PMO denies aide's claims about possible defections
No truth to Jason Kenney office's report that 3 Liberals were interested in joining Tories, spokesman says
October 7 2009
OTTAWA–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.
Kenney's office was involved when Wajid Khan, a former Liberal MP from Mississauga, crossed the floor to the Conservatives in 2007.
Velshi, when asked on Monday whether there was any truth to speculation about Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla (Brampton-Springdale) crossing the floor to the Conservatives, said that there had been talks with three Liberal MPs, but Dhalla was not among them. Velshi made the remarks in the Commons foyer, with other reporters nearby.
According to Velshi, the three Liberal MPs had made the approach to the Conservatives, but he did not know their names. He volunteered, however, that Dhalla wouldn't be a good catch because "she's going to lose" to the Tories in the next election. Velshi said he was sure of his information when asked whether it was solid enough to be published.
The Prime Minister's Office, though, perhaps interested in cultivating peace with the Liberals, was quick to reassure reporters Tuesday that Conservatives were not in talks with any Liberal MPs about floor-crossing. In a break from normal practice, the PMO also told reporters the name of the government aide who spoke to the Star.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Flanagan on HarperCons: It doesn't have to be true, just plausible...or an outright fabrication (like tax leakage)
Posted by Fillibluster at 6:14 AM