Des Rosiers Is Responsible For Staff’s Tweets


Safe to say that Ottawa-Vanier MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers, were she writing her own tweets, would not have called an Ottawa police officer a murderer before his trial. Particularly given that he hasn’t been charged with murder.

With Des Rosiers’ extensive legal background she would know that a judge would be mightily disappointed if she had convicted the officer before the trial began. If the trial were on right now, you can be assured that Des Rosiers would be standing in front of a judge saying “Your Honour” as nicely as possible and apologizing for the bad mistake.

Des Rosiers

This is a more serious error than your average garden-variety screw-up. The Abdirahman Abdi case, where a black man died in an incident with police, rocked Ottawa to its core. The multi-cultural community is concerned about its safety and its treatment by Ottawa police. Rank-and-file police officers have shown considerable support to one of their own … Const. Daniel Montsion who is charged with manslaughter and aggravated assault. Fortunately his trial does not occur until 2019 so this Des Rosiers incident might well be forgotten by most then.

Both the multi-cultural community, the courts and law enforcement officials (and in fact the public at large) are very concerned that Montsion gets a fair trial, no special privileges as a police officer and that, at the end of it all, justice has been served. The Abdi case has implications far beyond the death of one man.

So a local MPP’s assistant makes a grievous mistake. Of course the charges have not been proven in court. In fact, the case is nowhere near going to court.

This is a MPP’s office. Des Rosiers is responsible for voting on legislation that becomes law. Her office has interfered in the course of justice. Des Rosiers quickly said her assistant wrote the offending tweet. But isn’t the MPP responsible for the actions of her staff? Should she not have stood up and said I’m responsible for what happens in my office because these people work for me? Instead she throws the assistant under a bus.

Des Rosiers’ office has created a terrible situation with that tweet. It doesn’t help in the pursuit of justice or good multi-cultural relations.

Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne must see that justice is done because of this mistake. Her star rookie MPP must be sanctioned in some way because this is a very serious breach of fairness and commonsense.

The assistant works for Des Rosiers. Des Rosiers should have had broad shoulders and taken responsibility for the actions of her office. The assistant is hers.

Wynne must make a point of seeing that Des Rosiers is reprimanded in some way publicly so that the government defends the right to a fair trial.


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11 thoughts on “Des Rosiers Is Responsible For Staff’s Tweets

  1. Desrosiers has taken responsibility and has already apologized to both the police chief and Matt Skov, head of the police association, asking them to pass it on to Montsion. It would be inappropriate for her to contact him directly in the circumstances.
    She has most likely reviewed the policies in her office with staff and ensured this won’t happen again. We don’t know what disciplinary action was taken other than that the person wasn’t fired,
    I’m not sure what else she could do to atone for what was a mistake. Should she not have said that someone else wrote the tweet? That would be a lie and very few people would believe that a former law school dean would have been the author of those remarks. If you look at the types of legal work she’s done in the past, it would be very difficult to support the attribution of that type of comment to her.

    1. The Voter:

      I think I said what she should have done.

      I’m astonished that she has a staff that doesn’t recognize the importance of this trial for the people of Ottawa, the multicultural community, Abdi’s friends and relatives, the police service, rank-and-file officers and the accused.

      This tweet didn’t come from some Internet troll but from the office of a MPP and very prominent legal expert.

      Des Rosiers must hire people who have enough commonsense not to do something so thoughtless and careless.

      You don’t need to know the law to understand that you have to be very careful dealing with this case and the detrimental effect rash statements will have on your boss and the community.

      I’m not sure I want someone on my staff who does that sort of thing and if I’m Kathleen Wynne, it would make me wonder about Des Rosiers’ administrative ability.



  2. Hard to believe that Des Rosiers was not aware of the content of tweets going out of her office.

    The Voter sounds like an apologist for Des Rosiers. The MPP is ultimately responsible for what is released from her office and her pointing the finger at someone else is a sure indicator that Des Rosiers has no backbone to accept responsibility.

    That should tell her residents who not to vote for next time. This is not some minor mistake. My thoughts are with the accused in the Abdi case who was found guilty without trial by the office of a legal expert who just happens to be an influential public official.

