Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A CyberSmokeBlog Exclusive: RCMP poised to investigate Ottawa human clone sighting!

Marc Harb not your typical politician
Susan Sherring
Monday, May 13, 2913
Does Marc Harb still believe human clones walk among us?

Until recently, Senator Marc Harb rarely made the headlines, but when he did - it generally wasn't in a positive light.

When he declared, as a Liberal MP back on 2001, he believed human clones were walking among us, well the media had a heyday.

His comments are still standouts for his time as a politician.

It would be a sad reflection on his political career if the only thing which overshadows that memory is the most recent scandal surrounding his spending in the Senate.

That, of course, will be for Harb to wear.

He hasn't attempted publicly to explain how he claimed a waterfront property in Pembroke on the public's dime.

There is, of course, a difference between knowingly breaking the law, and simply doing something immoral because you can - and it doesn't break the law.

As someone who has known Harb for several decades, it would be good to hear the hows and whys.

Certainly, throughout his years of public service, Harb doesn't follow the flow.

During his many years on Parliament Hill, Harb earned a reputation as a solid advocate for causes, which were often not in line with his own party.

In 2009, for example, he failed to find a single colleague who would second his proposed bill to ban the annual Atlantic Canada seal hunt. In 2003, he told reporters he wanted to personally travel to Saudi Arabia and investigate William Sampson - a Canadian who was tortured by Saudi authorities - because he was suspicious of Sampson's claims of wrongful imprisonment.

He also waged a very vocal campaign against Sunday shopping, vowing never to make a purchase on the Sabbath.

If you've been shopping on the weekend recently, you'll know how well that went.

Harb, right from the very start of his political career, always seems a bit at odds with the party establishment.

He believed he had to fight much of the party when seeking the Liberal nomination for Ottawa Centre against the favoured Maude Barlow.

Barlow won favour toiling for then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau as the Senior Advisor on Women's Issues to then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, in this capacity, she advised the Prime Minister directly on all aspects of national equality initiatives of women.

At the time, I was a reporter for the Sunday Herald, the weekly newspaper the Sun bought, and knew him as an alderman on Jim Durrell's city council.

Harb and I would meet at the Gallery Cafe at the corner of Bank and Catherine and he'd feed me background stories on his battles with the party.

It was really my first foray into such a journalistic-politician relationship.

Harb fought Barlow, the liberal establishment, and won.

Over the years, out paths crossed often. I was covering the local end of the Liberal nominations, he was working the ridings for Jean Chretien.

It always seemed a bit odd, such a party loyalist, such an ardent Liberal who extolled the virtues of his new country, appeared to be such an outsider.

Much of that changed when he absolutely threw himself into drumming up delegates for Jean Chretien in Eastern Ontario.

Harb never tired of boasting he delivered Eastern Ontario to Chretien in the party's 1990 leadership race.

In return, Harb eventually got the Senate seat he coveted, and was quickly coined the "$4.1 million man" by the NDP in recognition of the $114,000 annual income he would receive until retirement.

Harb was a Lebanese immigrant who obtained an engineering degree before becoming an Ottawa alderman and then an MP in 1988.

His entry into the Senate wasn't an easy one either.

Rumours were rampant Harb was about to be named to the Senate, then nothing.

Harb wasn't getting the golden ticket.
He admitted his efforts to get into the senate were being sabotaged.

The ticket finally came.

"My love for Canada is larger than my love for life," Harb said in a statement at the time."Canada has given me all that I have and all that I need."

Interesting turn of phrase given the circumstances.

Twitter: @suncityhall

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