2 min

PMO spin, Tamil refugee edition

It was not a good day for politicos and motor vehicles. First, Mario Laguë, Ignatieff’s communications advisor, died in a motorcycle accident, and then Helena Guergis was sent to hospital following a car accident (though she appears to be fine). It’s not even a full moon! 

The other bit of drama is with that ship full of Tamil migrants/refugees being stopped off the West Coast and boarded by the navy. Well, it was eventually boarded, but not after some confusing back-and-forth messages between various departments, including the PMO, which gave all kinds of contradictory information. What’s that? Spin from the PMO? Never! Suffice to say, they’ve been directed to CFB Esquimalt, where they’ll be processed as refugee claimants and assessed. The government, however, has already started its messaging on this, talking about terrorists and human smugglers, and making Vic Toews its point man on this rather than Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. Oh, but it’s a “public safety issue on the high seas,” the PMO spin machine says. Um, except that they didn’t turn them away on the high seas because of the legal complications. Suffice to say, this may be the government’s next attempted crisis to try and divert attention from the census.

Apparently Tony Clement’s bare-minimum “compromise” on the census language issue isn’t good enough for those francophone groups, and they’re going to keep up with their legal challenge to keep the long-form mandatory. As well they should.

Now that the Conservatives are officially going ahead with the correctionally inappropriate practice of double bunking in federal prisons – and breaking a number of our international agreements and obligations in the process, not to mention good corrections practice – here’s some of the documents about the decision.

Liberal Senator Colin Kenny, the former chair of the Senate National Security and Defence Committee, is blowing the lid off some of what’s going on at the RCMP, and it’s not looking good for the current attempt at fixing the problems in the beleaguered institution.

The official media arm of The Party is sniping back at The Globe and Mail and Liberal officials for suggesting they were trying to undermine the auditor general with stories of her office’s spending on questionable training courses – and they’re neither cute nor funny while they’re at it. Similarly, right-wing talk radio host Dave Rutherford in Calgary is apoplectic about the terrible pack mentality of the Press Gallery who have axes to grind and just want to hurt poor Stephen Harper because they’re all liberals with an agenda! Or something like that. It must be hard to be such a paranoid fantasist, who doesn’t have to actually do research or know what he’s talking about if it gets the red-meat base all riled up.

And here’s the Toronto Star’s Jim Travers’s take on our trip to rural Pembroke on Monday.

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