All posts tagged Pierre Trudeau

Harper’s Man Friday

Ian Bron and Allan Cutler

Last week, the government announced that Stephen Harper had appointed a new Integrity Commissioner, Joe Friday, who has been with the office since 2008 and was the last Commissioner’s Deputy. This was not a surprise to us, but it is a disappointment. It is also a slap in the face of conscientious public servants looking for a safe place to report misconduct. They, as well as the Canadian public have a right to expect an aggressive, thorough, and competent Office of the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner (OPSIC).

Friday served under both previous Commissioners, Christiane Ouimet and Mario Dion. Ouimet’s tenure was an unmitigated disaster. Just three and a half years into her tenure, she resigned in the face of a damning report from the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) that concluded she had been engaging in the very kinds of acts she was supposed to be preventing – harassment and reprisals against staff believed to be speaking out about abuse and mismanagement in her office. She left with her pension intact and a $500,000 lump sum. When called before Committee in 2010, Friday denied seeing anything wrong: “Madame Ouimet was carrying that out in her role as commissioner, which would be appropriate.… Read the rest

Jean Charest, the best politician of a generation? I don’t think so

I’d just like to start with a note to all readers that Canadians for Accountability now has a Twitter feed. You can find it at http://twitter.com/#!/C4A_NewsComment.

For today’s post, I’d like to comment briefly on a small story that ran last week. It seems that former Conservative minister Lawrence Cannon thinks that Quebec Premier Jean Charest is the best politician his generation. That’s an interesting statement not just because its such a huge and sweeping judgement, but because it says something about

a)       how he measures quality, and

b)      what he thinks about his former boss, Stephen Harper.

On the first count, Cannon is saying that success in winning elections is the only metric that matters. That might be fine to politicians, but I don’t think many Quebecers feel that way.

Charest has persistently refused to hold a public inquiry into what are very obvious links between construction companies (some controlled by criminal organizations) and government contracting. These connections are probably responsible for the abnormally high costs for infrastructure in the province, and can only be interpreted as corruption.

He cast more suspicion on himself by accepting for many years a second salary from the provincial Liberal Party.… Read the rest