The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Name:
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL: black_rod_usher@yahoo.com

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Searching for Christine Wood. Will Winnipeg Police feel the heat?


The Winnipeg Police force has managed to stay under the radar of the national news organizations for over three weeks now, but once their luck runs out the results will be incendiary.

How Winnipeg police conduct a missing persons investigation into the disappearance of Christine Wood will become the test case for the recently announced Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women Inquiry. 


Winnipeg will be the stand-in for all police departments across Canada in similar investigations. And so far, the example is not good.

Here's where we would normally give the background to the case. The known facts.  Except that the "known facts" in the disappearance of Christine Wood keep changing from week to week. And the police have been no help in keeping the public informed. In fact, they're partly responsible for the confusion.


Nevertheless, here's what we know culled from various news accounts.


* 21-year-old Christine Wood was in Winnipeg with her parents to accompany a relative who had a medical appointment. They were staying at the Comfort Inn, Sargent Avenue and Berry Street. 


* On Friday, Aug. 19, she was getting ready to go out in the evening. Her parents left her at the hotel as they went to a nearby store.  When they came back, about 9:30 p.m., their daughter was gone.  


* The next day, when she hadn't returned, they became concerned, given that they were all supposed to fly home to the Oxford House reserve on Sunday, Aug. 21.

* The Woods called the police for help. They were told that Christine was an adult, she could come and go as she pleased, and what did they expect the poice to do?  The answer is not surprising, given that up to 5000 people are reported missing to Winnipeg police every year.


Still, a week after Christine Wood was last seen by her parents, the police issued a missing person alert --- which could hardly have been skimpier. It had her picture, a brief description of her and what she might be wearing, And the alert said she was last seen in downtown Winnipeg.


Now this was about as useless as you can imagine. Police were asking if anyone could remember seeing  a cute young woman a week earlier. 


Well,  yeah, maybe. Somewhere downtown.  Where?  

The official description of "downtown" extends from the University of Winnipeg east to the Forks and north to Higgins and Main.

That would be bad enough, but a week after that,  the Canadian Centre for Child Protection issued a news release saying Christine Wood was last seen in the Polo Park area. 


That's nowhere near "downtown." So why did the police say she was seen downtown?

Was it a ruse to trick a suspect? If it was, was the family told?  Because if the police issued false information deliberately, they've done immense damage to the trust relationship between the authorities and a grieving family and the police and the greater public. And once destroyed, trust never returns.


So where was Christine Wood last seen?  Is there no hotel security camera footage of her leaving her hotel room, in the hotel lobby, walking into the hotel parking lot?  


How did she get to Polo Park? By bus? By cab?  The mall would have been closed by the time she left the hotel, so where in the "area" was she seen? With anybody? 

These are just natural questions. Has the police department satisfied the family with answers? Will they, as is their habit, release video of her sometime in the future long after it would be of any help jogging anyone's memory?

One news story mentioned that her husband joined her in Winnipeg two days after she and her parents arrived.  There's been no further mention of the husband. 


She obviously wasn't going out with him that Friday night? She didn't tell her parents she was meeting him somewhere. Her parents have been the public voices calling for help in finding her.  Where is he? The spouse is always the prime suspect in a disappearance. Does he have a big police target on his back?

The public alert states "Police are concerned for WOOD’s well-being..." Is that simply because she hasn't been heard from? Or do police have information they're holding back, which seems more likely.  The police department always knows more than it tells. Do they know something sinister about her disappearance?


What do we know about her?  The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has provided more detail than the police department. 


It said Christine is “familiar with Winnipeg, having attended the University of Winnipeg this past year. Christine ... is known to frequent the Osborne Village."  So she's no stranger to the city. But her acquaintances are another matter.

Her mother says she immediately reached out to Christine's friends on social media to find out if they had heard from Christine. But nobody responded to her frantic pleas.  Now that's suspicious.


The M&M Inquiry can't reopen old cases, but it could put the spotlight on an ongoing case, with the Winnipeg Police smack dab in the middle.

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Thursday, September 01, 2016

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights enters death spiral, fueled by debt


Can supporters of The Canadian Museum for Human Rights handle the truth? 

* $80 million in debt with no hope of paying it off
* begging the federal government to raise its $21.7 million annual allowance by at least 50 percent  to buy more time
a report that seems to indicate the museum's fundraising arm can't collect $24 million, or almost one in four of the $151 million dollars the Friends of the CMHR boasts it has raised.

