Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Harper on allegations of political interference: "normal"

That's the upshot of Harper's response on the Dimitri Soudas issue today: "Soudas did nothing wrong in reaching out to Port of Montreal, Harper says." Those board members would say otherwise, those who felt inappropriately pressured. So would two of his own cabinet ministers who objected to the efforts at the time.

Soudas has a problem, it's becoming quite clear:
In February 2008, Liberal MP Raymonde Folco asked Soudas during a committee hearing in Ottawa whether he'd intervened.

"Did you meet with them (board members) to discuss this appointment?" Folco asked.

"No," Soudas replied.

In a follow-up email on Wednesday, Soudas said the issue of the next CEO "was discussed very briefly" during a meeting with the board on its priorities.
That email is a little different from a "no," isn't it? Why then did he tell a parliamentary committee, while under oath, a point blank "no?" This is a Prime Minister's spokesman. His word matters. That his boss thinks it doesn't, that matters too. What a web they weave.

What might the voters think? Where might this impact Conservatives?
Nik Nanos, the Globe and Mail/CTV pollster, picked up some concern about the Tories in Quebec during his polling Tuesday night – part of that disquiet, he believes, could be a result of the Soudas story.
Montreal political interference allegations, ethics letters on Bruce Carson...great news day for the Conservatives.

(h/t)