Harper stands behind Lunn

The Canadian Press

TRACYVILLE, N.B. — Prime Minister Stephen Harper is standing behind his embattled natural resources minister, dismissing calls for Gary Lunn's resignation after the minister threatened to fire the head of Canada's arm's-length nuclear regulator.

Mr. Harper, in New Brunswick for a funding announcement, says Mr. Lunn “acted beyond the call of duty” when he took action to deal with the shutdown of a 50-year-old research reactor that led to a critical, worldwide shortage of isotopes used in medical imaging.

The prime minister took aim at the head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission — Linda Keen — saying her decision to shut down the reactor could have “needlessly endangered” the Canadian medical system.

Mr. Harper stressed that members of Parliament overturned Ms. Keen's decision in less than 48 hours and he remains “troubled” by Ms. Keen's recent actions.

Critics of the Conservative government are calling for Mr. Lunn to be fired over what they call interference with the regulator.

Ms. Keen is also fighting back, saying Mr. Lunn's call for her head is ill-informed and unwarranted.


Our commentary in the Globe and Mail

  1. You (Ottawa Mens Centre.com, from Ottawa, Canada) wrote: Harper is showing is true colours and modus operandi. Rule 1, get some underling to make all the decisions that he knows are wrong. Only take responsibility if it’s a sure way of gaining political support. His seeking of political brownie points crosses over into seeking revenge to ride the same political wave. If you needed an isotope then you are probably rocking with Harper while defaming Linda Keen with unproven claims that just lack any factual basis. First, Linda Keen is the head of an independent organization, specifically set up to be hands off to influence of the likes of Harper to ensure Nuclear Safety. There is not a shred of evidence that Linda Keen acted inappropriately, on the contrary, she was left between a rock and a hard place. The rules were not followed, the breaking of rules caused an unacceptable risk in a very old reactor. Linda Keen did the only responsible thing, she used her power to shut it down only after they failed to follow directions and warnings to fix the very serious problems. Gary Lunn acted like he was part of a Hollywood script and wanted to get an acting award. He crossed the line but he did not do it alone. Very obviously, there is hardly a political announcement made that is not screened by Harper who again very obviously attempts to micromanage as did Stalin, Castro and a few other unsavoury mass murderers. Harper also happens to be the minister for propaganda and now he wants us to believe a big lie that he had absolutely nothing to do with Gary Lunn’s announcements or shall we call them decisions of Stephen Harper announced by Gary Lunn. It’s not Garry Lunn who should be resigning. Stephen Harper has just handed opposition yet another piece of ammunition that shows yet another reason how why he habitually abuses the power of his office. www.OttawaMensCentre.com