GUN REGISTRY AND OTHER AUDITS
Every taxpayer should understand that when the Auditor General or a Provincial Auditor releases an audit report, the findings are not news to the government. The government has had details for months. In the private sector it is normal practice for management to take corrective action, usually before the final report is issued. In contrast, consider the non-response of the politicians and bureaucrats.
The national long gun registry (hand guns have been restricted for decades) was to cost $2 million (expenses less fees collected). The Auditor General estimates the cost will be $1 billion. That is, the cost was underestimated by 50,000%
Further, Parliament was not informed of this cost increase because the Ministry of Justice was funding the program by transfers from other programs rather than seeking approval from Parliament. The Auditor General called off its audit because the Justice Department hadn't kept tabs on how the money was spent.
Said former Justice Minister Anne McLellan:
'We went to cabinet, Treasury Board, to committee over and over again, so in fact everybody know that the costs were increasing.'After the Auditor General released her annual report, the government made great fanfare about withdrawing a request for $72 million gun registry funding that was to have been requested from Parliament.
Did this mean that the registry was killed or suspended? No. Subsequently, Justice transferred funds from other programs to continue with the gun registry, and, instead of keeping this hidden as had been the practice, a few reporters were informed. Parliament still has not approved the massive overexpenditure.
Hiding information was the basic sin of Enron, Worldcom et al. Think we'll be seeing a Perp Walk by the politicians and bureaucrats responsible for this billion dollar boondoggle? One might conclude that there are at least two programs that should be canceled: the gun registry, and the program that can be looted of $72 million to keep the gun registry going without the approval of parliament..
Article - Auditor General Report - The Globe and Mail - December 3, 2002
Article - Ontario Provincial Auditor Report - The Globe and Mail - December 3, 2002
Allan Rock claims that gun control has already saved lives. No proof offered. And it appears that Rock thinks that any amount of mismanagement is acceptable if he claims the objective is good.
407 Ontario built Highway 407 for $1.5 billion and sold it for $3.1 billion. Macquire Infrastructures Group, an Australian investment bank, bought an interest in the road from the controlling shareholder at 4 times the cost to Ontario, placing a market value of $6.3 billion. In two years, the tolls have been increase four times, up 92% in some cases.
Mikey says taxpayers got good value and the money was used to decrease government debt. It's like selling your house to reduce the mortgage and then realizing you still need a place to sleep, and that any other place costs more than the house you sold.
About 110 million trips a year are driven on the road each year. Assuming that an additional billion was spent on improvements extending the road, 10%, the interest on the $2.5 billion cost would be $2.27 per trip. To pay off the principal in 7 years would be another $2.27. Total $4.54 per trip. That is what is being charged to drive less than 41 km at the current rate of $0.11 per km.
The contract runs 99 years.
Mikey has never seen the Cornelius Kreighoff painting "Running the Tollgate". And who is benefiting? A subsidiary of Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, SNC-Lavalin (bragged about the value quadrupling the third quarter report), a Spanish company Cirtra Doncesionnes de Infraestructuras de Transporte, and Macquire Infrastructures Group.
The exact details of the 407 agreements have never been made public, and the company running the road is fighting release.
The Australian Financial Review has reported that Macquarie Infrastructure Group may buy $1 billion Australian ($830 million Canadian) for 16% of 407. From The Globe and Mail Report on Business, B2, March19, 2002.
THIS MAKES THE MARKET VALUE OF 407 NEARLY $5.2 BILLION.
SNC-Lavalin sold a portion of 407 for $178 million that it had purchased from Ontario for $45 million.
On May 5, 1999, a government news release stated
that the operator would not be allowed to raise tolls by more than 3 cents
a kilometre over the next 15 years.
On January 1, 2003, tolls went up to 12.9cents per km for a car. The reason given was to finance improvements (read increase capacity). So you pay higher fees so that more people can pay the higher fees.407 uses the power of the provincial government to collect unpaid tolls when licenses are renewed. Trouble is more than 50 makes and models of vehicles have windshields that blank out transponder signals, causing billing errors. And just try to contact 407 by phone.
The gravestones of the seven dead are monuments to pigheaded stupidity of the Harris government. Mikey claims that cuts did not cause the deaths. He is correct. Had private labs been required to report unsatisfactory tests to Public Health the contamination of the water supply would have been known far earlier. The cost: ZERO, therefore savings were not a consideration in not requiring this control. Got to streamline regulations, don't you know.
Investigators for the Walkerton inquiry were stonewalled by Mikey: delays, lack of disclosure, and the deletion of hundreds of files. The details were included in a search warrant issued against the Premier's Office in August, 2001.
"There are three reasons for concern about the scope of the search of the Premier's Office: the narrowness of the list of search terms used in the Premier's Office, the paucity of documents from the Premier's Office, and the absence of documents from senior political staff members"Mikey claims that he co-operated fully with the inquiry.
Mr. Justice Dennis O'Connor reported that Mikey was unable to produce documents to support his position that spending cuts would cause only manageable risks. RCMP officers were still attempting to reconstruct the deleted files when the Walkerton report was issued. Subsequently, it was determined that an addendum to the Walkerton report was not required.
and Hell Chretien Style
Alfonso Gagliano has a long history of screwing the Canadian taxpayer. Maria Minna , in comparison, is guilty of relatively minor transgressions. Gagliano has gained hog heaven, ambassador to Denmark. Minna has been consigned to the limbo of the backbench.
The benefit to Maria Minna? The ethics counsellor, lapdog Howard Wilson, dropped his investigation because he only has authority to investigate the conduct of cabinet ministers. He's not interested in history, only real time. Of course, Gagliano gets the same consideration.
Minna had asked the counsellor to resolve the issue, and regretted following the advise of the Prime Minister's Office not to fight the allegations publicly
The federal ethics code:
'a public office holder shall not accord preferential treatment in relation to any official matter to family members or friends'Gagliano asserts that he does not intervene in the hiring and contracting decisions of agencies and Crown corporations. Some may forgiven for incredulity.
Canada Lands was created in 1995 to sell off surplus federal land and buildings.
