The latest flare-up of the dated Helena Guergis story making the rounds today tells us a lot about this election. Here we have a year-old story dominating this mornings news instead of us hearing about the party platforms outlining what we should expect to happen to our country in the next few years.
I read the coverage from a number of media sites and have learned nothing new—all this stuff has been revealed previously and covered by the media. Today a CBC.ca headline reads: “‘Serious allegations’ against Guergis revealed.” And the “story” starts:
“CBC News has learned that the ‘serious allegations’ Prime Minister Stephen Harper referred to last year in connection with former Conservative MP Helena Guergis included unsubstantiated claims of fraud, extortion and involvement with prostitutes.”
Big deal! Does anyone who cares about such things not already know this? The story goes on to tell us:
“[Prime Minister] Harper has never explained what the allegations were against Guergis, who was later cleared by the RCMP of any wrongdoing. The Ontario MP, who was ousted from cabinet, caucus and the party in April 2010, also has claimed she was never personally told what the allegations were, something the Tories deny.”
Do the folks at CBC News not know that the prime minister can fire cabinet ministers whenever he wishes and does not owe anyone an explanation for doing so? As to the opposition parties, they’re just hypocrites. A year ago, the opposition was calling on the prime minister to can Ms. Guergis over an incident at the Charlottetown airport, and now they are defending her? Really.
Most journalists, including those at the CBC, are well aware that Ms. Guergis has had staff problems and has not been well liked in the Tory caucus for some time. Add her hissy fit at the Charlottetown Airport last year and the scandal caused by her husband, former MP Rahim Jaffer, and one can quite understand why Ms. Guergis has become persona non grata.
Ms. Guergis is fighting for her seat in Simcoe-Grey against a popular Tory opponent and desperately needs to get her name in the news. And since this has the potential to harm the Tory campaign, media outlets like the CBC are only too happy to oblige.
That’s what this story all about.