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CIDA castigated over “doctored” document

Commons speaker calls forgery “very troubling”


 

International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda and senior members of her staff deliberately “doctored” a document to make it look like department officials recommended de-funding KAIROS when they had in fact recommended doing just the opposite. House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken called the incident “very troubling,” though he conceded his position allowed him to do little in response. The crudely modified document features the hand-scrawled word “NOT” inserted into a recommendation that originally suggested Oda and her staff “sign below to indicate you approve a contribution” of just over $7 million to KAIROS. The group subsequently lost its federal funding, which amounted to about 40 per cent of its total budget.

CBC News


 
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CIDA castigated over “doctored” document

  1. Your headline makes it sound like they forged a document, which is obviously not the case, that kind of 'spin-doctoring' on your part is what gives journalism a bad name.

    • A document was forged! It was presented and signed and then altered afterwards so that it appeared that this action was recommeneded by staff, when in fact they recommended the complete opposite. Your the only one spin-doctoring "Mr. Philanthropist"

      • Oh no! Mea Culpa! I should be in lock-step with the CBC's spin like you guys! What was I thinking! LOL!!!

        You guys are too funny!

        You don't think someone reading it would notice that the word "Not" didn't quite flow properly with the rest of the document? LOL!

        • Why are you undermining Bev Oda's stated excuse? What kind of Conservative are you?

        • Nobody is saying it was a competent forgery.

          • Not competent, but still fraudulent. I don't think incompetence is a valid excuse for criminality though.

            Oda needs to resign, the RCMP need to investigate.

    • Actually, it was the Speaker Of The House that said it. Here's a portion:

      “In particular, the senior CIDA officials concerned must be deeply disturbed by the doctored document they have been made to appear to have signed.”

      And with regard to the government itself, he said:
      “Any reasonable person confronted with what appears to have transpired would necessarily be extremely concerned, if not shocked, and might well begin to doubt the integrity of certain decision-making processes.”

      Don't shoot the messenger, Philanthropist. (Are you really Bev Oda?)

      • It was not forged, and it was not doctored, to anyone who knows the meaning of those two words. The document was altered after it was signed, according to the story. Not that this is a good thing, however.

        • Is not "altered" simply a synonym for "doctored"?

          The word "doctored", according to the OED means: "To treat so as to alter the appearance, flavour, or character of; to disguise, falsify, tamper with, adulterate, sophisticate, ‘cook'". How exactly does what was done to the document not fit the definition of "to alter the appearance, flavour, or character of"??? Was the document not "tampered with"???

          You are largely correct that it wasn't a "forgery", but it's pretty much axiomatic that the document was "doctored". To say that the document wasn't "doctored" but merely "altered after it was signed" is the rhetorical equivalent of saying "The document wasn't doctored, it was merely doctored".

          • "to alter the appearance of" is obviously insufficient as a definition, because that would include any and all editing. The words "editing" and "doctoring" are obviously not synonyms. When you alter a comment with intensedebate, you are not doctoring, you are editing, or you are altering. The key to the definition is the "disguise, falsify, tamper" part of the definition, and none of those things were done, because it is obvious to anyone that the "NOT" was added after the fact. There was no intent to deceive people about the "NOT". It is clear that there was not disguising, tampering or falsifying, it is obvious to anyone that the document was altered, therefore nothing has been falsified or disguised. It has been altered. This is basic English.

            It is not even the slightest bit axiomatic that it was doctored. You are not following the definition you posted.

            Of course, the media, Liberals, and partisans like you love the word "doctored" because it sounds worse, even if it's not true. It's the same tactic people use when they say they have new homes for sale (they're not homes until someone lives in them) instead of houses, or when companies offer solutions (it's not a solution until it is addressing a problem) or any number of other bastardizations of the language where people try to make existing words fit new meanings in order to give people a different impression.

    • You just got burned misanthropist !

      • Peter Milliken – Liberal MP for Kingston and the Islands

        Right back at ya filjurk!

        • It shows great disrespect for our parliamentary institutions when you paint the speaker of the house as a partisan figure. The speaker is above party politics, hence "he conceded his position allowed him to do little in response."

          If you are going to be a hack then please keep it within the borders of party politics.

          • Get real. When you partisan Liberals try to make an issue out of nothing, which you've been doing for years now, you get on your high horse and snivel, it's quite pathetic.

