Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Now that's the spirit of the season...

"Tory aide tried to scuttle Hanukah event, school says."
While the holiday season is traditionally a time of celebration and peace for Jews and Christians, a Tory staffer is facing accusations she launched a partisan battle against the Liberals over a Hanukah ceremony at a school for disabled children.

On Sunday, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff attended a menorah lighting ceremony at Toronto's Zareinu Educational Centre, but according to organizers, a Conservative aide tried to shut the event down and block Ignatieff from attending.

Georganne Burke, an aide to Industry Minister Tony Clement, also insinuated that having Ignatieff at the ceremony could endanger the school's federal funding, according to event organizer Gary Gladstone.

"I am advising you that Georganne Burke called me this evening at about 10:30 pm (on Sunday) enraged, advising me for the benefit of the Jewish community the menorah lighting should be cancelled," Gladstone wrote in an email obtained by CTV News.

"(Burke) further went on to say that she felt it would do serious damage to Zareinu to have the event there," he said in the email.

Rabbi Mendy Zirkind, who arranged Iganitieff's appearance, said that Conservative MP Peter Kent was also invited to the event. However, Burke still did everything in her power to try and stop the event from occurring, Zirkind added.

Update: CC reminded me (thx) that this would not be the first time Conservatives would have threatened an organization if Ignatieff appeared. Recall the Guergis incident in May of this year when Ignatieff's planned attendance at a library in her riding was thought to be the cause of reported threats to pull the library's funding.

Could be an interesting year for Mr. Ignatieff and his many travels across Canada...he seems to upset the Conservatives mightily.

And needless to say, this kind of nonsense is just one of many good reasons to make 2009 a Harper free Canada. That would be a very good thing.