Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stephen, time to step up... and have her step down!!!

The following article comes from the Edmonton Journal but I think it sums up what's on everyone's mind. I think the Prime Minister underestimated how Canadian's would react to proroguing Parliament which showed poor leadership on his part. If he wants’ to earn back any creditability for his leadership here in Atlantic Canada then he has an opportunity to do so by asking this Minister to step down from her Cabinet position. Simply put an elected official can't go around implying we (or any Canadian for that matter) live in some kind of "hell hole" and not get disciplined....
Status of Women minister should resign
Helena Guergis's airport episode raises doubts about her cabinet fitness
By Lorne Gunter,
Edmonton Journal
February 28, 2010
If even half of the anonymous complaints against Tory Status of Women Minister Helena Guergis are true, she should resign from the federal Tory cabinet. If she refuses to go on her own, Prime Minister Stephen Harper should punt her.
Guergis's appalling behaviour at Charlottetown airport last week goes beyond merely being exceedingly rude to airline and airport staff. It goes beyond demonstrating a galling sense of privilege, entitlement and self-importance, and betrays a lack of judgment that calls into question her fitness for a position of trust in government.
It has to be remembered that what we know of Guergis's atomic hissy fit we have gleaned from an anonymous complaint sent to P.E.I. Liberal MP Wayne Easter. It was corroborated to the Globe and Mail by an unnamed source, but none of it was denied by Guergis in her official apology on Friday.
On Friday, Feb. 19, Guergis and an assistant arrived at the Charlottetown, P.E.I., airport 15 minutes before the scheduled departure of her Air Canada Jazz flight to Montreal.
It is alleged that she almost immediately began yelling at a Jazz check-in agent 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."
She apparently became even more irate when told she would have to check her baggage because it was too big to take as carry-on. She then ran through the security checkpoint metal detector, triggering its alarm, even though she had been warned to remove her boots because they would set it off. She cussed at the security screener who asked her to sit down, take off her boots and send them through the X-ray machine. At this point the anonymous letter claims she slammed her boots into a screening bin and huffed that she would now be stuck "in this hellhole."
When reminded by an Air Canada employee that passengers are expected to be at the airport two hours before departure, Guergis allegedly shouted that she didn't need a lecture about pre-flight check-in because, "I've been down here working my ass off for you people."
Finally, after putting her boots back on, Guergis and her assistant apparently began pounding and kicking on the doors that lead to the tarmac until they were let out. The other 40 passengers on the flight were kept waiting until the tardy Ms. Guergis got on board.
This Friday, Guergis apologized for speaking "emotionally" and admitted her behaviour was "not appropriate." But even if only half of the foregoing is true, this goes way beyond simple emotionality and inappropriateness. This exemplifies the worst of the arrogance that gets into the heads of some politicians.
Who in this day and age arrives at an airport 15 minutes before a flight and expects to be waved through check-in and security? Only someone who is so convinced of her own importance that she has come to believe the rules that apply to mere mortals do not also apply to her.
Witness her remark about how she had been on the island working hard for "you people." There is in that a regal complex in which the speaker believes her magnanimity towards the little people entitles her to their gratitude and favour.
I have argued in the past that most of the security restrictions with which the flying public is burdened these days are useless. The notion that we should arrive at the airport two hours in advance of a domestic flight (three hours for flights to the U.S., Mexico and abroad) is ridiculous from a security standpoint.
Don't bring a coffee or pop through security. Open your belt. Remove your watches and jewelry. Take off your shoes. Subject yourself to invasive body scans. Throw out your nail clippers and collapsible, blunt-nose scissors. Stand on your left foot, close your eyes, touch your right index finger to your nose and do the Macarena.
The height of useless security restrictions was in effect for about a month after the underwear bomber tried to blow up a Detroit-bound flight from Amsterdam on Christmas Day. From late December to late January, Transport Canada had barred all U.S.-bound passengers from bringing luggage-like carry-on onto planes. They could bring purses, laptop bags, diaper bags, musical instrument cases, bulky overcoats and more, but not rolling duffels or suitcases. As if that would have impeded terrorists in any way.
The irony is, the procedures that frustrated Guergis so much are being maintained by the government of which she is a member.
If she doesn't like them, she has far more power to change them than all the employees she supposedly cursed out.
Given her power position, too, her behaviour amounts to bullying.
The prime minister's office may say the matter has been closed by Guergis' apology, but it won't be settled until she is out of cabinet.


Unknown said...

TB, While I don't expect you to see the error of your Grit ways in any larger sense, I at least had you on my list of "sensible" Liberals; oxymoron or not to seriously request that a Federal Minister step down over a temper tantrum you can see any day at your local grocery store is a bit over the top. Thousands of self-absorbed Canadian men and women with over developed senses of entitlement do this regularly for far less reason than missing their own birthday.
Where were you when your Oncle Jean strangled a homeless man in front of dozens of cameras?
This Minister brought this incident to the attention of the media with an heartfelt apology and in the Canadian way we accept it as genuine so thats the end of it.

Tim Banks said...

Yes even us Liberal hacks may agree a little with your observations but "hell hole" is a bit over the top...