A quarter-million dollar lawsuit claiming wrongful dismissal...was filed late yesterday on behalf of Henrik Lundsgaard, who was chef to Stockwell Day, John Reynolds and Harper while they lived at Stornoway, the official residence for the leader of the Opposition.
Lundsgaard alleges he was unceremoniously terminated after being tantalized with a juicy offer to head to the kitchen at 24 Sussex.
...on Jan. 23, Lundsgaard received a short termination letter, which offered no explanation from either of the Harpers, the claim alleges.
Then, in late February, Harper poached Rideau Hall chef Oliver Bartsch to man the kitchen at 24 Sussex for a reported salary of $73,000 to $79,000.
...Under the Harpers, Lundsgaard's role expanded to include odd jobs such as washing their car, driving their kids to school, supervising the kids in a backyard pool, cleaning their cat's litter box and even "attending to the burial of one of the cats after its demise," the claim alleges. Playing video games with the kids, cleaning up after guests, moving furniture at Stornoway and serving drinks were also allegedly on the expanded menu for Lundsgaard.
Yes, well, Lundsgaard has obviously decided to show his face as a "Liberal hack" with this lawsuit. (They're everywhere, you know). What must Harper be thinking? That all that time Lundsgaard spent being his family's personal slave (paid on the taxpayer's dime, of course) must've been simply a ruse used to lull Harper into a false sense of security. Yes, yes. Oh that's genious. Oh, how could I ever have trusted him?! Then, as soon as he deftly connives me into firing him, he inserts the knife and viciously twists it in - just to give me more bad press. Liberal hack!
Hmm, let's step back a sec. Harper wouldn't meet with the Ethics Commisioner (Oh gosh, terribly busy. Look at the time) to discuss the Grewal investigation.* He continues to refuse to cooperate with the Commish on the Emerson investigation,** and now we see he is unable to handle something as unexceptional as hiring a new chef without ticking-off the old one to the degree he causes an embarrassing stink.
Is there no doo-doo in Ottawa that Harper's toe cannot find its way in?
And how does his office react to media inquiries? In what appears to be a concerted effort to keep one and all "on message", we turn back to the above link for the grand finale:
Well that's it; I'm going to go right ahead and anoint Prime Minister Stephen Harper with the nickname Peevey Stevie. You heard it here first, folks.
When asked to comment about a quarter-million dollar lawsuit against Prime Minster Stephen Harper, his wife and the federal government, Harper's communications director Sandra Buckler would say only that "it's a staffing issue.
"I mean, that's all I would have to say about it."
Sun: Are you aware that a lawsuit was filed? Has he been served yet?
Buckler: "I don't know any of that. I've just seen the media reports and as any other staffing issue that's what I would say. It's a staffing issue."
Sun: Obviously he'll be filing a statement of defence?
Buckler: "All I know is that this is a staffing issue."
Sun: So that's all you have to say about that?
Buckler: "Well they're staffing issues and we generally don't go into staffing issues 'cause they're staffing issues."
Sun: So, basically, you guys don't talk about staffing issues is what you're saying?
Buckler: "They're staffing issues."
So, the Sun went to Harper's press secretary, Carolyn Stewart Olsen.
Sun: I just wanted to give you guys an opportunity to comment on it.
Olsen: "Yeah, no, it's a staffing issue."
Sun: Can you elaborate any more or you guys just don't comment on staffing issues?
Olsen: "Yeah, yeah, it's a staffing issue."
Remarkably, when Harper came under fire last month for luring chef Oliver Bartsch away from Rideau Hall, a spokeswoman told the National Post she couldn't offer any details on the selection because ... (wait for it) .... it's a staffing issue.
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*Tip 'o' the hat to Scotian for the link - every Canadian should read this post).
**Nice work there by Mark[Section15]