            Liberals believe their scandals are the only way to bring down a government because that's how crooked Liberal government's get defeated, by scandal. That's why you guys are so desperate to try and turn anything the government does into a 'scandal', you think your corrupt Liberals will then automatically form the next government – And how's that working out for ya? LOL!

          • Please point to where I was being partisan. The comment I made was completely neutral to party politics.

            Democracy requires the separation between institutions and party. I can think of some historical examples where the two have been confused.

          • It really sounds like you support this fraud at the cabinet level. This has become a disturbing trend with Harper's Conservatives and their supporters. You must be crooked yourself, or else that weasel Soudas in Harper's PMO!

            Let's be clear – there is no place for fraud like this in our government. Those involved should be tried and jailed. Isn't this government supposed ot be "tough on crime"?

    • Long story short is, Sponsorship Scandal was bad. Abused the taxpayers. This is a different version, on a smaller scale and not costing $$ , but with DIRECT government lying. Lying liars. That's your Con government mofos.

  2. If somebody inserted "NOT" after the two advisors signed off on the recommendation (which is what CBC is saying, quoting the two staffers in question);

    If the rest of the text of the memo suggests the authors had no intention of having the "NOT" there (which is what the text of the memo, an image of which is on the CBC report linked above, would suggest to any disinterested party reading it);

    If the Minister had ANY whiff of knowledge that this distortion was taking place;

    Then: She must resign, or be fired. This is reprehensible.

    She has every political and authoritative right to reject funding. Which means she doesn't sign the memo. Or she draws a big slash through everything above, and writes "REJECTED" just above her signature. What she does NOT do, is add (or cause to be added) the word "NOT" inside text already signed by people. If that doesn't count as forgery, then I suggest we need to update our definition of the word forgery.

    If she signed to approve, and then someone ELSE put in the "NOT" once the governing party decided the opposite decision, then she STILL must resign for lying about "this defunding was on the department's advice" crap, and whoever did doctor the paper should resign, be fired, go to jail…

    I repeat: The government can overrule the advice it gets. The government can change its mind and reverse its prior agreement with the advice it was given. But to lie about the advice it gets, in order to hide behind the political decision it makes… ugh.

    • She has every political and authoritative right to reject funding. Which means she doesn't sign the memo. Or she draws a big slash through everything above, and writes "REJECTED" just above her signature. What she does NOT do, is add (or cause to be added) the word "NOT" inside text already signed by people.

      I suspect that that is exactly what happend (ie she decided/desired to overrule the recommendation), and just did that in a very clumsy manner, bordering on forgery. Then, realizing the clumsiness of the technique Oda began to obfuscate. If so, much more stupid than criminal.

      • If that's the case, then she has not been obfuscating. She said she went with the advice not to fund. So that would make it an out-and-out lie.

        • Well of course…..

          Oda says that she went with "the" advice not to fund, but of course it is easy to assume that the "the" in question refers to the document that was signed by Margaret Biggs and Naresh Singh, and then passed along to Oda for final approval. In reality, of course, Oda is referring to advice from elsewhere, maybe from within CIDA, maybe not – that part is still kind of murky.

          The more that I dwell on this, the more I believe that Oda communicated with Biggs and Singh in a manner similar to the way that Clement and Munir Sheikh communicated, and eventually Oda heard what whe needed to hear, and here we are.

          • The manner of communication in both incidents you mention is intentional misrepresentation.

          • Sure, and your point? :-)

      • Oda denies making the change herself. In fact, she also takes a position suggesting she might not have even signed off on it as well by saying she doesn't recall if she did or not.

        • The obfuscating continues….or is it early dementia or something similar….I hope not, that would be very sad.

    • Should she not be fired and should she not resign, what are the realistic ramifications for the CPC?
      Will the Tim Hortons set care? Will those who follow politics, and are Conservative supporters care?
      I'm no fan of Mr Harper, so my vote is already gone, but is this really going to taint Conservative support?

      • It might lose them ten or twenty votes…note exactly a game changer.

      • I dunno… remember when the RCMP announced it was investigating Goodale? What will happen if a government cabinet minister starts getting grilled for committing fraud/forgery?

        • I doubt the RCMP would time the investigation of a Conservative minister to screw up their election chances.

