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Arar commission counsel rejects the ‘have to see it to believe it’ defence of the government.

A lot of professional diplomats and other credible persons are coming to Richard Colvin’s defence today. This Star column is an interview with Paul Cavalluzzo, the senior commission counsel at the Maher Arar inquiry. He says the Conservative government’s claims of needing “first hand evidence” to believe that torture was being committed in Afghanistan is not very credible and very similar to what Maher Arar faced:

…Cavalluzzo, a respected Toronto lawyer, cited similarities between the Conservative government’s hard-line position and Canada’s role in the torture of Arar in a Syrian prison.. “I saw many similarities because his (Defence Minister Peter MacKay’s) position seems to be that unless you see the […]


European Union diplomat says Colvin is correct.

Richard Colvin’s diplomatic equivalent in the EU says in the Saturday Toronto Star that Colvin knew what he was talking about when he tried to warn Canadian officials about torture:

EU diplomat backs claims on torture Canadian’s warnings on Afghan detainees reflected common view, says his European colleague

Richard Colvin’s repeated warnings to the Canadian government about detainee torture in Afghanistan were an expression of the common concerns of like-minded Western nations, not the baseless ramblings of a rogue diplomat, a European colleague says. Michael Semple, former deputy head of the European Union’s mission in Afghanistan when Colvin was second-in-command of the Canadian embassy, said his own records from his […]


Peter MacKay – ‘Whoops, I forgot’

How do you “forget” that you were on the board of 2 of your father’s companies (And not just some low-level executive either)? That’s what Defence Minister Peter MacKay is claiming with the news today that he had violated conflict of interest guidelines for Cabinet Ministers:

Until Wednesday, Mr. MacKay was vice-president of Beaver Lumber and a director of Lorne Resources, both companies owned by his father, former federal minister Elmer MacKay…Peter MacKay resigned from the boards of both companies on Wednesday after he learned that he was in violation of the act. He said he had forgotten that he was an officer of either company…The Conflict of Interest Act […]


A tough choice.

On the one hand, I wouldn’t mind a bit if Peter MacKay left Canada to take up a job at NATO. On the other hand, do we really want him running an outfit like NATO? He’ll need to tone down or eliminate “the Russians are coming” screeching he and the Harper government have taken up recently, if he does somehow manage to win that position, as well as stop putting his foot into his mouth on other issues, as he has managed to do in Canada. Maybe if he was out from under the thumb of Harper, he might up his performance in an international role (though I have my […]


“The great parliamentarian”

Peter MacKay, current defence minister, paid a visit to Guelph yesterday to help stump for Gloria Kovach. They both did an interview with the Guelph Mercury afterwards, and the part that amused me was in the where Gloria made this statement:

“Peter is a great parliamentarian,” she said. “He’s done a lot for our country and certainly internationally as well.”

A great parliamentarian? Really? Above and beyond the Belinda Stronach breakup that caused him a minor controversy over remarks he may or may not have said about her, we also have the “stick to knitting” comment we do know he made. He had to issue an apology to Alexa Mcdonough […]



Interesting blogpost at the Guelph Mercury’s Guelph Votes blogsite today:

Defence Minister Peter MacKay will be going door-to-door with Conservative candidate Gloria Kovach. Mercury staff will also be meeting with Jennifer Wright, “the founder and chief environmental activist of Green Shift.”

Very interesting both of these folks appear in Guelph on the same day. I’d be interested to hear who exactly it was that invited Ms. Wright down today to the Guelph riding; was it the CPC? The NDP? The Guelph Mercury?

I’ll also be very interested to see in her talk to the Mercury how much she injects herself into the political campaign in Guelph. I hope for the […]

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