Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The talking points have been issued on the O'Brien matter

John Baird's office, on any alleged involvement in the Ottawa Mayor's troubles:
Baird, who is at the Bali climate change summit, told CBC there never was any appointment offered to Kilrea.

His office later issued the following statement: "Nobody ever discussed an appointment for Terry Kilrea with Minister Baird. An appointment was never considered. An appointment was never put forward. An appointment was never made."
Peter Van Loan in the House of Commons yesterday:
Conservative House leader Peter Van Loan angrily denied Mr. Baird was in any way involved in discussions to offer Terry Kilrea a job and demanded an apology from the Liberals for smearing an innocent man. Mr. Baird is in Indonesia for a climate change conference.

"As the minister of the environment always said, there was never any involvement, there was no appointment ever offered, no discussions ever occurred regarding an appointment," Mr. Van Loan said.
I'm thinking that the word "appointment" seems to be used in a very formal sense here, particularly in the Baird statement. As in something only becomes an "appointment" if it's vetted and officially approved and there's some concrete post in mind for Kilrea. Anything less, well, then that falls short of an "appointment." Therefore it wasn't an appointment that was on the table at all. Maybe it was something not so formally defined though. Just sayin, that's a possible interpretation of these neatly framed talking points. Even Harpie got in on the act in the fall:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in mid-October that Conservative campaign director Doug Finley was the victim of a malicious rumour. "This government had never appointed Terry Kilrea to anything, this government had not given Mr. Kilrea any kind of special consideration, nor is there any reason why the Government of Canada would."
And again, you could deconstruct Harper's careful words here and see how he's also setting the bar quite high to stave off any consideration that there was an appointment in the works for Kilrea. And Harper saying this in mid-October kind of emphasizes that they've likely been on their guard about this for a while now.

Something to watch as this thing goes forward...