Serge Ménard no longer has any doubt: The Bernier affair has put Canada's national security at an “enormous” risk that will profoundly embarrass the Harper government and the RCMP.
“Even if only half of what I read were true, she represented an enormous security risk for a [cabinet] minister,” Mr. Ménard said in an interview Friday.
“This situation was clearly dangerous for the minister,” Mr. Ménard said. “When did the RCMP inform the minister? What did they say? When did they inform the Prime Minister's Office and what did they do?”
If the RCMP did not spot any potential threat from Ms. Couillard's past or Mr. Bernier's handling of the documents, and did not inform the government, he said they will have to explain themselves.
“If the RCMP failed to live up to its duty, it will be hard to get them to admit it. Still, I think we will be able to establish that this woman was a security risk and, as such, the competent authorities had to be informed,” Mr. Ménard said.
But he is now convinced that given Ms. Couillard's past, the Hells Angels could have either blackmailed her or Mr. Bernier, or lured Mr. Bernier into a compromising situation.The Conservatives are entirely on the defensive on this issue. They have either ignored a blatant risk and done little to nothing about it - or are simply too prideful to admit now that yes they did review her status and still did little to nothing about it.
You can't help wondering what this will do to Conservative fortunes in Quebec during an election campaign when Quebecers have lived through biker wars and don't take it as lightly as the PM and his team have done. If the Conservatives did take it seriously, they would ensure that the Foreign Affairs Minister and Public Safety Minister each testified in front of this committee. And they would answer questions substantively in the House. The contrast in the opposition's approach versus the government's will be plain for all to see as the committee hearings get underway next week.