Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Cons : "Well you didn't ask us."

In response to NDP questions on Monday regarding the missing $3.1 billion in public security and anti-terrorism spending and why even the words "public security and anti-terrorismhadn't shown up in nine years of public accounts, Tony Gazebo of the Treasury Board blamed the opposition for not guessing the right question :
“If NDP caucus members from the years from 2001 to 2009 did not ask the right questions then that is their problem, not the problem on this side of the House.”
In February, Public SafetyMin Vic Toews used the same tactic. When questioned as to how the Cons managed to appoint Dr Arthur Porter - subject of an arrest warrant for fraud, money laundering and bribes/kickbacks in connection with SNC Lavelin - to head up the CSIS watchdog agency SIRC in 2010 without doing a sufficiently diligent security clearance on him first, Toews blamed the opposition parties for not stopping them from appointing a crook by not asking the right question :
"If there were any concerns that he had, he could have brought it to the attention of the appropriate authorities and simply asked the question. He failed in his responsibilities."
So from now on, all the opposition has to do is to try to guess which right questions are cleverly hidden under the Con security blanket.

Noon update : And even when reporters ask Tony Gazebo the right questions about government outsourcing ...

Star investigation: Millions in taxpayer-funded consulting work kept secret

A Star investigation has found 90 per cent of the $2.4 billion paid out in the past decade comes with no description of the work done — and more than a dozen departments refuse to provide details when pressed.


thwap said...

You could buy a lot of swag with that kind of money.

$50,000 in a brown paper bag here, $100,000 in wingnut welfare there.

Grease a lotta palms.

So, supposedly, this money was designated as being for security, given to departments as being for security, but spent as something else and therefore couldn't be tracked as "security."

It was an internal thing that they disregarded and subsequently (after 2010) discontinued.

Have I got this right?

Alison said...

Thwap : That's a leading question, right? ;-)

The AG offered 3 scenarios :
1)The 3.1B wasn't used and lapsed
2)It was used on security initiatives but wasn't documented as such, or
3)It was re-allocated and spent on other departments.

but that's all we know because the scope of the AG's audit was focused on the Treasury Board's accounting of PSAT money, not with following where the money went, how it was spent, which depts. didn't report, gazebos, etc. Treasury axed the summary reports altogether in 2010 with the last report in 2009 so what has been going on since then is anybody's guess.

This is my fave AG quote on the subject : "We didn’t find anything that gave us cause for concern that money was used in any way it should not have been"

which as pointed out by The Sixth Estate here is a generous interpretation of having no evidence of what it was spent on at all.

Dana said...

Have you noticed that the BC Liberals have announced by their actions that copyright law is meaningless and has no teeth?

West End Bob said...

Lady Alison: Tony Gazebo! Friggin' LOVE it!

Dana: CTV News @ 5:00 anchor Colleen reported that all participating parties in the debate verbally agreed to not use any of the content in their ads. The LINOs response to the demand to take it down is there was no agreement verbal or otherwise.

Anyone believe 'em ? ? ? ?

Alison said...

Dana, Bob : Kind of a flopsweat ad, no? Dix states he takes responsibility for backdating a memo for his boss 13 years ago and always has admitted his mistake, after which a half dozen Liberal candidates demand he take responsibility for it.
The Vancouver Sun kept the ad up as part of their story on it for a few hours also, then changed the link address, and now have taken it down. Presumably they got a complaint from CTV too.
This goes nicely with recent news on the BC Rail payoffs and a Lib advisor anonymously smearing someone they tried to recruit as a candidate themselves as a communist.

You'd think that the half a million bucks Encana has coughed up for the Libs, plus Christy's $500-a-plate campaign fundraisers in Alberta would have paid for better advice.

Anonymous said...


Alison said...

Anon : ;-)
Presumably the 801s weren't too impressed that Christy wrote her own name on her advance poll ballot today before realizing she can't vote for herself so she added another name resulting in her ballot going into the box with two names on it.
Fucking unbelievable.

Boris said...

Two things come to mind.

1. That the govt's books are now a horror story.

2. Allies are noticing our...problems.

Alison said...

Boris :
1) Between the EAP promotion money, the missing PSAT money, the untracked public service outsourcing money, and, as a previous commenter noted, budgets that would not be considered real budgets in any other G8 country, I'm sure the gov't books are indeed a horror show.

2) Not sure if you had the time or inclination to watch the vid I posted on Sunday but at the 33:33 mark and again later on, a UK parliamentary committee grills reps from Google, Amazon, and Starbucks in 2012 about tax havens and gov to corp agreements to keep them secret. Watching it you just can't imagine a similar scenario happening in a Canadian committee, where the MPs widdle on their shoes with pleasure that minor corp functionaries would even deign to agree to attend.

West End Bob said...

Alison: widdle? Had to Ixquick-search that one, (Don't use The Google search anymore) Gurl.

Thanx for the vernacular education . . . .

Alison said...

Widdle = piss
You know, like they all act like a big girl's blouse.

Boris said...

Alison, I'm actually more than a little worried about the gov't books. Have you ever seen a government anywhere else with tendencies like ours to keep straight ledgers?

I watched the video segment. No, we'd not see this here.

Holly Stick said...

"Widdle" I know (as in puppies widdling with excitement which would certainly apply to the MPs) but I'd never heard of "a big girl's blouse" before.

Here's an interesting discussion of it, it's from northern England:

Thanks for the education ;)

Anonymous said...

The government's books.

The government has given the House Finance Committee until midnight on Tuesday, May 28, to pass the budget and to report it back to the House of Commons for third and final debate and passage.
NDP MP Peggy Nash told The Hill Times after Thursday’s committee meeting that opposition MPs were unable to probe bureaucrats on the entire bill, and because of the time limitation did not even get to the final section containing the Crown corporation measures that have sparked an uproar.

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