Tory aide Georganne Burke scuttles Hanukkah event, school says.
This is very disturbing; yet the article does not explain if there is some kind of law or statute that limits members of the Canadian political process from attending religious events. If anyone has any other knowledge (i.e: reading between the lines) that could potentially legitimize the actions of Georganne Burke, an aide to Canada' s Minister of Industry, Tony Clement, please comment and explain. If it is true that Ignatieff's appearance at the Jewish Centre in Thornhill would jeopardize federal funding from the Conservative minority government, presently in great turmoil; what does this say for the Conservative Party as a whole...
On December 26th, Warren Kinsella wrote an interesting piece on his blog: The Curious Case of Georganne Burke. "Dreidelgate 08" seems to answer some questions with regard to this mysterious and intreging behaviour postitulated by the Federal Tory Aide. Nonetheless, it leaves many of us dumbfounded and more confused i will let you evaluate the piece. Please comment and explain should you find anything more to make sense of this.
Other interesting opinion pieces: http://blogs.mississauga.com/blogs/misslib/2008/12/27/georganne-burke%2526%2523039;s-and-conservative%2526%2523039;s-problem-hanukah.
I hope the Tories don't simply just fire her and re- hire her in a month when the smoke settles.
Tory aide tried to scuttle Hanukah event, school says
Updated Wed. Dec. 24 2008 9:35 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff
While the holiday season is traditionally a time of celebration and peace for Jews and Christians, a Tory staffer is facing accusations she launched a partisan battle against the Liberals over a Hanukah ceremony at a school for disabled children.
On Sunday, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff attended a menorah lighting ceremony at Toronto's Zareinu Educational Centre, but according to organizers, a Conservative aide tried to shut the event down and block Ignatieff from attending.
Georganne Burke, an aide to Industry Minister Tony Clement, also insinuated that having Ignatieff at the ceremony could endanger the school's federal funding, according to event organizer Gary Gladstone.
"I am advising you that Georganne Burke called me this evening at about 10:30 pm (on Sunday) enraged, advising me for the benefit of the Jewish community the menorah lighting should be cancelled," Gladstone wrote in an email obtained by CTV News.
"(Burke) further went on to say that she felt it would do serious damage to Zareinu to have the event there," he said in the email.
Rabbi Mendy Zirkind, who arranged Iganitieff's appearance, said that Conservative MP Peter Kent was also invited to the event. However, Burke still did everything in her power to try and stop the event from occurring, Zirkind added.
Phone calls to Burke weren't returned, but the Tories are reportedly taking the accusations seriously, CTV Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife reported Wednesday.
Toronto-area Liberal MP Bryon Wilfert said that Burke went over the line by pressuring the organizers.
"Not only should she be fired, but I think the prime minister should call Mr. Clement and ask just what kind of an operation he is running here," Wilfert said.
The incident comes less than a month after the Tories and the opposition parties faced off against each other in Parliament during a heated constitutional battle.
Ignatieff, who recently replaced Stephane Dion as party leader, has appeared to back away from the possibility of pulling down the government with the help the NDP and the Bloc Quebecois.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has also softened his partisan rhetoric against the opposition parties and said that all parties need to work together.