    • hey madeyoulook, I think your quote "defunding on departments advice" is just from the cbc journalist. Need source. I think the CIDA objectives is perfectly valid, since the politicians set the objectives.

      • And they've changed the format of notes to the ministers, to ensure that the ministers intent is properly communicated.

        Ms. Margaret Biggs:
        Yes, I think as the minister said, the agency did recommend the project to the minister. She has indicated that. But it was her decision, after due consideration, to not accept the department's advice.

        This is quite normal, and I certainly was aware of her decision. The inclusion of the word “not” is just a simple reflection of what her decision was, and she has been clear. So that's quite normal.

        I think we have changed the format for these memos so the minister has a much clearer place to put where she doesn't want to accept the advice, which is her prerogative.

        • Too bad she denies putting the "not" in place, then. It IS her prerogative to deny funding. It is NOT her prerogative to lie about why she's denying funding.

    • Its all in the name of "Harper's political style in Ottawa".He is the new king in Ottawa practising the old Reformer/Alliance theories. Lets not kid ourselves, minister Oda had known what she was signing because she may have signed and approved what was diligently and carefully crafted and recommened by able and very competent senior public servants in CIDA. The minister has to take the fall,yes Mr.Prime Minister because in today's world the PMO and PCO are beyond the scope of ordinary lot of the Canadian citizenry. Its Harper's decision and no one dares to question with resoluteness.

  3. This is typical of our (minority) Conservative and (separatist) Bloc Quebecois majority coalition government.

    Their leader is just the same:
    Globe and Mail newspaper headlines, October 6, 2010: "RCMP probes contract in Parliament Hill facelift".

    The Harper group cannot even go about a construction project in Ottawa without raising suspicions!

    I hope these Harperites wind up in the cages they are building, serving the discriminatory, unfairly-applied, minimum sentences in English-speaking Canada, where federal convicts have to serve 2/3 of their sentence (and not in Quebec where federal convicts only serve 1/6 of their sentences). The very sad part about this story is that the people responsible for fraudulently altering a document will probably not be held accountable. Lately, Ottawa seems more interested in disbursing Billions of dollars (which are more easily embezzled than smaller, more easily tracked accounts) than accountability.

    When we will get rid of this awful, horrible,dreadful, untrustworthy group?

  4. When Harper goes down, and he WILL go down (hopefully sooner than later) you can bet that Canadians will rejoice just like their brothers and sisters in Egypt and Tunisia !

    The despots are going down … let the purge continue …

    TO THE GUILLOTINE !!!

    • Uhhh… ok, some people are upset that Harper is PM. But I have a hard time believing that anyone is THAT upset about it. It's hardly dictatorial at all, in fact. Yes, he uses the odd poison pill in the budget, (and yes, even his supporters – myself included – find his didactic means a little irritating) but then he leaves the choice to the opposition parties to vote it down. Not exactly ruling by edict, huh?

      • Oops – I meant "despotic", not dictatorial… I'll get it right someday.

        • "Lying to parliament? Won't lose us any votes."

          You'd be okay with that being the new Conservative logo, then?

  5. Of course, It was deliberate doctoring of a document. This corrrupt government is without ethics or morals.
    We need the Egyptians to teach us how to deal with despotic governments.

  6. More than anything, this strikes me as unbelievably stupid and even childish, whomever scrawled the "NOT", unless it was actually someone who intended to make Oda look bad, in which case it was rather devious.

    • This is what happens when the Minister's office is populated by a bunch of 22-year-olds. They're not evil, they just have very poor judgment sometimes.

      • They let their "must kill every vestige of even small-l liberalism in society" zeal get the better of them in the end.

    • Yep childish, or maybe just her way of saying no. Should check with other docs of hers, could be she wants to sign a doc rather than not return anything.

      But the lying about advice ummm can't be very good. Very similar to the clement munir sheilk. nevermind that was all cbc.
      ":But Oda claimed in the Commons that KAIROS had lost its funding because the group's work no longer fit with CIDA's objectives, strongly suggesting she was acting on the recommendation of her department"
      No, she sets CIDA's objectives, probably received a cabinet letter from the Prime Minister when appointing her outlining a couple of core objectives.

      • But that abbott quote is pretty brutal, so I'll shut up now.