Last week the CMHR announced what should have been good news ---it settled its tax bill with the City of Winnipeg.  The museum owed $2.7 million  for this year's property taxes, much much less than the $5-to-$8 million they expected their taxes to be.

The federal government, which is ultimately on the hook for what's called "payments in lieu of taxes" for federal institutions like museums, paid the $2.7 million plus arrears of $6.7 million. It then put the total - $9.4M - on the CMHR's tab.

The museum is already $70 million in debt for the emergency funding they needed to open in 2014, two years late. The CMHR was flat broke and didn't have enough money to finish building the facility and paying for exhibits. 

The federal government "advanced" $35 million (interest free) with the alleged expectation that the government could get the money back by eventually reducing the annual funding it gives to the museum until they were even. 

Everybody knows that's camouflage and will never happen but everyone is pretending that's a real plan.

The museum also needed a loan of $35 million to meet its costs. The loan, from sources never identified, went to the Friends of the CMHR which doled it out to the museum while managing to keep secret the donors and terms.  But a loan carries interest cost.

Add the $9.4 million plus $70 million plus interest and you're touching $80 million in the red.  And that's not counting $10 million in operating funds  that the federal government let the museum spend on construction instead. It's never been made clear whether that $10 million has to be repaid or if the federal government just boosted their "contribution" to the cost of the museum by that amount.

The CMHR says it has squirreled away a few million dollars to pay part of the city tax tab. As for the rest, well...

The museum wants---needs---the federal government to swallow most of it. The deal is for the CMHR to have its annual funding reduced starting in 2018 to pay off the federal "advance."  But given that the CMHR is spending every nickel of the $21.7 million its receiving each year, that is impossible.  In fact, the museum wants more money, not less each and every year in the future.

Apart from getting the federal government to forgive the $35 million advance in $7 million increments, the museum wants  the city taxes paid, starting at $3 million  (including frontage fee) and rising per year. Oh, and it needs $3 million or so to replace the entire computer system, which has a useful life expectancy of only three years that's up, uh, next year.

Anyone who still thinks the Friends of the CMHR is supposed to cover these expenses by its fundraising is in for a sick surprise.

Charity Intelligence Canada is a charity watchdog. Its latest report on the Friends of the CMHR has some unsettling details.  

The Friends, which is a registered charity, spends 43 percent of its revenues on administrative costs and 18 percent of donations on fundraising costs.  Given that "revenues" is made up of donations plus interest, which last year was negative one thousand dollars, in reality 61 percent of the money donated to Friends goes to overhead.

And then there's this paragraph in the Ci report:
Note: Ci Charity Intelligence has used the restated 2014 financial statements in the charity’s F2015 audited financial statements. Ci has adjusted amortization and allowance for doubtful pledges receivable and gifts to the museum affecting expenses by ($4m) in F2016, by ($18.4m) in F2015, and by ($14.1m) in F2014. 
Given that the paragraph is written in a foreign language, auditorese, its hard to say what it really means.

Does it mean the museum has been counting money on its books that can't be collected?

There's been a $24 million writedown involving "doubtful pledges receivable" but it that just an accounting adjustment or a complete breakdown of fundraising?

Nevertheless, it does suggest why the CMHR's corporate reports for the past three years running have not been made public, and why no 2015-2016 annual report is MIA.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Thanks for nothing, Devon "Mack Daddy" Clunis


Last week's release of the annual report on crime and disorder in the city put a lot of things in  a new perspective---starting with the surprise retirement of the police chief and ending with an abrasive member of the police board getting the hook.


Back in March, Police Chief Devon Clunis made a stunning announcement---he was quitting.  Only 52, he was retiring after 29 years as a cop. He had been in the top job barely 3 l/2 years, though, which is why people were so surprised he was anxious to leave. 
 
Anxious to leave. That's a polite way to say bolting for the exit.  

Clunis made a big noise when he was hired as police chief.  He was literally going to change the culture of policing, he declared.  Fighting crime was so yesterday, he sneered. He was going to mobilize entire communities, heal social ills, and --- wait for it --- eliminate the root causes of crime.

Well, he changed the mission statement, which is on Page One of the crime report next to his picture:

Our Mission: Build safe and healthy
communities across Winnipeg through
excellence in law enforcement and
leadership in crime prevention through
social development.

