Friday, December 26, 2008

After The Holidays

Let's hope the holiday pause doesn't let Conservative regional organizer, ethnic outreach, now industry "aide" Georganne Burke off the hook, for what amounts to inexcusable bullying and threats. Just an "aide", well not quite, Burke has done extensive work for the Conservative Party, developing their ethnic strategy, particularly with the Jewish community. Nothing less than termination is acceptable, turning a non-partisan expression of inclusion into a political powerplay, with threats to boot:
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.


Mike said...

Shorter Burke:

"Nice school ya got there...shame if anything happened to it"

Figgin thugs.

Anonymous said...

she is not on the govt directory, so she must have been fired already.

Susan said...

All people, no matter what their cultural identity, look to the government for good, fair, even-handed governance. When that is the guiding principle, everyone wins. Clearly no one won here, except the people with the guts to make this public.

This will be a test for Ignatieff's new team to see how they respond to this gross misconduct.

Anonymous said...

A Rabbi "invited" Ignatieff. I do hope the Jewish community pays close attention to this.

She worked for Goodyear - another piece of work.


Anonymous said...

Scary stuff. There is a word for that kind of attitude. Fascism.

RuralSandi said...

Hmmm....I just took a boo over at Blogging Tories - not one mention of the incident. The CPC supporters are in a constant state of denial and/or ignore when it comes to their side of the political field.

Can you imagine if it was the other way around.

Anonymous said...

Rural Sandi, you might want to look in the archives at BT's, many have said if she did in fact do this she should be fired for displaying such an obvious lack of judgement.

RuralSandi said...

In the "archives" already? Let's get it buried asap it seems.

Anyway, her story is getting interesting to say the least - and knowing this about her why would the CPC or Goodyear keep her around in the first place?

Greg Fingas said...

Agreed that there's a glaring need for some serious consequences, but I'd see it as a problem if those stop at Burke. Far better to make sure that the Cons as a whole get tarred with the incident - which can very easily be done given that Burke's role includes liaising with the party's MPs - rather than letting them throw her under the bus and declare the matter done with.