Wednesday, June 8, 2011

David Tkachuk Has No Moral Authority to Criticize Brigette DePape

In the Toronto Star this morning Senator David Tkachuk lights into Brigette DePape, and those who call her actions heroic.

How dare he?

Mr. Tkachuk represents everything that is wrong with our current Senate. A crony appointment of Brian Mulroney's, who was brought on board to help the fortunes of his government, eventually toppled by corruption.

Not the first time for Tkachuk. He was a personal advisor to Grant Devine, former Premier of Saskatchewan, whose government was so corrupt, several MLAs ended up in prison.

Two senators with ties to both Mulroney and Devine, were eventually led out of the Senate in handcuffs.

Let's take a little stroll down memory lane with this high and mighty senator, shall we? Like the CBC piece: From politics to prison in Saskatchewan, broadcast February 8, 1999.

It discusses the "bad actors" of Devine's neoconservative government, including David Tkachuk, first appearing at the 4:40 mark of the tape. He is described as a "mean drunk" and many MLAs claimed to "hate his guts". It is also said that he once accosted the daughter of a Tory MLA, and ripped the blouse off another young female politician.

You can also check out some of the Hansard records of the Saskatchewan Legislature where they question what he does to earn $350 per day (in 1984), and also raise the alarm over his travel expenses.

But he had been instrumental in getting this gang of thugs elected, so when Mulroney called him to join the Senate, it was because he needed advice on how to get a corrupt government re-elected. Tkachuk failed because they were reduced to two seats.

This man is nothing but a hyperpartisan bully and like the idealistic Jack Wolfe, who got a glimpse of the ugly side of politics, Brigette DePape, no doubt went into her job believing that she would be at the hub of Canadian democracy.

What she saw instead was an unelected senate, overturn bills passed by elected parliamentarians, without so much as a backward glance. And she met two senators who may land in jail because of their involvement with the Conservative election financing scheme.

And she saw Stephen Harper treat both Parliament and the Senate as his own posse, doing the exact opposite of what Canadians wanted or needed, to fill the pockets of the Corporate execs.

So no Mr. Tkachuk, Ms DePape did not dishonour our institutions. You and your cronies are doing that everyday. And she does not have to go to Afghanistan to learn about democracy, because she could teach you more on the subject than you could ever know.

I will forgive his comment about the Senate that "men with all their frailties do all they can to preserve."

It is not his misogyny that this young woman exposed, and it has nothing to do with her defying an oath.

She forced him, and others like him, to look in the mirror.

And they will never forgive her for that.

A bit of background on Grant Devine and the Saskatchewan Government and the Mulroney Connection.

Brian Mulroney Continued: Marjory LeBreton and Entitlement to Taxpayers Purse

Tom Lukiwski and the Real Saskatchewan Scandal

Tom Lukiwski, Grant Devine and the Religious Right

Tom Lukiwski: From Mouseland to Dirty Rats

RCMP: The Illegitimacy of Democracy and the Erosion of Public Trust


  1. YAYYY!!!! Emily!! Wonderful! Could you perhaps link the TO Star article at the beginning of this piece, so people unfamiliar with it can see what Dave said about Brigitte's action?

  2. Great Article, I have been reposting all over the place. Canadians really need to know these things.

  3. Great blog, Emily! This is a letter I sent out to the CBC, and newspapers:

    With all due respect, who was in 'contempt of parliament' first, yet was rewarded with a majority government?

    I am astounded that Brigette DePape is getting more analysis and coverage than the initial ruling handed down from the Speaker of the House, Peter Milliken, to PM Harper. This serious, unprecedented ruling of 'contempt of parliament' of the CPC launched the election, and was triggered by Harper's refusal to divulge the true cost of his unnecessary prison system.

    The media did not analyze or question the first contempt of parliament ruling in depth, which helped the electoral results favour a majority Conservative government.

    Chronologically, Brigette DePape was second in line for contempt of parliament. She was pointing out that 60% of Canadians did not vote for PM Harper.

    Since re-elected, PM Harper continues to hide information, and is in continuous violation of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and due parliamentary process. His government is currently enacting a three-pronged bill which curtails our rights to privacy, and allows live, unauthorized electronic surveillance of citizens, hidden away in an omnibus bill. Privacy analyst, lawyer and professor, Dr. Michael Geist has written about these bills in depth in
    'Web Surveillance Legislation Requires Study, Not Speed' at

    Where is the media coverage in relation to these bills?

    Both interviews of Brigette DePape, by Jane Taber and Evan Solomon, were dismissive of her views. She deserves a proper interview, and these bills regarding privacy should receive proper coverage and investigation as well.

  4. Emily you can get to meet Brigette on Friday.
    She's coming to Zorbas!
    Save Our Prison Farms
    "Bridgette DePape, the Senate page who raised the Stop Harper sign during the Speech from the Throne last week, will join us and speak to the crowd

    Live and Silent Auctions

    Tickets $20 in advance ($10 for underemployed), or $25 at the door. Available at Renaissance Music, Tara Foods, and Brian's Record Option

  5. wow what a super blog post Emily - this senator has no credibility what-so-ever!

  6. Thanks for outlining his background!! I thought it was bad enough that we pay for him out of our taxes!! But, I really take issue with his authoritarian attitude to free expression in a democracy, where he engages in what propaganda critics call 'unwarranted extrapolation' by trying to equate her act with a possible criminal act or worse. If you are interested, you can read more about that at:

  7. Great article Emily.

    I not just cheesed off at him criticizing Ms. DePape, but the rest of the media too. Every day there is a snide remark about her in some article or another, demeaning what she did. I've lost count now. And then there are the fully-blown critical articles.

    And then there are Elizabeth May's comments, which I find very, very disappointing. Yes, Parliament must be respected -- but tell that to Harper and his lackeys and supporters. Had he not disrespected Canada's democratic institutions, there would not have been a Bridget DePape protest. I am very thankful that she did what she did -- at least it shows some people in this country are frightened and appalled by what is happening in front of their eyes. Banalizing it, and pretending that it is nothing more than politics as usual is a far, far greater affront to Parliament.