'Mission Accomplished,' Clunis said when leaving. Before leaving, actually, because his last day was July 7, two weeks before he would have had to sign the annual report card on the work of the Winnipeg Police Service---which carried a mark of F for Failure.

Total reported crimes up 7 percent. 
Break-ins up 19 percent. 
Violent crime up 6 percent. 
Robberies alone up 9 percent. 
There were even 339 assaults on police officers, almost one a day, up 25 percent from 2014.

Violent crimes by youth were up 7 percent; property crimes, 12 percent.

Winnipeg has relinquished the poisonous title of Murder Capital of Canada to Regina but carries the equally disgraceful title of Violent Crime Capital of the country. Given that most murders are not random and violent crime often is, it isn't much of a welcome change. The violent crime severity index for Winnipeg, which measures both the number and seriousness of offences, increased by five per cent in 2015.

Police spokesmen made pathetic attempts to amerliorate the damning police stats, starting with 'crime is up in cities across the country.'

NEWS FLASH:    We don't live in other cities!

Unless you're saying crime spreads from province to province like the swine flu virus then crime rates in other cities are NO EXCUSE.

The 2015 crime stats did not hatch the day before the annual report was released. They had circulated within police and government circles for weeks.  Chief Clunis knew what the stats said when he announced his retirement.  And new Premier Brian Pallister knew what they said when he replaced two NDP appointees on the Winnipeg police board with two of his own.

The Winnipeg press dutifully followed the NDP political narrative in reporting the police board changes, concentrating on the removal of Leslie Spillett
Spillett, you were told, was an aboriginal representative on the board and was being removed because, well, you know. (Hint, the Conservatives are racists.)
The only thing wrong with all those stories is the facts. Spillett is and was never an aboriginal representative except in her own mind. She was a representative of the Manitoba New Democratic Party as their appointee.  

She has never been elected by native people to represent native people in Winnipeg in any capacity. She is identified as an "aboriginal activist", which is not a real job since you need no skills, no training, no employer, and no followers, just a loud voice.


Angeline Ramkissoon, a retired inner-city school principal, was the other NDP appointee on the police board who was replaced. Her attitude to race based representation is diametrically opposite to Spillett's. The Winnipeg Free Press interviewed her, to the detriment of Leslie Spillett:


"Ramkissoon, who is of South Asian descent, came to Canada in 1967 from Trinidad, but says that’s not why she was appointed to the police board.
"Yes, I came from an ethnic background, but that was not my focus. I saw myself as an administrator before I saw myself as a minority..."


She not only had a real job (which made her a role model to other immigrants) but she refused to be pigeon-holed as an ethnic anything.

The lame press failed to do any research into what Spillett brought to the police board table

If they had, they would have easily turned up this 2012 interview with Winnipeg-based Geez magazine.
In an article headlined Do We Need The Cops, Spillett reveals her attitude towards the police. 


"In Canada the police have historically been part of the project of cultural genocide, she said." 


"She sees the western system of policing as culturally alien to an indigenous view." 


"The police are only one part of a colonial system designed to condition superiority and inferiority complexes into different segments of the population." 


"A few days of diversity training for cops won't do the trick, said Spillett. "If you have cancer, one chemo doesn't do the job." 


Remember, Leslie Spillett wasn't bringing this attitude to the Winnipeg police board as a representative of the Inner City, or the aboriginal residents of the city. 

She was representing the New Democratic Party of Manitoba.  Any wonder why she was shown the door.


The police board is currently searching for a new police chief.  

Unfortunately, they're not looking for a crime fighter. They want another social worker. 


The official ad for the job states that the "Chief of Police has a key and critical role in crime prevention through social development, community building, prevention strategies and proactive policing." 


"...the ideal Chief of Police will be a community-focused change agent..." 


"He or she will be cognizant of the structural barriers affecting many communities and therefore will support initiatives that will empower marginalized people and groups such as Indigenous people and newcomers." 


Oh, if you're waiting for something about experience with crime fighting, you can stop now. There's not a word.

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Thanks for nothing, Devon "Mack Daddy" Clunis


Last week's release of the annual report on crime and disorder in the city put a lot of things in  a new perspective---starting with the surprise retirement of the police chief and ending with an abrasive member of the police board getting the hook.

Back in March, Police Chief Devon Clunis made a stunning announcement---he was quitting.  Only 52, he was retiring after 29 years as a cop. He had been in the top job barely 3 l/2 years, though, which is why people were so surprised he was anxious to leave. 