Jon Grant, currently CEO of Laurentian Bank, Liberal fundraiser, after retirement as CEO of Quaker Oats Canadian operations became chairman of Canada Lands from 1995 to 1999. In response to Gagliano's representation, he went public with charges that:
'Mr. Grant's comments did not surprise me. He has told his board of directors the same thing over the last two years.'Erhart Buchholz, a 20 year veteran of president of Canada Lands, 1995 to 1999, said he was shielded by Grant from dealing with Gagliano's office.
Howard Wilson, the utterly useless ethics counsellor who is appointed by and reports to Jean Chretien, says that:
'Any time Jon Grant makes such serious allegation, they have to be treated with a great deal of credibility'Subsequently, Wilson decided no investigation was required, preferring to concentrate on a report he issued in September, 2001, to Jean Chretien, saying:
'Pretty much everything I want to say on this issue is in my recommendations of September.'Chretien has done nothing with the report and it has not been made public.
'I remain happy with them in light of the discussions of this week.'
A previous Minister of Public Works, David Dingwall, was summarily dismissed by the Nova Scotia voters. Canadians are eternally grateful. Unfortunately, neither Chretien nor Gagliano learned anything from this rebuke and continue to cavort in odious fashion. Gagliano proclaims that he is operating as Chretien wishes: "I served the way he wanted me to serve". Jean has not refuted this assertion.
Actually, the full title is Minister of Public Works and Government Services. To understand public services think of a stallion with a mare.
Gagliano supported Chretien against John Turner. For such a slight gesture the taxpayers are paying an enormous price.
Gagliano is: political minister for Quebec; chief Liberal organizer for Quebec; and minister. Fortunately, there is no conflict in these positions: All dispense pork, with a larger portion, naturally, going to Quebec and its Liberals.
Tony Mignacca, a school board property manager, met Gagliano when he was elected to the school board in 1977, helped get Gagliano elected for the first time in 1984, was hired by Canada Lands in 1999, $6,000 per month, at Gagliano's suggestion. He left after a dispute about expense accounts. Submitting expense was the only reason Mignacca showed up at Canada Land offices. He was terminated by Canada Lands. He went to work in Gagliano's riding office and is now the administrator of The Friends of Alfonso Gagliano Inc. Howard Wilson, ethics counsellor, gave Mignacca a warning after receiving a complaint about attempts to influence Canada Land deals.
Michele Tremblay was hired by Canada Lands to write speeches for Gagliano at $4,000 per month. She had worked on Gagliano's political campaigns. When he became minister her ad agency landed millions in government contracts. Tremblay says knowing the minister gives 'an advantage over others'.
To quote Hugh Winsor in The Globe and Mail:
"all Crown corporations reporting to Mr. Gagliano were told to put Michele Tremblay, a former journalist who worked with Mr. Gagliano on political campaigns in Quebec, on a monthly retainer, allegedly for speech-writing and to facilitate access to the minister"This leads to the nasty question: How many Crown corporations put her under contract?
Tom Nanci, Gagliano's faithful collaborator and cherished advisor, lawyer, former city councillor in Saint-Leonard (Gagliano's turf), was under contract to Canada Lands from 1998 to 2001 to collect rent.
Jacques Olivier, former Liberal politician, headed Technobase. Technobase, a new industrial park on a closed military base in Quebec, was being developed by Canada Lands. Technobase invested $1 million, 75% from Canada Economic Development in loans to various businesses. Most went bankrupt. Olivier quit after he became mayor of Longueil, a new amalgamated city that includes Saint-Hubert,
Maurizio Creuso says Gagliano has been his friend for 20 years. Gagliano says they're not really friends. Creuso has received contracts from two Public Works agencies. He was also mixed up in a construction scandal when he was a politician in Italy, associated with Bettino Craxi.Creuso fled Italy to avoid corruption charges and became an agent for Canada Post Corporation.
Joseph Morselli, Liberal worker, fundraiser, Jean-Marc Bard buddy, met Gagliano during the 1976 Quebec election, owner of Buffet Trio, a catering business, received a contract for the GST centre in Shawinigan
Pierre Tremblay, Gagliano's former executive assistant, now helps pass out $185 million in pork from the propaganda super agency. Auditors had the opinion that it "could not withstand public scrutiny". The reason for this nasty opinion was that money flowed through Liberal Party ad agencies which collected fat fees for writing cheques. One of these agencies was headed by Claude Boulay, another Gagliano friend.
Jean-Marc Bard, Gagliano's chief of staff, gets blamed for inducing Canada Lands to hire. Gagliano claims ignorance, repeatedly. The test, of course, is what happens repeatedly, because that is the policy, irrespective of what is written.
Gagliano's ministry pays for the Chretien Memorial Fountain, Matane Shrimp Festival, Grand Prix Cycliste de Beauce, and other circuses purportedly required to keep the Quebecers entertained so they don't revolt and cast themselves into the cruel cold world. In 1998 and 1999, one-fifth of the money spent on "unforeseen" events went to the ridings of - wait for it - John Chretien and Alfonso Gagliano. In the 2001 fiscal year, Quebec received $19.2 million, the rest of the country split $3.8 million. Gagliano's explanation: More Quebeckers applied.
Despite the exhausting efforts of Gagliano, he still has not done enough. To quote Dennis Mills:
"If I was prime minister, patronage in our government would quadruple overnight. The problem with this government is there is not enough patronage and unelected bureaucrats are trying to give direction.'In 1997, a Gagliano campaign organizer, Pierre Corbeil, approached companies about to receive government grants demanding a cut go to the Liberal Party. He was convicted of four counts of influence-peddling and fined $34,500
Also in 1997, Media IDA Vision, a subsidiary of a company working on Liberal campaigns, received a $150 million contract. Internal auditors concluded that the contracting process was " not carried out fairly".
The Peel St-Jacques Project, south of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, was surplus CNR land. It was to be the site of a new Expos stadium. When that died, Taurus Film Corp. wanted to develop a film studio and lot. The promoters were so sure that they had the inside track that they posed for publicity photos. Taurus offered $4 million but didn't have financing in place and wanted Canada Lands to pay for decontaminating the property. True North offered $8 million cash for the site as is. Gagliano tried to get Taurus the land, but the Canada Lands board refused. Gagliano claimed that he only got involved to ensure the 'transparency' of the deal.
