• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Jody Wilson-Raybould refuses to leave her ministerial office

Remius

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
4,522
Points
1,090
This might be more appropriate to be in the WTF News but it is politics I suppose...

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/jody-wilson-raybould-ministerial-office-1.5394079


I guess when you get a taste of some of the perks it's hard to go down to a smaller office with communal washrooms.

This is going to hurt her credibility I think.
 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
2,677
Points
1,260
Remius said:
This is going to hurt her credibility I think.
Some will call this ballsy and love the metaphorical bird being flipped, but some will also see this as looking entitled to entitlements or overplaying her hand a bit - YMMV #InTheEyeOfTheBeholder

One element of the WTF factor:  She's been out of cabinet since February, and it appears nobody's kicked her out of the office yet?  I get agita when I have a spare building pass for more than a day or two if I forget mine at home.
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
936
Points
1,260
milnews.ca said:
, and it appears nobody's kicked her out of the office yet?

Guess they can change the locks one night.

 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
2,677
Points
1,260
mariomike said:
Guess they can change the locks one night.
Or change the access on the pass cards that are likely used.
 

Jarnhamar

Army.ca Myth
Reaction score
4,563
Points
1,160
"But my amazing elder Commanda came and cleansed my office. So I'm hopeful they'll see the appropriate thing to let me stay in my office."

Commanda said the ceremony to cleanse and bless the office also included a prayer for Wilson-Raybould to keep her office space.

"We prayed for the protection that she will remain in that office space," said Commanda. "She is settled there and that is where the work needs to take place … If anybody expects her to move, that is not right."

That's your space, you created that space, you've earned that space. I'm glad to hear it was blessed."


::)
 

PuckChaser

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Mentor
Reaction score
2,129
Points
1,060
milnews.ca said:
One element of the WTF factor:  She's been out of cabinet since February, and it appears nobody's kicked her out of the office yet?  I get agita when I have a spare building pass for more than a day or two if I forget mine at home.

The Liberals allowed her to stay until the election, probably to prevent this sort of bad press.

I think she's overplaying her hand here, looks very entitled. IMHO it's super distasteful of her to start using her First Nations heritage to try and keep her office space. If the smudging ceremony and prayers were that important to her, you think she'd have done them when she first moved into the office as a Cabinet Minister. She's only doing it now to try and make a narrative of the evil Government kicking out a poor First Nations MP out of her "sacred" office space.
 

Brad Sallows

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
4,540
Points
1,010
Well, heck. Everyone just bring in his/her own clergyperson and have the office space blessed.  See how far it gets.
 

Cloud Cover

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
36
Points
530
Thus, the duty to consult extends to office space and any pipes that cross the territory.
 

The Bread Guy

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
2,677
Points
1,260
whiskey601 said:
Thus, the duty to consult extends to office space and any pipes that cross the territory.
That's already there, smudging or not -- I think it's more an optics thing.  I have to agree with this ...
PuckChaser said:
... I think she's overplaying her hand here, looks very entitled ...
PuckChaser said:
... If the smudging ceremony and prayers were that important to her, you think she'd have done them when she first moved into the office as a Cabinet Minister ...
I wouldn't be surprised if she did, but this time, she's made it clear publicly that she did, which is why I agree with you above.

Could be worse:  she could claim to be a Russian-speaker oppressed and at risk ...
366C9658-0254-458E-AFD5-53B60F2121C7_w1023_r1_s.jpg

 

Jarnhamar

Army.ca Myth
Reaction score
4,563
Points
1,160
Brad Sallows said:
Well, heck. Everyone just bring in his/her own clergyperson and have the office space blessed.  See how far it gets.

I'm trying it next posting season.
 

BeyondTheNow

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Mentor
Reaction score
12
Points
530
It’s a shame she’s gone this route and it’s making her look entirely foolish. It seems rather black and white in terms of what the practice has consistently been due to certain criteria and she no longer meets those standards. Simple.

She has boasted equal treatment in the past, then is attempting to circumvent the norm and is only drawing negative attention to herself. If she wants equal treatment, this could get ugly.

