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Douglas Bell

An affair to forget Add to ...

Small-town scandal is by nature so penny ante that the line between comedy and drama is invariably a hair's width. Take the "Jaffer-Guergis Affair," as it was so elegantly headlined in the Toronto Star (or if you prefer the "Guergis Saga" as dubbed in this organ of record) .

Among the niftier details was the revelation in the Star that Nazim Gillani, the businessman with whom Jaffer has allegedly had "dealings," recently hired a spokesman, Brian Kilgore, whose website bills him both as a "public relations expert and dog photographer." But that, my friends, is only part of the story. An April 12th piece Canadian Press reporter Jennifer Ditchburn enchanted us with the following:

"Guergis's ouster from caucus came a day after the Toronto Star newspaper published a front-page story chronicling a dinner between Jaffer and some business contacts last September, including a man currently facing a fraud charge.

Nazim Gillani sent an email to the other associates the morning after the dinner, telling them that Jaffer 'has opened up the prime minister's office to us.' The men had been discussing the possibility of Jaffer helping the men seek government contracts, according to Gillani's spokesman and lawyer Brian Kilgore."

Whoa! A triple threat! Hack, canine shutter bug and shyster. Oh sure, Ditchburn got it wrong. But wouldn't it be glorious if the players at the centre (or even on the margins) of this farce were multi-talented, witty cosmopolitans who raised this sordid mess from the gutter with a clever quip or delightful turn of phrase.

Oh well. Never mind.

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