Saturday, September 22, 2012
I've know Nigel Wright for about 4 years. I know that he is a totally honest ethical man, who took a huge pay cut to work in government. He should be admired and praised. Instead we see partisan complaints with no basis in fact. A great piece by Michael Taube. It would be nice to see our brightest and best in government. We often just drive such people away. So Wright accepted a major pay cut and joined Harper’s PMO in 2010. The understanding at the time was that he would rejoin Onex by late 2012, and continue with his successful Bay Street career. Considering the PM’s other chiefs of staff, Ian Brodie and Guy Giorno, also had two-year stints, this didn’t seem like an unreasonable arrangement. And if he chose to stay longer, so be it. Alas, Wright’s tenure as chief of staff has been under constant scrutiny since Day 1. Opposition MPs mocked his business credentials, saying he would likely have to recuse himself from just about every government-related discussion due to his former role with Onex. The press hounded him at every turn, making snide comments about this “mystery man” Harper was bringing into the fold. As well, the ethics commissioner is currently investigating Wright’s dealings with Barrick Gold Corp. (This spring, the company reportedly lobbied him on three occasions.) Putting aside the latter issue for the time being — since there’s presently no evidence Wright did anything, if you’ll pardon the pun, wrong — this whole episode stinks to high heaven.