My outrage at the “senior government official” who’s been leaking public-service costings that seem designed to embarrass the Liberals at the Special Blue-Chip EI-EI-O Panel is consummate. If it’s the senior government official I think it is, and honestly I have no way to know, but if it is, then it’s the same guy who told me nothing good can come of this committee if the parties negotiate in public. So, you know, boo.
But my outrage is a bit confused this morning, because since I read about the senior-government-official leak last night, I’ve discovered this story in this morning’s Le Devoir (mostly behind a subscriber wall, sorry) which suggests somebody’s been leaking public-service costings that seem designed to help the Liberals. I’m thinking probably not a senior government official.
“According to information obtained by Le Devoir, a federal official was dispatched to put a number on the suggested reformes, and what he said pleased the Liberal members immensely,” Hélène Buzzetti’s story says. “On average, he confirmed to them, the extra unemployed who would now qualify because of the lower admissibility threshold would get $6,900. The bill for Ottawa, already in the red, would therefore not be insurmountable.” Hélène’s story puts the total new cost at $1.1 billion to $1.5 billion per year.
Suddenly quotes like this one from Liberal MP Mike Savage, quoted by the Globe via Aaron, have a shiny new coating of irony:
“But in order for that to happen, there has to be good faith on both sides,” he said, adding that the document the Tories released had a note on it that said “Employment Insurance Working Group not for distribution.” “Then, they ran out and distributed it. I think that speaks for itself,” he said.