Bernier quits over security breach

Bernier quits over security breach
Bernier quits over security breach

  This message is in MIME format.  The first part should be readable text,
  while the remaining parts are likely unreadable without MIME-aware tools.

Content-Transfer-Encoding: QUOTED-PRINTABLE

By Alexander Panetta
The Canadian Press
May 27, 2008

OTTAWA =E2=80=94 Prime Minister Stephen Harper has accepted the resignation of 
his embattled foreign affairs minister over an apparent security breach 
involving cabinet documents.

Harper told an extraordinary news conference on Parliament Hill on 
Monday evening that Maxime Bernier=E2=80=99s controversial relationship with a 
woman linked to the Hells Angels was not a factor in the decision.

But the resignation came as Julie Couillard was about to go to air on 
the French-language television station TVA to say that her former lover 
was careless with classified documents.

"This is about one thing and that is a failure to uphold expected 
standards on government documents," Harper said in the Commons foyer.

"It is a very serious mistake =E2=80=94 regardless of who the minister is, 
regardless of personal life =E2=80=94 to leave classified documents in an 
unsecured location."

A source told The Canadian Press that Bernier left an extremely 
sensitive classified document at Couillard=E2=80=99s apartment, and her lawyer 
notified the Foreign Affairs Department about the document on the 

Nonetheless, just hours before the axe fell on Bernier, the prime 
minister had dismissed the whole affair.

"I have no intention to comment on a minister=E2=80=99s former girlfriend," the 
prime minister said to wrap up a news conference earlier Monday with 
visiting Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko. "I don=E2=80=99t take this 
subject seriously."

He=E2=80=99s taking it seriously now.

The prime minister announced that David Emerson, the international trade 
minister, will take over as interim foreign affairs minister. Harper 
left late Monday night on a European diplomatic trip.

Opposition MPs were baying for further details that could prove 
extremely embarrassing for the Conservative government.

Liberal MP Ralph Goodale said Harper has been "very dismissive" of the 
Bernier-Couillard affair for weeks.

"That raises some questions about his judgment," Goodale said of the 
prime minister.

Bernier has been under fire for a series of gaffes in his role as 
Canada=E2=80=99s top diplomat, and the revelation that his former girlfriend of 
the past year had once been romantically linked to several men with 
links to the Hells Angels had security experts =E2=80=94 and political opponents 
=E2=80=94 asking whether she had undergone a security check.

The question remains unanswered.

NDP Leader Jack Layton said the latest revelation was "the straw that 
broke the camel=E2=80=99s back" for Bernier=E2=80=99s cabinet career.

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Disposition: inline

Attend Black Hat USA, August 2-7 in Las Vegas, 
the world's premier technical event for ICT security experts.
Featuring 40 hands-on training courses and 80 Briefings 
presentations with lots of new content and new tools.
Network with 4,000 delegates from 50 nations.  
Visit product displays by 30 top sponsors in 
a relaxed setting. 

Site design & layout copyright © 1986-2015 CodeGods