Time to step down Ms Junior Cabinet Minister

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NorthReport
Time to step down Ms Junior Cabinet Minister

-_-

NorthReport

 

Air Canada wimps - they should never have delayed the flight for her. The passengers should sue air chance and the airport staffers should sue the Conservatives.

Airport worker says Guergis meltdown among worst he's seen

 

"Everybody was ... trying to get her out, trying to help her. But she took it upon herself to think everyone was trying to block her at every move," he said. "She was very unprofessional, very unorganized, very rude."

According to the staffer, Ms. Guergis and her assistant showed up 15 minutes before her scheduled Air Canada Jazz flight to Montreal around 5:30 p.m., already nagging employees to hurry up.

"She was yelling at the Jazz agent to hurry up and that [he was] wasting her time and that she had to get going because she wanted to get home [to her husband] because it's her 'effing birthday,'" the employee said.

They were told they could not tote their oversized bags as carry-on and would have to check them. The pair approached the gate and began banging trying to break through.

"A staffer went to the gates to tell her to just hang on because she was literally banging and kicking on the glass at the security doors," he said.

When they reached security, she ran through the metal detectors, he said, setting off the bells.

"She took her boots off and she threw them" at a security official, he said, berating them the whole time.

Then she was waved over by another staffer, a single mother, he said.

She said 'I'm going to be stuck in this shithole because of you,'" he said.

After clearing security, the two had to wait at the security gate for an Air Canada staffer who had left to search for Ms. Guergis and her aide.

"They started kicking and banging on the glass at the gate trying to get out," he said.

The pair were finally allowed on the plane, the staffer said, which had since been delayed so Ms. Guergis could board.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/airport-worker-says-guergis...

Sineed

The unsigned letter is here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/27482944/Unsigned-Letter-Redacted

Anonymous wrote:
At this point the Honourable Helen Guergis took a seat and huffily started to remove her footwear, upon their removal she slammed them into the bin provided by Miss {redacted}, and then the Minister of State for the Status of Women said to {redacted}, a single mother working to support herself and her son, "Happy Fucking Birthday to me!  I guess I'm stuck on this hellhole."

<snip>

It is most unlikely that anyone involved in this incident will be able to give statements or interviews "on the record,"

- Due to likely termination of employment, Anonymous.

In 1987, I was able to get onto a plane 15 minutes before departure.  But due to security concerns, that's no longer possible - unless you're a Conservative MP.

Maybe Rahim's charges are getting to her?

Stockholm

Boy Helena Guergis and Rahim Jaffer seem to be quite the "gruesome twosome"!!

Unionist

I see no reason for this huge fuss about Ms. Guergis just because she had a meltdown going through security. She insulted PEI - imagine! She swore and was arrogant - scandalous!

My feelings about Ms. Guergis are based on her politics. Let me [url=http://www.rabble.ca/babble/national-news/rahim-jaffer-arrested-drunk-dr... myself[/url] from the Rahim Jaffer thread - where, you will recall, some babblers were demanding that she not be found "guilty by association" with her pathetic excuse for a husband:

Unionist wrote:
I don't care one jot whether she's complicit in her pal's crimes or not - nor do I even know whether Rahim is guilty. I despise and loathe her primarily because of her anti-woman stands, particularly disgusting given her hifalutin title of Minister of State for the Status of Women. Being the butt of tasteless jokes is a far more charitable fate than she deserves.

And again:

Unionist wrote:
Personally, I find Guergis guilty by association - with Rahim - and Harper, Flaherty, Clement, Baird, Kenney... Also for heading up Harper's department on the Subordinate Status of Women.

 

NorthReport

Critics say 'petulant' Helena Guergis must goThey say anyone else would have been barred from plane or arrested for outburst in P.E.I.

"She acted like a petulant child. I think she should be forced to resign because she showed such contempt for ordinary Canadians and the people of that province (Prince Edward Island) that I think she has lost the moral authority to be a minister of the Crown," said NDP MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre).

Martin said if anyone else displayed that kind of behaviour they would at least have been taken aside and probably not allowed to board the airplane, and, at worst, arrested and possibly Tasered.

