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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Maxime Bernier hurt himself, but not the national interest

“Our review of the documents in question concluded that their disclosure would not have caused significant injury to the national interest.”

That was the conclusion of the Final Report On The Administrative Review Into The Security Incident Reported By Maxime Bernier - Classified Documents Left At A Private Residence.

The report was officially released on August 1, 2008 by David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

You can read the report here and the recommendations here.


(Gratuitous photo of Julie Couillard and Maxime Bernier)

Posted by Matthew Johnston on August 3, 2008 in Canadian Conservative Politics | Permalink


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The forgotten briefcase incident is a smokescreen that obscures the bigger picture. The question we should ask is How long ago did the RCMP know that Bernier was sleeping with a woman, who had clear ties to the underworld? Who else in the PM's entourage knew about this liaison and why wasn't anything done about it before?

I know of some people who lost their jobs in the corporate world (nothing to do with National Security) for having illicit love affairs and flings. Or am I the only one to see that National Security and biker chicks (or mafia molls) don't mix?

Posted by: Nothing New Under the Sun | 2008-08-03 11:10:33 PM

Yes, but did the report feature any new pictures of Julie Couillard? That's what I would really like to know :-)

Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-08-04 11:12:57 AM

Hah. The government released the report at the end of the day on a Friday before the long weekend. I don't think they wanted it to get any attention, and new pictures of Madam Couillard would not have served that objective.

Sadly, even though the report shows that Bernier did not compromise national security, it doesn't really help with his rehabilitation. The government can't say "See. This was no big deal." as that would run counter to their self-important rhetoric about the many top secret things they do to keep the world safe from what Mencken called an endless series of imaginary hobgoblins.

Some guy left his homework at his girlfriends house, and she decided to tell the principal, and the guy got in trouble. That’s how I see it.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-08-04 12:30:14 PM

The good old days of Maxime Bernier:

"In Quebec, where private care is already flourishing as doctors opt out of the medicare system, residents don't share Ottawa's claims that health care is definitive of their identity, says Maxime Bernier, executive vice-president of the Montreal Economic Institute. And there's a lot more to our nation than a medical system, he adds. 'It's ridiculous to base a national identity on bureaucratic ways to deliver a service,' Bernier says. 'Canada existed long before medicare; it has a history that makes it distinct, whatever the current way to deliver health care.'"



Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-08-04 1:11:46 PM

I just want to know how anyone can even type w/o taking a long good glance at Julie's well how do you say in parlavous eh cleavage.
Health care shmelch care- she is one hot lady!

Posted by: Merle | 2008-08-05 7:54:24 AM

ha ha Merle, thanks for the chuckle! But I am sure Max was with her for her conversation skills!

Posted by: maija | 2008-08-05 11:16:32 AM

My read on it is that Bernier was a strong voice in government for free trade and private enterprise. He did good work as Industry Minister, which is where his heart lies. I think he was pissed when Harper moved him to Foreign Affairs, which didn't really interest him. It was just a political move, getting a Quebecer into a portfolio where Quebec was generally off-side with the government. Bernier got careless, went off-message, started pursuing "other interests," and ended up with egg on his face. It backfired and bit Harper in the ass. Maybe Harper will learn his lesson and start appointing people to cabinet posts where they have some expertise and interest, instead of trying to fill politically correct quotas....

Posted by: Grant Brown | 2008-08-06 10:57:37 AM

I think you're exactly right, Grant...well mostly right.

I'm not sure that Bernier was especially careless in Foreign Affairs, at least not any more careless than he was in Industry.

The difference is that gaffes in Foreign Affairs get noticed and exploited, whereas a gaffe in Industry are mostly ignored because they are a lot less sexy.

When Rona Ambrose was the Environment Minister, every word she uttered was skewered by eco activists, not because she was careless with her words, but because it was a highly politicized portfolio.

Let’s hope we see Bernier back in action – and I mean in the House...the House of Commons – soon.

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-08-06 11:43:48 AM

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