Monday, June 08, 2009

Libel Chill? Again?

It seems that Mr. Harper has more tape difficulty.

Allnovascotia.comBy David BentleyJune 8, 2009

There`s a highly embarrassing sequel to last week's Ottawa hullabalooover cabinet Minister Lisa Raitt's misplaced nuclear-sensitivedocuments - and the Harper government is pulling out all the stops to prevent The Halifax Herald from telling it.

The newspaper will be in court in Halifax today to defend against anapplication for an injunction to muzzle information gathered by Hill reporter Steve Maher. understands Maher listened to a tape that was recorded by Jasmine MacDonnell, the Nova Scotian who resigned as Raitt's press secretary after Atomic Energy of Canada documents wereleft at the bureau of CTV - which broke the story last week. Opposition members like Halifax West MP, Geoff Regan, said Raitt herself should have resigned pointing out that's what External Affairs Minister, Maxine Bernier, did after sensitive papers were left at theapartment of his biker chick girlfriend, Julie Coulliard.

Stephen Harper & Co apparently believe Raitt's political future could be seriously in doubt if the Herald publishes what was on the Jasmine MacDonnell tape.

According to one unconfirmed report*, the federal Minister of Natural Resources was recorded making some less than flattering comments abouther cabinet colleague, Leona Aglukkaq, the fed Health Minister who entered parliament for the first time last year as the MP for Nunavut. understands that the Herald will be confronted incourt by lawyers representing MacDonnell. But sources suggest that Harperites are plotting the strategy. There`s a suggestion that the way the Herald obtained the tape will even be characterized as a breach of criminal code. The paper is expected to respond with a Charter argument, declaring that nothing less than freedom of the press is at stake.

The Raitt Affair already features a couple of Nova Scotians - and now that reporter, Steve Maher, has been drawn in, that makes a third. Raitt is originally from Cape Breton, according to the Toronto Star,though she has a master degree in chemistry from Guelph and a lawdegree from Osgood Hall. She lives in Oakville with comedy writer, David Raitt, and was previously CEO of the Toronto Port Authority.Jasmine MacDonnell is 26 and the daughter of Ralston MacDonnell, thewell-known engineering entrepreneur.

* decided not to conventionally source this report,after considering what has happened to the Halifax Herald. The newspaper was apparently minutes away from publishing its story last week, when legal chill intervened.

Since that broke, Tonda McCharles of the Toronto Star is reporting that they are also trying to suppress the applicant.

An emergency hearing has been set for 2 p.m. during which Justice Gerald Moir will hear the injunction motion by an as-yet unnamed applicant who also seeking an order of confidentiality or publication ban. Such an order could block any publication of the identity of the applicant seeking to stop the newspaper from publishing, said spokesman John Piccolo.

Ooops, too late?

You'd think the brain trust behind Harper would realise that trying to hide stories is bigger news than the story itself.

It's just so, um, Nixonian?

Update - Those who are noticing:

David Aikin - here

Susan Delacourt - here

Gloria Galloway - here

CBC - here

She, McDonnell, left the tape in a washroom?

Follow Kady until my next post.


sjw said...

How does a judge say no to this? This is just getting bizarre with this government. I'm starting to feel like I'm living in the former East Germany.

KNB said...

I hope more people come to your conclusion sjw.

It's bizarre that it should take so much to convince them, but...

I don't see how a judge can say no, but I suppose it depends on how affectively the Chronicle is represented on this.

Soudas may deny govn't involvement, but you know the CPC have their big guns out.

Anonymous said...

What more can these Harperites think of. ..which is worse, the tape, or the concealment.
It surely does not remind me of Canada..more like the KBG are interfering.

Anonymous said...

Seems like Jasmine McDonnell is an untrustworthy Lieberal mole, big surprise.

Liberals are, as Gomery concluded, "criminally organised".

Big Winnie said...

Anon (11:55): More CON "blame the Liberals" BS.

Raitt should have resigned last week!

Good bye, Good Riddance!

Anonymous said...

There is little doubt now as to who left that binder of documents behind in the CTV's green room.

wilson said...

