By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 0 Comments
CPAC celebrated their 20th anniversary in the East Block courtyard….
CPAC celebrated their 20th anniversary in the East Block courtyard.
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, May 18, 2012 at 4:51 PM - 0 Comments
Ethical Oil has already turned yesterday’s QP exchange into an attack ad.
Ethical Oil is presently run by Jamie Ellerton, a former aide to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney. It was founded by Alykhan Velshi, a former aide to Mr. Kenney and currently director of planning in the Prime Minister’s Office.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 2:22 PM - 36 Comments
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has hired Howard Anglin as his chief of staff.
In recent years, Mr. Anglin stepped forward to defend the Conservative government’s position that Omar Khadr was not a child soldier. In 2008, he testified before the subcommittee on international human rights.
In 2006, he and Alykhan Velshi, currently Mr. Kenney’s director of communications, penned a piece for National Review, in which they stated their objections to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 7:45 AM - 0 Comments
Jamie Ellerton (below), longtime aide to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney held his goodbye party…
Jamie Ellerton (below), longtime aide to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney held his goodbye party at The Buzz in Ottawa. Ellerton, one of the Tories’ top staffers, is now the executive assistant to Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak.
Immigration minister Jason Kenney.
Government House Leader John Baird.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 7:11 PM - 27 Comments
Jason Kenney denies involvement in removing references to same-sex marriage and gay rights from the citizenship guide.
Canada’s immigration minister is apparently denying any role in the removal of references to gay rights from a citizenship study guide released last fall. Asked Wednesday why he blocked any information about same-sex marriage and charter rights protecting sexual orientation, Jason Kenney said: “I did not do such a thing. No, no, you are wrong.” The minister then disappeared into the Conservative caucus room in the Centre Block of Parliament Hill…
Asked about Kenny’s apparent denial, spokesman Alykhan Velshi said Wednesday that “the minister’s signature isn’t on any decision note or anywhere else” in the released documents, suggesting someone else in the minister’s office made the gay-rights decision on his behalf. Velshi was asked last week to explain Kenney’s decision to remove the gay-rights material. He responded that the guide could not be “encyclopedic” — without any indication the minister might not have been responsible for the removal. On Wednesday, Velshi did not respond to further requests for clarification.
By Paul Wells - Monday, December 28, 2009 at 9:05 PM - 97 Comments
Our old friend Chris Selley keeps asking embarrassing questions from his perch at the National Post. This time it’s: How come Ezra Levant is so proud of the bold, courageous, makes-a-guy-proud-to-be-Conservative stance against anti-Semitism and anti-Israel-ism that Jason Kenney took by defunding an ecumenical group called Kairos — when Jason Kenney denies that the government’s decision to cut funding to Kairos had anything to do with its stance on Israel?
You can make an excellent case that church groups don’t need government funding for their assorted projects or that Kairos is lavishly over-subsidized. But Jason Kenney didn’t make that case when he bragged about his government’s refusal to fund it in Israel. Alternatively, you can make an eloquent case that Kairos’s stance on Israel disqualifies it from public subsidy. But Kenney now claims the government doesn’t believe that. It’s a bit of a tangled affair; Selley tells it better than I can, here, but I want to say that I agree both with his understanding of the facts and the conclusions he draws.
There’s no real downside to this affair for the Harper government. People who want Kairos lavishly funded are probably not numerous outside the organization’s own offices; the government’s decision to cut funding will probably find few detractors and plenty of fans. Ezra actually seems to have caught Kairos retroactively covering up some of the positions on Israel that seemed to be getting Kairos into trouble with the Conservatives. (UPDATE: This allegation is contested, in my opinion credibly, here.) But again, apparently Kairos needn’t bother, because Kenney now wants us to ignore the plain meaning of his Israel comments on Kairos. Apparently the group’s views on Israel had nothing to do with anything.
Again, the government’s funding decision probably won’t hurt it. The five-alarm gong show Kenney kicked off is a mere anecdote.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, December 24, 2009 at 12:11 PM - 5 Comments
MP Nathan Cullen (right) and MP Glenn Thibeault… with half moustaches.
MP Nathan Cullen (right) and MP Glenn Thibeault with half moustaches.
MP Don Davies attempts to impersonate Chantal Hébert of the Toronto Star.
