Indeed, I am informed by a well-informed source that the critical deals were cut months in advance, and were driven by Bains -- and, in the case of Muslim delegates, by Arab-Canadian MP Omar Alghabra -- through Kennedy, who'd been staked out early by ethno-politicians as an empty vessel into which they could pour their parochial agendas.
Among veteran Liberal insiders, it is believed that the several hundred Sikh convention delegates Bains and his allies led into the Dion camp (via Gerard Kennedy) came with a price: an end to the investigative powers contained in the Anti-Terrorism Act, which was opposed for predictable reasons by various Sikh, Tamil and Muslim organizations.
Gerard Kennedy is suing the National Post newspaper for suggesting he promised to weaken national security policy in exchange for support from Sikh and Muslim groups in last year's Liberal leadership contest.
A written statement obtained Wednesday by The Canadian Press indicates Kennedy is seeking damages. Should he win the suit, he is promising to donate any award to charities "working to further understanding about diverse communities in Canada."
"I believe untrue and odious allegations such as these need to be firmly contested," Kennedy says in the statement.
"I believe very strongly in the freedom of the press. But that freedom only works well if it is not abused."
Although Dion, Bains and Alghabra have also been upset by such allegations, Kennedy says in the statement that he's in the best position to challenge the "unfounded and defamatory allegations" published in the Post article.
"Ultimately, my name was on the campaign that is being maligned and that affects all of the hundreds of good people who were involved in that effort."
People will remember Kay's article came out at the same time the Tories where speaking about the "extremists" in the Liberal Party, and the Prime Minister was disgracing his office with his classless attempted attack on Bains.
Most of the controversy has now passed, so I find it quite telling that Kennedy has decided to go ahead with a lawsuit. In a purely political sense, it is probably best not to draw any more attention to what isn't necessarily an attractive topic. The fact Kennedy is moving ahead tells us one, he is quite confident he will win and two, the allegations are complete and utter bunk.
Kennedy wouldn't risk further embarrassment if there was a grain of truth in the "well informed source's"(bitter rival organizer, you do the math) theory. Kennedy conducted himself with nothing but complete class throughout the campaign. There were many opportunities where he was given carte blanche to capitalize on an opponents missteps, but he always chose to resist and often offered support. I have nothing but applause for this lawsuit, because this article created the lingering impression that the convention was an orchestrated, underhanded affair, with Kennedy at centerstage. Kennedy will be completely vindicated, the fact he is willing to give this issue new life with a public suit serves as all the proof we need.