Gagliano tried to get work on the Benny Farm project directed to Pageau Morel, where his son-in-law works.
Gagliano also tried to get work his supporter Emmanuael Triassi without the inconvenience of tendering. Gagliano had appointed Triassi chairman of the Royal Canadian Mint.
Jon Grant was replaced by Marc Rochon, former head of CMHC, and a former deputy minister, well versed in the dealmaking antics of ministers.
Gagliano approves all appointees to every board, commission, and crow corporation in Quebec. One of these appointees to the Immigration and Refugee Board, Roberto Colavecchio, from Gagliano's riding of St. Leonard, is suspended and under investigation by the RCMP.
The RCMP is also investigating the disposal of the St. Hubert air base. The investigation was instigated by Jon Grant. In 2000, Richard Mathieu pleaded guilty to charges of forgery in connection with inflated contract granted to a construction company. In December 2001, Michel Couillard, vice-president of Canadian Lands, was charged with breach of trust.
Says Francoise (Bush is a moron) Ducros, Chretien's spokeswoman:
'The Prime Minister has confidence in his Minister of Public Works.'Says Jon Grant:
'I didn't expect to see this in a democratic society.'Ranald Quail, former deputy minister at Public Works, ordered an audit of the sponsorship contract and was removed from his job.
Michel Couillard, an official formerly with Canada Lands, was convicted after a $5,000 cheque from Canada Lands to a horse show in Bromont was used to pay for boarding his daughter's horse. Couillard submitted to the court a letter he had written in October 1998 to Erhard Buchholz, president of Canada Lands. In it Couillard identified 10 individuals and companies that Gagliano had pressured him to favour including: Tony Mignacca, Pageau Morel, Triassi, and Tomasso Nanci.
Judge Jean Falardeau said Canada Lands displayed 'unacceptable behaviour ' when it suspended Couillard in 1999 without reason, 3 months after he wrote a superior about Gagliano's interference, 'no doubt because they didn't know [the reason'.
The Liberals blocked the opposition from investigating Gagliano.
Also see Just For Laughs
Also see The Phantom Report
Just For Laughs
Public Works, under Alfonso Gagliano, in June 2001, gave $200,000 to the Just For Laughs improvisation tournament. Two weeks later, another $200,000 was requested and approved on July 17, 2001. Communications Canada, under Alfonso Gagliano, in 2001, paid $100,000 to set up a kiosk on the Just For Laughs site to distribute information on government programs. In 2001, Canadian Heritage, under Sheila Copps, gave $375,000 to Just For Laughs in 2001. The final $100,000 was awarded in November, 2001, four months after the event. In 2000, it had given $100,000.
Just For Laughs hired Jean Carle 1 2 in July 2001 as vice president and chief of operations, and shortly after the funds from the federal government started to grow. Jean Carle is Jean Chretien's unadopted son. He lived in the Chretien home for a time, was in the Prime Minister's Office when police were pepper spraying students in Vancouver, and was hired by the Business Development Bank when the Chretien and the golf course were on the agenda. Wherever he turns up there is a smell. The problem is to determine if he is the cause or merely attracted to the rot.
The Phantom Report
Public Works (Gagliano again) gave contracts for $550,000 and $575,000 to Groupaction Marketing Inc of Montreal, to identify ways to increase the visibility of the federal government.
Groupaction is a contributor to the Liberal Party ($70,000 between 1998 and 2000). Senior members of the firm have worked with the Liberal Party during elections.
The first contract was to produce a report. Neither the company nor the government could produce the report when it was requested by The Globe and Mail under the Freedom of Information.
The second contract was to evaluate Ottawa's efforts to sponsor hunting and fishing shows, and to list various events that could be sponsored by the federal government. Groupaction had seen difficulties:
'in realizing both elements of the contract within the agreed budget'but signed the contract anyway. It produced a 122 page report, with a seven page introduction and a listing of 1,300 sporting and cultural events (including concerts, museums, and festivals) to be considered for government sponsoring. Some were already receiving government money. That works out to over $400 per event suggested. Truly value for money.
Said Ghislain Lebel, Bloc MP:
'Either the report doesn't exist, and we paid half-a-million dollars to Groupaction in exchange for its $70,000 contribution to the Liberal Party, or the report is so bad it can't be shown.'Subsequently, Groupaction produced a 350 page document. 'the major part of the report's content' which had been found on a hard drive. Groupaction claims to have spent 3,300 hours producing the 1999 report, earning $166 per hour. Groupaction said that the material proved 'the serious nature of the work that was accomplished'. Apparently the document lacked: a summary; a table of contents; a conclusion; etc.
As this story continues to unfold, it appears that the report is similar, right down to the typos, to another report prepared by Groupaction. The new minister of Public Works, Don Boudria, anxious to distance himself, announced 'Enough is enough ' and tossed it to the Auditor-General.
'Should the Auditor-General determine that it is the same report, we will then proceed to recover the funds and take any other action, including police action, should that be necessary.'A third report, from 1997 at a cost of $500,000, has been added to the Auditor-General's review. It has cover page, a table of contents, 40 pages of analysis, a list of 265 events (blueberry, cow, violin, mushroom, hog) that could be sponsored by the federal government in exchange for displaying federal advertising, and recommendations on ways to increase the federal government's visibility in Quebec.
Meanwhile, Alfonso Gagliano appeared before the foreign affairs committee and was protected by the Liberal members from any nasty questions about the nasty questions being raised about his stewardship of the Ministry of Public Works.
is a pension not a pension?
The Ontario Conservatives reformed the MPPs' pension plan, violating federal tax laws. The Conservatives had opinions from legal and accounting firms that the reform would violate federal tax laws. They violated the federal tax laws anyway. Revenue Canada requires large amounts of money be removed from the pension plan and is demanding that the 300 current and past MPPs pay taxes on the amounts as part of normal income.
