Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tories ship flack into key EI slot.

This is from the EdmontonSun.
Seems that it pays to be a Conservative attack dog even if you have been suspended for attacking people gratuitously. Where did the fuzzy blue sweater kind and gentler Harper go?

Tories ship flack into key EI slot

A Conservative communications official suspended from his job during the last election for accusing a fallen soldier's father of being a Liberal supporter has been promoted.
Ryan Sparrow is the new director of communications for Diane Finley, the minister of human resources and skills development -- the government department responsible for employment insurance.
Sparrow was suspended from the Conservative campaign team in September after he sent a television station an e-mail accusing Jim Davis, the father of Cpl. Paul Davis, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2006, of wanting to attack the government because he supported Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.

Davis had earlier criticized Harper's announcement the Canadian military operation in Afghanistan would end in 2011 regardless of whether the job was done. Davis said the campaign promise of an early withdrawal would mean his son had died for nothing.
When Sparrow's e-mail became public, Prime Minister Stephen Harper condemned the remarks as not meeting the "tone" Harper had hoped to set during the campaign.
Last week, Sparrow was still working as the senior spokesman for the Conservative Party of Canada, a non-government job in which he reported directly to Finley's husband, Doug Finley, who is the party's national director and campaign chairman.
In his new position, Sparrow's paycheques will come from the taxpayer rather than the Conservatives -- and that has some opposition critics fuming.
"If the Conservative party wants him as their poster boy then they should pay him, but they shouldn't pay him with public money," said NDP MP Thomas Mulcair. "Ryan Sparrow's return to a civil service job is completely unacceptable."
Liberal MP David McGuinty said Sparrow is basically a conservative attack dog who did his job during the election and is being shuffled into the ministry responsible for EI because it's a hot file that could damage the Conservatives.
"Obviously, the prime minister has confidence in Mr. Sparrow," said McGuinty. "This is Harper's way of saying to his minister that he doesn't trust her communications management so he is putting someone in their office that he trusts, someone that will use hard-ball Republican tactics."
Sparrow refused interview requests from Sun Media, saying by e-mail he didn't "comment on staffing," including himself.

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