For­eign press latch on to min­is­ter’s miss

Edmonton Journal - - THE BERNIER AFFAIR - PHIL COUVRETTE

Like the “gor­geous wo­man” on his arm when he was sworn in as for­eign min­is­ter, Maxime Bernier’s res­ig­na­tion didn’t go un­no­ticed in for­eign news out­lets, which seem to glee­fully throw his for­mer girl­friend into their cov­er­age.

While the break­ing news of the res­ig­na­tion came too late for over­seas publi­ca­tions, some did spice up their wire ser­vice head­lines on web­sites by play­ing up the wo­man be­hind the fallen cabi­net min­is­ter.

“Good night and very bad luck,” ti­tled Aus­tralia’s Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald over a story from the Reuters News Agency, while Bri­tain’s Daily Tele­graph went with “The min­is­ter, the clas­si­fied pa­pers and a lover linked to Hells An­gels.”

Few web­sites didn’t run with a photo of the for­mer so-called min­is­te­rial cou­ple, in­clud­ing the BBC web­site which, like many out­lets, pointed out that Bernier was un­der pres­sure to re­sign fol­low­ing pre­vi­ous slip-ups such as his sug­ges­tion the “Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai re­place the gov­er­nor of Kan­da­har prov­ince, where Canada has 2,500 troops sta­tioned.”

“A calami­tous moral af­fair” put an end to his ca­reer, wrote France’s Le Fi­garo — un­der the ban­ner “A Cana­dian min­is­ter for­gets his files at his lover’s home” — which added “pretty” to in­ter­na­tional de­scrip­tions of Couil­lard, which ranged from “gor­geous” and “glam­orous” to the “provoca­tively dressed,” used in a widely run As­so­ci­ated Press piece.

The French pa­per colour­fully noted that “the depth of the neck­line had red­dened the cheeks of royal gen­darmes,” dur­ing the swearingin cer­e­mony.

While the re­port­ing may have played up Couil­lard’s ap­pear­ance, it was far less kind to Bernier.

“Blun­der-prone Maxime Bernier re­signed af­ter an ugly breakup re­sulted in Julie Couil­lard go­ing on TV to ac­cuse him of be­ing ‘care­less’ with clas­si­fied gov­ern­ment pa­pers,” summed up Bri­tain’s Daily Mail On­line in a story en­ti­tled ‘Min­is­ter re­signs af­ter leav­ing files with ‘biker chick.’ ”

Couil­lard

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