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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The minister, his chauffeur and their lovers

Have you noticed that the coverage of Pierre Pettigrew's frequent trips with his chauffeur is missing something—something big?

From what I can tell, searching his biographies and articles about him, Minister Pettigrew is an unmarried man. He is certainly an eligible man, with his most enviable hair and European styling. He has a pad in Paris.

I cannot imagine that, in a country where same-sex partners have the same rights as heterosexual couples, that suggesting a romantic entanglement between one man and another man would qualify as any sort of slander. And yet, doesn't it seem like there might be more to this tale of the minister and his driver than a strictly professional relationship?

Pettigrew's staff says that driver Bruno Labonté has "some responsibilities that are not on his official job description." Ok, so what? Well, if you recall, when it emerged last year that Governor James McGreevy was having a homosexual affair with an office aide who, it turned out, was eminently unqualified for the job he had been given, McGreevy was forced to resign. In 2001, when it was revealed that then Defense Minister Art Eggleton had been awarding untendered contracts to his girlfriend, he was demoted.

Now, we have Minister Pettigrew not only spending upwards of $10,000 to bring his driver along as an "escort" to getaways such as Lima, Madrid and Paris, but more importantly, he is a paid member of Pettigrew's staff. Not only is Labonté a chauffeur, but Pettigrew has also called him his "personal security adviser." But Labonté, a police college drop out, seems unqualified to be a security adviser. Were it to turn out that Pettigrew and Labonté were involved romantically, this would qualify as a significant and irreconcilable conflict of interest resulting, presumably, in some sort of censure.

Reporters cannot be oblivious to what this looks like. I know the Tories are secretly gossiping about it. So why, as far as I can tell, is no one  asking the minister about this? In a country where gay couples enjoy the same rights as straight ones, shouldn't any relationship be subject to the same questions?

Posted by Kevin Libin on September 20, 2005 | Permalink


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Tracked on 2005-09-21 9:53:56 AM


Kevin picked up a sledgehammer and hit the nail on the head.

I am sure that Pierre's "driver" keeps a nice selection of 'Frankie Goes To Hollywood' and 'Queen" cd's in his bosses car. Not that there is anything wrong with that (Seinfeld) except it shouldn't be happening on the taxpayers dime.

Posted by: BDT | 2005-09-20 5:27:09 PM

If Pettigrew's cover ends up being blown, we will likely see the Liberals outraged that sexual orientation could ever be considered a public matter in Canada. The issue, though, will not be about orientation, nor about whether Pettigrew is getting his taxpayer's money worth -- one can only imagine -- but rather about whether Canadian taxpayers are being hosed again.

Bruno Labonte says that he is "not in a position" to comment on the expenses that he and Pierre racked up. Surely, though, someone should assume that position. Because if, at taxpayer expense, your "driver" hops into cabs with you, wherever you go, en route to restaurants and unknown vistas, in Paris and Madrid and elsewhere, there should be some official financial accounting as to what the official heck is going on.

Is "multi-talented escort/driver/security adviser" an official designation? Do we pay for "escorts" for Cabinet Ministers? If a Minister's driver gets driven, who should pay? And finally, what sort of security advice does Pettigrew really need while, say, dining in Paris?

Wikipedia said that Pettigrew is "perhaps best known...for his attention to his appearance".

I guess he's just a little sloppy on the question of "appearances".

Posted by: EBD | 2005-09-20 5:46:23 PM

FYI: Pettigrew's sexual orientation was the subject of some speculation the other day, related to which Liberal might succeed Paul Martin as leader, at this site:http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=003651&p=

Posted by: Terry O'Neill | 2005-09-20 6:12:53 PM

I agree that the Grits will accuse critics of homophobia - that's what Grits do. Belinda's critics were sexist, Michaelle Jean's were racist.

Frank magazine exposed Pettigrew as a gay politician years ago - no big deal. The big deal is why he's wining and dining his man-whore on the taxpayer's dime?

Posted by: Michael Dabioch | 2005-09-20 6:13:49 PM

Rumour has it that Pettigrew has a boyfriend living in Paris. Maybe the chauffeur comes along to add a little zing.

(Disclosure: last time I posted a rumour on Mr. P, I had him about to be demoted in a cabinet shuffle. Ergo, I wouldn't trust me entirely.)

Posted by: greenmamba | 2005-09-20 6:26:53 PM

Note that Eggleton was rewarded for his demotion; Martin appointed him to the Senate - a position of complete unelected unaccountability and a salary-for-life, with no work required. At taxpayer expense. Rather like 'giving the finger' to the taxpayer for their objecting to Eggleton's behaviour.

