All posts tagged Pat Stogran

Media Update for November 15, 2010

The Quebec construction industry corruption scandal continues to batter Jean Charest and his government in Quebec. Opposition parties are being very vocal about wanting a public inquiry, with Charest steadfastly refusing. This is being interpreted by the public as him having something to hide. Others note, however, that a public inquiry would get in the way of a police investigation. They compare it to the investigation that brought in “Mom” Boucher, head of the Hells Angels in Quebec, and argue that it would have failed had a public inquiry interfered. I can understand the reasoning, but the problem is that this involves public money and potential corruption by public officials. There are indicators that the problem is deeply rooted, too. A public inquiry is really the only way I can see to restore public confidence. Perhaps if Charest promised one as soon as the police were finished, and then gave them a reasonable deadline?

There’s also two articles about how federal government oversight agencies are failing to do their jobs, or don’t have the power to do them properly. For example, did you know that Elections Canada, which is supposed to ensure that political parties follow the law with regard to spending, can’t ask for receipts when said parties ask for refunds from the government?… Read the rest

Media Update for November 11, 2010

Today is, of course, Remembrance Day. It’s a day that has renewed importance to many Canadians with the many soldiers who are serving in Afghanistan – and the many casualties of that conflict. This makes it all the sadder that stores keep coming out about how poorly the new veterans are being treated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Pat Stogran, the outgoing DVA ombudsman doesn’t pull punches when he talks about it. It seems that the careerist bureaucrats that run Ottawa are so used to treating people like garbage that veterans are just one more group to step on in their climb to the top.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has conducted an audit of Canada’s food safety regime and expressed its displeasure with meat inspection. This puts the management at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency into a bit of bind: they want to deny everything and sweep it under the carpet like they do with domestic criticism, but if they don’t comply, then it will affect exports to the U.S. I just wish the U.S. would play hardball a bit more often.

The RCMP’s Commissioner Bill Elliot is on a bit of a public relations blitz right now. He’s trying to undo some of the damage done to his national reputation by this summer’s revolt by senior officers.… Read the rest

Media Update for September 27, 2010

“When Roméo Dallaire advocates for improvement in the way we treat our injured soldiers, does his psychiatric file, and the distortions thereof, end up on the minister’s desk? When the auditor general has something to say about the minister of finance, does her tax return show up on the minister’s desk?”

The very relevant and timely quote above is from Sean Bruyea in Ottawa’s Hill Times today. Mr. Bruyea has been a vocal critic of the Department of Veterans Affairs for years now, and, as Canadians learned last week, became a target bureaucrats who were being made to look bad. With the aim of attacking his credibility and weakening his resolve, they smeared his character and spread his confidential medical information around the department.

Opposition parties and the media have jumped on this issue and are demanding an inquiry and the punishment of those responsible. Some have asked whether this was an isolated incident. The Ombudsman for Veterans Affairs, Pat Strogran, who has also been a vocal critic, is now concerned that the same thing has happened to him. I believe that not only is this not isolated, it is likely common practice throughout government. The arrogance and unaccountability of the bureaucracy – and in particular the senior bureaucracy – has reached appalling levels.… Read the rest