Using the rational that:
"the government of Ontario has determined that it has a legal obligation arising from the errors that were made by its consultants"The Conservative government, that is, the taxpayers, will pay this tax. But the payment of the tax will also be considered income and it too will give rise to a tax liability. Presumably, the taxpayers pay these repeated increasingly smaller taxes levied on the MPPs by Revenue Canada giving rise to yet another demand by Revenue Canada ad infinitum.
Thee and me must pay tax on money removed from our pension plans. Mikey & Co. get it out free. MPPs can use this money in any way they like. Mikey, the guy who approved the scheme reaps the benefit. He gets his hands on a fat bankroll, estimated at $864,000 (tax free) just in time for his retirement. Eves got $810,000. Bob Rae, Floyd Laughren, Sean Conway and Jim Bradley got $1 million or more, each. Because of Ernie's fat benefit, which was his creation, the Liberals claim he had a conflict of interest and wants an investigation by the public accounts committee.
Eves claims that this is all trickery by the federal government. A more cynical take is that Mikey & Co. planned this. You would like a large tax-free lump rather than taking it out over an extended period and paying tax on it. Its only common sense.
is a contract not a contract?
When it is signed by the B.C. government. Legislation is being introduced to revise contracts with teachers, social and health workers.
Quebec Transportation Minister Guy Chevrette, reminisced on a TVA show about a man and a woman walking into Parti Quebecois headquarters in 1989 and offer him, then the leader of the opposition, two suitcases, each filled with $250,000, if he would adopt a policy of maintaining private ownership of video poker machines in the province. Chevrette said he could not remember who these two people were and had never reported the bribe attempt to the police. The police are now investigation, but the trail is sort of cold.
The forgoing yarn was apparently an attempt to diminish the impact of influence peddling allegations against Andre Desroches, a buddy of Industry and Trade Minister Gilles Baril. Desroches consulting firm is alleged to have received commission for securing government grants for clients.
Jean Royer, formerly chief of staff to Jacques Parizeau, now vice-president of Loto Quebec, says he witnessed the bribe. Loto-Quebec took over the video poker machines.
The high cost
Ontario Health Minister Tony Clement employs Gord Haugh as a communications adviser at a cost of a mere $300,000 per year. Mikey say he has no problem with this sort of money being paid to advise a minister. Haugh ran the media bus on Mikey's 1995 and 1999 campaigns.
Mikey & Co are spending $2.3 million on tv ads to inform the public that competition is coming to the electricity market starting May 1. For more info www.est.gov.on.ca
The Pope is coming to Toronto in 2002, and the TTC is claiming that it will lose $9 million because of the added service that will be required.
Each to the estimated 450,000 registrants will be issued a TTC pass good for July 23 to 28, for which they pay $5. The normal price for six days of unlimited travel passes is $45. To put it another way, the TTC could have covered costs by charging an addition $15. this amount would have increased the registration cost by 6.25% to $255. Considering the cost of travel, accommodation, meals etc, the increase is tiny.
So much for the separation of church and state.
Fred Kaufman will investigate the conviction of Steven Truscott in 1959. FINALLY
Wanda Liczyk, now vice-president of Toronto Hydro, former treasurer of the City of Toronto, to quote the city auditor:
"The former chief financial officer accepted 'less than 12' hockey tickets from the company [MFP Financial Services] and traveled on a chartered aircraft to a hockey game in Ottawa. The former chief financial officer has produced a canceled cheque made out to a senior executive [Dash Domi] of MFP for $700 to offset the cost of the trip."Alan Lenczner, lawyer, was hired by Toronto to negotiate restitution with MFP. He hired KPMG LLP in August 2001 to conduct a forensic audit. Ms. Liczyk didn't remember the flight and tickets the first time she was asked. Fortuitously, a KPMG employee had been on the same plane as Ms. Liczyk.
Toronto and MFP have filed claims against each other.
Toronto Debt - $1.34
Interest thereon takes 10% of the budget, and it is going up.
Oak Ridges Moraine
Mikey, out to gain praise for preserving the Oak Ridges Moraine north of Toronto, created legislation that put 90% of the land off limits to developers. Except that the minister is given the power to revoke any part of the plan, or all of it, without hearings or approval of the legislature; just a notice in the official gazette that the change has been made.
Bobby Rae is out to rescue the orchestra. $2.5 million in endowment funds will be used to defray expenses over the next 2.5 years. The annual orchestra payroll will be cut $1 million. Tribute concerts are to bring in $300,000 per year. Since the orchestra lost $2.1 million in 2001, these changes would seem to place it in the black by $200,000
The deficit is over 7 million. A loan of $1.5 million has been obtained, and can get another $1 million if a matching amount can be raised. Repayment of the $2.5 million over 5 years starts in 2004. Wintario kicked in a $1.5 million loan.
The only thing that happens here is that the lenders
have changed and the debt will reduced by $1 million if the $1 million
match can be raised. Repayments of $400,000 per year will start in 2004
Bobby Rae, the one-term wonder as Ontario premier, has much experience in piling up debt, none at reducing it, so he has taken a job for which he has no demonstrable talent.
Seventeen Hells Angels are on trial in Quebec. Ten have qualified for legal aid. The wages of crime apparently aren't what they're cracked up to be.
- Mikey Style
Ontario plans new privacy legislation applicable to hospitals, business, charities and other organizations. Nothing to indicate that it would apply to Mikey & Co. who have no respect whatsoever for the confidentiality of material in government files.
- Ethics Watchdog Style
Ontario Integrity Commissioner Coulter Osborne has given Ernie Eves until March 27 to respond to a complaint about his role in a large payout from MPP pensions, and the possibility that he was in a conflict of interest.
Privacy - Nuclear
Jim Wilson, Ontario Energy minister, is unable to speak about Ontario Power Generation without the approval of Ontario Power Generation, a crown corporation. he signed an agreement on September 24, 1999. Consequently, the Ontario government has refused to release details of the lease of the Bruce nuclear plant to British Energy.
- Canada Post Style
The Privacy Commissioner has found that Canada Post is willfully breaking the Privacy Act by selling the new home addresses of people who move and have their mail redirected.
