Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ambrose Wasting Taxpayer Money

Two different stories, in recent days, reveal some questionable conduct from our Environment Minister. A paid holiday for aides?:
Environment Minister Rona Ambrose's office is mum on why it took four political staffers to tag along with her to a trade conference in Vancouver at a cost of $14,345...

Ambrose flew into Vancouver on March 30, delivered her speech and flew out on March 31, the conference's last day.

Ambrose's senior policy advisor, director of communications and assistant director of communications also flew into Vancouver on March 30, but appear to have stayed in the city until April 2, according to expense records on Environment Canada's website.

An assistant to Ambrose's parliamentary secretary Mark Warawa flew to Vancouver for the conference on March 28 and also appears have to stayed until April 2.

Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director John Williamson said Ambrose's office owes it to the public to explain why four political aides were needed on the trip.

"I'd love to see what was so important about this meeting that so many people needed to be involved," said Williamson.

Vancouver is quite beautiful in the springtime, who can blame these hard-working civil servants. I wonder if they tried the crab? Mmmm.

The cynical manipulation of voters, at taxpayer expense:
A polling firm recruited by the federal government is advising Prime Minister Stephen Harper that he can use a major environmental policy announcement in the coming weeks as a ''wedge issue'' to sway voter opinion in the next election.

Following a series of in-depth interviews with Canadians in six different cities, the Strategic Counsel concluded the government should deliver a plan that would appeal directly to voters who are worried about air pollution and water quality, but confused about climate change...

Ryan Sparrow, a spokesperson for Environment Minister Rona Ambrose, refused to comment on the reasons for the study or its cost to taxpayers.

Why do you need polling to tell you what to do on the environment? Are you interested in what's best, or what maximizes your potential vote count? It would appear the notion of "accountability" doesn't apply to the Minister of the Environment. Not only is Ambrose wasting time, but she also appears to be wasting our money as well.


Mark Dowling said...

The reason is that polling tells them your average punter sees asthma and smog as problems and global warming and drowning polar bears as not. Apparently Calgary is smoggy these days according to the article on their sprawl in Saturday's Star.

Expect particulates, low level ozone and NOx/SOx to be targets, maybe stronger regs on wood furnaces etc. and CO2 to be ignored.

I actually don't have a problem with this as such - smog does actually need to be solved - let the Tories get tough regs on those in (a Mulroney style Clean Air Act) and let the Libs/NDP tack on CO2 next year when Harper tries a confidence motion once too often.

Steve V said...


Agreed. I don't have a problem with it either, we desperately need to deal with smog. I just don't like the way the Tories come to the policy.