With the parliamentary ethics committee too busy investigating things embarrassing to the Conservatives, CPC MP Dean Del Mastro is trying desperately to get more mileage out of this ridiculous CBC question gate non-scandal.
In brief, the Cons were upset a CBC reporter shared some questions she had for Brian Mulroney with Liberal MP Pablo Rodriguez. Since Mulroney wasn’t returning the CBC’s calls, and since Rodriguez agreed they were pretty important questions, he put them to Mulroney during his not under oath testimony before the ethics committee.
This sent the Cons into conniptions, and they managed to get their pound of flesh when the CBC apologized, and re-assigned the reporter in question. You’d think they’d quite while they’re ahead.
But that’s not enough for our Dean though:
The governing Conservatives want to haul Liberal MP Pablo Rodriguez before the House Ethics Committee to apologize and to "admit that he lied" when he asked planted questions sent from a CBC reporter in the sensational Mulroney-Schreiber House Ethics Committee probe and they also want to hear from CTV NewsNet´s Mike Duffy host of Mike Duffy Live on the same issue.
After the CBC admitted that its reporter, Krista Erickson, provided questions to Mr. Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier, Que.) when he questioned former prime minister Brian Mulroney in December, Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro (Peterborough, Ont.) introduced a motion at the committee last week to call Mr. Rodriguez as a witness in order for him to "admit that he lied."
Myself, I’d like Stephen Harper to apologize for calling Liberals Taliban sympathizers, linking a Liberal MP to terrorism, insinuating ethnicity had something to do questioning on the Dimitri Soudas affair, and a long list of far more serious transgressions than sharing questions. But that's just me.
I’m reminded though of what the Conservatives warned when the opposition first called for an inquiry into the recent Mulroney allegations, a call the Cons initially resisted. Harper warned the Liberals should be careful, because if they insisted on going down that road, lots of bad stuff they’d done in a similar vein could be dragged out.
Perhaps Mr. Del Mastro should heed his leader’s own advice. The fact is, the media sharing questions and research with opposition MPs, and vice versa, is common and standard practice on the hill, and has been forever. By all parties. But don’t take my word for it:
Ottawa Sun columnist Greg Weston, who was on Mike Duffy Live when Mr. Duffy received the message, said if the Conservatives want to call Mr. Rodriguez, they should also call "every single Conservative MP who sat in opposition" because they did the same thing. "This is a daily thing," Mr. Weston said. "This is the most trumped up, ridiculous pandering to the Conservative core who believe that the CBC is part of the enemy and now it´s been proven we´re part of the enemy too. Well, as you always know, if there are two lists, I want to be on the black one."
So sure Dean, let’s investigate the sharing of information between opposition and the media. Let’s call all every National Post reporter that wrote about Shawinigate. Let’s call all the former Canadian Alliance MPs they worked hand it hand with on that, and umpteen other stories, over the years in a futile anti-Liberal vendetta. Why not, I’ll be fun.
Or maybe we can just have a laugh at this transparent and pathetic attempt to divert attention from the serious work the committee is doing. Former Mulroney chief of staff Norman Spector is due to testify this week. Rumour has it he’ll have some interesting information to share. It must be, if