Let me start this with a disclaimer:
When I'm reporting on something, I think it's pretty important that you know exactly where I'm coming from. If I'm reporting on an issue of oil and gas, I think it's important that everybody knows that my husband works in oil and gas. If I'm reporting on the education system in Alberta, I think it's fair for you to know that I still have two kids inside of it. Likewise on agriculture issues, you should know that I live on the family farm.
All of us have biases. We all have connections to other things, and I find that my connections to other things help my journalism on those issues be better and stronger. But it's important to be transparent. I definitely believe that family and spouses are off-limits if they are not in the public eye, embroiled in national scandals or suckling on the public teat.
Yeah, we're talking about the WE charity. Let me be perfectly clear: I generally don't care about politicians kids or spouses or families until such time as they use the power and connections of their political family members to enrich themselves.
Like Justin Trudeau's mom, brother and wife, up to their necks in the WE charity scandal. Two of them having been paid for speeches at WE events and the wife having her expenses reimbursed by WE.
And former finance minister Bill Morneau's kids, one of them working for WE and the other being promoted by WE while Bill Morneau is making decisions about WE.
Or how Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff Katie Telford’s husband was lobbying the government for policy changes that would benefit him directly.
Then yeah, the obvious conflict of interest makes the family relationship relevant. But even now, I couldn't tell you off the top of my head what Bill Morneau’s kids’ names are because they aren't relevant.
All of this longwinded-ness brings me to the unsavoury business we have to talk about today.
CTV’s Power Play is on a two-month long summer break, right in the middle of the biggest scandal to hit Justin Trudeau's leadership.
I absolutely cannot stress this enough. I could not on any normal day possibly care less about CTV contributor Glen McGregor's private life or the private lives of any politician or journalist. In fact, the less I know about them, the better I feel.
But Glen McGregor's ex-wife is the head spin doctor at WE Charity and I bet you didn't know that. Her name is Shelley Page. And this is the two of them at an event in Ottawa:
Now it may or may not be a big deal. I don't know anything — nor do I want to know — about their relationship post-divorce.
I cannot stress again how little I want to know about any of this, except insofar as to why McGregor didn't bother to tell readers and viewers this pretty salient fact that his ex-wife and mother of his kids is also neck-deep in trying to polish the WE disaster as her day job.
He's downplayed the conflict of interest between WE and the government of Canada. And he's done his best to defend the charity and explain away the amount of money the charity was paid to administer a program that never materialized.
WATCH and let me take you through the numerous connections I've come across between McGregor and WE, and my efforts to reach out to him so he can provide his side of the story.