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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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Questions about Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew's decision to bring his chauffeur along on official trips with the flimsiest justification are now now veering into territory concerning Pettigrew's personal life. Not that there's anything wro... [Read More]

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


Obviously CNKW is homophobic.

pat, the article appeared a few years ago - not sure if Frank would still have it somewhere in their internet archives. It certainly would be great timing to dig it up now.

Posted by: Michael Dabioch | 2005-09-22 8:13:45 PM

Kevin, thanks - so once these points are used up by the spouse in a period (a year, I assume) then the trips are over unless they are privately financed?

Interesting - I always took it for granted that wives traveled with. Or husbands.

Thanks for clearing me up.

Posted by: Jason | 2005-09-22 9:12:51 PM

Everyone equal in the eyes of God/Government!

Didn't feel like working the noggin so I just copied one of my own blogs.

Same sex marriage

Make everyone equal in the eyes of the government ”tax man, benefits”.

Everyone gets taxes and benefits as an individual including children. In the case of children they could either be used as a tax break or if they are earning an income taxed themselves.

It used to be we were all equal in the eyes of god. Those days are gone what with politics and taxes being the main concern. Or you could look at it as the government being god. Thus taxes and benefits are equal and on an individual basis.

Personally I would be willing to give up my tax breaks as a married hetero sexual, to protect the sanctity of marriage. I was married in a church and swore my oath for better or for worst to my wife not for financial gain or tax evasion but because I truly loved my wife! Love you HUN!

Now as for the “For better or for worse” part I think I got the better end of that deal, but who’s counting not me I’m winning LOL.

Protect the sanctity of marriage and make everyone equal in the eyes of the government "tax man". Exception being children get or can be used for tax break much the same as they are today.

This Petigrew thing should have nothing to do with sexuality but rather job description and qualification.

Posted by: NL Expatriate | 2005-09-23 2:03:23 AM

wow, i've struck a chord. It's twice now that I've had my post highlighting the inherent bgiotry of this discussion deleted! is that some kind of record?
Let me get you up to speed: two posters had some red-neck fun with this issue by question whether pettigrew was a DELETED.

I've pointed out (twice) that this kind of comment is lovely ol' bigotry. Both times my posts were deleted. why? I think it's because i went on to have some fun suggesting this blatant red-neckery made a mockery of legitimate critical commentary.
As i have said before (here, twice): There is no evidence Pettigrew or his driver are gay; and, there's plenty of room to criticize Pettigrew's actions without having to mention the issue of sexual preference.
But that wasn't where the discussion went, was it? Nope. You good ol'western standarites shifted topic onto the old homophobe bent. Lovely.
The problem with the original post was that it assumed that because Pettigrew isn't married, he must be gay, and therefore is bonking his driver. Does that mean any straight politican travelling with an opposite sex aid is screwing around, too? no. of course not. But when someone is rumoured to be gay -- a liberal cabinet minister, to boot -- it's just too much red-neck fun to leave alone.
If you want to criticize Pettigrew for taking his driver (for no apparent reason) on his foreign trips, swell. But please, for the sake of the argument, leave the "they must begay lovers" stuff out of it. That is, unless you have some proof.

Posted by: neil | 2005-09-24 9:05:26 AM

Neil . . .Your posts were deleted because you repeated the same offensive language in your comments as those other comments you found to be bigoted. I don't like the language either, so out it goes, from the original comments and from your repetition of it.
I'll cut you some slack on this latest comment (above) since you obviously didn't get the message. I've deleted only the offensive language. But I don't have time to edit these, so in the future, any posts that use inappropriate language will just be deleted.

Posted by: Kevin Libin | 2005-09-24 10:52:46 PM

Thank you for returning my post which you deleted but now you deleted my post which said you deleted my post LMFAO!

Posted by: NL Expatriate | 2005-09-28 10:25:01 AM

Checking in two and a half years later. We now have another'scandal' involving a foreign affairs minister.

Something that has always bothered me about your 'standards' is why did you not phone Bruno Labonté before publishing? Don't you have phones in Western Canada? From what I have read since, Mr. Labonté, a heterosexual man and father, has not been able to find employment since you found it A-OK to publish this rubbish.

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