more, but this site may also be of interest.

Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner
http://ciec-ccie.gc.ca/Default.aspx?pid=1&lang=en

This is the office that assists MPs prevent conflicts of interest between their public and private lives.

I'm sure this is where Guergis is finding herself in hot water. If she gave Jaffer access to government electronic devices, allowing him to use them to conduct business, she may be deep shit. I'm sure the woman is so dumb she doesn't realize she can't just blather to him about everything that goes on internally.

Moon Rattled said...

Me again. Something just occurred to me.

Re "Her spokesman last week said that was consistent with each parliamentarian being given up to five hand-held devices to use as they saw fit."

Not just any old "see fit". The devices have to be handled properly.

Beyond trust, conflict, confidentiality and privacy issues, there is also cost. If Jaffer used a Government of Canada-issued cell phone to make business calls or any calls, guess who pays for that?

Why yes, the taxpayer.

Just more food for thought.

Southern Quebec said...

I do believe that the Conservative Mantra is, "Why do I need a lawyer, I haven't done anything wrong!" Until they do...

Cameron Campbell said...

Beyond any of the parliamentary rules etc etc, how is it ok for him to be using a Blackberry for personal/business use that is being paid for by, you know, us?

If I get a cell from my boss and then give it to my wife, someone is going to pitch a major fit.

sooey said...

Gee, whaddaya know - somebody from the Conservative caucus is lying again.

Scotian said...

I have only one point to make about all of this so far that I haven't been seeing made (admittedly I might have missed it somewhere or another but it certainly is not being mentioned by the major voices in the media that I can see) and that the really important aspect is that she was thrown out of caucus in a minority government. When is the last time any minority government expelled a member from caucus let alone under such seriously mysterious and clearly unusual circumstances as we have seen in this case? That is what makes me think this is something incredibly dangerous to Harper and the CPC, he has never acted in such a manner, especially when less than 24 hrs earlier he was through his spokesman standing solidly behind her despite all of the allegations already surrounding her regarding access and technology access issues already in the media reports about her husband.

I cannot help but wonder if there is something far more serous committed by her that has nothing to do with her husband involved here, and if so what if any relationship it had with her professional ministerial duties. Whatever it is made her more radioactive in Harper's judgment than anything we have ever seen out of the CPC in its entire history, and given some of what we have already seen come out of this party that is no small thing IMHO. That she was run out of a minority government caucus and clearly was asked to resign (if you believe she offered on her own initiative I have a bridge in NY and some excellent Florida land for sale to you too) indicates this is something incredibly toxic politically at the minimum and as bad as what we have heard about her husband's behaviour and her potential complicity in it to that turning point was I suspect this must be something that makes all of that look like peanuts.

Just my opinion mind you, like everyone else I have no hard information to act on except that of the words and actions of the PM both before he suddenly found out these "serious allegations" that required criminal investigation in his judgment and after.

Metro said...

"I contacted both the Ethics Commissioner and the RCMP to tell them directly that I would co-operate fully in any investigation they launched."

She had to announce that, because Conservatives regard co-operation with law enforcement as an option, rather than a duty or responsibility, apparently.

Unless you're a liberal, or brown, or talk funny--Then you're gonna get SO tazed!