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/772404--critics-say-petulant-...

remind remind's picture

Classism and  racism at work in this case, allowing Guergis through, as here in BC  MLA Jenny Kwan was denied passage on an regional airplane, because she had a breast pump in her possession.

 

 

Stockholm

This column in the Halifax Chronicle says it all:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1169637.html

Tantrum shows Guergis isn’t ready for high profile

"LAST FRIDAY, Helena Guergis, the secretary of state for the status of women, held an event in Charlottetown, P.E.I., to give out a $197,000 cheque for a program that encourages women to become involved in politics.

I hope that this program works quickly, because Guergis’s subsequent behaviour at the Charlottetown Airport suggests that she is not the kind of role model women need.

Guergis arrived late for her flight and then threw a temper tantrum that disgusted the security workers and ticket agents there.

According to a detailed anonymous letter making the rounds, and an eye-witness account, Guergis was a perfect brat, refusing to follow instructions at the scanner, throwing her boots, treating her staffer like a servant, screaming and banging on a security window and showing every sign of having lost all perspective about her relative unimportance in the world.

"Happy (freaking) birthday to me," she allegedly complained. "I guess I’m stuck in this hellhole."

"Guergis seems to have succumbed to a hazard of the trade: thinking you are important when you are not, the kind of thing that can happen when you are surrounded by sycophants whose jobs depend on sucking up to you.

Guergis is less important than the security officers and ticket agents she treated like scum. If they screw up their jobs, the safety of passengers would be imperilled. On the other hand, if Guergis screws up, and if it looks like the media is about to report that, all she has to do is issue a statement of apology.

So far as I can tell, Guergis’s chief political achievement has been in being a telegenic female, so that she can sit behind Prime Minister Stephen Harper and nod her head as he speaks, like a bobble-head doll."

This part in particularly interesting:

 

"

Harper is ultimately responsible for giving Guergis the job when it is obvious to many people in his own party that she is not well equipped to handle even a junior ministry portfolio.

But he needs women to sit behind him the House of Commons and nod when he speaks, and he needs women to fly around the country and have meetings with women’s groups and hand out cheques, and he doesn’t have that many women in his caucus to choose from.

There 23 female MPs in the 144-member Conservative caucus, just 16 per cent. The Liberals have 25 per cent, the Bloc has 30 per cent and the NDP has 32 per cent.

I find New Democrat female MPs are often more skilful than their counterparts in other parties — whatever you think of their politics — because they often come from unions and activist organizations, where they have learned the game, while the Grits and Tories are more likely to pick women from business, academia or pageants and then promote them more quickly than is helpful."

 

remind remind's picture

maybe she was jonesin?   :D

NorthReport

Status of Women minister should resign
 
Helena Guergis's airport episode raises doubts about her cabinet fitness
Status of Women minister should resign

 

Helena Guergis's airport episode raises doubts about her cabinet fitness

 

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Status+Women+minister+should+resign/...

NorthReport

Time for the NDP to organize Simcoe Grey

2008 election

Cons - 55% (Guergis)

Libs - 22%

NDP - 11%

2006 election

NDP - 11%

2004 election

NDP - 10%

2000 election

NDP - 3%

NorthReport

Transferable skills

 

This explains, and I don't say this lightly, why some people in government have a hard time finding jobs after politics. Employers in the private sector, for the most part,  actually have little use for folks with highly developed skills in haranguing, bullying and intimidating people. The "communications experts" who believe that you can  manage the media with threats, for instance, aren't so much in demand outside politics.  In short, the methods that some political people use to get their own way here  are not transferable to the private workplace, unless you  have career aspirations in the direction of  pro wrestling. 

The sad thing about Guergis's tantrum is that in Ottawa, it almost looks like business as usual.   Fifty yards away from Parliament Hill, as the old saying goes, it's a little harder to get away with this nonsense. 

http://thestar.blogs.com/politics/2010/02/transferable-skills.html

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Bravo to Pat Martin:

 

excerpt:

 

"She acted like a petulant child. I think she should be forced to resign because she showed such contempt for ordinary Canadians and the people of that province (Prince Edward Island) that I think she has lost the moral authority to be a minister of the Crown," said NDP MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre).

