‘I’m hurt by the Prime Minister’

Helena Guergis tells The National: She considered the Prime Minister to be a friend. She thinks maybe the Prime Minister doesn’t like her husband.

As Peter Mansbridge as our witness, there are apparently no “diva-like moments” to be seen on the videotape of Helena Guergis passing through security at the Charlottetown airport. Ms. Guergis admits she had a less-than-pleasant conversation with the ticket agent and that she uttered the phrases “happy f—ing birthday” and “hellhole,” but insists the latter was reference only to the airport she found herself in—she’s apparently not too keen on airports—and not reference to the city of Charlottetown or the province of Prince Edward Island.

This was merely the beginning of the CBC’s exclusive time with Ms. Guergis, as aired on The National just now (starting at the 14:15 mark of that link). After Mr. Mansbridge and Ms. Guergis had visited the offices of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to view the tape, they sat down in a dimly lit room to chat.

Wearing braces—I don’t recall those being there when last we saw her—and speaking in her small voice, she managed then to raise approximately as many questions as she answered.

On the eve of her departure from the Conservative cabinet and caucus, the Prime Minister called to say he had received information involving serious allegations and criminal behaviour. She was emotional, she asked him to explain. He would not detail the allegations, instead referring her to the Conservative party’s lawyer. She called the lawyer, but he wouldn’t explain either, except to say that the allegations had something to do with Rahim Jaffer and drugs. There was confusion over the presence of supporting documentation and what, if anything, was turned over to the RCMP and the ethics commissioner.

She was never at a party with cocaine and prostitutes. She’s never done drugs—except for this one time, when she was 14 and she was offered marijuana and she tried it, but only coughed and didn’t enjoy it. Mr. Jaffer has no idea how the cocaine got in his pocket. Neither she nor he have offshore bank accounts. Her husband told her he wasn’t lobbying. He wasn’t using her office. She doesn’t have any reason to believe her husband would lie to her.

She met Nazim Gillani once, at the previously reported dinner in Yorkville. She recalls he was an hour late for dinner. And that the conversation that night was “light and fluffy.”

She feels she hasn’t had the opportunity to clear her name. She has questions for the private investigator. She is devastated. She is hurt. She feels like the rule book has been thrown out the window. She considered the Prime Minister to be a friend. She thinks maybe the Prime Minister doesn’t like her husband. She has appealed the decision to remove her as the candidate in Simcoe-Grey. Either way, she’s not ready to give up her political career.

She was, by then, struggling to contain her tears. She said some have advised that she dump her husband, but she said she wouldn’t turn her back on him. She broke down and covered her face and sobbed. She invoked her faith. She pledged they would work it out.

Mr. Mansbridge’s last question was whether she can forgive. To be clear, we are now at the point of this story that Ms. Guergis must be asked whether she can forgive, she who may be due an apology, she who may have been wronged.

For the record, she said she is a “very forgiving person.”

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