It's obvious, I think, that Pettigrew is gay. If this gov't is so committed to SSM, then, why hide it? Or is what is being hidden, the fact that the taxpayer is funding Pettigrew's boyfriends? Labonte is hired as a driver; I wonder what his salary is? How did he get the position? He has no expertise at 'security' and anyway - it isn't required overseas. Therefore, we are not being told the truth. Why is Pettigrew charging the taxpayer for first class tickets around the world, for his chauffeur?

Note also- the lifestyle of Pettigrew. We fund his friend's travel. We fund Pettigrew's frequent trips to his Paris apartment. We fund his meals - all of them. For example, between the period of March 3-May 17, the taxpayer funded $3,282.80 (G&M, Star) for 8 dinners and one reception for Pettigrew. That's in addition to his regular meals in restaurants.

Martin refuses to do a thing about it, but thunders on, as he did today, that any 'abuse of the taxpayer' is not normative behaviour of his Liberals - but 'aberrant behaviour'. Sure.

Posted by: ET | 2005-09-20 7:38:31 PM

Terry O'Neill: The header for the Rabble thread reads "If Paul Martin had a stoke tomorrow, fatal or disabling, who would succeed him?"

I have this marvellous image of Mr Martin down in the engine room of one of his ships stoking coal into the boiler (given the unacceptably high price of oil now).

And remember, those on workmen's comp get faster access to health care--so Martin has yet another "two-tier" benefit (actually three if you consider the private).

Love the Rabble.

"Mr. Pettigrew holds a...masters of philosophy in International Relations from Balliol College, Oxford University, England."

My father was a Balliol man. I suspect that, in that sense, M. Pettigrew is not. Autres temps, autre moeurs.

The issue is using government money to be with one's partner for fun, whatever the sex of the partner or oneself.

Taking a bimbette on a trip would not be condoned. Is there a double standard here? Need one ask?


Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-09-20 7:44:36 PM

Our minister of defence and Pettigrew are both alike in representing this Paul Martin version of Canada to the US in our trade dispute over lumber.

Paul Martin was selected by the questionable democracy of his party and became by this path 'prime minister'. His party selecting him was chosen by less than 25% of the potential electorate.

Canada is not a functioning representative democracy and so Pettigrew and company can do what they like.

Posted by: edwardmills | 2005-09-20 8:08:36 PM

Fredericton, New Brunswick, Jan. 31 (LifesiteNews.com/CWN) - Canada's Liberal government's reaction to the unexpected building tide of opposition to its same-sex marriage bill appears to be eliciting increasingly extreme reactions from government defenders.

According to the National Post , Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew declared that because Canada has "Separation of church and state," churches are obliged to remain silent on the issue of same-sex unions. "I find that the separation of the church and the state is one of the most beautiful inventions of modern times," Pettigrew said. The newspaper reported he said that government and churches "should not get involved in each other's affairs."

Posted by: Plato's Stepchild | 2005-09-20 9:11:11 PM

**Seems to be the perfect job title for Pettigrew of late-Foreign Affairs Minister. If Mr.Pettigrew and his Paris city chauffeur are homosexual lovers than the public have a right to know because of public tax money was used.[ Mr.Pettigrew was much for legalizing homosexual marriage]. Note: The Church here is Christian Canadian citizens thus should have a right to have a input into Canadian politics too. Other organizations do:feminists,homosexuals,unions,ect.,.

Posted by: Larry | 2005-09-21 2:30:13 AM


Posted by: underemployedbuddha | 2005-09-21 7:53:37 AM


Posted by: The Fog is Clearing | 2005-09-21 11:03:03 AM

Does he know Peter Mandelson, Tony Blair's right hand man, and the boy from Brazil Renaldo Da Silva ? Mandelson has that detached air of silken menace amply demonstrated when he made his famous remark that we were entering the post democratic age.

Posted by: The Fog is Clearing | 2005-09-21 11:07:30 AM

If "girlfriends" are exempt from public expense account padding so are "boyfriends". It's a clear breach of public trust and has nothing to do with gay bashing ( although this will be the obvious ckub used to mask the crime and condemn the accuser)...go after it... Pettigrew will have to either out himself to make a bogus homo hate defence or stay closeted take his medicine as a petty expense padder and common vulgar public trough guzzler he is....frig this crap is genetic with the Libranos.

