OTTAWA - Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, after repeatedly refusing to apologize Tuesday in the House of Commons for calling Alberta government’s Deputy Premier Tom Lukaszuk an “a--hole,” phoned the Alberta minister after question period to say he’s sorry for the insult.http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Kenne ... story.htmlMOD NOTE: This was not really posted by bootlegga as it is widely known - at least to OnTheIce anyways - that he never posts anything even slightly positive about the federal Conservative Party.
Kenney’s apology came after a raucous session of question period where opposition MPs blasted Kenney for his comment contained in an email last week.
Kenney’s remarks were “so offensive that the rules of this House prevent me from repeating them,” Alberta’s sole New Democrat MP, Linda Duncan, said during question period.
“Given that his reprehensible comments are now public, will the minister of citizenship and immigration take this opportunity to apologize to Mr. Lukaszuk?”
Kenney, who was also asked three times by Liberal leader Bob Rae to say he’s sorry, instead launched into a defence of the government’s record as a defender of Alberta’s interests.
He said Duncan’s leader, Thomas Mulcair, has made himself the most divisive opposition leader since former separatist leader Lucien Bouchard due to the NDP leader’s criticism of the oilsands sector.
And he blasted Rae’s Liberals for opposing the Harper government’s elimination of the gun registry and the Canada Wheat Board monopoly, both of which are unpopular among large segments of the Alberta population.
The Harper government has a “phenomenally positive” working relationship with Redford’s government, Kenney told MPs.
“We have a very strong working relationship with the government of Alberta. We’re getting things done for Albertans.”
Kenney made the biting comment in a reply to an email from Blaine Calkins, chairman of the Alberta Tory caucus.
Calkins was asking if any of Alberta’s 25 MPs was prepared to host Lukaszuk during a visit by the Alberta deputy premier this coming Thursday.
“I say a definite ‘no’ to Lukaszyk,” Kenney replied, misspelling the minister’s name.
“I don't think it makes sense to create a precedent to do a special caucus meeting for every visiting minister from the provincial government.
“Plus he is a complete and utter a--hole.”
Kenney, normally one of Harper’s most media-accessible ministers, was not available for an interview Tuesday.
"We do not comment on private communications,” spokesperson Alexis Pavlich said in an emailed statement.
"Minister Kenney has a very productive working relationship with the Alberta government, and meets with provincial ministers very frequently."
Kenney said in a radio broadcast Tuesday that he’s going to “keep personal differences personal.”
Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose, who supported Lukaszuk in the recent provincial election, was also unavailable for comment.
Lukaszuk said Monday he didn’t know why Kenney might feel such animosity, even though the Alberta MLA clashed with Kenney last year over Ottawa’s reliance on temporary foreign workers to fill labour force gaps.
Lukaszuk, then his province’s employment minister, described the policy is “costly,” “cumbersome” and “unfortunate.”
“My feelings towards him are actually quite positive,” Lukaszuk said, calling the email an “unfortunate” choice of words.
“We’re probably not going for a latte any time soon.”
There have been tensions between the federal Alberta caucus and Redford’s government since she won her party’s leadership despite little support from the right wing of the party’s federal Conservative establishment.
Federal MP Rob Anders, a friend of Wildrose leader Danielle Smith, suggested before the recent provincial election that a majority of caucus members favoured Smith.
Redford recently tried to expand her pipeline to Ottawa by announcing the re-establishment of an Ottawa office to help smooth federal-provincial relations. She also hired former Calgary Tory MP Lee Richardson to be her principal secretary.
The NDP’s Duncan said the comment mirrors the federal government’s “hostile” attitude towards provincial governments on issues like changes to Employment Insurance, the proposed Canada-Europe trade deal, and the Harper government’s criminal justice agenda.
“They are either attacking provinces or ignoring them altogether,” she said. “Why are Conservatives showing such disdain for provincial and territorial governments?”
We are currently trying to find out who hacked his account...currently the main suspect is OnTheIce