The blessing of her office (paraphrasing) ‘...so others will let her keep it...’ or in the hopes of, or whatever that portion read, is asinine. And I’m not entirely clear who brought in the media, but that’s equally as asinine a move, as far as I’m concerned. Strategic, of course, as there’s now a spotlight on the situation, but asinine.

The sad thing is she’s counting on the sympathies of her supporters, specifically women, to feel sorry for her, especially if things go south, and who will likely turn this into a case of poor and unfair treatment of a woman...She just wants to stay in her office...Who’s she hurting?...Let her stay...And so on...

Like I said, it seems very black and white. The precedent was set long before she arrived and there’s no reason it needs to change. She needs to stop acting entitled and get on with accelerating as an Independent.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
686
Points
910
The CBC's National had a short clip with the new Speaker of the House, and he said something that struck me as wrong. After making the obvious statement that the rules apply to everyone, he then mentioned that "as an independent, she is at the bottom of the list".

That struck me as another example of how political parties have subverted Parliament.

One of the concept of the Westminster form of Parliament is that all members of Parliament are equal (one of the reason the PM is some times referred to as "First among equals"). It's fine for ministers to be given offices and services warranted by their position at the locations of their actual departments, but at Parliament, they are all just MP's like every other MP's. They should all have equal chances at whatever office, and the offices under the control of the Speaker and services provided MP's from the Parliament budget should all be the same.

It is the fact that the parties, over time, voted more and more differences in these, where the parties in power and in the official opposition are concerned, that is the real scandal ... so to speak if your bar for scandal is low.  :2c: 
 

BeyondTheNow

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Mentor
Reaction score
12
Points
530
Oldgateboatdriver said:
...One of the concept of the Westminster form of Parliament is that all members of Parliament are equal (one of the reason the PM is some times referred to as "First among equals"). It's fine for ministers to be given offices and services warranted by their position at the locations of their actual departments, but at Parliament, they are all just MP's like every other MP's. They should all have equal chances at whatever office, and the offices under the control of the Speaker and services provided MP's from the Parliament budget should all be the same.

It is the fact that the parties, over time, voted more and more differences in these, where the parties in power and in the official opposition are concerned, that is the real scandal ... so to speak if your bar for scandal is low.  :2c:

Good post.

Yes, agreed, they should. So to add, just because one holds an office location they previously attained while holding a different position shouldn’t automatically entitle them to maintain said office location. It should be up for grabs again, particularly for those who legitimately require an enlarged space.

This was a matter that could’ve/should’ve been able to be handled behind closed doors. And while I don’t necessarily agree with deflating any Independent’s value as a whole, she bares some responsibility for the reaction by how she’s chosen to handle this issue.
 

Remius

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
4,522
Points
1,090
The office thing is separate from her status as an equal among others.  They all get the same size seat and desk in the commons.  And each vote is worth exactly the same.  Those that form government get certain infrastructure perks to conduct that business.  She is an independent.  She does not need nor warrant a 6 office suite and private bathroom. 

Imagine if Andrew Scheer or Trudeau refused to give up their residences or offices when they cease to be ex leader....
 

Oldgateboatdriver

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
686
Points
910
I am going to be facetious here, Remius: When politicians "cease to be ex leaders", that means they are leaders again (a double negative)  ;D. But I get what you mean.

However, where I have a problem is with offices that are within the purview of the Speaker: Those are Parliament's, not the government's.

The "government" already has every other god damn "government" office buildings in the Ottawa region to provide the ministers with infrastructure from which to carry "that" business from. Not to mention thousands of civil servants to do their research, advise and draft, review, discuss that business. What need has the government got then of extra perks at Parliament (which is supposed to be independent from the said government, BTW).

On an interesting note: Do you know what  the British PM's "office" at Westminster look like? It's a single wooden desk in the middle of a common room - just like every other British MP, as there are no MP individual offices in the British Parliament and MPs have always carried out their business from open common rooms. You could say they invented the open office space concept. The PM's desk is just about never used: He carries his/her duties from 10 Downing Street, which is a "government" building that is NOT under the control of the Speaker.
 

