OTTAWA - A chronology of the Bernier-Couillard affair:

Aug. 14, 2007: Maxime Bernier attends a cabinet swearing-in ceremony with his new girlfriend, Julie Couillard.

Mid-April: Bernier leaves classified briefing material for a recent NATO summit at Couillard's home.

May 8:

-News reports reveal past romantic links between Couillard and two criminal bikers up to 1999.

-Opposition parties raise security concerns about the relationship; Prime Minister Stephen Harper dismisses the concerns and calls the opposition "busybodies."

-Spokespeople say Bernier was not aware of the biker ties and that the couple recently broke up.

May 16: News reports say Couillard lived with a third man tied to Hells Angels as recently as 2005, and that he owned a security company.


-Couillard does interviews with Quebecor media chain. She says she immediately told Bernier in 2007 of her biker ties and mentions that Bernier left government documents at her home.

-Bernier is reportedly first made aware of the misplaced document.


-A media report says Couillard owned a security company, and that her ex-boyfriend's firm sought contracts to install airport screening equipment, prompting fresh security concerns.

-At a noon news conference, Harper refuses to answer a question about the latest Couillard report and says he does not take the issue seriously.

-Bernier heads to Harper's Parliament Hill office for a mid-afternoon meeting.

-Harper calls a 7 p.m. press conference to say he was made aware of a serious security breach by his foreign minister involving leaving documents unsecured, and that Bernier had resigned.

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