Privacy - Justice
The federal Justice Department, in 2001, changed rules so that the minister's expenses would not be public. In March, 2002, after this fact received some press, Treasury Board President Lucienne Robillard said:
'The Prime Minister has asked all ministers and their political staff to give their consent to release all information'The press reports indicate that Chretien had told ministers and their staff to release information, but the quote indicates no change in policy - it is up to the individuals to decide whether or not to release their expense claims. Now we wait and see what the real policy is.
In Nova Scotia
Fred Kaufman, former Quebec Court of Appeal judge, investigated $61 million compensation plan for victims of abuse, former inmates of youth detention centres in Truro and Shelburne.
$30 million paid to 1,200 claimants
$7.6 million for counselling
$4 million for administration
$4.6 million for legal fees
$7.6 million for investigation
$3.2 million for family and professional services
' There is significant evidence, direct and circumstantial, that false and exaggerated claims were made to government, and these claims were motivated by monetary awards being offered by the program and the known absence of a true validation process.'The employees are now seeking restitution for lost wages, and harm to reputations and emotions that resulted from the accusations.
'It left in its wake true victims of abuse and innocent employees, both victimized by its flawed approach to validation and a public which could not know, and may never know, the nature and extent of abuse within the province's youth facilities.'
Nova Scotia made mistakes, then compounds the errors. Nova Scotia paid $61 million to 1,200 former residents of provincial youth centres who alleged sexual and physical abuse by youth workers. The RCMP has investigated but has not laid any charges. Nova Scotia could pay up to $8 million to the youth workers for psychological trauma and economic loss as a result of being wrongly accused.
The bonus for the taxpayers: Nova Scotia compensated the abuse victims a year before notifying its insurance firms. Nova Scotia is suing the insurers. Legal costs are now over $500,000. The insurance firms contend that the payments by the province were voluntary.
Former New Brunswick judge, in a 1995 report, concluded that the Shelburne facility was little more than a warehouse for boys.
Former Quebec judge Fred Kaufman (see above) found that the province paid alleged victims up to $120,000 each, but many of the allegations wre false or exaggerated and were not investigated adequately. He found that allegations caused distress to more than 100 employees of youth centres who were targets of investigations. Most of the youth centre workers refused compensation offered by the province and the first lawsuit has been filed in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.
Sense Education - Mikey Style
Ontario eliminated Grade 13. Consequently, in 2003, the number of high school graduates will double in 2003. But, since the number of spaces available in the institutions of higher learning have not also doubled, they will not be continuing their education.
The longer-term horror story for the taxpayer is that it is unclear that the expanded facilities will be needed after this double graduating class has finished college. Taxes may be spent to maintain facilities for which there is no longer any demand.
It would seem that a public official would be placed in a conflict of interest if a lobbyist worked also worked for the politician.
Isabel Metcalfe works as a lobbyist for The Canadian Independent Film Caucus, the Writers Guild of Canada and the Banff Television Foundation, lobbying Sheila Copps' Canadian Heritage for money. Isabel also works Sheila's campaign advisor. Isabel justified her position
' We have no official capacity, we have not titles, there is no campaign.'Just to hedge the bets, Isabel's husband, Herbie, a senior partner with The Capital Hill Group, is registered to lobby Industry when John Manley was the minister. Herbie works for Manley's leadership organization.
'There's a group of people that talk about such things, but there's nothing official, because there's no race.'
Michael Robinson, with Earnscliffe Strategies Group, lobbies Finance for AT&T Canada and other clients. Michael Robinson also works for Paul Martin's campaigne. Others with Earnscliffe are also involved. Earnscliffe, working both sides of the fence, does communications and polling for the Finance Department.
These lobbyists reportedly have rates up to the $450 per hour.
Within government this nonsense is supposed to be policed by the well-known lapdog, the federal ethics counsellor, Howard Wilson.
Outside of government, look to Democracy Watch.
Laws for Lobbyists
Rene Fugere, an unpaid aide to Jean Chretien in his Saint-Maurice riding, charged companies 5-10% of the government grants they received after he lobbied for them. Mr. Fugere was not registered as a lobbyist. Federal prosecutors did not take him to court because the law required such a high standard of proof that it is nearly impossible to convict.
Imitates Stockwell Day
Mikey has started a $15 million lawsuit against The Globe and Mail and plans to stick the Ontario taxpayers with the legal bill.
Management Board spokesman Ian Dovey says the legislature approved the expenditure
' It's within the budget.'The budget was passed in the spring of 2001.
'It's structured that way that we can handle expenditures that come throughout the year in such cases as legal fees and outside auditors.'Don't you love Management Board clairvoyance?
The basis of the claim? Mikey contends that the article implied that he gave orders to the OPP to march on the Ipperwash park to end the protest and that his orders led to the shooting of Dudley George and that he is responsible for the death of Dudley George.
Ernie Eves announced that the Ontario government will not pay for Mikey's legal expenses.
Mikey is being sued by the family of Dudley George for wrongful death. To the end of January, 2002, the legal fees paid by the taxpayers to defend him were $945,153.
Jobs In Mexico
General Motors in London is building 1,000 locomotives for Union Pacific Railway and is receiving loans from the Export Development Corp. Because GM could not meet the delivery schedule, work was subcontracted to Bombardier, which is doing the work in Mexico.
Bernard Landry - on federal cuts in transfer payments
"Mr. Chretien does not have the duty to deprive Quebec of money; he has a duty to give it more."Lobbying In Quebec
After Le Devoir reported the commissions, Breard resigned and party members voted unanimously for a bill to regulate lobbyists.
Gilles Baril, Natural Resources minister also resigned because of close association with Oxygen 9.
Paying for Parties
Herb Gray was honoured with a retirement party at the Hard Rock Cafe. Those thanked included Bell Canada, WestJet, Scotiabank, Canadian National Railways, and the Canadian Cable Television Association.
You Wanted To Know About Canadian Culture
Paint Cans - 1994 - A Canadian government bureaucrat is duped into backing a filmmaker's project that no one likes. Look for it on all channels where Canadian content is mandated. Maybe it is a documentary of government decision-making.
Ontario Ministry of the Attorney-General and The Law Society of Upper Canada
Ontario lawyers are attempting to come up with rules that will prevent a repetition of a lawyer suppressing evidence as happened with Paul Bernardo. The proposal includes several exemptions that would delay disclosure of evidence, including non-destructive, scientific testing of evidence.
