In the Saturday Star, December 4, 2010, the "heirs of Hemingway" (he used to work for the rag) led the front page with a story entitled Why
you'll never know
. It deals with the way the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper is handling disclosure
incurred for the G8 and G20 conferences held in Canada during the year.
Before I get to the meat of the article, I would like to congratulate the Star on it's recent trend toward "watchdog" journalism. I hope this
continues and that they become absolutely "Chainsaw Massacre-esque" when it comes to going after egregious instances of ethical turpitude and
financial tomfoolery in government.
After Stevie Cameron published On The Take
, there is no excuse for failure by the press to expose feckless deep dipping by government into the
public purse to favor cronies and supporters.
Many will remember the scandalous stories that emerged from coverage of procurement for the US campaign in Iraq, with it's tales of $600 hammers and
toilet seats, etc. To some, the whole Iraq war started to appear as a massive crime fest, with the looting of the US treasury featured at the heart of
Canada spent 1.1 billion
dollars on their G8 and G20 conferences, while the previous "G" style conference, which took place in Philadelphia,
surely a more dangerous city than Toronto, ran up 12 million
dollars in security expenses.
That statement alone, I should think, constitutes probable cause for the arrest of members of the government on suspicion of fraudulent misallocation,
misappropriation, misuse of taxpayer dollars, possible influence peddling, and possible solicitation of bribes or kickbacks.
At the very least, questionable "piggybacking" of projects and expenses, all undebated in Parliament, surely has taken place.
But it gets worse.
The government has apparently released hundreds of pages of documents accounting for 857 million dollars of expenditures associated with these
summits. (1.1 billion dollars minus 857 million dollars equals 243 million dollars still unaccounted for.
But it gets worse.
When is disclosure not disclosure? When you disclose that yes, you have a secret, but no, you are not going to disclose it.
Toronto Star, December 4, 2010, pg.1.
While the Conservatives (i.e., the party in power, who form the government) have said that they are coming clean on all summit costs, government
officials admitted to the Toronto Star that Ottawa signed secrecy agreements with many summit contractors.
The Star article does not end, like the old "Maggie Muggins" kid's show on TV, with Maggie saying, as the show's outro, "I don't know
will happen tomorrow." But it might as well have.
My question is this.
If you were wealthy enough to hire a butler to manage the household finances and the butler spent one hundred times the norm
on a particular
party that you gave, and you asked him to tell you what the money was spent on and he assured you that most of the money went into other aspects of
estate management, not directly connected to the party and that he would be happy to give you the details, however, that he couldn't disclose what
some of this money was spent on, because he had signed secrecy agreements with many of the party's suppliers(?!?!?!?!!!!)
, what would
I mean after frog marching him to the front door and kicking his butt off the verandah.
Call the police?