Stephen Harper's most unfortunate appointments -

Stephen Harper’s most unfortunate appointments

Nearly a decade of appointing people to positions of power has left Stephen Harper with a number of unfortunate associations


(Ryan Remiorz/CP)

Arthur Porter, detained in Panama while he fought extradition to face fraud charges in Canada, died yesterday at the age of 59. He had reportedly been suffering from lung cancer.

Porter was the chief executive officer of the McGill University Health Centre from 2004 to 2011, but was accused of being involved in bribery related to the construction of the hospital. In 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Porter to the Security Intelligence Review Committee, the independent body that oversees the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. In 2010, he was appointed to chair the committee, but the next year he resigned from SIRC after the National Post questioned his dealings with an international lobbyist. (In 2013, it was revealed that Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe had questioned Porter’s appointment in a letter to the Prime Minister.)

It stands to reason that anyone responsible for the appointment of hundreds of people will eventually end up being associated with someone who does something unbecoming. But after nearly 10 years as Prime Minister, Stephen Harper is now tied to a rogues gallery of appointees.

Sean Kilpatrick/CP

Sean Kilpatrick/CP

Dean Del Mastro

Appointment: Parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister, May 2011 to September 2013

Trouble: Last month, Del Mastro was sentenced to one month in prison and four months of house arrest after being found guilty of exceeding the election spending limit in 2008 and submitting a false document.

Mike Duffy

Mike Duffy

Appointment: Senator for Prince Edward Island

Trouble: Currently on trial for 31 charges, including fraud and breach of trust, related to expenses and contracts claimed as a senator. Suspended from the Senate in November 2013.

Pamela Wallin

Pamela Wallin

Appointment: Senator for Saskatchewan

Trouble: At last report, Wallin was being investigated by the RCMP for expenses she claimed as a senator. Suspended from the Senate in November 2013.

Justin Tang/CP

Justin Tang/CP

Patrick Brazeau

Appointment: Senator for Quebec

Trouble: Charged in March with fraud and breach of trust for expenses claimed as a senator, Brazeau is also on trial for charges of assault and sexual assault. He has also been charged with assault, uttering death threats, cocaine possession and breaching bail conditions as a result of an April 2014 incident. He was suspended from the Senate in November 2013.


Marc Nadon

Appointment: Supreme Court justice

Trouble: After Nadon had been nominated and sworn in, the Supreme Court ruled in March 2014 that Nadon was not qualified to fill one of the seats designated for Quebec on the high court. The affair later culminated in an unusual public dispute between the government and the chief justice.

Bruce Carson, the former advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, arrives to court in Ottawa on Monday, June 2, 2014. Carson is in court for influence-peddling charges. (Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

(Sean Kilpatrick/CP)

Bruce Carson

Appointment: Adviser to the Prime Minister’s Office

Trouble: Currently facing charges of improper lobbying and influence peddling.

Chris Wattie/Reuters

Chris Wattie/Reuters

Nigel Wright

Appointment: Chief of staff to the Prime Minister, September 2010 to May 2013

Trouble: Well-regarded when he was chosen to oversee the Prime Minister’s Office, Wright resigned in May 2013 after it was revealed he had given $90,000 to Mike Duffy to cover the senator’s disputed expenses.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper chats with Intergovernmental Affairs Peter Penashue, MP for Labrador, at a news conference in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador on Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Harper announced that the Canadian government, and the governments of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia have agreed on terms for a federal loan guarantee for the Lower Churchill River energy projects. (Andrew Vaughan/CP)

(Andrew Vaughan/CP)

Peter Penashue

Appointment: Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, May 2011 to March 2013

Trouble: Admitted in March 2013 that his campaign in 2011 had accepted ineligible donations and resigned his cabinet portfolio and his seat. Ran in the resulting by-election, but lost. Earlier this year, the official agent for Penashue’s campaign was charged with violating the Elections Act.

Don Meredith/Mitchel Raphael

Don Meredith/Mitchel Raphael

Don Meredith

Appointment: Senator for Ontario

Trouble: Previously questioned about his education credentials, Meredith’s treatment of staff is currently being investigated by the Senate and he was expelled from the Conservative caucus last month after the Toronto Star reported allegations that the senator had had a sexual relationship with a teen girl.


Stephen Harper’s most unfortunate appointments

  1. All of them.

    He’s the worst judge of character I’ve ever seen.

    • Yes, nothing like Chretien who is visiting with Putin. I know you love Putin and Chretien but Putin has a nasty reputation and he makes no bones about hating the gay and Lesbian community. Meanwhile Harper was involved in meetings to restore relations between Cuba and the US. Melinda Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation seems to think highly of him. If we are going to judge character, one would have to admit that Pam Wallin was sent by Chretin to NYC as an envoy prior to her senate appointment. She likely used Chretien as a reference for the job. Wherry might find Nigel Wright to be a poor appointment but there is no one who would not hire that man with this credentials and in truth in the end he turned out to be too nice for the job. You call him a terrible judge of character but he has gotten elected, the Liberal Party of Canada has made terrible judgements in so far as choosing their candidates.

