Questioned in the Commons about his ex-girlfriend’s ties with men in biker gangs, Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier told the opposition to butt out of his private life: “People’s private lives are none of your business.”
Prime Minister Harper backed up his minister: “I hear that one of my cabinet minister’s has an ex-girlfriend. It’s none of my business. Mr. Duceppe and Mr. Dion are quite a group of gossipy old busybodies.”
But is that the end of it? The girlfriend, Julie Couillard, a 38-year-old Montreal divorcee, was involved with biker gangs, was once the target of a biker threat on her life, was married to a criminal who later became a police informant and dated another criminal who was gunned down in a gang-style murder.
This is the woman whom Foreign Affairs Minister Bernier requested be considered his “spouse” when he was travelling on foreign trips.
Deputy Liberal leader, MIchael Ignatieff, said the case did not involve morals but security. “The issue is whether the national security clearances for the minister were conducted number one, and secondly, whether she had inadvertently or advertently, connection or contact with or exposure to documents related to the national security of Canada.”
Gilles Duceppe charged that Bernier had recklessly opened himself to blackmail.
Do you agree with Bernier that this whole incident if a private matter?
Or do you agree there is a security dimension to the case and it should be pursued further?
Should the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who represents the face of Canada abroad, be mixed up in this kind of liaison?