Martin said if anyone else displayed that kind of behaviour they would at least have been taken aside and probably not allowed to board the airplane, and, at worst, arrested and possibly Tasered.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Someone should go after Vic Toews about the double standard Public Safety is followed by allowing Guergis to board after a display that would see the "average" Canadian placed in custody.

NorthReport

bagkitty,

Good point. This is an incredible story about bad behaviour, bullying, and getting away with it.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

It does make me wonder, though, how exceptional this little outburst was. It is a perennial complaint here in Alberta, how the provincial government maintains a fleet of aircraft that transports cabinet ministers and MLAs... it is particularly annoying when it is doing so between Edmonton and Calgary (which is generously served by commercial flights) -- it makes me wonder how much can be explained not just as catering to the "convenience" of the passengers but protecting them from exposing their tendency to exactly the same kind of asshattery Ms. Guergis so recently demonstrated.

Unionist

I find this thread troubling. What do we do the next time some progressive politician throws a tantrum? Not conceivable, you say?

I think we're better off sticking to politics. You'll never see cold-blooded Harper melt down. Calling on him to turf Guergis - and not even for her anti-women stands - seems deeply wrong to me.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

I'm with Unionist on this one.  Her bahaviour may have been bad, but I can't bring myself to think this is a resignable offence.  Calling for her resignation here just dilutes the impact when calling for a resignation after a minister has really fucked up.

I don't want to defend her actions, but maybe she was having a bad day?  Did she hit anyone?  Did she do anything other than yell and scream. 

I think at most this warrents an apology, and maybe a stern talking to.  She also takes a hit to her image, which is pretty important to politicians.

ottawaobserver

Well, there've certainly been a fair number of Liberal politicians who've had airport incidents as well (John McCallum comes to mind).

Two points:  the politicians in cabinet who make the airport security regulations saying they're necessary to keep us safe should be setting a better example in following them (they travel a lot, and given the way air travel is going these days, it would make me crabby too, but still, they're the very people who made the rules).  I remember when Alan Redway, a very decent red tory cabinet minister and very progressive housing minister for awhile in the second term of the Mulroney government, made a joke about bombs in a security line-up; he was charged, took his lumps graciously, and then stepped down from cabinet.

Second:  if one of our folks treated workers that way in public, it would be our people stringing them up before the right-wing media could even get to them.  The fact that this behaviour of hers bothers Lorne Gunter says something pretty serious.  I personally think Guergis was not likely to last the next cabinet shuffle anyway, but her days are numbered now.  There are smarter bobbing heads now (whatever you think of their politics) like Candace Hoeppner and the woman from Kamloops that he can seat behind him in QP.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

While I am not going to go to the barricades over it, I would disagree with Unionist and Lou - and think the spotlight should continue to focus on Ms Guergis. While a lot of the commentary (here and elsewhere) is really nothing more than an expression of schadenfreude, the misfortune we are being gleeful about is pretty clearly a political matter. As a Con insider, Ms Guergis has had significantly more influence over the paranoid security protocols governing us all than the average air traveller has had... she is, in her role as cabinet member, a co-author of the very policies that triggered her actions. It is not simply a personal lapse (as, for example, an extra-marital affair would be) -- much like her spouse with his impaired driving charge, she directly flouted the laws that she had a direct hand in drafting, passing and promoting. She must be held to a higher standard in this.

remind remind's picture

Kamloops = Cathy McCloud (sp)

 

Guergis needs to step down from her jr  portfolio..and thereby save herself a bit of dignity with the  public's perceptions of her, especially before Harper ignores her completely in the up coming shuffle.

 

It will up to her voters to chuck her out or not.

 

 

Unionist

Exactly which law did Guergis violate, bagkitty?

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Got me Unionist, I don't have my pocket criminal code handy to see which section applies to creating a disturbance at a security gate at an airport. I did go to the CATSA site to see if they listed the relevant legislation, but they don't. Off the top of my head, I would guess that the most likely charge the crown would seek would be along the lines of breach of the peace or causing a disturbance. A quick and easy way to find out is to go to your local airport, act in the same fashion as Ms Guergis, and see what they charge you with. Laughing

remind remind's picture

We have a dead Polish man in BC who did about exactly the same thing, eh!

