Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Stockwell Day's denial of the Bloc-Alliance agreement does not ring true

The lawyer, Gerry Chipeur, who is reported to have made an offer regarding a Bloc-Canadian Alliance coalition is well known in Conservative circles and appears to be an ongoing political associate of Stockwell Day. The 2000 proposal:
The proposal was contained in a letter from well-known Calgary lawyer Gerry Chipeur prior to the November 2000 election, in which Jean Chretien's Liberals won a majority government.
...
But Day, who is now the Conservative international trade minister, says he never saw the letter, never endorsed it and would never sign such a deal.
Is that believable? Cut to 2008 and the reports of Harper government muckraking in the Democratic primaries:
Frank Sensenbrenner, the one-time Young Republican fundraiser now at the epicentre of a scandal over a leaked Canadian memo which wounded Democratic presidential front-runner Barack Obama, was always a poor fit at the Canadian embassy.

The ambassador, Michael Wilson, didn't want him there.

The diplomatic corps on Pennsylvania Ave. didn't want him there and ultimately were so distrustful of the son of a right-wing Republican congressman, they muttered that they wanted his door left open so they could hear who he was talking to.

But officials in Stephen Harper's office wanted him there and Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day particularly wanted him there, based on Sensenbrenner's long links, dating back to school days, with the former Reform party, the precursor of today's government in Ottawa.
...
Sensenbrenner was introduced to senior embassy officials by Gerry Chipeur, a Calgary-based lawyer who was once legal counsel to the Reform and Canadian Alliance parties, the antecedents of today's Conservative party.

Chipeur, a dual citizen who headed the Republicans Abroad Canada, also has deep ties to the evangelical community in both countries and prominent U.S. Republicans, including Kansas Senator Sam Brownback.

The entrée of Sensenbrenner into Canadian diplomatic circles was forged at the Republican National Convention in New York in 2004, where members of the Canadian embassy and Conservative officials such as Day, Chipeur, Alberta MP Jason Kenney and John Reynolds, co-chair of the Tory 2006 election campaign, all attended.

Sensenbrenner had cut his political teeth in Canada, attending private college in the Toronto area and attending early Reform party conventions where he first befriended those in then-leader Preston Manning's inner circle.

The push to get him on the payroll came particularly from Day, sources said, when he took over the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative file, the name given to the Republican move to require all Canadians crossing the U.S. land border to carry passports or secure driver's licences. (emphasis added)
Such present day reports on Day and Chipeur's ongoing involvement in Conservative party matters tend to undermine Day's denial of this past coalition agreement.