      • That quote "no longer fit with CIDA's objectives" is just boiler-plate, similar to the same line any manager uses when firing an employee (when it could really be any number of reasons). This is all pretty standard stuff. Same with Abott's quote. There is no honesty when terminating the relationship with an employee, a group, or even a boy/girlfriend ("it's not you, it's me"). But especially in business, it's the kind of thing I've seen a million times in the workplace (unfortunately). Typically, a decision is made, for one reason, and then after the fact a second boilerplate reason is concocted for the decision.

  7. Standard practice out of the Harper playbook.

  8. Actually, I always took "obfuscating" as "render confusing to hide the truth." There's nothing confusing about that document.

  9. Canadians won by saving seven million dollars, so the right thing was done in the end regardless of how it got there.

    • So … the end justifies the means?

      • There was nothing wrong with the means in this case, though it could have been written more explicitly. So it is just.

        • OK. So in 20+ or whatever years, godwilling if we're both still alive, we can count on your full and unqualified support for whatever said Gov wants to do– and especially you'll supprort whatever method they choose to achieve it. I think you've actually declared yourself completely apolitical Phil. Your politics are "the STATE is always right by whatev means, as long as the STATE says it's ok." You're not conservative, that's for certain.

          • Apparently I have to repeat myself: "There was nothing wrong with the means in this case"

            You guys really think the reader of that document wouldn't have noticed that the word 'Not' had been scrawled in and not originally part of the document?

          • You really think the PMO didn't scrawl overtop of it after it was officially produced for signing in good faith?

    • Do you not understand the difference between an institutional rules-based and an arbitrary political system?

    • Hey Phil, I want gay rights, so if I ever get in a postition of power, I'm going to outlaw, by pain of death, heterosexual sex. Sorry 'bout my means, but they justify my ends.

      • You guys are hilarious when you get your panties in a twist!

    • I'm convinced this really IS that weasel Soudas in Harper's PMO. No one outside of that circus could believe or write posts this stupid. You are not fooling anyone, fool.

  10. Nothing wrong with adding a NOT to the document. As ling it is clearly initialed with identifying initials. Otherwise the for this document the NOT does not exist. Also there is problem with dates being hand stamped and not hand written.

    This is a legal question needs a legal answer.

    • as noted elsewhere, accepted practice in legal and contractual fields is that it needs to be initialed as accepted by all the signatories to be considered a valid change.

    • Cool man. Let's bring it to a court and call Governing MPs as witnesses. I'd love to see that dogshow, bring it on.

  11. This is a sidebar story at the moment, but it could get huge. If the PMO or somebody directly forged/illegally defaced an official doc then the press better be on it pronto.

  12. Another example, in a long list, of the ineptitude of this government. We MUST rid ourselves of this disgraceful bunch!

  13. The people of Egypt got rid of their President in 18 days. How long will it take for the people of Canada to get rid of President Harper?

  14. Bev Oda also had the notoriety of keeping Aljazeer's cable license on ice, when she was responsible for CRTC. It all boils down to Harper neocons world view. Their national mantra is not Democracy, but Israel uber alles.

  15. Who cares? not even newsworthy ….. Harper is #1 in polls and soon will have a major majority win and it will good bye to all journalist in Canada … come when called on a selected basis only!

  16. Is is possible that Harper printed that NOT himself? Or that someone in the PMO did it? I mean, it's not like we can trust any of them to behave honourably or even to obey the law.

    • As Robert Lawrence stated in his earlier entry…there is nothing wrong with writing "not" on the document – as long as the person or persons who have signed the document initial beside it to "okay the edit". It is possible that someone else "edited" the document, wrote "not" and meant to get the two authors to initial the change. Then it was forgotten when the funding was rejected. It does not have to always be a conspiracy….In fact, if it was one, you must admit that the person at least would have been smart enough to forge the initals of document's authors.
      Given that the word "not" wasn't initialled, it was invalid on the document and the document would read as though the change had never been made.

      • Ah, but remember who makes the rules these days.

  17. I don't really care about the political ramifications – what are the legal ones? If this is true shouldn't someone go to jail? What would happen if I added an extra zero to my GST cheque?

    • then you'd be a Nova Scotia MLA, and no, you'd just pay a small fine and keep getting your government cheques.

      It's the Atlantic Canadian Way

  18. FIRE HER!!! . This is reprehensible.

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