Well, this should be interesting.
How will Stephen Harper find a way to save his golden boy, Jason Kenny, from a scandal that will wash over the Minister in Charge of Securing the Ethnic Vote.
Here’s the story: Linda Duncan, who, as anyone with even passing knowledge of Canadian politicians knows, is a New Democrat, received a hand-delivered letter from Jason Kenny’s office. Now, that seems sweet. Maybe it was a mash note. But no, it was a letter intended for someone else with the name of Duncan. Oops.
The letter, on Kenny’s official parliamentary stationary and signed by his director of multicultural affairs, outlines how the Conservatives need another $200,000 to buy ads in ethnic publications, presumably in advance of an election. Simple mistake, right? Wrong.
MPs are strictly forbidden from doing party work in their parliamentary offices. It’s a flagrant violation of the rules. Not only that, Kenny clearly directed a government employee to write the letter, which means Kenny is using government employees, government time and government money to raise funds for the Conservatives. This is an absolute disgrace, and Kenny must be fired immediately.
But will he? Harper, who has all the ethics of a carnival barker, has been standing behind Bev Oda, who lied to parliament. Now that one of this favourite ministers, and a rumoured leadership candidate when Harper finally decides to hang up his hair, has been caught in a much, much worse violation of the rules, what are the odds that Harper will stonewall the whole thing? My guess is that right now, the Harper crisis management team is figuring out some way to lay all the blame for this at the feet of the snivel servant who wrote the letter. “All a misunderstanding,” we will be told. And the employee will be fired, and probably be quietly hired back somewhere else as a thank you for falling on her sword for the party.
This won’t do. This is a disgraceful violation of parliamentary rules. Kenny has no choice to resign … but he won’t. Ethics are not Stephen Harper’s strong suit. But unless Harper cans Kenny, this scandal has the potential to derail the Conservative plans for force an election.
In short, this stinks, and somebody has to be fired.