Posted by: WLMackenzie redux | 2005-09-21 11:20:13 AM


Posted by: neil | 2005-09-21 12:00:54 PM

There are legitimate questions to be asked about Pettigrew's trips and it would be great to see the Western Standard at the forefront of those questions. But some of the juvenile comments above will unfortunately -- and unfairly -- discredit anything the Standard has to say.

Posted by: chip | 2005-09-21 12:03:10 PM

Junvenile comments which "discredit" the Western Standard always seem to pop up whenever there is new information that exposes Liberal malfeasance.

Anyone who reads blogs should know that one cannot legitimately assume that pseudonymous comments are from those who support the site in question, or it's political views.

To say that the sudden appearance of such anonymous agitation reflects on the "quality of conservative commentary" is like saying that a brick through your window reflects on the quality of your housekeeping.

Posted by: EBD | 2005-09-21 12:26:58 PM

As a tory one can wonder if a chaufeur on a trip means that someone else is at the wheel even when not in an officially supplied car as a way to avoid the levesque faux pas kill at the wheel? Far out but a possibility?

Posted by: PJ Johnson | 2005-09-21 12:52:16 PM

That's quite possible, EBD.

But it doesn't explain why five hours after the comments were posted, they are still sitting there, sullying what was otherwise a necessary discussion about Liberal corruption.

To use your analogy, a brick through the window doesn't reflect your housekeeping, but leaving the brick there for visitors to step over certainly does.

Posted by: chip | 2005-09-21 1:09:18 PM

I wonder when the minister travels in and around Ottawa and between Ottawa and Montreal, does he travel with chauffeur Bruno Labonté only or does he have a security guard with him as well? We've seen the minister covered with red ink because he is believed to be the murderer of countless Haitian babies, and we've seen him decorated with cream pie. How many Canadian politicians this past year have been attacked by protesters? It could be worse than ink... Now that The Citizen has basically printed the private address of the minister and the fact that he travels around Paris by public transportation without security, I guess he will have no choice but to always bring along some security staff. I guess I missed the part that says that Bruno Labonté is a gay man….

Posted by: loraine | 2005-09-21 1:21:33 PM


Use a better search engine!

14 results

including this,...

Google doesn't like to be politically incorrect it's also hard to find religious items there

Posted by: ghollingshead | 2005-09-21 1:31:48 PM

"Now that The Citizen has basically printed the private address of the minister and the fact that he travels around Paris by public transportation without security, I guess he will have no choice but to always bring along some security staff."

The French are probably not going to allow Labonté to drive the Metro when Pettigrew is riding it.

Posted by: Justzumgai | 2005-09-21 3:06:23 PM

Neil, it's not homophobia, it's reasonable conservative comment.
Why doesn't Pettigrew marry Labonte' and make an honest gayman out of him?
Then the cost to taxpayers would be on the up'n'up.
Maybe they we secretly married in Europe a while ago, who knows?

Posted by: Speller | 2005-09-21 3:58:41 PM

Do the Liberals pay you, Speller?

Posted by: EBD | 2005-09-21 4:30:02 PM

EBD, I was married to my wife in First Baptist Church in Calgary in 1983. I am still married to her and we are looking forward to our 22nd anniversary.

I am against SSM and believe that battle isn't over yet.

Everyone who cherished the sacredness of marriage, whether married only a year or 60, whether widows or widowed, or even those who were planning to get married in the future feel as I do, that a sacred institution has been made profane.

On our anniversary, each and every year, we will remember.

Pretending the current rules don't exist isn't a winning strategy.

Remind me, what happened to Svend Robinson when he was found to be foisting his lover's expenses on the taxpayer?

Posted by: Speller | 2005-09-21 4:52:04 PM

One can only hope (however irrationaly) that the NDP take up this issue instead of the Conservatives. Otherwise the Liberals will simply smear the Tories as being homophobic.

Posted by: JM | 2005-09-21 6:05:30 PM

I think the issue is being diverted off-topic. The issue has nothing to do with homosexuality. It has to do with whether the Canadian people require the services of Mr. Labonte for their foreign minister, Mr. Pettigrew, when he is out of the country.

The ultimate authority to decide on whether his services are required or not rests with the Canadian people, for the basic reason - it is THEIR money. That is also why an employee in the civil service works under a contract that defines exactly the nature of their work. The contract is supposed to assure the Canadian people that they are getting what they are paying for.

