Ralph Goodale asks Prime Minister Stephen Harper for an apology after the former Liberal finance minister is exonerated by an RCMP investigation into the leak of income trust policy prior to implementation in November 2005.
Harper’s response: “No, your face is!!11″
Harper yesterday swept aside any suggestion that the completed police investigation exonerated Goodale, and scoffed at calls for him to apologize to Goodale.
“On the contrary, I actually believe Mr. Goodale owes Canadians an apology,” Harper told reporters during a visit to Mississauga.
“You will recall that he told Canadians that no one in his office or his department was involved in any kind of activity. It was the position of the Liberal party prior to the last election that this should be swept under the carpet.”
In Ottawa, Goodale said Harper simply can’t admit he’s wrong now or he was wrong when he and other critics accused Goodale or his office of leaking information that may have allowed some people to make a killing.
Harper also demanded the Liberals apologize to former RCMP commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli for suggesting the scandal “was an invention of the RCMP.”
There is good reason to be suspicious of the timing behind the RCMP’s announcement, so I’m not shedding any tears for the disgraced ex-commish. That said, there’s no denying Goodale was mistaken to claim there was no merit to the investigation. As NDP MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis contends,”[Goodale] was wrong. He claimed that I and the NDP were motivated merely by politics. He was wrong.”
If Goodale has any sense of ethics, he’ll apologise to Canadians. Regardless of direct complicity, a cabinet minister is ultimately responsible for what occurs in his or her department. Even though Goodale had no knowledge of or part in the leak, it happened under his watch and he should own up to it.
However, the self righteous posturing on the part of the CPC (and NDP) is nauseating. To summarise: during the last election campaign, the Tories (and Dippers) called for Goodale’s scalp, adding to the atmosphere of Liberal graft and corruption already enveloping the Canadian political environment. Now that Goodale and the rest of his senior staff have been cleared, Harper and co. have decided that continuing to take the low road through Quebec is the best route to reach majority status in 2007.
The heavily partisan, wholly polarising communication style of Harper’s government is uncomfortably similar to that of a certain southerly neighbour’s (case in point: the manner in which the Tories defend Canada’s role in Afghanistan).
update 02.18: Sinister Greg doesn’t buy the official story.