Friday, November 29, 2013

Senate shits the bed, goes back to sleep

Last night's CBC At Issue panel, Nov.28 2013 on the Senate blocking a witness and the PMO continuing to run the Senate. Former Harper supporter Andrew Coyne is beyond disgusted. 
Mansbridge : The government blocks a key witness [Michael Runia, Managing Partner at Deloitte] from appearing before a senate committee to answer questions about whether he had tried to massage or even question the firm's audit of Mike Duffy's expenses.

Andrew Coyne : It's incredible. Step back from this. This is the auditing firm Deloitte that does the audits for the Conservative fundraising arm; they are also the recipient of millions of dollars in federal contracts. They are given this contract to investigate Mike Duffy's expenses by the Tory-dominated committee and there's all kinds of interference reported in the RCMP doc where they're calling them up to ask them how it's going; they're trying to influence it; Duffy's not talking to them et cetera.
At the centre of it is this fellow Michael Runia, who was the point man, the contact with Senator [Irving] Gerstein. We hear during today's testimony from the three auditors involved in the audit, he was in fact making these very inappropriate phone calls - they had to cut him off.

Just when you think ok that's the next step -clearly they'll call him as the next witness - they have a vote and vote not to call him. It's staggering. You cannot believe they would be that brazen about it."
No?  It was the last act on the last day in office before retirement for Gerald Comeau, Con chair of the Senate's internal economy committee, a position he was hastily shoehorned into following the departure of the former disgraced chair, David Tkachuk. Comeau shepherded his little Senate flock into voting against a motion to even hear from Gerstein's contact at Deloitte, longtime Con supporter and Deloitte partner Michael Runia.

Flashback to early March ...

PMO Manager of Parliamentary Affairs Patrick Rogers on March 8, as per the RCMP ITO
"Senator Gerstein has just called. He agrees with our understanding of the situation and his Deloitte contact [Runia] agrees. The stage we 're at now is waiting for the Senator's contact to get the actual Deloitte auditor on the file to agree. The Senator will call back once we have Deloitte locked in."
Then, 13 days later on March 21, Patrick Rogers makes a prediction weeks before the Deloitte audit is sent to the Senate [bold : mine]: 
"Deloitte can 't reach a conclusion on residency because lawyer has not provided them anything. This is despite their attempts use "public information" about residency. Their report will state that lawyer did not provide information when requested. They were asked to complete the work by the end of March and plan to.

I would propose that the Senator [Duffy] continue to not engage with Deloitte. I believe that we should make arrangements for repayment knowing that Deloitte will not say one way or another on his residency. If asked following the report why he did not participate with Deloitte the Senator [Duffy] can say because he had already made the decision to repay the money and as he said at the time, he looked forward to moving on. It is then up to our esteemed Senators on the committee and our Senate leadership to move on.
And voilà - everything Patrick Rogers predicted before the Deloitte report was tabled came true and the "esteemed senators" are indeed desperately trying to "move on", including refusing to hear witnesses in the Senate, after first having Writewashed the Deloitte audit.
Mansbridge : We should mention that in the end, nothing was done to the Audit. There was no inappropriate ... the ethical wall wasn't breached.
Coyne, somewhat snidely : So Deloitte says.

It was Steve's PMO legal counsel Benjamin Perrin who asked Senator Irving Gerstein to work his contacts at Deloitte over the audit. Perrin returned to his job teaching law at UBC in April after all his emails in the PMO were erased, according to the RCMP.

PMO staffer Patrick "This is epic. Montgomery is the Problem" Rogers has since been removed from the immediate line of fire to Heritage Minister Shelly Glover's office.

Senator Irving Gerstein is still sitting in the Senate and is still in charge of the Conservative Fund Canada. When questioned about his bagman's leading role in all this, 
Steve - the Accountability Firewall Guy continues to refuse to say his name out loud in Parliament


West End Bob said...

Last night was one of the rare times I actually tuned in to The National hoping to see more of the Glenn Greenwald/CBC report on Canadian/NSA complicity at the G-20.

Glad to see you took this segment and ran with it as it was quite amazing to watch.


snicker, snicker, tee hee on that one, Alison . . . .

Boris said...

CBC picked up the Montgomery story not a few minutes ago:

Anonymous said...

Boris, yeah, they weeded out the one guy who said hey there's some actual rules we're supposed to be following here. I expect the RCMP will be most interested in what he has to say.

e.a.f. said...

Watching the segment, it was amazing to see Coyne so angry. He was almost unable to speak. If guys like him are upset about the cons and stevie slime, its getting very bad.

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