The next question is: what services can Mr. Labonte provide? He is mandated as a chauffeur; no such services are required on these trips. Mr. Pettigrew defines him as 'providing security', but, if these are not within his written contract, then, Mr. Pettigrew has no right (according to any union) to ask such services of him. Nor does he have any right to ask payment for these non-written extra services from the Canadian people.
And - importantly, Mr. Pettigrew does not require security services from his chauffeur. Security is provided by the RCMP who accompany Mr. Pettigrew or by local security.

Therefore- we are back to 'square one'. What services does Mr. Pettigrew require of Mr. Labonte - for which the Canadian public agrees to pay?

The answer seems to be - NONE. Therefore, why is Mr. Pettigrew insisting that we pay?

Posted by: ET | 2005-09-21 6:39:39 PM

JM, the current NDP-Liberal government will surely say as little as possible, and their little dog Toto too.( obscure reference to CBC, CTV,Canwest Global et al), although in Toto's defense he wasn't a poodle.

The NDP-Liberals both have the same agenda as either do seperately, they just disagree about the speed of the trip, not the destination.

A smile and a gun will take you further than a gun alone.
Alphonse Capone

Some wonder why, after all these years in the wilderness, the NDP still exists. The NDP exists to co-rule with the Liberals when the Libs get a minority. The socialist revolution then continues forward. The Dippers also act as a foil to allow the Liberals to portray themselves as political centre and the conservatives extreme right.

The NDP-Liberals both think money is no object as compared to socialist values.
Unfortunately, with the exception of Albertans, Canadians agree.

Posted by: Speller | 2005-09-21 6:46:13 PM

New Board Game: Find Bruno.>>>>


Travel and Hospitality Expenses Reports
Minister, Parliamentary Secretaries and Their Exempt Staff

* Hon. Pierre S. Pettigrew, Minister of Foreign Affairs
* Francis LeBlanc, Chief of Staff
* Jim Anderson, Director of Policy
* Megan Cain, Policy Advisor and Parliamentary Liaison for Western and Northern Canada
* Jamie Christoff, Press Secretary
* Eric Lamoureux, Policy Advisor and Parliamentary Liaison for Ontario and Atlantic Canada
* Rachel Landriault, Personal Assistant to the Minister
* Martin-Pierre Pelletier, Director of Parliamentary Affairs and Deputy Chief of Staff
* Maxime Poulin, Policy Advisor and Parliamentary Liaison for Quebec
* Jonathan Schneiderman, Special Advisor
* Sébastien Théberge, Director of Communications
* Françoise Boivin, Member of Parliament
* Denis Coderre, Member of Parliament
* David Smith, Member of Parliament
* Marc Godbout, Member of Parliament

* Hon. Dan McTeague, Parliamentary Secretary
* Glenn Bradbury, Senior Advisor

* Hon. Roy Cullen, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
* Jean-Sébastien Marineau, Political Advisor
* Denis Paradis, Member of Parliament>>>>
>>>>>>>>> more..

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-09-21 7:10:33 PM


Posted by: Doral Hemm | 2005-09-21 8:10:13 PM


Posted by: notasocialist | 2005-09-21 11:09:47 PM


Posted by: notasocialist | 2005-09-21 11:10:34 PM

Good post, ET.
Still, the points you make will not be the spin the NDP-Liberals or their media project to the public.
If the CPC used your accurate dissection of this issue they wouldn't be understood even if they were heard.

Posted by: Speller | 2005-09-22 4:32:57 AM

If the bodyguard is in fact his boyfriend, Pettigrew should reimburse the government and offer to resign. On the other hand, if they were married, would this be an issue? I find it a bit hypocritical that any politician (Trudeau and Mulroney on down) can bring the wife and kids along on a trip and nobody raises an eyebrow, but anyone who brings along the boyfriend or girlfriend is an immoral crook. Perhaps the politicians should all be obliged to travel alone: they might actually get some work done for a change.

Posted by: Enfielder | 2005-09-22 4:46:32 AM

"I find it a bit hypocritical that any politician can bring the wife and kids along on a trip and nobody raises an eyebrow, but anyone who brings along the boyfriend or girlfriend is an immoral crook."

I think the immorality here comes from Pettigrew lying. If the guy is his lover, fine. But if so, Pettigrew has blatently lied to the Canadian public. It would appear, then, that Pettigrew is either lying to the Canadian public, or carting around an unqualified security advisor. Either way, something stinks.

Posted by: Dennis | 2005-09-22 5:13:57 AM

"I find it a bit hypocritical that any politician can bring the wife and kids along on a trip and nobody raises an eyebrow, but anyone who brings along the boyfriend or girlfriend is an immoral crook."