 

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Yeah, but he wasn't charged before they killed him... so I am not sure if that will satisfy Unionist's challenging me to supply chapter and verse.

remind remind's picture

Well....as I noted prior, they denied Jenny Kwan access to the plane just for carrying a breast pump in her bag...and speaking of MLA's I just can't believe Albertans think it is okay for theirs to travel by a fleet of private plane.

 

Unionist

Bagkitty, I don't want chapter and verse, because I don't believe she committed any kind of crime. I think this whole noise smacks of typical Liberal Party indignation. It's a diversion.

Michelle

Quote remind:
-------------------
We have a dead Polish man in BC who did about exactly the same thing, eh!
-------------------

No kidding. The difference being, he didn't actually try to kick through a security door to get to a plane!

remind remind's picture

"Liberal Party" indignation, that would be equivalent to me  levelling accusations of  Conservative apologists trying to minimize  their MP's actions, along with creating a diversion away from their actions of doing so.

Unionist

Wayne Easter demanded that she be fired. Peter Stoffer did not. Liberals love to create a scandal about individual personalities. It's safer than attacking policy - because who knows, it may be the same as their own policy.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Unionist wrote:
Wayne Easter demanded that she be fired. Peter Stoffer did not. Liberals love to create a scandal about individual personalities. It's safer than attacking policy - because who knows, it may be the same as their own policy.

 

From the link I posted upstream:

 

"She acted like a petulant child. I think she should be forced to resign because she showed such contempt for ordinary Canadians and the people of that province (Prince Edward Island) that I think she has lost the moral authority to be a minister of the Crown," said NDP MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre).

remind remind's picture

Fair enough and good point!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

He's still an NDP MP last time I checked.Frown

 

Unionist

Boom Boom wrote:

"She acted like a petulant child. I think she should be forced to resign because she showed such contempt for ordinary Canadians and the people of that province (Prince Edward Island) that I think she has lost the moral authority to be a minister of the Crown," said NDP MP Pat Martin (Winnipeg Centre).

Look, I'm not a big fan of Peter Stoffer's because of his stand on Afghanistan, but at least he comes across as positively progressive and diplomatic compared to that wingnut pro-Israel anti-Québec nouveau-pro-Youth-For-Christ Pat Martin idiot.

In this particular case, let's hope the sobriety of Peter Stoffer's remarks prevail. I saw them live, but if I find a link, I'll post it.

ETA: Ok, here's the Evan Solomon piece which I saw. Easter is demanding she quit / be fired. At 4:55 in the video, Stoffer says:

Peter Stoffer wrote:
I personally think that she should go back to Charlottetown, and meet the people that she was so rudely [sic] towards, and personally apologize in front of them. Whether she should resign or not, I don't really think so, because we're all human, we all get upset sometimes, and we do things that we probably shouldn't have done. Mind you, her actions and her outbursts in Charlottetown were beyond the pale and completely unacceptable, but I don't personally think that she should resign over it.

I can't believe I'm quoting Peter Stoffer favourably, but there you go - I didn't believe Canada would beat the U.S. for the gold in hockey either!!!

Stockholm

More really damaging news stories about Helena Guergis - a woman who is the heart and soul of Conservatism in Canada.

Check out this report from CTV that she wants to sue Air Canada publicizing her hissy fit!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC8G4tRmArI

remind remind's picture

Oh, that outta work for keeping a lid on her poor behaviour, what a lack wit she is.

 

 

NorthReport

Helena Guergis is done. It's just a matter of time

 

 

Hard to feel sorry for MP's haughty fall from grace

 

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Hard+feel+sorry+haughty+fall+from+grac...

Fidel

Apparently she has a low opinion of the little people. The halls of power in Ottawa needed a good cleaning out decades ago.

NorthReport

Guergis, Jaffer at height of hypocrisy

Maybe young people should be interested in manufacturing tariffs, but they are not. They are interested in televised singing and dancing contests, tagging pictures of one another on Facebook, and scandalous behaviour of attractive, successful people.

Thank goodness, then, for Helena Guergis and Rahim Jaffer, the Tory poster couple for bad behaviour, for offering young people a bit of titillation this week.

It has been pretty good theatre - a farce in two acts - wherein they behave badly, with no consequences to themselves beyond public scorn, and we all get to enjoy the spectacle. 

http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/1171899.html