Guergis breaks her silence

Helena Guergis has broken her silence. The beleaguered former junior cabinet minister told the CBC that she pleaded with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to explain why he was removing her from the Conservative caucus.

OTTAWA — Helena Guergis has broken her silence.

The beleaguered former junior cabinet minister told the CBC that she pleaded with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to explain why he was removing her from the Conservative caucus.

She says she has still not been told what the allegations are against her.

Guergis has made only one public appearance since being turfed from cabinet a month ago.

The Conservative party told Guergis last week that she was being dropped as a candidate.

She is appealing that decision, but rulings of the party’s governing body are considered final.

Harper has never publicly said what allegations compelled him to remove Guergis from caucus and refer the matter to the RCMP. He has only referred vaguely to “serious allegations” against a member of his government, and said they related to her “comportment.”

The man who brought the information to the Conservatives, Derrick Snowdy, is scheduled to appear before a parliamentary committee on Wednesday. Snowdy said he uncovered troubling information about Guergis and her husband, ex-Tory MP Rahim Jaffer, while investigating a business associate of Jaffer’s, Nazim Gillani.

Snowdy said Gillani claimed he was holding offshore accounts for Guergis and Jaffer. Snowdy also said Gillani intimidated he had compromising photographs of the couple. Gillani has denied those allegations, as have Guergis and Jaffer.

Snowdy has insisted that he was never accusing Jaffer and Guergis of anything, only raising concerns with the party because of their association with Gillani.

The couple are also in the hotseat over their activities around Parliament Hill. The lobbying and ethics commissioners have been sent numerous letters by Conservative and opposition politicians alike concerning potential violations.

Jaffer and his business partner, Patrick Glemaud — who are not registered lobbyists — communicated with at least six ministerial offices regarding various environmental projects they were working on through their company Green Power Generation. The pair insist they were not lobbying the government, just seeking information.

Jaffer also used Guergis’ Parliament Hill office, and sent email using a parliamentary address assigned to his wife.

Questions also linger about a letter Guergis wrote to a municipal politician in her riding, supporting a green waste-management project. Jaffer’s company had been dealing with both Gillani and the owner of the project at the time the letter was sent.

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