Hypocritical!? Wives and girlfriends are not on the payroll of the government. What if Pettigrew were to leave this 'driver' for another? And most likely this 'driver' is going to be let go for the sake of political appearences. Imagine the sexual misconduct charges that could/will be laid.

Posted by: JL | 2005-09-22 6:53:54 AM

That's a good point, JL, but only if the wives and girlfriends are paying their own way. My point is that unless they're on gov't business, they have no business being there at all:spouses or partners should not be travelling at gov't expense. If he's a boyfriend, not a bodyguard, he owes the gov't some money, and Pettigrew should quit.

Posted by: Enfielder | 2005-09-22 7:19:05 AM

Again, the issue is being diverted. It has nothing to do with homosexuality and screams of 'homophobia' may be fun to scream out but are not relevant. The issue remains - Why should the Canadian taxpayer pay for these costs?

Wives and children are the private expense of the member; it is not the duty of the taxpayer to fund their travels.

The same is true of friends. Imagine the situation, where we say that it's OK to bring friends along on trips - and these individuals can be wives/husbands/children/lovers.. Do we then move onto requiring the taxpayer to pay the costs?
That would lead to instant abuse; anytime any of your friends needs a trip to wherever - you simply define them on your cost sheet as 'best friend'..and off they go, courtesy of the Canadian taxpayer.

The fact remains. Mr. Labonte is paid by the taxpayer as a chauffeur. In Canada. Period. Therefore, the taxpayer should not be funding him to travel where he is not working. His official job description as a chauffeur does not include 'security services' and the Canadian taxpayer should not fund his so being used - especially when that designation is also invalid. No bring-your-own security is needed overseas.

Job descriptions are required; they protect the worker - and also, importantly, they protect whoever is handing over the wages. We are paying Mr. Labonte. We haven't agreed to these trips and Mr. Pettigrew is abusing us and our money.

Posted by: ET | 2005-09-22 7:20:03 AM

That's a good point, JL, but only if the wives and girlfriends are paying their own way. My point is that unless they're on gov't business, they have no business being there at all:spouses or partners should not be travelling at gov't expense. If he's a boyfriend, not a bodyguard, he owes the gov't some money, and Pettigrew should quit.

Posted by: Enfielder | 2005-09-22 7:20:13 AM

sorry for the double-posting. I'm not ranting, I just clicked "post" twice by mistake.

Posted by: Enfielder | 2005-09-22 7:23:19 AM

Wow, I must be naive... I knew right away it was Pettigrew's boyfriend, and was surprised no one in the media was suggesting so.

But... I didn't think it was such a big deal, because I thought that Cabinet Ministers would be allowed to take their wives on trips - this is not so? When Martin was Finance, for example, he wouldn't take Sheila overseas with him??

I just have always taken it for granted that spouses traveled with Ministers - but this is not so, then?

Thanks for clearing up my confusion.

Posted by: Jason | 2005-09-22 7:58:10 AM


Posted by: neil | 2005-09-22 8:49:44 AM

If sexual orientation is truly not a consideration in the recent publicity surrounding Pettigrew's travel habits, then when can we expect an outcry of similar magnitude about an alleged heterosexual liaison in the Liberal cabinet. If traveling with f_ck buddies is such a scandal, where was Levant's outrage when former premier Mike Harris was galavanting around the province with his new girlfriend 3 years ago?

Posted by: Kevin Muise | 2005-09-22 8:59:34 AM

The outrage is not over hetero vs homo - though some posters are trying to focus only on that and thus divert attention from the real misuse of the taxpayer's money and essentially, permit a gov't member to steal from the taxpayer.

The outrage is over the assumption by a gov't member that the taxpayer should fund his companions on his trips. Why define Mr. Labonte as a companion (remove sex - consider only that Mr. Labonte is an employee).

Regardless of Labonte's sexual orientation, the fact remains that his job description - and wages - are that of a chauffeur. The taxpayer is obliged only to pay for the services within that job description. The taxpayer should not be obliged to pay for anything outside of that job description. Therefore, the trips should not have been paid. Why not? Because the trips did not require his driving. Simple?

Security? Not in his job description - and also - not required.

Therefore - there is no reason for the taxpayer to fund those trips. If Mr. Pettigrew wanted Mr. Labonte with him - fine - but he, not the taxpayer, should pay. Pettigrew is coming up with specious explanations - (1) his security assistance was required. Invalid; (2) staff often carry out tasks not listed on their job description. Invalid - the taxpayer doesn't pay for those 'other tasks' - and - what were they? Pettigrew moves in with a circular argument; they were 'security'. Invalid. Security services of chauffeur were not required.

