Monday, May 26, 2008

Not The Same At All

Ever in pursuit of an issue that will put the Harper government's ethics on par with the Chretien/Martin-era Liberanos, there is a story in today's Ottawa Citizen about how relatives of some Tory MPs are on the government payroll:

The children and siblings of some Conservative MPs have found work on Parliament Hill in the offices of other Tory parliamentarians, a review of government records shows.

For example, Mark Toews, son of Treasury Board President Vic Toews, works as a special assistant on the Western desk in the ministerial office of International Trade Minister David Emerson. The daughter of Saskatchewan Tory MP Ed Komarnicki works for an Ontario MP, and MP Maurice Vellacott hired his brother to work in his constituency office.


OK - some dude is working as an assistant to a backbencher in a constit office. Alrighty. So what is the parallel Chretien example?

More recently, when Jean Chr├ętien was prime minister, he was accused of nepotism when his daughter, a lawyer, was appointed to a federal position on a 2010 Olympics organizing committee -- an allegation his office rejected.

Yeah, 'cause that's the same thing. Firstly, let's not forget that France Chretien-Desmarais was only one of three appointments back in 2003. Who were the other two? Ricky, let's go to the tape:

Ottawa appoints three of 20 board members. In addition to Ms. Chretien-Desmarais, two others who have been named are raising eyebrows.

One is Vancouver millionaire Peter Dhillon, said to be a close ally of Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal, a loyal footsoldier to Mr. Chretien.

The other is Tony Tennessy, a friend of [Heritage Minister and Minister tasked with these appointments] Ms. Copps' husband, Austin Thorne. Both Messrs. Thorne and Tennessy have been highly involved in the union movement.

Secondly, being on the board of the 2010 Olympic games is not - hard to believe, I know - the same as working on tracking down a social security check for lovely Ms. Beck on Cherry Street.

I get that the MSM and the Liberals are trying to find any crack in the ethical armor of this government. After being pistol-whipped by a $200M kickback scheme on the eve of a federal election, the Libs are looking for their own dirt to throw at the Tories: biker gang girlfriends, $1M in local ad spending, playing footsie with the Mayor of Ottawa. I guess they figure if they throw enough crap, something will stick.

But trolling through the public payroll to find some gal who is the cousin of an MP who works on the Hill is hardly a road the Liberals want to go down, given their Olympian (pun intended) abilities in the art of patronage.

I for one would welcome the opportunity to see which party appointed the most well-connected hacks to various jobs and appointments in the federal government and who spent the most taxpayers money on slush funds, junkets, promotional golf balls and travel.

Let's put that in a t-bar graph, pull out the ol' calculators and add up the grand totals.

The Libs may want to stick with their carbon tax plan. Would do them much less damage in the polls.

Comments:
Hmmm... aren't constituency offices paid for out of constituency funds and not tax payer funds?

Check.

Raymond Chretien, Canada's ambassador to the USA 1994 - 2000.

Jean Chretien, Canada's PM 1993 - 2003.
 
The contents of this article aren't anything that will be brought up in the HoC for the simple fact that -- at the constituency office level -- it is incredibly common for family members to be employed.

This is nothing more than another in a long line of drive-by smears by the Ottawa Citizen. Not a week goes by that they don't pull one of these non-issue "news" (haha) articles out of the dung heap hoping that nobody will notice how ridiculously juvenile they are.

And newspapers wonder why they are going out of business.
 
Constituency allowances are generally paid out of the total amounts paid to MPs, ie taxpayer funds. Nevertheless, there's a helluva difference between being employed in a constituency office or in an Ottawa office and being appointed to a federal board or committee.

Frankly, I'm getting really tired of this media attitude that the Conservatives are supposed to be whiter than white because they criticized the Liberals so much over Adscam, patronage, etc.

I think its understandable that politicians appoint like-minded people when they can, but this should be an occasion for examining the appointee's work experience and relevance to the position, not his political leanings.
 
CONhipsters? I think not. Try CONhypocrits. You seem to wear it well.
And why are you hiding your connection to that bike gang? It isn't like they'd turn you down for, i don't know, trying to bribe an elected official...
 
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