An unsuccessful Conservative candidate from Montreal who was hired as an adviser to the federal heritage minister has mysteriously resigned in the wake of allegations that the government was using him as a "shadow MP" to undermine an elected Liberal MP.
"I'm no longer working for the government," Saulie Zajdel said flatly in a short telephone conversation. "You asked the question. I gave you the answer. That's it. I'm now a private citizen."
Zajdel declined to confirm rumours that he left the government job out of frustration about the Conservative party's approach to the escalating controversy. He also declined to say whether he still supports the Conservatives.James Moore went to bat for Zajdel's role when it was first uncovered and became controversial, only to be tripped up as revelations of Zajdel's political activities continued. And now Zajdel has exited his position.
A spokesman for Moore declined to react to the news, explaining the government doesn't comment on internal staffing matters.
That is as it should be. If Zajdel wants to run against Cotler in the next election, government dollars should not be paying him to be a candidate and shadow MP in the meantime.
Score one for dogged political reporting.