Anxious to leave. That's a polite way to say bolting for the exit.  

Clunis made a big noise when he was hired as police chief.  He was literally going to change the culture of policing, he declared.  Fighting crime was so yesterday, he sneered. He was going to mobilize entire communities, heal social ills, and --- wait for it --- eliminate the root causes of crime.

Well, he changed the mission statement, which is on Page One of the crime report next to his picture:

Our Mission: Build safe and healthy
communities across Winnipeg through
excellence in law enforcement and
leadership in crime prevention through
social development.

'Mission Accomplished,' Clunis said when leaving. Before leaving, actually, because his last day was July 7, two weeks before he would have had to sign the annual report card on the work of the Winnipeg Police Service---which carried a mark of F for Failure.

Total reported crimes up 7 percent. 
Break-ins up 19 percent. 
Violent crime up 6 percent. 
Robberies alone up 9 percent. 
There were even 339 assaults on police officers, almost one a day, up 25 percent from 2014.

Violent crimes by youth were up 7 percent; property crimes, 12 percent.

Winnipeg has relinquished the poisonous title of Murder Capital of Canada to Regina but carries the equally disgraceful title of Violent Crime Capital of the country. Given that most murders are not random and violent crime often is, it isn't much of a welcome change. The violent crime severity index for Winnipeg, which measures both the number and seriousness of offences, increased by five per cent in 2015.

Police spokesmen made pathetic attempts to amerliorate the damning police stats, starting with 'crime is up in cities across the country.'

NEWS FLASH:    We don't live in other cities!

Unless you're saying crime spreads from province to province like the swine flu virus then crime rates in other cities are NO EXCUSE.

The 2015 crime stats did not hatch the day before the annual report was released. They had circulated within police and government circles for weeks.  Chief Clunis knew what the stats said when he announced his retirement.  And new Premier Brian Pallister knew what they said when he replaced two NDP appointees on the Winnipeg police board with two of his own.

The Winnipeg press dutifully followed the NDP political narrative in reporting the police board changes, concentrating on the removal of Leslie Spillett

Spillett, you were told, was an aboriginal representative on the board and was being removed because, well, you know. (Hint, the Conservatives are racists.)

The only thing wrong with all those stories is the facts. Spillett is and was never an aboriginal representative except in her own mind. She was a representative of the Manitoba New Democratic Party as their appointee. 

She has never been elected by native people to represent native people in Winnipeg in any capacity. She is identified as an "aboriginal activist", which is not a real job since you need no skills, no training, no employer, and no followers, just a loud voice.

Angeline Ramkissoon, a retired inner-city school principal, was the other NDP appointee on the police board who was replaced. Her attitude to race based representation is diametrically opposite to Spillett's. The Winnipeg Free Press interviewed her, to the detriment of Leslie Spillett:

"Ramkissoon, who is of South Asian descent, came to Canada in 1967 from Trinidad, but says that’s not why she was appointed to the police board.
"Yes, I came from an ethnic background, but that was not my focus. I saw myself as an administrator before I saw myself as a minority..."

She not only had a real job (which made her a role model to other immigrants) but she refused to be pigeon-holed as an ethnic anything.

The lame press failed to do any research into what Spillett brought to the police board table

If they had, they would have easily turned up this 2012 interview with Winnipeg-based Geez magazine.
In an article headlined Do We Need The Cops, Spillett reveals her attitude towards the police.
"In Canada the police have historically been part of the project of cultural genocide, she said."
"She sees the western system of policing as culturally alien to an indigenous view."
"The police are only one part of a colonial system designed to condition superiority and inferiority complexes into different segments of the population."
"A few days of diversity training for cops won't do the trick, said Spillett. "If you have cancer, one chemo doesn't do the job."
Remember, Leslie Spillett wasn't bringing this attitude to the Winnipeg police board as a representative of the Inner City, or the aboriginal residents of the city. She was representing the New Democratic Party of Manitoba.  Any wonder why she was shown the door.
The police board is currently searching for a new police chief.  