The Ministry of the Attorney-General has taken the position that there is never any excuse for withholding evidence. Don't you love the irony?
Lawyers of the Ministry of the Attorney-General have repeatedly failed to disclose evidence in criminal cases, and, as a matter of policy, refuse to comply with the provisions of the Freedom of Information legislation. They are not fired, nor will the Law Society of Upper Canada take action.
& Ontario Government
Donny Petersen, a member of Hells Angels and owner of a Toronto Motorcycle dealership, was appointed to an Ontario committee overseeing an apprenticeship program for motorcycle mechanics. (What checks are made of persons favoured by the Ontario government I'll leave to your imagination.) Subsequently, he was removed, and he sued for reinstatement. He lost, the Superior Court ruling in a split decision that the government has discrecetion to decide who should sit on advisory committees.
The federal Solicitor-General, the top cop in the country, former secretary of state for veterans affairs, was tossed out after questions were raised about his involvement in various PEI boondoggles.
$250,000 for a discussion paper that asked focus groups to compare their communities, nearby cities and major centres to cartoon characters on The Simpsons.
Canadian Mint Can't Make
The Mint senior executive team was fired for losing $1.2 million by diversifying into the manufacture of overpriced (unsaleable) jewelry. Why should the government be in the jewelry business?
Canada Post & Liberal Buddies
In 2001 Canada Post spent $1 million to buy 50% of Intelcom Courier Inc. controlled by Daniel Hudon, Liberal fundraiser and former member of the finance committee of the Quebec wind of the federal Liberal Party. Hudon became active in the Liberal Party when the current Justice Minister Martin Cauchon was the president from 1993 to 1995. At that time Andre Ouellet was foreign affairs minister and Chretien's minister for Quebec. Ouellet is now president of Canada Post. Hudon was also a buddy of Alfonso Gagliano, who was responsible for Canada Post when public works minister.
Canada Post's chief of purchasing, Gilles Couveille was seconded to Intelcom as a salesman.
Canada Post has been 'encouraging' suppliers to use Intelcom. Increasing the revenues on Intelcom will increase the value of the company and the 50% still owned by Hudon and his partner Sylvain Hurtubise, at the expense of other couriers.
One of Canada Post officials doing the 'encouraging' is Roger Legare, recently an adviser to Ouellet, and previously executive director of the Liberal Party Quebec wing in the mid-1990s under Ouellet and Cauchon. Legare left Canada Post in September 2002 when Jane Stewart, Human Resources minister appointed him to the Employment Insurance Commission.
Intelcom donated $22,901 to the Liberal Party in 1998, one of the 50 largest corporate donations. Intelcom donated $5,732 in 1999. It also donated $934 to Cauchon, $460 to Carole-Marie Allard, Laval-East MP, and $815 to Alfonso Gagliano.
Hudon donated $2,000 to the Liberal Party in 1999.
Canada Post purchased a warehousing and logistics company, Progistix-Solutions, for $36 million, from BCE. Intelcom acquired 2.63%.
Intelcom acquired several rush courier companies in Quebec, Calgary and Toronto. Canada Post has refused to confirm or deny that it is financing the acquisitions.
Canada Post, reportedly, denies: that the political ties had anything to do with the purchase of 50% of Intelcom, that suppliers have been pressured to use Intelcom (Legare and Courville attended sales meetings),
Sheila Baby has lured federal money to Hamiltion:
HMCS Haida - $5 millionSinful S.I.N. Numbers
World Road Cycling Championship - $8.2 million
Commonwealth Games - $80 million.
Caisse de depot et placement
The Caisse has a new head office in Montreal. Original budget? $102 million. Current estimate to completion? $300 million plus $50 million for the underground parking garage. The provincial interim Auditor-General, Doris Paradis, has been asked to investigate.
The government claimed that it was not aware of the cost overruns despite the fact that the Deputy Minister of Finance is on the board of the Caisse.
Advertising Saves Canada! or so Jean Chretien contends, but is unwilling to appoint an inquiry to investigate and prove it.
$1 million a year at National Hockey League games for adsand these other beneficiaries
$1 million a year to the Canadian Football League to put Maple Leaf flags on helmets
An e-mail in 2000 from a senior civil servant said
'the company that the secretary of state (Denis Coderre, now Immigation Minister, then minister for amateur sport) wants to hire [to organize the meetings on amateur sport] is Everest.'The contract (Coderre denies he had anything to do with it) was to Groupe Everest for $500,000 for organizing six regional conferences on the future of amateur sport. Everest cut its price from $1 million on this untendered deal.
'The company has a standing offer with Public Works'
The reason for not going for bids was that there was a rush to hire a firm since the first of the six conferences were only weeks away. For Chretien's crew, this is what is known as planning.
Coderre has stayed at a residence of Claude Boulay of Groupe Everest president. Everest also provided $21,000 in advertising to Coderre's 1997 election campaign.
The government's version is that Public Works awarded the contract on its own on May 30, 2000. But minutes of a meeting held on April 10, 2000, show that two of Coderre's top staff - chief of staff Guylain Thorne and director of communications Patrick Doyon - met with three senior Groupe Everest executives.
Groupe Everest did well on Attractions Canada
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Also, $1.8 million for 'production costs' for the shows.
Also, millions more for advertising in publications owned by Polygone
As an added bonus, an investigation found that the government has 'virtually no records'.
Another added bonus:
Jacques Corriveau, Jean Chretien's friend and organizer, has a design firm that produces all the ads and banners for Liberal Quebec federal candidates. He lobbied Don Boudria, minister of public works, and Martin Couchon, minister for Quebec, to discuss funding for Groupe Polygone. Corriveau was not registered as a lobbyist.
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Mario Parent was with the sponsorship division of Public works where he approved a 50% increase in Mr. Gosselin rate to $205/hr. from $135/hr. Subsequently Parent joined Gosselin.
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Communication Coffin - To quote the investigation report about six sponsorship deals
'We perceived that these files illustrated a systematic pattern of overbilling'.Included: billing 300 hours for a small unsophisticated report; $102,000 to oversee the placement of CANADA banners at ski hills for a total of 379.5 hours.