Blackadder1916

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
1,591
Points
1,160
Oldgateboatdriver said:
. . .  but at Parliament, they are all just MP's like every other MP's. They should all have equal chances at whatever office, and the offices under the control of the Speaker and services provided MP's from the Parliament budget should all be the same.

While this may be the perfect world solution, the Parliament building was not designed with the provision of offices for each and every MP in mind.  That accommodation evolved over time as the duties (real and political) of MPs increased, the size of government changed, fires happened and the wear and tear of time required renovation.

HOUSE OF COMMONS PROCEDURE AND PRACTICE, Third Edition, 2017
Chapter 6  The Physical and Administrative Setting

Members’ Offices
Members are accommodated mostly in suites of offices located in the Centre Block, East Block and West Block, and the Valour, Wellington, Confederation and Justice buildings. Ministers have offices on Parliament Hill as well as in their departments. Office space is assigned to Members in consultation with their party Whips. Members of parties not officially recognized in the House and Members with no party affiliation (usually referred to as independent Members) are allocated offices by the Speaker.110

At Confederation, the newly built Centre Block, or “Parliament Building” as it was then known, housed the entire Parliament of Canada. The East and West Blocks, or “departmental buildings”, were occupied by government departments and included offices for Cabinet Ministers. The Speaker was the only Member to have an office in the Centre Block. Members were provided with desks in the Chamber, lockers nearby, and facilities for dressing, reading and smoking; the nature of the Members’ work and the length of sessions were such that this was considered adequate to their needs.111

The Centre Block was designed for the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada, which was composed of 130 members; at Confederation in 1867, it was required to house 181 Members of the House of Commons. By the 1880s, the basements and attics were fully utilized and parliamentarians demanded improvements in their accommodations. By 1916, the year in which fire destroyed the building, some Members were allocated private offices (i.e., the Speaker, Cabinet Ministers, leading Opposition Members); others shared rooms. Conditions for Members improved in the new Centre Block, though not to the extent of offering private offices for all.112  Over the years, the membership of the House increased and so did Members’ requirements for space and staff, in line with the evolving role and worklife of Parliament and its elected representatives. Gradually, additional space became available as administrative services were moved to other locations, and as other buildings were converted for House of Commons use.113


110.  In 1991, Louis Plamondon (Richelieu), a Member of a non-recognized party, raised a question of privilege about the reassignment of his office by the Speaker without his authorization. Speaker Fraser ruled that the Member’s complaint was an administrative rather than procedural matter (Debates, April 8, 1991, pp. 19126–7; April 9, 1991, pp. 19232–3; April 11, 1991, p. 19340). Prior to the opening of the Thirty-Sixth Parliament in 1997, John Nunziata (York South—Weston), a former Member of a recognized party who had been re-elected as an independent Member, was reassigned office space by the Speaker against his will.

111.  At that time, sessions of Parliament were on average well under six months in length (see Appendix 11, “Parliaments Since 1867 and Number of Sitting Days”, of this volume).

112.  The original building had residences for the Speaker and Sergeant-at-Arms as well as modest living quarters for housekeepers, servants and messengers in the basement. The new building was two storeys higher and additional space was made available by eliminating the residences, though the Speaker retained a suite of rooms in order to offer the traditional hospitality. See J. Daniel Livermore, “A History of Parliamentary Accommodation in Canada, 1841–1974,” app. III in Report of the Advisory Commission on Parliamentary Accommodation, November 1976, tabled on December 17, 1976 (Journals, p. 254).

113.  The West Block was renovated and reopened for Members in 1963, and the Confederation Building in 1973. Since 1980, the East Block, which had always been used by the Prime Minister, has been used by other Members. More recently, office space has also been available to Members in the Justice, Valour and Wellington buildings.

Oldgateboatdriver said:
On an interesting note: Do you know what  the British PM's "office" at Westminster look like? It's a single wooden desk in the middle of a common room - just like every other British MP, as there are no MP individual offices in the British Parliament and MPs have always carried out their business from open common rooms. You could say they invented the open office space concept. The PM's desk is just about never used: He carries his/her duties from 10 Downing Street, which is a "government" building that is NOT under the control of the Speaker.