Unfortunately, they're not looking for a crime fighter. They want another social worker.
The official ad for the job states that the "Chief of Police has a key and critical role in crime prevention through social development, community building, prevention strategies and proactive policing."
"...the ideal Chief of Police will be a community-focused change agent..."
"He or she will be cognizant of the structural barriers affecting many communities and therefore will support initiatives that will empower marginalized people and groups such as Indigenous people and newcomers."
Oh, if you're waiting for something about experience with crime fighting, you can stop now. There's not a word.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

White doctors freak out pregnant aboriginals, says NDP MLA Nahanni Fontaine



A leopard can't change its spots and the NDP's Nahanni Fontaine can't change her bias against white people.

We got another taste of her advocacy for aboriginal apartheid in Hansard's official account of debate in the Legislature last week.


Fontaine, the NDP's parachute candidate in St. John's riding, was promoting the need for native midwives and doulas for pregnant "indigenous women" in  northern Manitoba (what about the rest of the expectant mothers? - ed.) when she --- oh, so casually --- started talking about how traumatic it was for these women to be in the care of  ... 


White medical professionals. 

"And so, as the minister knows, you know, indigenous women have to come to the south to have their babies. Often, they come without any supports. They are immersed in white space."


For people unfamiliar with the latest racial nomenclature, she explained:


"And so, you know, for women that are here alone, and that are immersed in white space, with white nurses, white doctors, it can be incredibly alienating and impact on the delivery of their baby."


Fontaine is no stranger to overt bias against whites.  


She was neck-deep in the controversy around Deputy Premier Eric Robinson's secret email to her demonstrating his contempt for "do-good white people". 

Their email exchange, which the NDP government tried to hide from exposure through the province's Freedom of Information Act, led to Robinson's declaration that he was allowed to be prejudiced against whites because of how they treated him in the past. 

That went over so well with voters that they threw Robinson out of office in the October election.


Fontaine also once promoted the boycott of white businesses, a history she refused to discuss when on her own campaign trail.


There's no word on whether the NDP's other star aboriginal candidate, Wab Kinew, supports aboriginal apartheid as he hasn't said anything on the issue one way or another. Neither has NDP interim leader Flor Marcilino, although she may just be confused.


Under apartheid in South Africa, Filipinos sometimes were and sometimes weren't considered "honorary whites" along with Chinese, Japanese and South Koreans.


But Wikipedia says South Africans of Filipino descent were classified as "black."

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to conceive.

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Monday, June 06, 2016

Sex and Drugs in the Peg. Is that what PM Justin Trudeau is covering up?



The Parliamentary Press Gallery spent the weekend yukking it up with Justin Trudeau at the annual gallery dinner, demonstrating that relations between the Prime Minister and the press were back to normal, the master and his voice in sync again.
Things had been a little strained a few weeks ago when Trudeau, determined to show that he was a tough guy and not to be trifled with in the House of Commons, delivered a hard elbow to a female MP's breast while manhandling an Opposition MP who wasn't moving fast enough to suit the PM.

The reporters and pundits had to do quite the soft shoe to excuse Trudeau's boorishness when video of the incident contradicted his initial explanation for how his elbow smashed into her chest.  Luckily, the controversy subsided quickly and the press gallery could go back to work--- adoring the Sun King.

And then, last week, damn it, up popped another matter that threatened to blemish the reign of Trudeau II. Its name---Hunter Tootoo.

Hunter Tootoo turned out to be Canada's Fisheries Minister 
( Who knew?). Only he wasn't, because he quit. 

There was a bit of fanfare when he was appointed in November, 2014. His was a historic appointment, we were told. He was the first aboriginal and the first northerner (he's from Nunavut) to hold the cabinet post. "It is a proud day for Inuit” declared the president of the national Inuit organization. "We survived the long, dark night of the Harper government and we're coming into the dawn of a new day with the Trudeau government," declared Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs.

But last week Trudeau was treating Tootoo like the Zika virus. 

He couldn't put enough space between himself and his historic appointment.  

Tootoo's departure was announced in a late-in-the-day release from the PM's office that consisted all of 70 words, none of which spoke of what a great job he had done or what a terrific role model he had been or how much Trudeau would miss him. He quit, said the news release, and, oh, he left the caucus too.

Say what?

It was all too mysterious, so Justin addressed the press and pundits personally the very next day.  The former minister was going for addictions treatment. Ignore the rumours. There's no story. Drop it.

And the press did as their master said, with one small exception. 
Last Wednesday, following Trudeau's brief statement, the CTV National News anchor read this tidbit: "sources say there was an incident with Tootoo at the Lib convention on the weekend, serious enough to be kicked from caucus."