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Jean Lafleur Communication Marketing's President received payments for placing VIA Rail ads in magazines owned by his company.
Jean LaFleur owned Les Editions Satellite which published Via Rail's magazine. In additions to the money Via paid to have the magazine published, Les Editions also received $500,000 from directly from Public Works, and $500,000 for advertising from Attractions Canada in Via Rail magazine.
A contract was increased by $492,000 in January, 2000, for an event that was held in September, 1999.
'to sensitize Canadians about the richness of their heritage, their history and their culture'was to have been killed in March, 2001, but it kept right on trucking. Attractions Canada was dreamed up by Claude Boulay, Groupe Everest president. Government funding started in 1997. Boulay promised it would become self-funding by 2001. But it was still getting about $3.5 million a year for 2002 & 2003 fiscal years (March 31 is the government yearend).
One sponsorship was for minor hockey in Quebec's Eastern Townships, where Mr. Boulay is from.Basically Attractions Canada did the same job as The Canadian Tourism Commission, a federally funded agency.
A Public Works Department report identified some concerns and suggested that the Auditor General might want to investigate:
Groupe Everest billed $852,000 in fees and $450,000 in commissions in 1999-2000.Ralph Goodale, public works minister, says he has killed Attractions Canada, and that civil servants will give out the money.'We assume that this expenditure was spend to manage the other $3 million that was expended on travel and production, a percentage that seems highThe Institute of Communications and Advertising suggests a markup of 15% as a guideline.
Said Jean Chretien:
'Perhaps there were a few million dollars that might have been STOLEN in the process but how many millions of millions of dollars have we saved because we have re-established the stability of Canada by keeping it a united country?'
Sheila Baby spent $20 million for flags. Sensitizing Canadians was supposed to be her responsibility, not Public Works, but she wasn't from Quebec.
Quebec, ignoring advice, coughed up a $20 million credit margin and a $62 million completion guarantee to a consortium called Davie Maritime Inc. Potential risk in total $150 million. This is to bail out the last shipyard in Quebec, Davie Industries, to save 380 jobs for one year in Levis and Quebec City.
Said Finance Minister Pauline Marois:
'By helping this project it will create jobs and generate tax revenue'Karlheinz Schriber dropped a lawsuit against the CBC and paid legal costs. Schriber had claimed defamation after The Fifth Estate alleged he had secret bank accounts.
Wages of Crime - $ 6 million a year - Salim Damji received 7.5 years for swindling $42 million. The money has not been recovered. Ontario Court Judge Paul Bentley did not order Damji to repay the money because he gave him a sentence closer to the 10 year maximum under the Criminal Code.
Ontario Municipal Affairs Ministry Chris Hodgson interfered to block City of Ottawa adjustment of ward boundaries. Hodgson blocked a hearing by the Ontario Municipal Board. Ottawa challenged his right to take such action. Madam Justice Ellen Macdonald ruled that Hodgson's antics had 'the unsettling tones of an ambush', and 'undermines the entire scheme of the Municipal Act'. The ruling came too late to adjust the ward boundaries for the next municipal election.
The attempt to block changes were, of course, unrelated to the desires by rural Ottawa Conservative MPPs Brian Coburn (Carlton-Gloucester), John Baird (Nepean-Carlton), and Norm Sterling (Lanark-Carlton) to help their ridings retain greater representation on Ottawa council than numbers warrant.
Kurt Schuller clipped the shoulder of Aaron Willinsky who was hailing a cab on Queen Street, Toronto. Schuller then beat Willinsky unconscious with a metal rod. Willinsky suffers headaches, anxiety, loss of memory, and lost his job.
Schuller was charged with: aggravated assault; possession of a dangerous weapon; and leaving the scene of an accident. Sentence? 15 months of house arrest (can go to work and attend classes), suspended license for 15 months. Sentence was suspended for leaving the scene of the accident.
Justice Harvey Spiegel said Schuller was a 'rather passive, quiet, withdrawn individual ', had no earlier history of violence and deserved a more lenient sentence. The judge was also moved by Schuller's sister who tearfully described him as a 'passive, understanding and kind person'. Schuller's lawyer suggested Schuller was dealing with unresolved feelings about the death of his mother and has sought grief counselling.
The attack took place in February, 2000, and took three years to get to trial. Schuller fired two lawyers and withdrew a guilty plea.
Alberta is refusing to release information about the lawsuit against Stockwell Day. The Globe and Mail has been trying for two years to obtain the documents and has been supported by a ruling of Justice Terrence McMahon in January 2001 that what Alberta had provided did not satisfy the public interest. As a result of the ruling, Alberta delivered exactly the same package of information as they had in January 2001.
Alberta Justice Ministry wanted $60,696 for the documents. The judge reduced this to $2,500.
Government money ends up in purportedly non-government entities to push government agendas.
The Forest Products Association of Canada got $17 million to run a two-year communications program. On the payroll are former Michigan governor and U.S. ambassador to Canada James Blanchard, Democrat, and the former Tennessee senator and U.S. trade representative William Brock, Republican.
A second gem is the 'Canadian Institute for Health Information' http://secure.cihi.ca/cihiweb/splash.html , 'a pan-Canadian, independent, not-for-profit organization ', chaired by Michael Decter, listed as with Lawrence Decter Investment Counsel Inc. Michael Decter is a former Ontario deputy minister of health. The rest of the board, including Canada's deputy minister of health, would also seem to have some vested interest in presenting the health system in the most favourable light. Claiming independence is a a very bad joke. This group, along with Statistics Canada, produce a very expensively printed report 'Health Care In Canada'. The report doesn't give year to year comparisons, presumably because the comparisons would not be flattering.
Thomas Vasko , on August 15th, was appointed Director of Corporate Business Development at the famous Ontario Realty Corp. Vasko had previously been Assistant Director of International Sales and Marketing at the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.
Vasko claims a Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Psycology from the University of Palmers Green, England, a degree mill. Pay the money you too can have an MBA and a Doctorate.