So- forget the sexual orientation; it is a diversion that the Liberals will be pleased to foster, because it diverts attention from the real issue. Why should the taxpayer fund Mr. Labonte's trips with Mr. Pettigrew? What is there, in his job description, that requires the taxpayer to fund him accompanying Mr. Pettigrew?
Answer. Nothing.

Posted by: ET | 2005-09-22 9:25:46 AM

I think there are a few key questions IF this is true:

1) Can Ministers have relations with staff?
2) Is this guy a political staffer who just happens to be a driver?
3) Are ministers allowed to take political staffers on trips?
4) Are ministers allowed to take wives, girlfriends, etc on trips?

Posted by: Jason Cherniak | 2005-09-22 10:57:38 AM

Great Job!!
Keep up the musings about peoples sexual orientation.............by doing so; it will increase the time that conservative right wingers spend in Opposition.

You guys just don't get it......that's okay, because I'm glad that you don't

Posted by: YYT | 2005-09-22 11:27:34 AM

ET - I fail to understand how you can declare with such conviction that the minister requires no security advice. Twice I have seen on television the minister being attacked by protesters - there might have been more attacks not captured by a camera. Clearly there are reasons to be concerned about the security of the MFA of our country, and that goes beyond partisan politics. If Mr. Labonté, who trained as a police officer but did not graduate, can provide both driving and some security, I see no problems with that, and the minister has the right to make that decision. However, in light of all this speculation, the opposition could clear up the air with a polite question to the minister, e.g., is your relationship with Bruno Labonté strictly professional or do you have a personal relationship with this person?

Posted by: loraine | 2005-09-22 11:41:56 AM

Loraine -
1) Security must be provided by professionals; namely, an RCMP officer who may or may not accompany the Minister AND by the security of whichever country the Minister is visiting. Ministers do not normally take their own security with them but rely on the visiting country to provide security.

2)I'm unsure what you mean by 'security advice'? Do you mean -someone yelling: "DUCK when attacked!!"

3)No, it is not up to the Minister whom he takes with him for the purpose of security. If I were a minister, I could not, for example, define one of my sons, however brawny, as my 'security advisor' and take him with me, funded by the taxpayer, on my trips. Nor could I define my chauffeur, financial advisor, secretary, or research assistant as such.

Whoever is funded by the taxpayer is accountable, not to the minister, but to the taxpayer. The definition of capability for a job is NOT up to the minister (so I couldn't take my son, even if I defined him as 'brawny'); it is up to the taxpayer..whose money is protected via Job Descriptions.

These job descriptions outline clearly the nature of the tasks for which the individual (Labonte) is being paid. If 'security advisor' is NOT on this job description of 'chauffeur', then, he cannot be used nor paid for acting as a 'security advisor'.

Job descriptions prevent abuse of the taxpayer's money, for they prevent an individual from being hired, let's say as a secretary, but who can't type, spell or even bring coffee...but who is instead my financially needy college-student daughter.

As for the opposition questioning the Liberals, first, parliament is not sitting and more importantly, the Liberals DO NOT, repeat DO NOT answer questions. Have you ever heard Martin or McLellan answering a question? Rhetorical nonsense. The Liberals do not answer questions.

Posted by: ET | 2005-09-22 12:07:55 PM

Clearing up some confusion:

1) Ministers are not allowed to take wives or families on trips as much as they like. Rather they have a certain amount of points they can use for their spouses to travel. There are only a limited amount of points so wives usually only get to go along for one or two trips a year.

2) The "romantic" angle is germane. This is more than just a case of taxpayer money being spent inappropriately, it is also, as I pointed out in my post, a major conflict of interest. MPs are not allowed to just hire up their girlfriends and boyfriends and give them jobs. Remember, this is what brought Eggleton down—using his political office to grant favours to his girlfriend.

3) I am almost certain there are non-fraternization rules in the federal government. Nearly every large organization has some at the higher levels.

Posted by: Kevin Libin | 2005-09-22 12:18:20 PM

If someone saw an article on Mr. Pettigrew in the Frank magazine they should email Mr. Good at CKNW radio. A phone in on today's show was shut down in short order for the suggestion of Mr. Pettigrew being homosexual.

Posted by: pat | 2005-09-22 5:31:05 PM

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