Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More layers off the onion

First up, the Prentice misleading the House situation is no better today than yesterday. Arguably it is worse, as Harperbizarro sets out. In Prentice's carefully worded Friday statement to the House of Commons, he gave the clear impression that his staffer met with Jaffer in Calgary. Many media ran with that, it was a common misunderstanding based on what Prentice said. Yet Prentice changed the story yesterday in the House of Commons, saying his staffer met with Jaffer in Guergis' office. You can see a government motive to suppress that kind of information, that a former MP would be conducting business out of a cabinet minister's office, that of a spouse. Now this is the second time within a week that Prentice's statements to the House of Commons have been put in issue. And it stands alone as an issue, misleading the House, separate and apart from any other issues or facts in the Jaffer matter.

Note that CTV reported on Friday night that Jaffer had met with the Prentice staffer in Guergis' office. They did not, however, report on the discrepancy between Prentice's statement in the House and the information they were reporting:

Secondly, developments from last night and yesterday have added a few more names to the crowd of Harper ministers and MPs whom Rahim Jaffer or his business partner met with or tried to contact. Last night CTV cited Tony Clement who suddenly remembers that Jaffer contacted him too. Bob Fife was also reporting a "direct business pitch" to Minister Gary Goodyear's office. Whether that direct pitch to Goodyear's office is different from the three projects Glemaud submitted to Andrew House, Goodyear's staffer, in connection with the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, not clear. We have also learned of the possibility of James Rajotte and maybe others being in the mix now too.

It looks like the Harper crew are trying to get names out before they hear any new ones this Wednesday afternoon at the Government Operations committee when the next hearing occurs. Or maybe in advance of a return date for Jaffer, who might expand more if and when he returns to committee to address discrepancies in his testimony. It will be interesting to see how upcoming hearings and what we learn will match up against what we've been told thus far by the Harper government members.