All posts tagged Rights and Democracy

Media Update for December 22, 2010

News Summary and Comment:

There continues to be fallout from the Auditor General of Canada’s report on Christiane Ouimet, the now-retired and disgraced Public Sector Integrity Commissioner of Canada. Media commentators are condemning her, with a number of stories outlining how she missed obvious cases of malfeasance. I think this is great, of course, but wonder why on earth the press didn’t clue into this much earlier. What ever happened to investigative reporting? And why am I recycling this now tired complaint? Sigh.

On the WikiLeaks front, Apple has now dropped an app from its store that gave easy access to the whistleblowing site. For anyone hanging onto the belief that Apple is somehow different from the rest of the corporate world, this must come as a disappointment. Or perhaps, like true Apple fanatics, they’re still busy resolving the cognitive dissonance.

With respect to government transparency, government lawyers are finally agreeing to open some of the RCMP’s files on Tommy Douglas, the architect of Canadian public heath care. I doubt they will let much through, though, and will keep fighting a rearguard action to hide dirty tricks.

Also hiding facts were the board of the group Rights and Democracy.… Read the rest

Media Update for August 2, 2010

Posted by Ian Bron

News Summary and Comment:

In the news today, I lead again with the “revolt” that has taken place in the RCMP against the Commissioner, Bill Elliot. Elliot, a civilian appointee to the RCMP’s top spot, has been accused of being abusive and, between the lines, not very competent. His defenders are saying that it’s all office politics and that the RCMP doesn’t like a civilian as boss (but can you imagine a civilian as Chief of Defence Staff?).

A former senior bureaucrat is being hired to do a “workplace assessment”, which is a typical strategy used to defeat complaints in the federal public service. The assessor, past boss of CSIS, is sure to be discreet and support the status quo. The results are not likely to made fully public, and it’s also unlikely that the Conservatives will replace their own appointee. At least not right away.

For the record, nothing that I have heard about Elliot is good. Insiders at the RCMP and in Transport Canada (a former workplace for him) have made it clear to me that the complaints are well founded.

In other news, the group Rights and Democracy is back in the news.… Read the rest

Media Update for April 19, 2010

News Summary and Comment:

There are many accountability stories again today, but the three key ones are the same as last week: the judge selection scandal in Quebec, the Helena Guergis affair and the Afghan detainee controversy. The first, dealing with allegations that Premier Jean Charest knew that judge appointments were being tainted by construction industry money, is still the key one to me. Why? Because I find the charges entirely believable and think that even if Charest isn’t fingered (he won’t be), an impartial investigation with the appropriate scope would uncover a lot of dirt. The Parti Québéquois, though, is a bit too holier-than-thou: odds are this system has been in place for a lot longer than the current Liberal term in office.

In Manitoba, the Public Utilities Board is lining up for a whitewash of a whistleblower’s report into financial mismanagement at Manitoba Hydro. They are giving the Crown corporation all the room it needs to smear the whistleblower, put forward uncontested testimony and bury any data they don’t like. The whistleblower, by the way, estimated that Manitoba Hydro had lost over a billion dollars due to poor risk management. Taxpayers in Manitoba need to sit up and take notice of the PUB’s antics, because it’s their tax dollars at risk.… Read the rest