Brent Tyler: AQ “worth every penny”
This post was written by MJ on 17th Jan, 2003
Brent Tyler, president of Alliance Quebec, fires back at his enemies in an op-ed published yesterday in El Gazetteria.
For those just tuning in, the furore started on Monday when the Gaz’s courts reporter, the always trusty George Kalogerakis, reported that Mr Tyler is confident of acquittal when he faces two assault charges in May. Mr Tyler allegedly assaulted a political opponent at an AQ convention in Pointe-Claire last year. The plain vanilla report had some juicy details: Mr Tyler allegedly referred to his opponents as “the Greater Quebec bowel movement” and, as has been reported before, has lost a similar assault case back in 1997.
But the human waste really hit the air re-circulator on Wednesday, when Sue Montgomery revealed in her column that a former AQ board member has submitted a “damning report” on the organization that alleges, in her words, “Alliance Quebec no longer serves the province’s English-speaking community and has mutated into nothing more than an extension of its president’s law practice.” Seemingly throwing gas on a well-burning fire, Mr Tyler goes after Ms Montgomery in an interview, fuming: “Actually, I’ll tell you what, I know the tone of this column and I’m not going to co-operate with you, Sue… You can put that in your column. This is going to be a hatchet job, and I’ve just decided that it’s not that no one can get Alliance Quebec’s membership numbers – it’s just that Sue Montgomery can’t because she’s going to do a hatchet job… Have a great day.“
And now, round three.
In yesterday’s op-ed, Mr Tyler pulls out a pretty large hatchet of his own, whacking the forces allied with Carlos Roldan, the report’s author (“they have used every conceivable means to discredit Alliance Quebec and me personally”), Ms Montgomery’s sources, both named (“Casper Bloom is a lawyer and Quebec Liberal Party supporter who no doubt pines for the days when Alliance Quebec was the farm team for his party”) and unnamed (“this is the stuff of yellow journalism, dwelling on innuendo, gossip and the obsessions of a few malcontents, rather than reporting on the substantive issues.”)
In conclusion: “Alliance earns every penny of your federal tax dollars.”
(The Gaz splits the difference on the letters page; A Robert O’Brien criticizes the blind quote (“Any person who discredits others and whose name is withheld has questionable credibility and should not be used by any serious journalist as a reliable source of information”) while Sam Gugliemi, the Tyler opponent who lost the election, re-hashes his defeat (“I had never seen such disrespect for democracy. I witnessed dozens of voter ballots lying around outside the prescribed voting area. I saw spouses voting for spouses, some bringing in up to three ballots to the ballot box. Again, complaints were made to the president of the election committee, but his final response was that he saw nothing irregular.”)
While this conflict seems to be turning into a debate over the minutaie of Alliance Quebec’s elections and the ethics of Ms Montgomery’s journalistic decisions — not, to be clear, something I have an issue with — the key questions go unanswered: Should the federal government be giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to a political lobby group? How many members do they have? Can Alliance Quebec truly be said to represent Quebec’s 600,000 anglos?