Monday, April 11, 2011

Back Into Focus

We'll have to watch how this G8 story evolves, if it has any impact on the campaign, but I suspect it will. Reading the updated piece, at the very least Clement skirted protocols, didn't get approval from Foreign Affairs as required, Parliament was misinformed, transparency the casualty. In addition, the laundry list of expenditures is an eye sore. No matter the government tries to spin it, a complete and utter misuse of taxpayer money, can't see how anyone can credibly reconcile.

Again, we will have to see where this story goes, but I'm struck by one thing- really, most of this "evidence" was already in the public domain:
Among the projects deemed questionable were:

» $274,000 on public toilets 20 kilometres from the summit site.

» $100,000 on a gazebo an hour's drive away.

» $1.1-million for sidewalk and tree upgrades 100 kilometres away.

» $194,000 for a park 100 kilometres away.

» $745,000 on downtown improvements for three towns nearly 70 kilometres away.

I blogged about the above repeatedly at that time, same with others, the media did give the crazy expenditures full coverage. However, like most issues, without continued oxygen they lose forward momentum and the story moves to the back burners, ultimately forgotten. What proof? Last week Ignatieff demanded this AG report be release, it barely made a dent, a side issue, sort of yesterday's news. TODAY is important, maybe not so much in what is new, as in we have another layer of condemnation, a more formal verdict, that demands an entire rehash and re-digestion. For anyone that was amazed at some of the expenditures, the blatant misuse, this is a welcome day, because otherwise the government would have ran out the clock, an afterthought release, voter unaware of the abuse.

I could actually care less what this "final" report says, I don't need the AG to confirm the obvious or massage the tint of blue. You'll never convince me in a million years that Clement and company used public money appropriately, simple geography his repeated undoing, defies basic common sense.

The AG findings are serious, but from my perspective it was incredibly serious prior to today's "revelations, the only benefit at least now this G8/G20 disgrace is coming back into focus. The electorate is better for it...

20 comments:

Fat Arse said...

Good and salient post that does bring "focus"... and of course, when we really step back to think about it, it's really nothing new. Same old-same old CPC. Thanks be to Buddha we are having an election, no matter how it turns out, it is needed to see what kind of country we will shall be!

Tof KW said...

Lets see. The Reformatories skirted protocols, didn't get the proper departmental approvals required, and shoveled out millions of tax-payers dollars on dubious projects which may have benefited Harper-friendly businesses. The fun will be in linking the individual contractors used with their ties to the CPofC.

Gee, this sounds a lot like some other scandal that got a past government defeated, I just can't remember which one again.

Steve V said...

Spending money 80-100km away, no relationship whatsoever to intended designation. It's a slush fund for Clement to dole across his riding, and that is inexcusable.

Steve V said...

KW

You're not the first to allude! Full circle.


Baird presser saying the final report is "glowing". How can a report change so drastically? Many questions on that front. Baird also said all money is accounted for- we know that, it's how it was spent, why it was allocated in the first place!

Tof KW said...

That 'unaccounted' $40 million the Harperbots keep going on about from Adscam is bullshit ...and they automatically assume it went to the federal Libs regardless of the fact there is no evidence what-so-ever that this happened. The Auditor-General has already told the Cons that this is over and to stop using her office for partisan purposes.

The point about Adscam was that the Chretien government skirted protocols, didn't get the proper departmental approvals required, and shoveled out millions of tax-payers dollars on dubious projects which may have benefited Liberal-friendly businesses.

That's what was known and that's why the Libs lost power, and rightfully so.

Regardless if all the money was accounted for or not, the same thing has happened under Harper's government --- AND THEY MUST NOW SUFFER THE SAME CONSEQUENCES.

Sean Cummings said...

Might be a game changer, but I doubt it.

So far all I’m reading into this is the government funneled money into Clement’s riding and it may or may not have been illegal but that its up to Parliament to decide. This isn't, for example, anywhere in the same universe as someone was getting a paper bag filled with taxpayer money in a hotel room - that kind of visual is something Canadians go ballistic over. But dumping money into a riding to win votes? That’s “how to get reelected 101″ Liberals did it when they were in power and now it’s the Conservatives turn. It’s why CF-18 contracts went to Quebec instead of Winnipeg. It’s why there’s a lot of road construction in certain ridings right now that have a lot of pot holes.

Sorry, I just don’t see the scandal in this, because this is just another government in a series of federal governments that raises blowing our money to an art form. Will have to watch the polls and see, I guess.

Steve V said...

Yes, I'm sure the gov't is ECSTATIC about this news today!

sharonapple88 said...

Baird presser saying the final report is "glowing".

It's safe for Baird to say something like this since he knows the Auditor General won't release the report. :P

Tof KW said...

Sean, at the very least the last thing the Canadian voters should do is reward Harper with that majority he's begging for.

Taxpayers are barely getting any concrete spending information now. Can you imagine how much more he can cover up with a majority?

Steve V said...

Rob Silver with an excellent comment, if this final report is positive, the Cons will leak it today. AG says she won't release, but there is no way this gov't doesn't let it dribble out, if it exonerates them. If nothing comes out, it speaks volumes.

Sean Cummings said...

TofKW

I suspect that the morning after the election, the political landscape is going to look a hell of a lot like it did before the government was defeated. What happens after that is anyone's guess at this point. Maybe we'll turn into Belgium, we're so screwed up...

Omar said...

Sean, every time I read something you've written about Liberal fortunes, I think of this guy.

Dana said...

The Cons released this doc, which is not even legitimate, and now are letting the steam build until they can "prove" that the Libs faked it up and released it as a dirty trick smear.

Oh and the word verification just now is "dorked".

Steve V said...

CP said it was an opposition party that leaked the document.

Gene Rayburn said...

Okay Sean Cummings is definitely spamming. He has been cut and pasting the identical comment everywhere on liblogs.

Sean Cummings = spam, because he's earning it.

Dale said...

WOW!

Steve V said...

Dale

This is an unreal story!!

briguyhfx said...

Nicely rounded up. Tory rum, anyone?

sharonapple88 said...

WOW!

If they're stealing compliments... they must really be hiding something.

Dame said...

AHHH According to Fraser, the Harper government expensed $9,460 for five "upscale haircuts" for the Prime Minister leading up to the Summit to ensure he "looked his best."
FOR THAT LEGO MAN HAIRCUTS????
Pretty boy I can say..