Tory cabinet minister apologizes for bawling out airport officials who refused to reveal the fate of his tequila
Apparently the PMO’s grip on cabinet ministers’ media appearances is not as tight as it used to be, particularly when it comes to airports. The latest Tory not to get the memo is Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn. The Globe is reporting that he has now apologized after a February 23 incident in which Ottawa airport security prevented him from smuggling a bottle of tequila onto a plane. When Blackburn was told he could not bring the hooch on board, he demanded to be present when his booze was disposed of. The security personnel refused, and it all went downhill from there. This comes hot on the heels of Helena Guergis, the Minister of State for Women, throwing a hissy fit at the Charlottetown airport when asked to go through standard screening procedures. Her characterization of P.E.I. as a “hellhole” has done little for the Tories’ fortunes in Atlantic Canada.
“Politicians should be realizing…that people are paying attention to their behaviour, and for Conservatives, the bar—because we put it there—on behaviour is a little higher, and we have to be constantly mindful of that or that bar will knock us to the ground,” said Tim Powers, a conservative strategist, in the Globe. The paper, along with more than a few Liberals, pointed out that Mr. Blackburn was the MP who announced the Tories’ $358.7 million to strengthen airport security last May.
“The public have no use for this,” said Frank Graves of Ekos Research in the same Globe piece. “It kind of confirms their deepest fear, which is that there is a big party going on in Ottawa that they are paying for, and they’re not invited.”
Those interested in attending this party should note the planned margarita bar has been mysteriously cancelled until further notice.