After months and months of calling for Helena Guergis' resignation, Liberals now want to know WHY she was forced to resign. Anybody else think this is retarded? Anyone?
And for the first time this year, I agree with Jane Taber when she calls Alf Apps, Liberal Party President, DYSFUNCTIONAL.
Another case in point, Marlene Jennings then:
April 6, 2010
OTTAWA — The Liberals have asked the federal ethics commissioner to review the financing of an $880,000 Ottawa home purchased by Status of Women Minister Helena Guergis.
Montreal MP Marlene Jennings wrote to Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson on Monday to ask that she look into the terms of the mortgage on the four-bedroom home in Ottawa's affluent Rockcliffe neighbourhood.
Property records show Guergis registered a charge against the 2,800-square foot property in the full amount of the purchase price last November.
The loan was arranged through a Bank of Nova Scotia office in Edmonton, where Guergis's husband, Rahim Jaffer, sat as an Conservative MP until he was defeated in 2008.
It is unclear if Guergis bought the home with no money down, or whether the lender added a line of credit or additional loan onto the mortgage and secured it against the value of the property.
"In her place, I would welcome a review to demonstrate that every thing was on the up and up and that there were no favours done and anyone else in the same financial situation would be able to get the same kind of mortgage," Jennings said in an interview.
In the letter to Dawson, Jennings said she hoped a review will find "no special considerations or arrangement" but added that only a third-party review can give Canadians confidence that "conflict of interest rules and ethical guidelines were followed to the letter."
Guergis' office has declined to comment on the purchase of the home and its financing, calling these personal matters.
As an MP, she earns $157,731 and an additional $56,637 as a junior cabinet minister.
Jaffer, now 38, will be eligible for a parliamentary pension, but not until he turns 55.
Jennings said that when she applied for a mortgage in the past, her bank did not count her additional income as a parliamentary secretary because the job, like a cabinet post, can be easily stripped.
She also said the purchase of the home undermined the efforts by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to stop banks from offering mortgages with little or no money down, a practice that some blame for helping fuel the real estate crisis in the U.S.
Guergis and her husband have experienced a difficult few months. She was forced to apologize for a temper tantrum she allegedly threw at the airport in Charlottetown. Jaffer was in the media spotlight after he pleaded guilty to careless driving while more serious charges of cocaine possession and driving while impaired were withdrawn.
And Guergis faced a barrage of questions in Parliament about laudatory letters written to news organizations by staff and other allies who didn't reveal their links to her.
The Liberals have called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to sack her and there are reports that some of her Conservative caucus colleagues would like to see her go, too.
Marlene Jennings Today:
For Immediate Release
May 17, 2010
Letter to the Prime Minister
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, P.C., M.P.
Prime Minister of Canada
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A2
Dear Prime Minister:
For weeks, Liberals called for Helena Guergis to be kicked out of cabinet for a host of reasons – mismanaging the Status of Women portfolio, her airport tantrum, and ethically questionable letters to the editor.
But on April 9th, you acted on entirely different information when the Status of Women Minister was dismissed from cabinet, removed from Conservative caucus, and you referred the matter to the RCMP and the Ethics Commissioner. Despite repeated requests from Liberal MPs, Canadians still don’t know the nature of the allegations you called “serious” and “credible.”
We don’t know what, if anything, the RCMP is investigating, the Ethics Commissioner maintains she received no information, and the accused herself is baffled as to why she was fired. Furthermore, the supposed source of the criminal allegations, which were written down in your letter to the Ethics Commissioner, now claims the letter contains incorrect information.
Yesterday in an interview, however, Conservative MP Shelley Glover categorically promised the release of additional information: “There has been evidence that has been brought forward...I can assure you that there is far more to come out because this isn’t finished.” (Shelly Glover, CTV Question Period, May 16, 2010)
Given that you have since taken the extraordinary step of stripping Ms. Guergis of the Conservative nomination in Simcoe-Grey, we can only assume that the evidence Ms. Glover refers to is extremely serious. If unethical or criminal activity was occurring from within your cabinet, Canadians have a right to know about it.
Up until now, the government has only released documentation related to the central issue in this affair – improper lobbying for green energy funding – under pressure from the Opposition. This time, we hope that you will do the right thing and voluntarily release the information in your possession regarding this affair.
This is about the integrity of the government. Given that your own Conservative MP has promised more information, we again call for the release of your April 9th letter to the Ethics Commissioner and ask you to finally come clean on why the Status of Women Minister was fired, removed from Conservative caucus, and stripped of her nomination.
The Honourable Marlene Jennings, P.C., M.P
Deputy House Leader for the Official Opposition and
Liberal Critic for Government Ethics and Democratic Reform