Tuesday, December 18, 2007

No coincidence

The Globe and Mail's story about the Cons' partisanship-over-competence hiring strategy at AECL is definitely worth a read. But there's another point which the Globe apparently misses, as Tony Clement's explanation for the departure of Michael Burns as AECL's chair seems to have changed entirely over the course of a day.

It was only Sunday that Clement claimed that there was no link at all between the isotope shortage and Burns' departure:
Clement said Burns had been hired as a part-time chairman and that his resignation was just an "interesting coincidence.

"Some times coincidences happen in politics," Clement said. "There was some indication that this might be coming up down the road."
But after realizing that this explanation didn't pass a laugh test, Clement entirely reversed course without even acknowledging the change in rationales:
Health Minister Tony Clement said in a television interview Monday the departure was related to the shutdown of an AECL reactor that created a worldwide shortage of medical isotopes.

“I think it's fair to say it confirmed our impression that there has to be new management, there has to be better management, at AECL,” Mr. Clement said.
It remains to be seen whether Clement's sudden change in explanations will be pointed out on a wider scale. But the incident offers just one more indication that the Cons don't see themselves as constrained by reality in trying to put a partisan spin on every situation. And as those examples pile up, there's less and less reason for Canadians to take the Cons' word for anything.

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