    Shame on Des Rosiers.

    The honourable thing for her to do is resign but she is part of an ongoing scandal-riddled Wynne government where no one resigns for incompetence or gross mismanagement of public funds. Typical of an arrogant, out-of-touch government.

    And PC leader Patrick Brown with his rigged nomination process is not the moral compass to replace a government in bad need of being thrown out. Sad.

    1. Pierre,
      Cast your mind back a bit – when you were running a department at the city, were you aware of the contents of each and every email, phone call and other communication going out of the office?

      I happen to know that you would have fallen on your sword if something had gone seriously wrong even if you had no prior knowledge or involvement in it. You would have seen the ultimate authority and blame as yours.

      In the days of Twitter, Facebook and other instant means of communicating, I don’t think it’s as cut-and-dried as it used to be. Des Rosiers would certainly have known the message was inappropriate and, had she seen it, obviously it wouldn’t have gone out.

      There’s immense pressure on politicians and others to pump out dozens of tweets and Facebook messages every day in response to anything that’s going on. I can understand how a keen young staffer could note that it was the anniversary of Mr. Abdi’s death and decide it would be good for the office to respond. Not knowing the full situation, that person sent a tweet with mistakes in it that had serious repercussions. Unless there is some suggestion that the individual did it intentionally, I think we should treat it for the mistake that it was and move on. Asking for Des Rosiers’ resignation is a bit over the top.

      As for being an apologist for Des Rosiers, I have no connection with her other than living in her riding and I can’t remember the last time I was an apologist for anyone.

      What is the alternative to her saying it was somebody else who sent out the tweet? That happens to be the truth. She has taken responsibility for what happened in her office and has apologized for it. You rail about lying politicians but don’t think it’s acceptable when one tells the truth. You can’t have it both ways.

      1. The Voter:

        If you put the tools of Twitter and Facebook in a staffer’s hands representing the MPP, you have to be very sure this person is responsible enough to handle this.

        Des Rosiers can administer her staff as she likes but I wouldn’t want that timebomb of an employee in my office. Interfering with justice in this high-profile, extremely important case is very serious.

        I waver about if Des Rosiers should resign or be suspended from the Liberal caucus for six months or a year.

        Were I Kathleen Wynne and given this incident, I would have real doubts about a post in the cabinet though Des Rosiers is very qualified for a position of that magnitude.

        But if with her legal background and outstanding credentials and Des Rosiers has something like this happen in her office, you must have serious doubts about her administrative abilities.

        This is not a game. This is not to be taken lightly. Someone has to pay a price.

        A man has died. A police officer is facing the trial of his life and career. The multicultural community is angry and disappointed. This trial is critical to the well-being of this community.

        This mistake should never have happened, particularly from the office of a MPP who has a stunningly amazing legal background.

        Big errors like this don’t go without punishment.

        Time to do something substantial Kathleen Wynne.



  3. Des Rosiers is responsible for what comes out of her office.

    This should not have happened and would not have happened if her office was being operated in a professional manner. The lack of professionalism is further demonstrated by the fact that she has now stated, “no actions will be taken against the employee who made the post”.

    Anne Marie

  4. Putting aside who did what to whom, there is one last thought that I would like to add.

    Twitter seems to get smart people in unintended trouble. Hit buttons quickly with your thumbs and voila – – it’s covfefe.

    In the days before the quickie message, this kind of mess-up would have been a lot less likely to have happened,

    Once upon a time, one wrote a thought on paper. One had the chance to reread the message, edit it, perhaps have a co-worker or boss read it and then circulate it. Now, one can just thumb the keys while drinking a coffee and send.

    The speed of electronic communication coupled with the limited length of the tweet seems to, sometimes, lead to instantaneous cyber-space transmission of incautious thoughts.

      1. Ken,
        Des Rosiers apologized and I would hope she took the staff into a meeting to discuss the serious nature of words.

        Point out that trying to reduce the number of characters being typed, just so that they fit a tweet format, is dangerous.

        Lastly, forbid the use of tweeting as being the norm for communicating on serious subjects.


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