All posts tagged Aviation Safety

A sad lack of accountability on F-35s and transportation safety

In case you’re not Canadian or haven’t seen any news at all this week, the Auditor General released a report in which he blasts the Department of National Defence and Transport Canada. The Canada Revenue Agency also received criticism, but not quite as blistering.

Andrew Coyne has some spot-on comments about the government’s obviously conscious attempt to deceive Parliament and Canadians about the costs of the F-35, so I won’t repeat what he’s said – just go to the link below. Remember that he’s a right-leaning journalist, too, so if he’s damning, well, it’s got to be bad. (I have great respect for his work and commentary, by the way.)

I would simply add that while I believe that the Tories are complicit in this cover-up (and let’s be honest – how different would the Chrétien Liberals have been?) it’s the role of bureaucrats that I have greatest concern about. These people are supposed to be sober, neutral and honest. If anyone is going to take the big risks, it’s supposed to be the politicians.

But clearly they’re not. Clearly, that role of the bureaucracy has been undermined. And I don’t think that it’s just the fault of the Conservatives (and the Liberals before them).… Read the rest

Media Update for April 29, 2010

My first story pertains to Perry Dunlop, the former police officer from Cornwall, Ontario, who blew the whistle of the sexual abuse of minors in that city. Despite being decorated and respected, he faced years of cover-ups and reprisals for his persistence and dedication in bringing the issue to public light.

He finally succeeded in having an inquiry called into the handling of the whole matter, but it was a Pyrrhic victory: the inquiry was too limited to really get to the bottom of things. Perry refused to testify as matter of conscience and protest and went to jail as a result. He wasn’t treated well when in there, either. He later appealed that sentence, and, just this week, his appeal was thrown out by the Ontario courts.

This was expected, but disappointing. Judges really have no idea what whistleblowers go through. I guess it’s easier to stay in the ivory tower.

You can read my full comment on his case here.

In other news, pilots are telling Transport Canada that it isn’t doing its job with respect to regulating pilot fatigue. This is the same department behind safety management systems story, in which they have been slowly surrendering its inspections and regulatory authority to operators.… Read the rest

Media Update for April 15, 2010

There are a lot of accountability stories today. The most sensational might be the Helena Guergis story, and the most durable the Afghan detainee issue. But I think that the allegations against Quebec Premier Jean Charest are the most important.

This week, a former Liberal Minister of Justice turned whistleblower, Marc Bellemare, told the media that the Quebec Liberal Party took donations in cash to get around election finance laws and allowed leading party fundraisers to put forward names for judicial appointments – and that Charest knew about it. This is huge news.

Of course Charest denies knowing anything, and has threatened to sue Bellemare. He has also launched a judicial inquiry into the allegations. But it’s hard to imagine that Bellemare would gain anything by making the allegations, and the construction industry in Quebec is at the centre of other accusations of corruption. It’s worth noting, too, that Charest refused to call an inquiry into that mess. Still, nothing has been proven, and one might ask why Bellemare didn’t do something about it when he was in office. Ultimately, I think little will stick to Charest.

In Ottawa, the Information Commissioner of Canada roundly criticized the government in her latest report on information access in the federal government.… Read the rest