Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tapes show that Raitt cares most about pleasing Harper

Stephen Maher, the reporter who broke the Raitt tapes for the Chronicle Herald, adds some perspective today (here; archive link).
What I find most surprising about the recording of Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt is not what she says, but what she doesn’t say. …

At no point does she show any concern for the issues that Canadians pay her to look after.

When she discusses wind power and the medical isotope crisis, she only expresses concern for them in relation to her career hopes.

She doesn’t say: "I hope we make sure that wind producers are getting the support they need to develop their industry."

Instead, she is worried that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will blame her for a leak to CanWEA, the wind producers’ association. Someone in her department had let on to the group that they were going to get an expanded development fund to build wind farms in the budget.

The money wasn’t in the budget, though, and Ms. Raitt suspects Environment Minister Jim Prentice had taken it and steered it toward carbon sequestration in the oilsands, which is sure to put a glint in the eye of Calgary oil executives.

Ms. Raitt doesn’t care about that. She is afraid that Mr. Harper may blame her for the leak.
This, of course, is point similar to what I wrote here.

And for those wondering about the rest of the tapes, note this paragraph:
In the section of the recording that we have been able to decipher (we are now having the recording cleaned up electronically so we can hear more of the conversation), Ms. Raitt speaks to an aide about cabinet colleagues, her career ambitions and — over and over again — what might please or displease Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
So there might be a lot more to come.