The fawning, sneaking, and flattering hypocrite, that will do or be anything, for his own advantage. –Edward Stillingfleet
Frank A. Pelaschuk
STEPHEN HARPER’S CONSERVATIVES WANT YOU TO TALK OF THIS
When Conservative Jason Kenney raised the issue during question period and the PMO released a letter that Justin Trudeau accepted a speaking engagement from a New Brunswick charity, the Grace Foundation for an agree fee of $20,000, it was clear from the fake outraged gasps of his fellow Conservatives, that all thought they had a story here that would make Canadians forget all the problems infecting this scandal-ridden Harper regime. Unfortunately for them, and perhaps the Grace Foundation and all charities, this non-story will likely only redound negatively on the Conservatives and the charity itself.
I do not buy the surprise and outrage as expressed by the NDP’s Charlie Angus that this is allowed and I certainly don’t believe the fulminating howls of incredulity coming from Conservative quarters. These are not the howls of outrage but of delight from scam artists who gleefully rub their hands believing they have something that they can use as bait to divert from their real troubles that the public will swallow hook, line and sinker.
It’s utter nonsense of course.
But what needs scrutiny is the behaviour of Judith Baxter, an executive on the board of Grace Foundation, and that of the director of the charity who wrote a letter to Justin Trudeau requesting that he consider returning his fee because the charity lost money. Judith Baxter, who gave a copy of the letter to Conservative Jason Kenney, is the wife of an executive of the Conservative riding association in Fundy Royal represented by Conservative Rob Moore. What is questionable is that the Grace Foundation, as a result of the director’s letter and the action of Baxter, has become politicized behaving in a manner that has brought disrepute to the board and the charity and could, possibly, have a negative effect on other charities struggling or not.
What Justin Trudeau did was politically very, very stupid. Optically, it was a disaster, rich boy taking fees from charity. However, it wasn’t criminal, it wasn’t illegal however offended one might be. Until the rules are changed, as they must be, so that no sitting MP is allowed to operate a business as a sideline, there is nothing wrong in doing what Trudeau did.
But what is extremely rich is that Conservatives and the NDP have attempted to somehow benefit from this nonstory when the real offence is that committed by an executive member of a charity, perhaps even the charity itself, when the document was leaked to a political party for the purely partisan purpose of engaging in the equivalent of a political assassination attempt by loathsome innuendo, the suggestion that Trudeau had engaged in something that was not only illicit but somehow filthy: he accepted money to which he was legally entitled! This kind of tarring harms the charity, perhaps all charities; worse, it may harm those very people it was meant to help.
SO THEY DON’T HAVE TO TALK ABOUT
1. Harper appointee to the senate, Patrick Brazeau who was order to repay $48 thousand for making false housing claims.
2. Harper appointee to the senate, Pamela Wallin investigated for questionable travel claims. She has repaid over $38 thousand and issued an apology. The investigation is ongoing and expected to be completed and released during the summer break.
3. Harper appointee to the senate, Mike Duffy, investigated for making illegal housing claims. He promised to pay back money and evidently presented a cheque for $90 thousand. The world was led to believe the cheque came from Duffy’s funds or from a loan obtained from a bank. It didn’t.
4. The Deloitte report on Duffy is released but Conservative senators David Tkachuk, then chair of the internal economy committee, and Carolyn Stewart Olsen have scrubbed it of its harshest criticisms of Duffy.
5. With Duffy’s promise, Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate, declared the Duffy file closed leaving the impression that senators investigated for defrauding taxpayers only have to repay the funds and suffer no other consequences.
6. Harper’s chief of staff, Nigel Wright resigns when it was learned that it was he who repaid Mike Duffy’s debt for the false claims. Later it came out that Conservatives had a secret fund of close to a million. Harper refuses to answer questions about what he knew of Wright/Duffy matter. There is denial that secret Conservative fund was used to pay off Duffy’s debt. When asked, PMO denies having a record of cheque or of the deal made between Duffy and Wright.
7. Conservatives Shelly Glover and James Bezan investigated for campaign expense claims and for not filing a complete campaign report. The Chief Electoral Officer of Elections Canada, Marc Mayrand, recommends in two letters to the Speaker of the House, Andrew Scheer, that both be suspended from the House until they file the reports. Andrew Scheer appears to have abused the non-partisan position to sit on the letters allowing Glover and Bezan time to appeal to the court.