And that was it. No follow up. Some niggling questions on blogs and posts on news media comments sections, but as far as information, dead silence.

Until today.

*  From the initial flurry of news reports, we gather that Hunter Tootoo was in fine spirits following his attendance at the national Liberal Party convention in Winnipeg last weekend. 

*  He returned to Ottawa and attended cabinet meetings Monday night and early Tuesday morning.  

*  The 9:30 a.m. Tuesday cabinet meeting was followed by Question Period at 2 p.m. QP lasts roughly an hour.

Something happened in the 90 minutes or so between the time Trudeau left Question Period about 3 p.m. and the time the initial news of Tootoo's resignation hit the news wires. 

*  The earliest alert we could find is from CBC's Aboriginal service:
CBC_Aboriginal
 Follow
Hunter Tootoo resigns as Fisheries minister, leaves Liberal caucus. cbc.ca/1.3609915
4:36 PM - 31 May 2016
*  Initially, commentary focused on the news that Tootoo not only quit the cabinet, but also left the Liberal caucus. Nobody in the country believes he did so voluntarily -- despite what Trudeau claimed.

*  Then there was the day-after CTV newslet about an incident in Winnipeg. What was that all about?

Winnipeg journalists, especially in the alternative press, immediately put their ears to the ground.

The Globe and Mail reported: "Mr. Tootoo, 53, had been drinking heavily at the Liberal convention in Winnipeg, but one friend said, “he was never stumbling, or anything like that”."  

When someone is knocking back booze, who counts how much?  Nobody. What says "heavily" is behaviour. 

Drunks get loud and want to be noticed.
They can be loud and funny, what's known as happy drunks. 
Or loud and obnoxious, the dreaded ugly drunk. 

We don't know which Tootoo is, but little birdies said he was noticed---allegedly in a Winnipeg strip club.

*  Local reporters soon heard the story and, eventually, began bombarding the Winnipeg police for comment.

Was there "an altercation"?  Did a search of one of those involved turn up cocaine? Did the incident involve a woman?

The police finally had to issue a public denial that they were ever called to any incident involving Tootoo.

“The Winnipeg Police Service has no record of any official police contact with this individual,” said Const. Robert Carver, a public information officer with the force. “I cannot be more clear about that — no record.”

*  That should have been the end of it, except that seasoned reporters have learned to parse carefully what public officials say.  No "record" does not mean no "incident."

Winnipeg police might throw a blotto City Councillor into the drunk tank, but no Member of Parliament is going to be inconvenienced during a party convention in this friendly city. That would be what's known as a career-ending move. 

That left just enough air to keep the rumours alive.

*  But even before the city police made their public statement, the story on the street had taken a twist.

This version also spoke of cocaine, but added a young Liberal staffer. Female.

Cherchez la femme.

Had the young lady been offered a toot by Tootoo? Was she telling tales back home? Had somebody started asking questions on Parliament Hill?

Remember how nobody believed Tootoo quit the Liberal caucus of his own accord? 

That's because they remember that one of Trudeau's first orders of business on being elected leader was to throw out of caucus  two MP's who had been accused of sexual harassment by a female MP of another party.

He wouldn't hear their claims of innocence. Out they went. 

Now, imagine a scenario where he has just been pilloried for elbowing a female MP in the breast and barely two weeks later another Liberal (male) is embroiled in a scandal involving, gulp, a female. Whose side do you take? 

Can you spell Ghomeshi?

Step one: act fast to demonstrate you acted fast once you heard. 
Step two: insist there's no story. Maybe they'll fall for it. 
Step three: tell jokes,. Everyone loves to laugh,.

But as the immortal Yogi Berra said: "It ain't over until it's over."

PS --  this wouldn't be the first time that Tootoo has run into problems with women: 

"On Monday, Leona Aglukkaq, minister responsible for the status of women and one of two women in the 19-member legislature, told the house she, too, had faced verbal abuse and threats from elected officials. 

Outside the Chamber, she said the member for Iqakuit centre, Hunter Tootoo, chased her and swore at her after a committee of the whole meeting in March 2005.

Tootoo was not available to confirm those words on Monday. he did apologize two days later in the legislature, saying his remarks were "unacceptable in content and  tone."

http://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/2007/09/18/legislature-rebukes-premier-over-insult-nunavut-minister-says-other-politicians-have-verbally-abused-women 

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