Police probing allegations that Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien offered an opponent a federal job to drop out of an election have served a warrant seeking evidence to show whether Mr. O'Brien and a senior aide met in the summer of 2006 with Environment Minister John Baird.Did John Baird so meet with said individuals at Hy's to discuss this, ahem, arrangement?
The Ontario Provincial Police are investigating former mayoral candidate Terry Kilrea's claim that Mr. O'Brien sought to induce him to quit the race in return for an appointment to the National Parole Board.
On Sept. 19, the OPP obtained a "production order" to be served on Hy's Steakhouse, a popular watering hole for Ottawa's political set, to allow them to look for reservation records or credit card receipts linked to Mr. O'Brien, his then-campaign adviser, Greg Strong, and Mr. Baird.
In addition, the police document demanded "the names of all staff that may have served Larry O'Brien, Greg Strong, or John Baird in any capacity throughout the evening."
Mr. Baird said last night that no meeting took place, although he does not recall whether he bumped into the two others at the popular restaurant and bar."Bumped into them." You know what that calls for, don't you...
"I have dinner quite often at Hy's. It's two blocks from the Hill, from my office. It's packed with government and media types. There's the potential that I might run into them during the period in question," he said in an interview.
"I didn't have dinner with them during that time frame. I may have bumped into them. I just don't recall."
He repeated that he never discussed an appointment for Mr. Kilrea with anyone, other than expressing surprise when Mr. Kilrea contacted him about it.