All posts tagged Senate expenses

The Failure of the Throne Speech

Ian Bron and Allan Cutler

The following piece ran in the Hill Times on October 21, 2013.

We had hoped that that the Conservatives would commit to protecting Canadians values through the Throne Speech. We had watched and waited for improvements in existing laws already designed to protect these values. But we did not waste time in false hopes. There appeared to be something for everyone offered in the Throne Speech unless you are an advocate of truth, honesty and transparency in government. In fact, we did not witness anything that promotes openness and honesty in government. The following details some of the significant ‘lacks’.

1. A commitment to strengthen the Public Servants Disclosure Protection ActThe PSDPA came into force in early 2006, fulfilling a key Conservative promise. However, the seven years since have shown it to be wanting. The first commissioner, Christiane Ouimet, refused to seriously investigate any cases. Second, the PSDPA, and by extension the tribunal it created, is unlikely to protect any whistleblower, since the burden of proof to demonstrate reprisal is much too high. Whistleblowers also have no right of access to courts.

There are deep flaws including unwarranted secrecy and jurisdictional limits that allow public servants to avoid sanctions simply by resigning or finding a job outside of the public sector.… Read the rest

Media Update for September 13, 2010

I lead today with a seemingly small story that ran in the Ottawa Citizen. It pertains to a gas leak that forced the temporary closure of a number of government buildings in Ottawa. This story would be a small one except for the fact that we at Canadians for Accountability had heard of problems in building maintenance in Ottawa from an inside source as far back as two years ago, and are trying to get access to documents pertaining to this. Officials in the department have gone as far as to deny that documents exist – documents we have in our possession. In other words, there’s a cover-up in progress. At stake, as this incident demonstrates, is the safety of government workers.

Also in Ottawa, there’s more criticism of the stranglehold that the current government has taken on communications. This time, a scientist trying to make Canada look good with his research on the last ice age (and not climate related) was stopped in his tracks by scientifically illiterate political staffers who demanded Ministerial approval before he could speak to the media. Idiots.

The Winnipeg Free Press ran a story on the treatment of vets by the Department of Veterans Affairs.… Read the rest