Tories strike back against Guergis

Any bridges that were left between Helena Guergis and the Conservatives have been burnt to ashes following her teary interview on national television.

OTTAWA — Any bridges that were left between Helena Guergis and the Conservatives have been burnt to ashes following her teary interview on national television.

Some Tories reacted angrily Tuesday to the former junior cabinet minister’s first major interview since being booted from the party caucus, suggesting she twisted the truth.

Guergis told the CBC that neither Prime Minister Stephen Harper nor the party have told her exactly what the allegations are against her, besides vague references to “criminal behaviour” and drugs.

“I feel as though I have been charged, I feel as though I’ve gone through a trial, I have been convicted and now I’m being sentenced,” Guergis said. “And I still don’t know what it is I’m supposed to have done.”

But Transport Minister John Baird told the House of Commons that Harper “ensured that the member was made aware” of the “serious allegations” that faced her.

PMO spokesman Dimitri Soudas went further, insisting that the Conservative party lawyer fully briefed Guergis on the allegations.

The man who brought the whole matter forward, private investigator Derrick Snowdy, is scheduled to appear at a Commons committee today. It was Snowdy’s information that prompted Harper to drop Guergis and refer the matter to the RCMP.

Snowdy had been investigating Toronto businessman Nazim Gillani on behalf of an aggrieved investor when, he claims, he came across troubling information about Guergis and her husband, ex-Tory MP Rahim Jaffer. He said Gillani had intimated that he had compromising photographs of the couple, and that he was holding offshore accounts for them in Belize and Panama.

Gillani has denied those allegations, as have Guergis and Jaffer.

Both the Liberals and NDP attacked the Conservatives for their treatment of Guergis, after only six weeks ago calling for her resignation.

“Surely the prime minister had some concrete proof before he crucified his minister for the status of women,” said New Democrat MP Pat Martin.

“Could the prime minister tell us please what, if any, documents were actually passed to the relevant authorities regarding the member for Simcoe—Grey, or did he decide to ruin her life based on the unsubstantiated allegations of one discredited and dubious gumshoe?”

Conservatives also pointed to a part of the interview where Guergis said Jaffer did not use her Parliament Hill office for his private business activities.

An aide to Environment Minister Jim Prentice has already told the lobbying commissioner that he met with Jaffer in one of Guergis’ offices. During that meeting, Jaffer reportedly spoke about his latest business venture and brought up a project he was working on.

Public documents also show Jaffer used an email address assigned to Guergis while communicating with government officials about his private activities.

“It’s not believable,” said one Conservative. “She’s is not believable on this, she is not believable in her comments with respect to Rahim. People have a capacity to forgive when people are truthful.”

Guergis made a pointed reference in the interview to Snowdy: “I mean, I have questions about the private investigator. I have questions, serious questions. Like who is he, where did he come from, and who was he investigating and why?”

The Canadian Press reported on April 14, five days after Harper removed Guergis from caucus, that neither she nor her lawyer had been told what the allegations were.

“I’m sure you can appreciate it is very difficult to answer allegations based on innuendo from anonymous sources,” Guergis wrote that day. “Nevertheless, I intend to defend myself to the fullest extent to ensure that the record is set straight.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer College (Contributed photo)
RDC tuitions to go up 7%

Tuition increase the maximum allowed under provincial rules

This unicorn was stolen from the small community of Delia, northeast of Drumheller on Friday and was recovered, with its bronze horn broken off, on Saturday. RCMP are looking for information on the suspects.
(Photo from RCMP)
Unicorn statue stolen from Delia recovered

Statue found with horn broken off in field about 15 km from Delia

(Advocate file photo)
Lacombe man whose manslaughter sentence was rejected by judge has new lawyer

Judge rejected proposed seven-year sentence for manslaughter in connection with 2019 homicide

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference at Rideau cottage in Ottawa, on Friday, March 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Liberals to release federal budget with eye on managing crisis, post-pandemic growth

OTTAWA — The federal government will this afternoon unveil its spending plans… Continue reading

Patches are seen on the arm and shoulder of a corrections officer in the segregation unit at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women during a media tour, in Abbotsford, B.C., on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Correctional Service Canada says three inmates at Fraser Valley Institution recently tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Drumheller Institution inmate dies in custody

Inmate’s April 15 death under investigation

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

In this Feb. 24, 2020, photo, the Olympics rings are reflected on the window of a hotel restaurant as a server with a mask sets up a table, in the Odaiba section of Tokyo. The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with less than 1% vaccinated. This of course is spilling over to concerns about the postponed Tokyo Olympics that open in just over three months.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Will Japanese Olympians be vaccinated ahead of the public?

TOKYO — The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with… Continue reading

PSG's Kylian Mbappe, right, greets Bayern's Lucas Hernandez at the end of the Champions League, second leg, quarterfinal soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, France, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
PSG, Bayern the big names missing from Super League plan

DÜSSELDORF, Germany — The plan for the new Super League soccer competition… Continue reading

In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Marion Cotillard, left, and Brad Pitt appear in a scene from "Allied." (Daniel Smith/Paramount Pictures via AP)
Leo Carax’s ‘Annette’ to open Cannes Film Festival

Leo Carax’s “Annette,” starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver, will open the… Continue reading

From left, Producer Doug Mitchell, actor Chris Hemsworth and director George Miller attend at a press conference to announce the new "Mad Max" film at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, Monday, April 19, 2021. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)
‘Mad Max’ prequel shot in Outback to be released in 2023

SYDNEY, Australia — A prequel to the “Mad Max” movie franchise starring… Continue reading

In this Feb. 1, 2021 file photo, emissions from a coal-fired power plant are silhouetted against the setting sun in Independence, Mo. President Joe Biden faces a vexing task as he convenes a virtual climate summit on Thursday. He is expected to present a nonbinding but symbolic goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will have a tangible impact not only on climate change efforts in the U.S. but throughout the world. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
Biden pressed on emissions goal as climate summit nears

WASHINGTON — When President Joe Biden convenes a virtual climate summit on… Continue reading

Women wearing masks wait near an advertisement ahead of the Auto Shanghai 2021 show in Shanghai on Sunday, April 18, 2021. Automakers from around the world are showcasing their latest products this week in the world's biggest market for auto vehicles. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
VW, Ford unveil SUVs at China auto show under virus controls

SHANGHAI — Volkswagen, Ford and Chinese brands unveiled new SUVs for China… Continue reading

Investigators from the Vancouver Police Department were in Chilliwack Saturday, collecting evidence connected to a double homicide. (file photo)
Police investigate shooting death of man outside downtown Vancouver restaurant

Vancouver police say one man was killed in what they believe was… Continue reading

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start registering people 18 years and older for COVID-19 vaccines

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says it’s inviting people 18 years… Continue reading

Most Read