Monday, June 8, 2009

Will Jasmine MacDonnell Get the Last Laugh?

Last week when Natural Resources Minster Lisa Raitt allowed her assistant to take the fall for her carelessness, I thought it was about as low as you could get.

It's not that it was the first time that Ms Raitt screwed up, so her fall from grace was a very short fall indeed.

Now the assistant who lost her job may get the last laugh, as she would like to make public, tapes of Lisa badmouthing her colleague, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq.

Whether the tapes are allowed to be made public or not, the damage has been done and it's clear that Lisa Raitt is not capable of doing her job. Harper must fire her.

Rather ironic after his juvenile comment about all the tapes he has on Michael Ignatiff (many from decades ago).

Ruling expected on bid to scuttle potentially embarrassing story for Raitt
By David Akin,
Canwest News Service
June 8, 2009

OTTAWA — A Halifax judge is expected to rule Monday evening on a request by a former senior aide to Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt to spike a story that could be devastating to the political career of her former boss.

Canwest News Service has learned that the Halifax Chronicle Herald was prepared to report Friday on the contents of an audio tape, recorded in late January or early February, in which Raitt makes disparaging comments about Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq.

Canwest News Service has also learned that senior officials in the Prime Minister's Office were briefed on the contents of the tape last week.

"It's all bad," said one government source with knowledge of the contents of the tape.

"We have learned that the natural resources minister was taped while making unflattering remarks about her colleague, the health minister, whom she described as being not very competent," said Liberal MP David McGuinty. "Unless these allegations prove to be false, it is clear that (Raitt) has absolutely no confidence in her colleague's ability to handle what is now a full-fledged health-care crisis."

Raitt did not reference the tapes in any of her answers in the House of Commons.

The person who made the recording, according to government sources speaking on condition of anonymity, is Jasmine MacDonnell, Raitt's former director of communications. MacDonnell, who was in the courtroom Monday but did not speak to reporters, resigned last week after a binder containing about 150 pages of government documents marked "Secret" was left at an Ottawa television studio.

The sources believe MacDonnell accidentally recorded herself and Raitt candidly assessing the capabilities and qualities of other cabinet ministers, including the prime minister. MacDonnell then left the tape recorder behind, and it eventually ended up on the Parliament Hill desk of the Chronicle Herald's Ottawa bureau chief, Stephen Maher.

"It is clear we are in a national health-care crisis with a minister who is badly distracted," Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said in the House of Commons Monday. "We have a minister who is trying to recover lost binders, trying to explain incriminating tapes, and thousands of Canadians are desperately waiting for medical treatments. This is a fiasco."

All the court documents, including the name of the person seeking the court injunction and a detailed description of the content of the tapes, remain sealed. The judge ordered a temporary ban on the publication of the hearing Monday that began at 2 p.m. local time in a Halifax courtroom. The judge was expected to rule on the permanence of that ban later in the evening.

Dimitri Soudas, press secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said no government department is involved in the hearing in Nova Scotia on Monday afternoon. Soudas said he had no knowledge of the matter. Steve Outhouse, who has replaced MacDonnell as Raitt's director of communications, also said his office is not involved in the matter.

Ryan Sparrow, a spokesman for the Conservative Party of Canada, said the party has no connection to the matter.

Neither Maher nor any of the paper's editors were able to discuss the matter.


  1. MacDonnel's daddy is a big time Iggy fundraiser. Coincidence? Probably not...

  2. I didn't know that, though I doubt that she would leave 'secret' papers at a television station on purpose. She lost her job over it, and the 'oops' tape will probably guarantee her career in politics is over.