''with (unconfirmed) reports that it involves an audio recording made by former Raitt aide Jasmine MacDonnell that include Raitt's comments about a cabinet colleage Leona Agluukaq, the federal health minister,
***and other matters involving Raitt's portfolio.*** TorStar

hmmm, so does this suggests that the fired aide taped a conversation she had with her boss prior to or after leaving docs at CTV?

Unless there is market sensitive info, like bids from potential buyers,
I can't see the judge stopping the Halifax Herald going public.

If Ms MacDonnell broke her confidentiality contract with the Government of Canada,
that's her problem, not the Halifax Herald's, imo.

But goodie goodie, another scandal for the Libs to sink their teeth into:
Raitt said something unconfirmed but rumored nasty about Aglukkaq.

That should get those Liberal numbers up, eh?

Anonymous said...

Apparently, some are saying that the tape was stolen from the office of Minister Raitt, there could be very serious consequences if that is true..

RuralSandi said...

How stupid can some people get "Anons"?

I have friends, family, etc. who are of different political stripes (although many are now impressed with Ignatieff and I hope they show it by changing their votes) - none a moles for their selective choices of parties.

The only moles we have to be concerned about the "tape moles" of the Harper Nixon Conservative Party.

sjw said...

Jasmine McDonnell a Liberal mole that purposely left the binder behind? Stolen tapes from a Minister's office? If valid allegations why then have the whole story suppressed in the media? That makes little sense, but then again making sense is something foreign to the schmucks currently in power.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Ms. McDonnell is the one seeking the court injunction to prevent publication.

wilson said...

Oh gee, seems the Harper government has NOTHING to do with the muzzling of the media:

''An online-only publication,, reported that the individual seeking the injunction is
Jasmine MacDonnell...

'Dimitri Soudas, press secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, said no government department is involved in the hearing in Nova Scotia on Monday afternoon.
Soudas said he had no knowledge of the matter.''

KNB said...

anon @1226 I've heard rumours, but do you have a source?

sjw said...

"Apparently Ms. McDonnell is the one seeking the court injunction to prevent publication."

Well, that certainly spins the wheels in a different direction if true.

KNB said...

Um, wilson, who do you suppose is representing her in court?

Soudas says no gov't involvement, he doesn't say no CPC involvement.

For the record, this is not a goody, goody situation for me. It's once again exposing what needs to be exposed about the party and the party in power.

Also, I find it bizarre that Raitt would slam the Health Minister. She's received kudo's all around.

RuralSandi said...

Typical - Harper in his childish weakness always blames someone else. I thank my mother for making me take responsibities for my own misdeeds when I was a kid.

I guess that's why Flaherty has "suddenly" held a news conference on the economy with promises (again) of things to come - diversionary tactics again.

I dont' know about anyone else, but it seems to me that Harper's tenture has been nothing but games, strategy and "stress". We've got enough stress in our lives and it would be nice to have a government that really wants to govern.

KNB said...

sjw, does it really? She took the fall once...?

KNB said...

Sandi, I'm sure there are some quotes in Flaherty's statement that we'll want to save for future use, ;)

wilson said...

''Also, I find it bizarre that Raitt would slam the Health Minister. She's received kudo's all around.''

That's an unconfirmed rumor,
just like the media were giving the impression that Harper was muzzling the press.

''Um, wilson, who do you suppose is representing her in court?''

I'm going to take a guess and say her Daddy's lawyers.
Big big trouble for this young women if government property was 'taken' off premises and revealed to a public source.
Big trouble.

You Libs better be hoping that there are no LPC dirty hands here.
Or that big trouble will be yours too.

Anonymous said...

Burn the tapes, Stephen Harper, just burn the tapes!!

Anonymous said...

"You Libs better be hoping that there are no LPC dirty hands here.
Or that big trouble will be yours too."

Hey Wilson, that's also an unconfirmed rumour! ha

sjw said...

The injunction has failed. Roll tape and let the chips fall where they may.

KNB said...

Indeed sjw. I'm on it, just not sure how much I can say yet.

sjw said...

I am sooo glad I'm not the only one to find the Isotope crisis "sexy"!


Anonymous said...

And it's no wonder that the government or the Conservative Party had nothing to do with this attempt at an injunction, because it's just like the recent Liberal convention, it was all about nothing.

What a joke.

KNB said...

The tapes are available in my next post.