Sandra Brown Turner, on Septermber 20, 2001, was the security guard at Pearson International Airport. She demanded I.D. from a police officer crossing through her checkpoint. They argued. She was dragged away in handcuffs to a Peel Regional Police station where she was strip searched and charged with creating a disturbance. 15 months later, on the day she was to go to trial, the charges were dropped. Peel police had settled a lawsuit brought by Turner.
Dr. David Swann, medical officer of health for the Palliser Health Authority was fired on October 2nd. after he spoke out in favour of the Kyoto accord.
Harinder Mahil, acting chief of the Human Rights Commission and Chris Finding, interim executive director of compliance were fired when British Columbia the Commission was eliminated. The previous head of the commission was fired in July. British Columbia plans to have a Human Rights Tribunal to rule on individual complaints. Management consultant Keith Saddleyer has been appointed to replace Mahil.
Said Attorney-General Geoff Plant:
'It is complicated, inefficient and slow. It can take years for a case to be heard, and justice delayed is justice denied.'Of course, it was the government that created the administrative mess in the first place and appointed the management.
Bruce Nuclear Plant Lease
In July, 2000, the Ontario government leased the Bruce nuclear power plant to British Energy for 18 years. British Energy encountered financial difficulties, was supported by the British government for a time. Then the lease was sold to Cameco, TransCanada PipeLines.
Although the lease was purportedly to be used reduce Ontario Hydro debt, the Provincial Auditor reported that the government kept the $370 million initial May 2001 payment rather than turn it over to the Ontario Hydro Financial Corp.
Unlike U.S. handling of such leases, the cost of disposing of waste nuclear fuel and decommissioning the plants remains with the government. But the price negotiated is about half that of similar leases in the U.S.A.
Eleanor Clitheroe, former deputy minister of finance, president of Hydro One was was fired and is suing. Some objection was raised about the use of Hydro One funds including:
$360,000 to sponsor the 12-metre yacht Defiant (Clitheroe is a member of the Royal Canadian Yacht ClubWhen in Toronto, Sir Graham Day, Hydro One chairman, had the use of a Hydro One home in Rosedale which had been renovated at a cost of $1.5 million.
$750,000 to sponsored Images of Salvation from the Vatican at the Royal Ontario Museum
Clitheroe's $2.2 million salary, $172,484 for 2 years vacation pay, $174,644 car allowance for a Mercedes, $330,000 for limousine service over 3 years (apparently in lieu of maternity leave), $750,000/yr pension, and a $6 million buyout package
The entire Hydro One board resigned because of government interference. Three executive vice-presidents were offered reduced compensation.
Clitheroe and Graham were to sign off on their expenses. The expenses were to be reviewed by the board audit committee. Both Clitheroe and Graham were on the audit committee and they could not be considered independent.. This sort of nonsense is what led the SEC to set higher standard of corporate governance after Enron, Worldcom et al.
The Hydro One privatization was derailed when a court ruled that the government did not have the authority under existing legislation.
Legal work was awarded to McCarthy Tetrault without tender, violating government tendering rules. The government is keeping secret all documents related to the award. Nancy Austin says the documents are covered by client-solicitor privilege or may reveal scientific information, trade secrets, and other commercially sensitive information.
In contrast, the financial adviser, UBS Warburg, was picked from the firms bidding on the work
Paul Boniferro, with McCarthy, is a former policy adviser to Deputy Premier Elizabeth Witmer when she was labour minister. David Lindsay, a member of the Progressive Conservatives and CEO of Ontario Superbuild Corp. was involved in the decision to hire the law firm.
Management Board of Cabinet says legal work should have been put out to bid. Superbuild says it wasn't required and that the Ministry of the Attorney General agreed. But it is Management Board that makes the rules that the rest of the government is supposed to follow.
Independent Electricity Market Operator
The Information and Privacy Commissioner complained that the government was trying to 'seriously impinge on the public's rights to scrutinize and seek information abut the newly deregulated electricity market'. Chris Stockwell rejected the complaint.
Freedom of Information
- Chretien Style
Information Commissioner John Reid reported that:
Top federal bureaucrats destroyed documents to prevent release to the publicBill Rowat, former deputy minister of fisheries, wrote a personal letter to an individual who was seeking information about Mr. Rowat. The letter was considered threatening by the recipient. Rowat used government funds to defend himself in court. Rowat was also reluctant to identify the person who disclosed the name of the person seeking information.
Top federal bureaucrats tried to intimidate people who had legally requested information
The Prime Minister's Office and Privy Council Office tried to find out the identity of persons requesting information whose identity is required to remain confidential
The government creates agencies, but does not amend the Access to Information Act so that the agencies are not covered by the provisions of the act. Thus disclosure can be blocked.
The Privy Council Office review increasing numbers of documents and uses an everexpanding definition of cabinet confidentiality to limit disclosure
The government used September 11 to invoke security concerns to block disclosure
The government attempted (unsuccessfully) to block disclosure of spending by political staff in ministers offices
In June, 1999, the deputy minister of finance and two assistant deputy ministers met to discuss a set of minutes that had been requested under freedom of information. The documents were related to allegations of conflict of interest involving Paul Martin. The documents were destroyed and the persons who had made the request receive a letter stating:
'after a thorough search, no records were found'Advertisers & Donations - in 2001
To Jean Chretien's Riding Association
Allard Johnson Communications $760
Groupaction Marketing 760
Groupe Everest 760
Communication & Strategie 760
To Alphonso Gagliano
Groupe Everest $ 1,664
BCP Ltd 1,698
Allard Johnson Communicartions 3,362
TNC Multicom 4,245
To Martin Cauchon's Riding Association
To Martin Cauchon
Jean Lefleur $1,935
To Lucienne Robillard
BCP Ltd. $296
To Denis Coderre
BCP Ltd $898
To the Liberal Party
Allard Johnson $14,000
BCP Ltd 5,653
Communication Coffin 4,346
Communication Stragegie 4,496
Groupe Everest 16,173
Publicite Martin 7,846
Palmer Jarvis 9,438
Vickers and Benson 6,005
The Liberal Party owed BCP $380,000, and $1 million to Vickers and Benson
and the two agencies handling advertising for the 2000 election.