While it may have been so at one time (I have visions of morning coats and top hats being worn) the Palace of Westminister has the same accommodation problems as that encountered in our Parliament Building, too little space for the number of people who want to do work there.  They partly addressed some of the issues a few years ago by constructing Portcullis House specifically to provide offices for MPs (a limited number, since the desirable space is in the Palace).  A report that addressed the space needs for MPs and their staffs said:

3  Occupants and their accommodation needs

35. In this part of the Report, we identify in more detail the accommodation needs of the various groups of occupants on the Estate and the extent to which these needs have been met. In essence, what each of the groups needs is accommodation which enables them to carry out their work effectively.

Members

36. Members generally require a room of their own with sufficient space for a desk, a workstation and storage for their papers. They need the opportunity for privacy, be it to prepare for a speech or to hold a private meeting. Most Members would not expect to hold meetings of more than three or four people in their office, as rooms can be booked for this purpose. Office location is also important. Members still need accommodation reasonably close to the Chamber, principally because of the requirement to vote in person at sometimes unpredictable and antisocial times, with eight minutes to reach the division lobbies from the calling of a vote. The meeting rooms and catering facilities in Portcullis House have increasingly become a second centre of gravity.

37. Accommodation for Members and for their staff is inextricably interlinked, as the following paragraphs show. Members' accommodation needs at Westminster are affected by whether they wish to locate any staff at Westminster, the number they wish to locate there and how they wish to work with those staff.

. . .

Front bench and party parliamentary allocation

51. Of the 721 offices available to Members, 126 rooms are designated as Official rooms for Whips, Ministers, the Shadow Cabinet, and the leader of the third largest parliamentary party.[42] All of these rooms are within the Palace. Some are traditionally designated for specific office holders, such as the Prime Minister, Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition. Other rooms are designated for a class of office holder, such as Ministers or the Shadow Cabinet. In addition, parliamentary resource units around Cloister Court in the Palace house nine staff working for the Parliamentary Labour Party and 14 staff working for the Conservative Party, with ten Liberal Democrat researchers accommodated in 2 The Abbey Garden. These resource units are intended as a pooled research resource available to any Members of the relevant parties. All of these rooms fall within the purview of the Accommodation Whips.

52. In practice, the situation is more fluid than this. The Leader of the Opposition now occupies some 250 sq m of Members' accommodation in Norman Shaw South, rather than the room traditionally occupied by the Leader of the Opposition in the Palace, which is currently used instead by a senior member of the Shadow Cabinet. Some Ministers have been allocated several official rooms (one has four rooms, another three). Others have offices not designated for Ministers—unsurprisingly, as there are more Ministers than designated ministerial offices.

53. Front-bench and back-bench Members do not have identical accommodation needs. Government Ministers, unlike other Members, generally have a second office nearby, in the Departments they run. But at times they are required to be within the precincts of House, especially when a Government majority is slight, and yet continue to carry out their ministerial responsibilities, assisted by civil servants. Ministers therefore need offices within the precincts. The offices they currently occupy within the Palace provide sufficient physical security and allow for easy access for civil servants and official papers. While Cabinet Ministers generally occupy fine rooms within the Palace, other Ministers' offices in the Palace tend to be small and not of the highest standard.

54. The accommodation situation is fluid, as a result of ministerial and Shadow Cabinet reshuffles. Difficulties arise when the parliamentary staff of a newly promoted Minister work at Westminster in the more spacious accommodation available to a senior backbench Member, and it may not be possible to find space for them in the smaller room allocated to their Member as a junior Minister:

when they have been made a Minister and they have had what we describe as 'less than desirable' accommodation, let us say over in Norman Shaw North, and I have wound up allocating them some tiny little office as a Minister in the official accommodation I have not chucked them out of Norman Shaw North because nobody else particularly wanted it and their staff were up to their eyeballs over there.[43]
 

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
936
Points
1,260
What's stopping her from getting her new office blessed?
 

Brad Sallows

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
4,540
Points
1,010
Nothing wrong with building more office space if it is needed.  With that in mind, set guidelines for footage based on position - limit to 3 or 4 categories of position (eg. PM, minister, member) and have a lottery just like the US House of Reps does, only for everyone, not just "freshmen".
 
Top