Monday, June 08, 2009

"It's all bad"

This Raitt tape story is breaking all over the place today. The larger point behind it being that the competence of the Harper government is once again at issue, this time apparently being put in issue by one of its own ministers on an issue of crucial medical health for Canadians. One of the key aspects of today's breaking developments, as conveyed by David McGuinty in the House of Commons, is the question of whether the Natural Resources Minister may have doubts about the Health Minister's competence:
During Monday's question period in the House of Commons, Liberal environment critic David McGuinty asked Raitt to clarify whether she made disparaging comments about the competence of federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq.
We will have to wait the outcome of the goings on in that Halifax courtroom for more on that.

And what an unprecedented spectacle that must be, developing in that Halifax courtroom, where Raitt's former aide is trying to suppress publication of the tape. Yep, the former aide. Believe that one?

And now it appears, the tape of Raitt may be more fulsome than suggested above:
Canwest News Service has also learned that senior officials in the Prime Minister's Office were briefed on the contents of the tape last week.

"It's all bad," said one government source with knowledge of the contents of the tape.

The person who made the recording, according to government sources speaking on condition of anonymity, is Jasmine MacDonnell, Raitt's former director of communications. They believe MacDonnell accidentally recorded Raitt when Raitt and MacDonnell were candidly assessing the capabilities and qualities of other cabinet ministers, including the prime minister.

All of the court documents, including the name of the person seeking the court injunction, remain sealed. (emphasis added)
And the PMO is tripping over itself trying to keep its story straight:
Government sources say some PMO officials were briefed on the contents of the tape on Thursday.

Dimitri Soudas, press secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said no government department is involved in the hearing in Nova Scotia on Monday afternoon. Soudas said he had no knowledge of the matter. Steve Outhouse, who has replaced MacDonnell as Raitt's director of communications, also said his office had no knowledge of the matter.

Ryan Sparrow, a spokesman for the Conservative Party of Canada, said the party has no connection to the matter.'s just one former fired aide who has taken it upon herself, all by her lonesome, to suppress this audiotape in which Raitt is the person allegedly speaking as reported's all bad, that's for sure.

For more on this topic, see: Blog Post Index: Medical Isotope crisis & Chalk River shutdown.