On Sunday, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff attended a menorah lighting ceremony at Toronto's Zareinu Educational Centre, but according to organizers, a Conservative aide tried to shut the event down and block Ignatieff from attending.
Georganne Burke, who works for the Minister of State Gary Goodyear within Industry Canada, also insinuated that having Ignatieff at the ceremony could pose a problem for the school, according to event organizer Gary Gladstone.
"I am advising you that Georganne Burke called me this evening at about 10:30 pm (on Sunday) enraged, advising me for the benefit of the Jewish community the menorah lighting should be cancelled," Gladstone wrote in an email obtained by CTV News.
"(Burke) further went on to say that she felt it would do serious damage to Zareinu to have the event there," he said in the email.
Rabbi Mendy Zirkind, who arranged Iganitieff's appearance, said that Conservative MP Peter Kent was also invited to the event. However, Burke still did everything in her power to try and stop the event from occurring, Zirkind added.
If anyone doubts that the Conservatives punish non-compliance, recent history suggests otherwise. It really is unfathomable, this attitude that because the Conservatives, under Burke, had made considerable "outreach" efforts, it should equate to complete political loyalty, it's as though this community should be viewed as "property". How else can you reconcile such an indignant attitude, at the mere prospect of Liberal being invited to an event, an event that also was to include a Conservative? What this reaction should tell the Jewish community, the Conservatives view them as a monolith, that should be beholden to a certain party, or else. Staggering, when you think it through, offensive to the core.
After the holidays, let's hope Georganne Burke's behavior is re-visited, as it should be, with the ultimate conclusion being her termination. And, let it be another reminder, that genuine outreach and "concerns" are an illusion, just another subset to cultivate for political gain, cold and calculated, despite the warm smiles. Feel the manufactured love, or feel our wrath.