FloorCrossWatch: Uh, guys? It's supposed to be the Liberals who can't get their stories straight on this one
By kadyomalley - Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 9:03 AM - 77 Comments
Way to step all over what turns out to have been your own agitprop, gang:
The Prime Minister’s Office sought Tuesday to distance itself from reports coming from Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s office about possible defections of Liberal MPs to the Conservatives.
Dimitri Soudas, a PMO spokesperson, said there was no truth to claims made to the Star by Kenney’s communications director, Alykhan Velshi, about three Liberal MPs interested in crossing the floor to the Conservatives.
Outside the main entrance to the Parliament buildings, Soudas called out to a Star reporter that Velshi’s information was “bulls—.”
He then in a conversation with the reporter could not explain why the communications director to the immigration minister would tell the Star about the potential floor-crossers if they didn’t exist.
Nor could Soudas explain why he was “outing” Velshi on Tuesday afternoon as the source of the tip to the Star. Soudas went on to explain that only the PMO knows certain information and Velshi wouldn’t have had the kind of facts the Star was seeking. [...]
It’s hard to see why the prime minister’s chief spokesperson would shut down what was turning out to be a surprisingly effective whisper campaign. The fact that it didn’t happen to be true is, of course, neither here nor there — honestly, when has that ever stopped them from allowing a rumour damaging to the Liberals to flourish and thrive in the hothouse that is the Hill?
ITQ’s bet, for what it’s worth and based on nothing more than her own observations, is that this was a turf war, pure and simple — as far as PMO communications, or at least Dimitri Soudas, is concerned, they’re the only ones who should be planting stories under the rubric of the unnamed government official. Of course, now that he’s made it fair game for another government official to publicly name said source if one of those stories turns out to be untrue, he’s going to want to be careful when and if — wait, scratch that ‘if — he does so in future. Particularly since this whole episode has likely earned him the quiet but fierce enmity of any number of ministerial staffers who would see his actions yesterday as not quite cricket, to put it mildly.
(And yes, we-the-media ought to be just as careful about taking anything he — or any other shy but oddly helpful Conservative operative — says at face value unless they’re willing to do so on the record, but for the most part, we already knew that, right?)
Oh, and possibly the saddest unintended consequence of all: Y’all wouldn’t believe how many Conservatives were popping the champagne corks and readying the
redblue carpet for three new caucus colleagues who, as it turns out, were never actually going to show up. It’s all well and good to wreak psychological torture on your opponents, but whipping your own people into a frenzy of excitement like that is just mean.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, October 1, 2009 at 4:31 PM - 132 Comments
Much drama and political theatre in the House foyer as opposition MPs like Liberal…
Much drama and political theatre in the House foyer as opposition MPs like Liberal Hedy Fry (below) were aghast over official caps for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games bearing a similar logo to the Conservative Party logo.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 1:45 PM - 5 Comments
Really, seriously, Jason Kenney can’t comment. To do so would improperly politicize the situation and we can’t have that. Surely everyone can agree on at least that much.
That said, Mr. Kenney’s spokesman would like to alert you to a “Liberal cover-up.“
By Paul Wells - Friday, March 20, 2009 at 4:54 PM - 39 Comments
Jason Kenney’s comms director sets the world afire with his vocabulary.
By Mitchel Raphael - Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 2:42 PM - 4 Comments
Only two party leaders—Jack Layton and Elizabeth May—showed up at the 2008 Press Gallery…
Only two party leaders—Jack Layton and Elizabeth May—showed up at the 2008 Press Gallery dinner this year. Neither gave a speech. Layton attended with his MP wife, Olivia Chow below.
Liberal MP Justin Trudeau with May.
Trudeau and Tory Labour Minister Rona Ambrose.
By kadyomalley - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 12:23 PM - 30 Comments
11:51:11 AM …
Okay, I know every other journalist in the country is chasing the
Okay, I know every other journalist in the country is chasing the shooting star that is the Bernier Affair. But just because we have our first genuine political sex scandal in possibly ever—I don’t think Gerda ever did the deed, did she? Just lots of long, lingering looks?—doesn’t mean that we can ignore fundamental issues of human rights, international law and all that stuff, right? And today is a very special day at the Subcommittee on International Human Rights: We’re going to hear from witnesses who think the government should leave Omar Khadr to rot in an American military detention camp! Won’t that be… different?