On Thursday we reported on the attacks Prime Minister Harper’s Press Secretary made against Vancouver MP Libby Davies, in relation to her presence at a protest in support of Vancouver’s Safe Injection Site – INSITE.  His attacks began in the form of emails sent to the Ottawa Press Gallery, and continued through an exchange on CBC’s Power & Politics the same evening.

As a result Libby Davies’ issued the following media release:

“VANCOUVER – Vancouver East MP Libby Davies is calling on the Prime Minister to apologize to her and retract the inflammatory and false statements made on Wednesday by his chief spokesperson Dimitri Soudas.

“Soudas’ comments misrepresented the actions of an elected Member of Parliament. This type of behaviour should be beneath the Prime Minister and his staff,” said Davies. “Soudas’ hot-headed statements undermined the integrity and dignity of the office of the Prime Minister.”

Davies attended a protest in Vancouver on Wednesday to show her support for InSite, Vancouver’s safe injection site, which the Harper Conservatives have been attempting to shut down despite scientific evidence that shows it is saving lives. Soudas told the press that Davies organized the protest and that she encouraged “locking and chaining doors of buildings while seniors, veterans, and young children are gathered inside.”

All his charges are completely unfounded and untrue.

This isn’t the first time the Prime Minister’s communications staff have jumped to conclusions based on little or no facts.

In December, Soudas publicly berated environmentalist Stephen Guilbeault at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, accusing him of creating an anti-Harper press release that another group later claimed responsibility for.

In October, the Government accused New Democrat Leader Jack Layton of being responsible for a protest in the public gallery in the House of Commons. Again, the charge was a fabrication.

And last July, the Prime Minister had to apologize after he attacked the Liberal leader based on false information provided to him by Soudas.

“At best the Prime Minister’s spokesperson is incompetent, and at worst malicious,” said Davies.

“However, we’re giving the Prime Minister a chance to the do the right thing, apologize, and correct the misinformation that his chief spokesperson has distributed to the public.”



Soudas’ propensity for fabricating facts has been noted in a number of political blogs, including the Globe and Mail’s Jane Taber’s. This wouldn’t be the first time the hot-tempered Conservative Party Press Secretary has been forced to apologize for spreading misinformation about an opposition party Member of Parliament.

It seems that an apology won’t come easily however. In a National Post story this week-end, Soudas was reported as refusing (at this time, at least) to make an apology. 

Perhaps this time an announcement of his resignation will accompany his apology, as the PMO’s office is surely embarrassed by the unprofessional behaviour of its senior communications staff.