Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Harper Government Offers up Another Sacrificial Lamb

When it was determined that Stephen Harper had plagiarized a John Howard speech in 2003, the speechwriter Owen Lippert* tendered his resignation.

When Lisa Raitt left sensitive documents behind at a television studio, her assistant Jasmine MacDonnell was forced to resign.

So with Christian Paradis now in the hot seat over trying to hide information related to his former ministry, it's an aide who will once again take the fall.
An aide to Conservative cabinet minister Christian Paradis has resigned over his meddling in at least four different access-to-information requests. Sebastien Togneri handed in his resignation Thursday evening after a report by The Canadian Press outlining a series of incidents while the minister headed the Public Works portfolio.
But as Stephen Maher reminds us: Togneri was just following direction from the top.
... when The Canadian Press reported this week that Togneri had interfered in three other access files — potentially a criminal act — Togneri, not the minister, fell on his sword, and had to resign, poor fellow. Paradis, his boss, stood in the House on Friday to explain what happened: "Togneri offered his resignation yesterday. I accepted it." He went on to say that he had referred the file to the information commissioner. Paradis’s response is not an inspiring example of ministerial responsibility.... But Paradis has neglected to even apologize and explain to Parliament what happened, which is his clear responsibility. So Togneri is looking for a job and Paradis is riding home in his chauffeured car.
All part of a pattern.


*Lippert never really went anywhere. In July he was awarded a contact for $ 24, 750, for research he conducted for Steven Fletcher and his resume states that he most recently, was Senior Policy Advisor to the Minister of International Cooperation, who is Bev Oda.