The Prime Minister's Office sought Tuesday to distance itself from reports coming from Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's office about possible defections of Liberal MPs to the Conservatives.
Dimitri Soudas, a PMO spokesperson, said there was no truth to claims made to the Star by Kenney's communications director, Alykhan Velshi, about three Liberal MPs interested in crossing the floor to the Conservatives.
Outside the main entrance to the Parliament buildings, Soudas called out to a Star reporter that Velshi's information was "bulls---."
He then in a conversation with the reporter could not explain why the communications director to the immigration minister would tell the Star about the potential floor-crossers if they didn't exist.
Nor could Soudas explain why he was "outing" Velshi on Tuesday afternoon as the source of the tip to the Star. Soudas went on to explain that only the PMO knows certain information and Velshi wouldn't have had the kind of facts the Star was seeking.
According to Velshi, the three Liberal MPs had made the approach to the Conservatives, but he did not know their names. He volunteered, however, that Dhalla wouldn't be a good catch because "she's going to lose" to the Tories in the next election. Velshi said he was sure of his information when asked whether it was solid enough to be published.There you have it. Pure, unadulterated bs. Yet the fascination was on yesterday, all day on this story. How powerful these little Conservative mouthpieces are. Perhaps next time, their little tales might be rigorously checked and failing substantiation, ignored.
The Prime Minister's Office, though, perhaps interested in cultivating peace with the Liberals, was quick to reassure reporters Tuesday that Conservatives were not in talks with any Liberal MPs about floor-crossing. In a break from normal practice, the PMO also told reporters the name of the government aide who spoke to the Star.
How interesting that the PMO outed Kenney's spokesman. A few possible reasons. They may have sensed a backlash among Liberals, that the poke had gone a bit too far and that a unifying force had been unleashed by this little broadside. Or the PMO may have just been reining in a rogue operator when they prefer to have control over such efforts themselves.
Perhaps they realized that the games were going too far, that they were tarnishing some MPs names and that even that was too much for the PMO. It's difficult to give them credit, however, because they enable this mischief by creating an environment in which it is fostered. They just can't help themselves.
So, the Conservative fabrication has been exposed. Have a very good day, Liberals.