However, Karen Redman waved a scarlet flag in my face yesterday with her opening salvo of diatribe in Question Period. Fridays are typically the domain of the "B-team", and yesterday was no exception on the part of the opposition.
Here's the transcript from Hansard (without the annoying sound of a whiny voice for your reading pleasure):
Hon. Karen Redman (Kitchener Centre, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, what we have seen in the last two days is a government ruling by fear and intimidation. The Minister of the Environment admitted yesterday that the bogus arrest of Jeffrey Monaghan would send the right message to public servants.
However, what about the leaks by his own staff and the leaks by Jeffrey Kroeker, now the director of communications for the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs? Where were the handcuffs for him?
Why does the government want to send a chill through the public service?
Hon. Peter Van Loan (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, I will not to comment on the specific investigation into the criminal matter to which the member for Kitchener Centre refers. However, I will quote her leader on the general subject of that investigation and he said:
—"I will never encourage this kind of behaviour...For the principle, I think civil servants must respect the secrecy of their role."
I would like to know why the member is asking that question when her own leader looks at that kind of behaviour and condemns it as inappropriate. Why can the Liberal Party and the Liberal leader not hold the same position on any issue for more than 24 hours?
Good question, Peter. I was wondering the same thing. Why would Karen Redman attempt to contradict her own leader with her innuendo that the government was out of line to come down hard on a government worker who defied laws of confidentiality?
I admit the handcuff spectacle was a bit much, but we can't allow public servants to take matters into their own hands and decide when government platforms should be released to the public.
How is that different from the situation of the 'other' Jeffrey? I think Stephen Taylor said it best in his response to Calgary Grit in the comments section of his excellent post, "Whistleblower Stomped by Unaccountable Senate":
"...we know that what Monaghan did was an arrestable offense. You don't know that what Kroeker did was "illegal". They are two different situations. Monaghan was a bureaucrat and Kroeker is a Senate staffer. Kroeker blew the whistle, Monaghan was serving his own agenda. And besides, any researcher could have picked up the phone and found out the cost of a hotel room in Dubai. I could have blown the whistle. You could have blown the whistle..."
Kroeker may have embarrassed his boss, Senator Breton, by contradicting her earlier statement, but the two incidents are just not comparable in terms of severity and breach of trust.
If civil servants were allowed to announce any government policy ahead of time, fueled by their own particular political view, we would have chaos! Wow, just what Mr. Monaghan seems to be so preoccupied with.
Sandy has also done a great job fisking the Globe's Bill Curry and Alex Dobrota for the same illogical comparison - MSM on the Anarchist and the Aide.
Perhaps if certain members of the Liberal party and the liberal media were a bit more truthful, the Canadian public would be better able to assess the antics in Ottawa (and maybe those polls would start going back up for the CPC).
At the very least, the Chief Whip of the LPC should listen to the wisdom of her leader and chill out.
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Update: Steve Janke shares some insight about Jeffrey Monaghan. It seems young Jeff might have it in for Harper.