Embarrassment sure doesn't look good on MP Helena Guergis, but that doesn't stop her from layering it on.
Just a month after a disgraceful tantrum in a PEI airport and not long after her husband was initially charged with cocaine possession, the MP from Simcoe-Grey, Helena Guergis faced another public relations fiasco.
Early this morning it was reported that one of Guergis's staffers purposely hid her real identity and employment to write numerous letters to various newspaper editors in Ontario in an effort to defend her boss's poor behaviour and to garner support.
MP Helena Guergis denies any knowledge of her executive assistant's deceit, however the fact that Guergis's own husband, Rahim Jaffer, as an MP also used an assistant inappropriately adds doubt to her naive innocence. In 2001 Jaffer got his assistant to pose as him in a radio interview which consequently rallied calls for his resignation.
Helena Guergis's executive assistant Jessica Craven used her common law husband's last name to write a series of opinion letters for Ontario newspapers over the course of the year, all offering praise and defense of her boss. A few of those letters are below and the ironies they contain are worth noting.
In one letter defending Guergis against a supposed abuse of the power of the press Jessica Craven, ignoring her own lies and deception, ironically wrote, "In my mind, Canadians are really taking this kind of manipulative craftsmanship lying down."
In question period today Liberal MP Wayne Easter of PEI in light of this recent negative press surrounding Guergis, blasted the Conservative government for putting up with such continued embarrassment and called for her dismissal. The video of the exchange from question period is below and it's interesting to note that Jennifer Craven won't receive any kind of punishment for lying and misleading editors and the general public.
UPDATE: There is a report that another member of Guergis's staff wrote letters to editors defending the MP without identifying the fact that she worked for her. With multiple staffers writing letters and her husband with a history of using assistants for inappropriate purposes it's looking more and more certain Helena Guergis knew of her staffers' misleading editors and the public.
Some of the letters written by Helena Guergis's executive assistant Jessica Craven:
Let's call the kettle black, shall we?
Recent articles slamming our MP Helena Guergis for her absence at a documentary film showing and forum on climate change is just another futile socialist attempt to take down our democratically-elected government.
To add insult to injury, NDP candidate Katy Austin shows her true colours when she admits that a coalition is alive and well in Simcoe- Grey. Having made several visits to municipal offices throughout this riding with Liberal candidate Andrea Matrosovs on their Zero Waste Campaign, this comes as no surprise.
If the Liberal candidate Andrea Matrosovs, NDP candidate Katy Austin and Green Party candidate Stuart Starbuck had serious substance behind their environmental policies, or any policies at all, then why such a bold objective as to give birth to a coalition in Simcoe- Grey, I wonder.
In Simcoe-Grey, skeptics, democratic defenders, conservative supporters and red, orange and green cardholders alike should take concern with this attack on our entrenched systems of government.
Hence, I end with one basic question; what do you get when you marry red, orange and green?
The answer is black: void of substance and colour, a shade that absorbs all.
MPs Airport Antics Shouldn't Be Front page
When scanning the front page news of our local and national papers, including many online media sources lately, I have become increasingly intolerant of the decisions that many have made regarding what is news worthy and what is not.
Certainly the progress of our local athletes competing for the first time on Canadian soil in the Olympics, international relief efforts and the local municipal election campaigns is more important than whether or not our MP Helena Guergis had a tantrum at a PEI airport or not.
When the Liberal MP handed this secret story to the national press, did anyone scrutinize the integrity, significance and prominence of this story? Isn't that the media's job? I have faith it would have been duly scrutinized if the story were handed over from a Conservative MP.
Honestly this kind of news reporting is an absolute waste of ink.
In my mind, Canadians are really taking this kind of manipulative craftsmanship lying down. We need to stand up and remind the press that we, the readership and the consumers, decide what is newsworthy and not the press.
Indeed, the fact that Minister Guergis was boarding a plane from one of her last stops in a nationwide tour where she announced tangible benefits for projects that will support hundreds of thousands of vulnerable women, children and families in Canada is not news worthy?
Frankly I am insulted.
Letters Stop Playing Political Games
What a scary place it would be if Lorne Kenney's vision of accountability and fairness were realistic. It was this government who introduced the toughest accountability legislation this country has ever seen.Opinions on Pretty River Academy Grant Uninformed
Out of all of this nonsense, your claims are the ones that are baseless and disrespectful... and not just towards MP Guergis but to the very fabric of our country.
Like Pretty River Academy, not-for-profit agencies across our vast and dynamic country provide precious support and education for our communities and families : YMCA, Alzheimer Society, Cancer Society, Canadian Breast Cancer Society, local women's institutes, Banting Research Foundation and MADD Canada to name a few. In our area alone we have many clubs and associations who work tirelessly on a volunteer basis to support a particular cause and educate the community: Collingwood Optimist Club, Beaver Valley Outreach, Breaking Down Barriers, Collingwood Environment Network and the Salvation Army.
What you are saying is that our not-for-profit organizations are not worthy of taxpayer support!
Why don't you stop playing political games in order to advance your own interests.
You are making a huge issue out of nothing. Your shortsighted and futile attempt to disrespect MP Guergis in order to advance your own political career only reaffirms the reason that voters placed their confidence in her the last election.
Thank you for pointing out the obvious.
For those selfish immature people in the community who are really fussing over nothing with regards to the funding received by Pretty River Academy -- I would like to ask them to grow up and stop pointing fingers.
If the Town of Collingwood had been successful in their application for RInC funding, would this be an issue? No, it would not. You all sound like spoiled brats.
Do you actually think that MP Guergis would endorse one application over another? Do you even know how this works? Why don't you check the facts before you make your empty accusations?
Has anyone given MP Guergis credit for the almost $20 million dollars of funding she has brought to the riding of Simcoe-Grey this year? Does everyone have such short memories that they forget that she announced a $2 million investment in the Town of Collingwood Downtown revitalization project?
Don't try to make this about elitist favouritism. There are few people in this community that have forgotten that we don't live in a bubble. The same children and parents affiliated with Pretty River academy live, work and play here, too. They also use our community centres and arenas. It works both ways.
In Canada, the best nation in the world, we have CHOICE. That is what makes us a free country and if all I have to worry about is whether my kids choose to play at one soccer field today and another tomorrow, then I am one happy Canadian.