Edmonton Journal

Foreign press latch on to minister’s miss

- 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.’ ”

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