MP Wayne Easter says "it's unbelievable" Helena Guergis didn't know her staffers were lying about their identities while writing numerous letters to editors praising her.
Yesterday morning news broke of a scandal involving two staffers of Helena Guergis, the Member of Parliament for Simcoe-Grey, who had posed as ordinary citizens and wrote various letters to newspapers defending and complimenting their boss. This comes just weeks after the minister of state for the status of women Helena Guergis behaved outrageously at an airport in PEI where she insulted the province and threw her shoes in a tantrum.
Guergis denies knowing about her staffers' actions, however yesterday MP Wayne Easter expressed great doubt of that. In a media scrum inside the halls of Parliament (video below) Easter exclaimed:
It's unbelievable that she wouldn't know, how could she not know? Any minister or department is always into media monitoring on anything that comes up with the that departmental name or that ministers name in it, the media is monitored. Her people in her office and she should see those letters to the editors in due course. And so she her self should have been raising questions before this.As a result of all this, calls for Helena Guergis's resignation have been growing with Jack Layton and Michael Ignatieff being the most outspoken. Ignatieff has been so blunt as to suggest Guergis is a liar for pretending like she didn't know about her assistants deceit, he said, "When they have somebody make up little letters, in my book, that's lying. And then pretending that you didn't really have anything to do with it, it was all the staff, that's lying a second time." Easter added to the mounting pressure for Guergis to step down, not only explaining why the actions of those staffers were wrong but passively calling for Helena Guergis's resignation. In the media scrum, Easter stated:
The Prime Minister certainly has to deal with this minister, keep in mind this is just not simply an ordinary citizen writing a letter to the editor, this is an individual who is on the ministers payroll, in other words citizens of Canada are paying for this staff to write letters of praise about her own minister in the very riding where the minister is elected from, that's certainly leaving a false impression with the public in terms of who is actually writing the letter and that's wrong. It's an embarrassment to the Prime Minister, it's an embarrassment to his government, how many embarrassments does the Prime Minister have to take from this particular minister on the status of women before he acts in a responsible way?Not long after insulting MP Wayne Easter's home province, with Guergis causing this scandal and all the political pressure for her to resign along with it, she's sure to have made this Easter a happy one.