Harperites’ hypocrisyPosted: November 13, 2013
On Monday, long-time Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis said something regrettable on television. Stupid, too. And then he did something that politicians don’t do enough these days – he immediately apologized.
But then the Harper machine got on it. There’s a petition out there calling for Karygiannis’ resignation and a fundraising letter, under Tory minister Julian Fantino’s signature titled, “Fire Him Now.”
As I said on Sun today, Karygiannis did the right thing by apologizing for said stupid comments, but we shouldn’t take any lessons from the Conservatives on this, given their astonishing track record. Here are just a few highlights:
- As Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Pierre Poilievre tells Canadians that aboriginals “needed to learn the value of hard work more than they needed compensation for abuse suffered in residential schools.” Poilievre apologized even through many of his caucus colleagues – including the Prime Minister! – defended him. Poilievre keeps his portfolio.
- Again as PS to the PM, Poilievre uses the racist term “tar baby” in the House of Commons. Refuses to apologize, keeps his job.
- In 2008, then-Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz, in the middle of a listeriosis outbreak that killed people, made a joke about it was “death by a thousand…cold cuts.” Ritz kept his job – even though 17 people died – and the PM said that he had complete confidence in Ritz despite the “very unfortunate” comments.
- In 2009, Minister Lisa Raitt, caught on tape saying that the medical isotopes crisis was “sexy.” “But it’s sexy,” Ms. Raitt said. “Radioactive leaks. Cancer.” Raitt offered her resignation but the PM refused to accept it.
Karygiannis’ comments were insensitive, disrespectful and just plain wrong. He apologized. Conservatives want him fired.
Conservative ministers make racist comments, suggest that cancer is sexy and joke about the deaths of 17 Canadians and nothing happens.
I’m not defending Karigiannis’ comments – and no one should – but the hypocrisy of this government is astounding.