Revenge is such sweet sorrow. One week ago, the Dishon. Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry in the Harper regime, commenced court proceedings intended to silence and punish critics of a government decision to move an Employment Insurance processing facility from an NDP riding into his riding, and not only that, but into a building owned by his family’s business partner. Specifically, Paradis is apparently suing for using the term “conflict of interest” in reference to his good person.
Well, well. As you’ve probably heard by now, this week the Ethics Commissioner used exactly those words in ruling that Paradis broke the law by arranging special meetings for disgraced former Conservative MP, cocaine user, drunk driver, and illegal lobbyist Rahim Jaffer, whose business enterprise was hoping for a nice big helping of taxpayer dollars. So much for your precious reputation, Paradis. Fuck you, and fuck your strongman attempts to silence your critics with the power of the courts.
Absurdly, Paradis has now released a statement implying that the Ethics Commissioner actually cleared him of the charges, much the same as the Conservatives did last fall when they were convicted of election fraud, and that, as far as the government is concerned, is probably the end of the matter. Punishment for breaking the law? Not hardly. This is a government that has argued in court, remember, that Cabinet ministers are not only above the law, but above the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A government in which at least one influential minister believes, and I cannot repeat this often enough, that the Charter is “stupid.”
For me, I’m just happy that I am now once again able to call the Dishon. Christian Paradis an embarrassment to this country and a man who is guilty of patronage and conflicts of interest, without fear of the government attempting to use the courts to silence my Constitutionally protected free speech.
Update: I’m absolutely flabbergasted that the official Conservative line is that Paradis is all right because all he was doing was “helping an old friend.” That’s the whole point. Imagine I walked into court on charges of physical assault and said “yes, your Honour, but in my defence, all I was doing was beating my neighbour over the head with a club.”