A war of words has broken out between the Harper government and opposition parties after Calgary MP Deepak Obhrai attacked Ethics Commissioner Bernard Shapiro, calling him a "Gestapo chief" who contributed to the recent suicide of his brother-in-law in India.
Mr. Obhrai said his estranged brother-in-law hanged himself in his family home in India on Feb. 24. He said he had warned Mr. Shapiro the man was mentally unstable.
Mr. Obhrai still intends to pursue his $5-million lawsuit, launched in December, against Mr. Shapiro for comments the Ethics Commissioner allegedly made about the Conservative MP.
Mr. Obhrai is alleging Mr. Shapiro's comments have caused lasting harm to his reputation inside and outside the political arena. The lawsuit stems from accusations made by the estranged brother-in-law claiming the MP took $40,000 to fast-track the immigration paperwork of family members.
Shapiro's investigation of Obhrai was found to be so baseless that he was found to be in contempt of Parliament--a Liberal minority Parliament, no less--for having launched it in the first place and shot his mouth in the press about it. He should have been fired back then for character assassination, an unseemly and hypocritical abuse of office.
But he did not put the rope around that man's neck, much less goad him into doing it.
Shapiro's unfitness for office is already well-established. Piling on him like this might needlessly make a martyr out of him. Fire him upon passage of the Accountability Act and have done with him, but don't give him the opportunity to play the victim of a vindictive government.
Source: National Post