8. Conservative Eve Adams is also under investigation for irregularities in expense claims for spa treatments and grooming supplies and failing to file complete the campaign report. She attempted to claim for cupcakes and restaurant tabs even after campaign closed.
9. Conservative Tony Clement, president of the Treasury Board which has misplaced $3.1 billion of taxpayer money, announces plans to go after public servants in an effort to clean house and save money.
10. Conservative smear campaign against Pat Stogran, Veterans’ Ombudsman, for fighting against Harper’s claw back of disability pensions of veterans.
11. Conservatives smear and fire Linda Keen, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission president, for ordering the Chalk River nuclear reactor shut down for safety reasons and then defying the government order to reopen it before it was safe to do so. With Keen out of the way, the government overturned the commission decision and reopened the facility.
12. Conservatives smeared and threatened with jail time ex-diplomat Richard Colvin if he filed documents of Afghani prisoner abuse before a special investigative committee.
13. Conservatives smeared, kicked out of caucus one of their own; called in RCMP to investigate Helena Guergis for abuses in office.
14. Conservative Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay, diverts search and rescue helicopter as personal limousine while at a fishing lodge.
15. Peter MacKay authorizes the use of a military jet for General Walther Natynczyk to meet his family vacationing in the Caribbean. Once news breaks, the general agrees to repay what he should not have accepted in the first place.
16. Conservative Tony Clement, at time of G8 and G20 conferences, creates $50 million slush fund for Huntsville that includes boondoggle of $1 million fake lake and $250 thousand gazebo.
17. Conservatives spend close to one billion for security for the G8 and G20 conferences. Over a thousand arrested, less than two dozen charged, and only a handful found guilty.
18. Conservative Jason Kenney, who with pious glee leaked letter of Trudeau’s speaking fee (see above), uses government letterheads to fundraise for Conservatives.
19. Conservative Bev Oda or a staff member forges signed government document that approved funding for a charity Kairos by inserting the word “not” to deny the funding because the Conservatives disagreed of its views on Israel. When questioned on this, the Conservative response from Jason Kenney was this, “The CBC lies all the time. What media are you with?” (Globe and Mail, 2011, 2012).
20. Bev Oda pads expenses twice and is twice forced to repay. She charges for $16 orange juice, which results in much hooing and booing. Resigns because of public outcry.
21. Disgraced integrity czar, Harper appointee Christiane Ouimet given $500,000 severance pay after signing agreement not to reveal details of package. She was investigated for failing to perform her mandate when, of 228 allegations of public service wrongdoing reprisals against whistleblowers, she only looked into seven and found zero problems. She was also accused of haranguing her staff.
22. Peter Penashue forced to resign for 2011 campaign irregularities. Harper calls him the best ever MP from Labrador. Voters didn’t think so in the subsequent by-election.
23. Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay lie about the true costs of F-35s during last election campaign and begin war against Kevin Page, the Parliamentary Budget Officer who suggests $9 billion figure they offer is much, much lower than the estimated real costs of about $45 billion.
24. Vic Toews accuses critics of his online spying bill “of siding with pedophiles.”
25. Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, ridicules environmentalists and slams them as radicals and of being stooges of foreign environmental groups.
26. Joe Oliver, again, in a move typical of Conservatives attacks world-renowned scientist, James Hansen, for his critical stand opposing the Keystone XL pipeline questioning his reputation.
27. Harper announces he will spend $30 million dollars to go after tax evaders who owe $29 billion while he spends $100 million propagandizing for the Conservatives with taxpayer monies. More for propaganda than for chasing the tax cheats who, if pursued, caught and made to pay, could pay off the national debt.
28. Conservative Party under investigation for robocalls and voter suppression. Pays fine.
29. Conservative Dean Del Mastro goes underground for 18 months while being investigated for campaign overspending and attempts to cover it up. He was the vicious Conservative attack dog and defender of the party during the robocall scandals who, while under the protection of the House had little problem in smearing his opponents with innuendo. He has re-emerged recently shedding huge crocodile tears for himself while, it is alleged, tarring another person under the protection of the House.
30. Harper cited for contempt of Parliament 2011.
31. Harper prorogues Parliament 2009 to avoid answering questions on the budget.
32. Harper prorogues Parliament 2006 to avoid answering questions on the budget.
33. – ?
SO WHO DO YOU BELIEVE IS THE GREATER THREAT?