Saturday, October 28, 2017

Saturday Night Special


Why, I'm stunned:

The federal ethics watchdog has never proactively checked whether public office holders with potential conflicts of interests are actually recusing themselves from decisions that could place them in an actual conflict, HuffPost Canada has learned.

In her 10 years in office, Mary Dawson, the House of Commons' conflict of interest and ethics commissioner, has only once investigated whether an MP failed to do so because of a conflict — and that was after a complaint was lodged by another MP, her spokesperson told HuffPost.

"You asked whether the Commissioner has investigated a member for not recusing himself or herself formally (by filling a recusal) or informally (by not showing up to votes or debates) because of a conflict," Margot Booth, the communications and outreach manager for Dawson's office wrote in an email to HuffPost. "The Commissioner has undertaken one inquiry in relation to a failure to recuse, the Thibault Inquiry in 2008."

Dawson has never investigated a cabinet minister.

It's like a pattern of covering up corruption and greed.

Like this:

McGuinty had just quit as premier of a minority government, dogged by a decision two years earlier to cancel unpopular gas-powered power plants in two vulnerable Liberal ridings during an election campaign. A legislative committee, driven by the opposition who held the balance of power, was digging into the $1-billion cancellation cost. So were journalists, who had been asking for government documents through Freedom of Information requests since the previous fall.

Faist, who tried to install the White Canyon erasure program on Miller’s computer, failed. To use the software, he needed what are called “administrative rights,” a special login and password usually restricted to IT staff.

Thus was born “Pete’s Project,” as Miller called it, which early the next month saw Faist spend three days in the offices of McGuinty, wiping the computers of 21 senior staff, some of whom weren’t told what he was doing.

The information — and the claim that it was Miller who set the wheels in motion — is contained in a previously sealed “production order” from Ontario Court Judge Jonathan Brunet. The Ontario Provincial Police sought the order to force the Ontario government to turn over the relevant records. ...

Both Miller and Livingston told police that they only wanted to delete personal files, not gas plant documents. Miller said Faist was hired because it would have been an inappropriate use of government resources to delete personal or political data.
In what industry would this activity not only be tolerable but legal?


The Liberals also defend skyrocketing electricity rates by citing their elimination of dirty, coal-fired, electricity. 

The problem is they didn’t do that with wind and solar power but with nuclear power and natural gas.

In fact, their multi-billion-dollar green energy boondoggle, featuring financial disaster after financial disaster, caused electricity prices to increase much faster than they otherwise would have.


When everyday taxpayers have to drive their car for work purposes, they’re often reimbursed 30-40 cents per kilometre. Yet when politicians and government employees drive their car for work they often receive 50 cents per kilometre.

And when government employees arrive at work, they also get paid more. Many studies show bureaucrats are often paid 10 per cent or more than the someone doing similar work outside of government.

Plus, while most people working outside government don’t have a workplace pension plan, almost everyone who works for the government has the costliest type of pension plan out there; a defined benefit plan. Imagine if your employer contributed $8,000 or so every year towards your retirement. ...

The Trudeau government also just gave a student from McGill University $48,923 to examine “The arts against postracialism: Strengthening resistance against contemporary Canadian Blackface.”

Is there a blackface epidemic plaguing our country that has somehow gone under the radar?

An elderly couple in Cobourg, Ontario have been shot dead:

A husband and wife in their 70s are dead after an incident at an Ontario hospital that ended in a police shooting late Friday night, the province's police watchdog says.

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has taken over the investigation into the man's death, while the Ontario Provincial Police are probing the death of the woman.

SIU spokesperson Jason Gennaro told CBC Toronto that police in Cobourg were initially called to the Northumberland Hills Hospital emergency room for sounds of gunshots at about 11 p.m. ET.

Cobourg is about 115 kilometres east of Toronto.

When police arrived, they encountered a 70-year-old man. Two officers then fired their weapons, Gennaro said. 

The man was struck by bullets and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers then found a 76-year-old woman dead. She had suffered a head wound, Gennaro said.

Despite speculation that the woman had been shot, Gennaro would not confirm that, and would not confirm whether the man had a weapon.

"That is something that our investigation is looking to determine," he said.

How could subsidising people's incredibly poor choices ever be bad?

A facility in Lethbridge will become North America’s first supervised inhalation site when it opens early next year amid a drug death epidemic that has devastated families across the province.


On Friday, one British Columbia city saw five people die of a drug overdose within a nine-hour period.

It's time to hide one's money so that it could never be spent on this.

Also, it shouldn't be given to this guy:

Morneau Shepell Inc (MSI.TO), the human resources management company at the heart of conflict-of-interest allegations against Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau, said on Friday it would not benefit from pension or tax legislation proposed by the Liberal government.

Or this guy:

Manitoba is planning to introduce a carbon tax of $25 a tonne, half the price of the federal benchmark. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa will ensure all provinces apply the price of $50 a tonne by 2022.

 But ... but ... diversity is strength somehow!

Sixty-eight percent of Canadians are in favour of similar legislation to Bill 62, passed earlier this year in Quebec.


At a community development meeting last week, the committee heard that $20-million extra will be needed to be added to the $135-million hostel budget to house and feed the surge of refugee claimants that have already come and are anticipated to arrive in this city — from the beginning of next month to the end of next year.

According to the city report, the number of refugees accessing city-run shelters (motels/hotels) has increased from 11.2% in February of 2016 to 25% last month. In terms of numbers, city spokesman Jennifer Wing told me in 2017 alone the shelter system has helped 16,500 clients this year, 4,000 of them refugees. ...

As the report shows, the city’s shelter, support and housing division has  gone $10.3-million over budget to date, which included an extra $4.3-million allocated to provide 200 rooms and food for refugee families at undisclosed Quality Hotel and Suites and Radisson Hotel locations. The Toronto Plaza Hotel on Wilson Ave. is also providing 70 rooms for refugee claimants.

That $10.3-million overage and the $20-million needed until December 2018 does not in any way cover the Ontario Works payments for which both claimants and refugees are eligible. Predictably, city officials informed me they “do not track” what percentage refugee claimants comprise of the total OW caseload.

How right Mr. Murphy is:

But still, it is curious that whenever something scandalous and really big consumes a whole nation’s attention, it always intersects with a storyline about the Clintons.

There is no story bigger than the saga on alleged Russian influence in the American presidential campaign. For a whole year now it’s been Trump and the Russians. Did Trump collude with the Kremlin? Did Moscow deviously intervene to sink Hillary? Was Trump a “real” Manchurian candidate? A special counsel has been appointed to investigate the scandal. Congress is holding hearings.  The newspapers and panel shows are saturated with the story. Hillary herself, out on the post-campaign trail — even in Canada, Britain and Australia — summons all her rage on the Russians (well, most of it, there is a fragment for James Comey and WikiLeaks).

And yet, as we should have known, in a story this large, this conspiratorial, this serpentine, there would eventually come a day when all that had been speculated would turn on itself, when all the fingers so joyously pointing at Trump would do the 180 and return to Clinton Inc. 

The New York Times, The Hill, The Wall Street Journal (to name but a few that are not, to understate things, Trump boosters) have been running blockbuster revelations that link the sale of a uranium company to Russia to a donation to the Clinton Foundation; Bill Clinton accepting extravagant fees to speak to high-level Russians; the Clinton campaign helping to fund the infamous “dossier” compiled against Trump by the British spook who gathered specious info from ex-Russian KGB types. 

I guess there was a new Red Scare but not in the way Hillary Clinton had hoped.

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