Federal NDP apologizes — again

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — For the second time in less than 24 hours, the NDP has been forced to issue an abject apology for falsely smearing a political opponent.

NDP House leader Libby Davies formally apologized Thursday on behalf of her party for spreading allegations that a Liberal candidate in the last federal election tried to bribe his NDP rival to drop out of the race.

“The New Democratic Party admits we seriously erred in making the allegations public and in putting a young and inexperienced candidate in a position where he felt justified in making those allegations and to repeat them on some 40 occasions to media across Canada,” Ms. Davies told the Commons.

Her profuse apology, required as part of a lawsuit settlement, couldn't have been more badly timed for the NDP.

It came half a day after another New Democrat MP, Irene Mathyssen, was forced to apologize to Tory MP James Moore. She had accused him of looking at “soft porn” photos of a “scantily clad” woman on his laptop computer in Parliament.

After speaking to Moore late Wednesday, Ms. Mathyssen accepted his explanation that he'd been looking at pictures of his girlfriend and apologized to him, said a party spokesman.

Ms. Mathyssen was in her London riding Thursday but is expected to make a formal apology to Mr. Moore in the Commons on Monday.

Thursday's apology stems from accusations levelled during the 2006 election by Jeffrey Hansen-Carlson, the NDP candidate in Abbotsford, B.C. He accused his Liberal rival, David Oliver, and Mr. Oliver's campaign manager, Gordie Kahlon, of trying to bribe him to drop out of the race and throw his support behind Mr. Oliver.

Former prime minister Paul Martin yanked Mr. Oliver as the Liberal candidate in the riding hours after the allegation surfaced, declaring that he had “zero tolerance for that kind of thing.”

Mr. Oliver and Mr. Kahlon sued the NDP and Ms. Davies acknowledged Thursday that the party has paid damages to the pair to resolve the lawsuit.

“There were never any facts to support an allegation of bribery or attempted bribery,” she told the Commons.

“The NDP formally apologizes to them, their friends, their families, political supporters and particularly the voters of Abbotsford who cast their votes while a candidate's character and conduct had been improperly put under a cloud by our campaign team's actions.”

Ms. Davies admitted that the NDP erred in arranging for Hansen-Carlson to repeat his accusations widely in the media 10 days before the Jan. 26, 2006 election. And she said it made “another serious error in judgment” in failing to make public a letter from Canada's elections commissioner, three days before the election, which cleared the two Liberals.

“Mr. Oliver and Mr. Kahlon remained under a cloud of suspicion far longer than was appropriate. We erred in not making that letter public immediately and we acknowledge that.”

Ms. Davies said she personally is “not satisfied with the manner in which this was handled.” She added that the NDP has adopted to new procedures “to ensure all due diligence in matters of fact and law” in future and promised that “this kind of incident will not happen again.”



Our commentary in the Globe and Mail

  1. Ottawa Mens Centre.com, from Ottawa - Home of family court flagrant abusers of judicial POWER., Canad) wrote: Now, Irene Mathyssen is rated as an "A" candidate by http://www.egale.ca If you want to see unsubstantiated allegations, just go visit any family court, Ottawa is a good place to start and you will see a host of "unsubstantiated allegations". Feminists, particularly extreme feminists, apply what is called "an illegal reverse onus", that is, an allegation is made and the poor male victim is expected to "disprove the allegation". The only way to deal with this is to insist that the burden of proof is upon the person making the allegation. The fact that the "married Ms. Redman" expressed her concerns is NOT corroboration or proof. That support was a political cheep shot, guaranteed to have the rah rah rah of every feminist / lesbian cult in Canada. Redman showed her true colours when she decided to support an allegation that she knew was an uncorroborated allegation. She reacted with a righteous air, that typical feminist nose in the air attitude that feminism trumps justice simply because they hold the legal stranglehold on the court system that makes Gender Apartheid every strong in Canadian courts. Its time now for Redman to apologise for her support of an uncorroborated false allegation. www.OttawaMensCentre.com
    1. Ottawa Mens Centre.com, from Ottawa - Home of family court flagrant abusers of judicial POWER., Canada) wrote: "Left Wing Nonsense", The "right wingers" pathological and zealous distaste for "left wingers" has nothing to do with the issue of this news item. Just because some feminists and lesbian cult members vote NDP is no reason to blame the entire NDP party for their pandering and posturing to that element of society that promotes Male Gender Apartheid. Is Jack Layton responsible for this false allegation ? Of course not, he may spend a lot of time brown nosing up to the man haters in Canadian society but that's part of politics, so what, it has nothing to do with the issue of one "A grade feminist" Member of Parliament making a blatant false allegation about a "fellow" member of parliament". It begs the question, what would Irene Mathyssen have done if she saw a lesbian member of parliament looking at a very masculine looking woman wearing minimal mens clothing? I'll hazard a guess that she would have not have opened her mouth, to say anything. www.OttawaMensCentre.com