Does anyone know who Julie Carmichael is? Probably not.
"His testimony has raised serious questions as to why the Liberal dirty tricks machine is collecting personal information on their political opponents using taxpayer dollars," Julie Carmichael said in an email.
Link: Huffington Post
Julie Carmichael is the Director of Communications for the Minister of Public Safety. Nice title eh?
Her comments were to do with Adam Carroll of #vikileaks fame.
Vic Toews himself weighed in on the matter, raising a question of Privilege…
The fact that House of Commons resources appear to have been used in an attempt to anonymously degrade my reputation and obstruct me from carrying out my duties as a member of Parliament is, I contend, a contempt of the House. I take no issue with an open attack on the floor of this House, in which the source of the attack may be seen by all. I take strong issue with the idea that House resources would be used to secretly attack a member of the House.
Vic Toews: Hansard February 27, 2012
It seems that everyone from Dean Del Mastro to John Baird and then some had an opinion on how evil it was for a mere staffer to access and distribute embarrassing information. They loudly proclaimed it an abuse of taxpayer money and so on…
But what happens when it involves the Prime Minister’s Office?
Early last week, June 17th to be exact, the Barrie Advance and the Barrie Examiner both ran very similar stories. Both of these papers had received information from a “source” designed to degrade the reputation of a Member of Parliament, that being Justin Trudeau.
The “source” as you probably already know was the PMO.
Kudos to both Papers for choosing the high road and deciding to not run these stories as they were given to you, but for having the chutzpah to stand up to the PMO and tell the world, well Barrie anyhow, how the unelected staffers of the PMO were trying to turn you into part of their
propaganda public relations
The Advance chose to include some portions of the email they received.
The material included invoices, a promotional poster and an accommodation receipt for the Toronto Four Seasons. Meekes wrote, “To be fair, there is an in-house yoga studio at the Four Seasons!”
From the Barrie Advance
Meekes is Erica Meekes, a Communications Officer within the PMO. When the Advance contacted her at the PMO she said that they “routinely” reach out to the media like this. I’m not sure if the sarcasm is part of the routine, but obviously there was some time and effort involved in uncovering this damning information from a period in time when Justin Trudeau was just a private citizen. And we paid for it. And it’s a routine thing.
We also get to pay for Andrew MacDougall and his tweets on Justin Trudeau. Andrew is a Director of Communications within the PMO.
The PMO has around 90 of these folks running around, some of them are the infamous “boys in short pants” that the Harper Party backbenchers deride.
The bottom line is we are paying the salaries of these people. They are supposed to be advisors to Harper, not his hatchet crew. Prior to Stephen Harper, most of us had never even heard of the PMO. The most we ever got was “a spokesperson for the PM” saying something when the PM wasn’t available.
If the Harper Party wants to complain about the other parties and their staffers, they need to start in their own yard first. Partisan politics is the realm of the parties, not the staffers or the PMO. Using government employees for partisan efforts is an abuse of the public’s purse and of the public’s trust and should not be condoned by any of the parties.
But true to form. The Harper Party loves to jump all over the other guys in the House, cite all sorts of rules and privileges and what not. But none of that stuff ever applies to them, does it?
Keep this in mind Stephen, I will not forget and I will remind everyone who does.