Rahim Jaffer, husband of Simcoe-Grey MP Helena Guergis, has been charged with drunk driving and possession of cocaine.
Police stopped Jaffer, a 37-year-old Angus resident, on Sept. 11 on Regional Road 50 in Palgrave. Caledon OPP say he was speeding through the village.
Jaffer will be in Orangeville criminal court on Oct. 19 to answer the charges.
His license was suspended for 90 days.
His wife is Helena Guergis, is the Minister of State for the Status of Women, and so assists Minister James Moore (Canadian Heritage). Given the seriousness of the charges, the distraction of dealing with the situation, and of course, the importance of avoiding any appearance of a conflict of interest anywhere near the cabinet table, I think careful consideration has to be given to relieving Guergis of any duties above and beyond that of an MP.
Liberal Reaction: One Liberal MP who ought to know better has acted quite disgracefully. Credit to the Liberal Party as a whole, though, for telling her to shut her yap.
What should be done? I don't think anyone who thinks Helen Guergis needs to take a time out seriously believes it is because of some as yet unrevealed guilt. It is simply because she is in a position in which even the most tenuous thread connecting her to Rahim Jaffer's arrest in any way will get blown out of proportion. Indeed, for her own sake, she ought to consider getting out of the public eye as much as possible, and that could mean removing herself from her duties as a secretary of state. At the same time, the government has to make a tough call here, perhaps removing her from her position (if she does not do it herself) for a period of time as the details of the investigation become clear. Rahim Jaffer is scheduled to be formally charged in mid-October -- it seems to me that it would be very clear at that point that Guergis could, or could not, resume her duties.