It’s July…

…which means the bar for what constitutes a scandal has been set fairly low. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the two scandlettes making news this week.

First up:

Minister of State for Tourism Diane Ablonczy is no longer responsible for the delivery of a key tourism stimulus package, and one of her caucus colleagues says it’s because her office gave some of the money to a gay pride parade.

Saskatchewan MP Brad Trost, a fellow Conservative, told the anti-abortion website LifeSiteNews that Ablonczy was being punished for the decision to give $400,000 from the Marquee Tourism Events Program to Toronto’s Pride Parade, which was held this year on June 28.

Trost was quoted as calling it “a very isolated decision” that was not supported “by a large majority of the MPs.”

If I ever decide to write down my own set of “political rules”, one would be that when a Tory MP you’ve never heard of is talking to an anti-abortion website, you kind of know it’s going to be a bad news story for the Conservatives.

Our second scandlette is what I hope gets dubbed “the wafer waffle“, but it will probably become known as some god-awful (no pun intended) “gate” scandal:

OTTAWA — A spokesman for Stephen Harper says the prime minister did not pocket a communion wafer given to him by a Roman Catholic priest at a funeral in New Brunswick last week.

The prime minister is under fire from a senior priest in the province who has demanded an explanation about what happened to the wafer, which is supposed to be swallowed.

Spokesman Dimitri Soudas says Harper accepted the wafer offered to him at the funeral of former governor general Romeo LeBlanc and then swallowed it.

Msgr. Brian Henneberry, vicar general and chancellor in the Diocese of Saint John in New Brunswick, says it was unclear what happened to the wafer – and says it would be scandalous if the prime minister put it in his pocket.

A video posted YouTube shows Harper taking the host, but does not show him swallowing it afterward.

I have to confess, this one doesn’t really bother me (but, then again, I’m not Catholic). I mean, it’s obvious that Harper wasn’t trying to intentionally snub anyone…to suggest otherwise is kind of silly. It’s easy to flub the proper protocol from time to time – let’s just cut the guy some slack and move on.

No, of the two, I think the fiasco surrounding the pride parade is more telling. It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that there’s some hostility towards the gay community in the Tory caucus, but to punish a Minister for appearing somewhat supportive? That’s weak.

Posted on by CalgaryGrit in Uncategorized

About CalgaryGrit

A former Calgary Liberal, now living in Toronto. My writings on politics can be found at www.calgarygrit.ca and online at the National Post.

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