  2. Perhaps you should have included the drummer that toured with Harper in Israel.

    • Lieberal record under Chretien and Martin;

      1. Cancelling the Sea King replacement

      2. Sponsorship scandal

      3. Gun Registry

      4. HRDC boondoggle

      5. Problems with Transition Job Funds program

      6. Tainted blood (impotus 42 was involved)

      7. Radwanski Spending Affair

      8. Pearson Airport

      9. GST Flip Flop

      10. Airbus Investigation

      11. Voting against Red Book promise of independent Ethics Commissioner

      12. Irving fishing lodge stays/travel on Irving jets for cabinet ministers

      13. Martin traveling on private corporate jets as Finance Minister

      14. Don Boudria’s stay at Boulay owned chalet

      15. Denis Coderre staying with Boulay

      16. Alfonso Gagliano being appointed Ambassador to Denmark

      17. Shawinigate

      18. Claude Gauthier (PM’s friend)’s Transelec getting CIDA grant that was questioned by the Auditor General and even CIDA.

      19. Liberal fundraiser Pierre Corbeil charged with fraud by RCMP after he approached several Quebec companies seeking federal job training grants and asking for payments to Liberal Party, having gotten the names from senior Quebec Liberal Minister, Marcel Massé.

      20. Michel Dupuy, Heritage Minister, lobbying the CRTC.

      21. Tom Wappel refusing to help blind veteran

      22. Gagliano’s son benefiting from contracts from his father’s department

      23. Gagliano’s former speechwriter, Michèle Tremblay was on a $5,000 a month retainer with the Canada Lands Company to provide speeches for the Minister. Former President John Grant let her go saying “we got nothing in return.” Grant claimed that all Crown Corporations reporting to Mr. Gagliano were told to put Ms. Tremblay on a monthly retainer.

      24. Iltis replacement (I personally think they did well, but what a cost!)

      25. Purchase of new Challenger jets for the Prime Minister and cabinet

      26. NATO Flying Training program contract

      27. Liberal friends appointed as IRB judges being investigated by RCMP

      28. Hedy Fry’s imaginary burning crosses

      29. Maria Minna’s improper municipal vote

      30. Minna giving contracts to two former campaign staffers for public relations work for a conference that had already been held

      31. Lawrence MacAulay and contracts directed to Holland College

      32. Lawrence MacAulay and Tim Banks

      33. Lawrence MacAulay hired his official agent, Everett Roche, for $70K, but Roche never did any work for it. (Oct 2002)

      34. Art Eggleton and contracts to his ex-girlfriend

      35. Copps’ aide Boyer’s spending habits

      36. Collenette resigns for breach of ethical guidelines involving a letter he wrote to the Immigration and Refugee Board

      37. APEC Inquiry

      38. Andy Scott’s 1998 resignation that came eight weeks too late, after a media circus wore him down for indiscreetly shooting his mouth off on an airplane.

      39. Anti-American comments by Liberal MPs, officials, and the former Minister of Natural Resources.

      40. Rock and the Apotex/Cipro affair

      41. Rock giving Health Canada contract to car cleaning company.

      42. Manley lobbying CIBC on behalf of Rod Bryden

      43. Manley’s fundraiser suggesting donors to his leadership write it off as a business expense.

      44. Manley using his pre-budget consultations as Minister of Finance to solicit support for his leadership bid.

      45. Coderre’s relationship with Group Everest

      46. Martin’s fundraiser/employee of Finance Jim Palmer

      47. Martin’s “blind trust” and his relationship with CSL.

      48. Gerry Byrne requesting fundraising money be sent to his home address, with no records kept.

      49. Gerry Byrne pouring bulk of ACOA money into his own riding.

      50. Virginia Fontaine Addictions Foundation

      51. Prime Minister’s former assistant, Denise Tremblay’s huge travel expenses on Veterans Review and Appeal Board as Minister pleaded poverty to veterans’ widows.

      52. Chrétien appointing Hon. Roger Simmons (former Trudeau minister convicted of income tax evasion) as Consul-General in Seattle

      53. Chrétien trying to bring hit-and-run driver Carignan back into caucus.

      54. The RCMP is investigating possible fraud and bribery within Industry Canada, involving possible “overpayments” to recipients of federal business grants. The probe centres on the National Research Council, which hands out federal grants to small- and medium-sized businesses.

      55. More than half a dozen bureaucrats have been “removed” from their jobs at a Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) in Toronto following a police investigation into projects funded under one of the department’s grants and contributions programs

      56. Revenue Minister Elinor Caplan called in the RCMP and ordered a sweeping security review after four tax department computers were stolen containing confidential personal information on more than 120,000 Canadians.

      57. More than $7 billion stashed in Foundations by Finance Minister Paul Martin with little or no accountability

      58. Dhaliwal overseing Richmond-airport-Vancouver transit line while being owner of the airport limousine service

      59. Tom Rosser, former Dhaliwal advisor lobbying Natural Resources department and minister on environmental issues only months after leaving government.

      60. $5.3 million GG northern travel (Governor General)

      61. GG budget doubles in 5 years

      62. Robert Thibault giving a grant as ACOA minister to a wharf and boatyard where his brother-in-law has a monopoly.

      63. Royal LePage contract, which the government was forced to cancel in the wake of serious concerns being raised.

      64. Shutting down the Somalia Inquiry

      65. Home heating rebate, which was sent to prisoners and deceased.

      66. Martin firing Bernard Dussault, Chief Actuary of CPP

      67. Ethel Blondin-Andrew buys fur coat on government credit card

      68. Chrétien’s imaginary homeless friend.

      69. Liberal MP Rick Laliberte’s extensive travel budget

      70. Liberal Senator Thompson living in Mexico

      71. Vendetta against former BDC President François Beaudoin

      72. The flag give-away – which estimates suggest might now have cost $45 million instead of the promised $6 million, and reportedly involved fake invoices. (Sheila Copps, AGAIN!)

      73. Gagliano’s two week trip, at taxpayers’ expense, for a two day event with the head of the Royal Canadian Mint and Maurizio Caruso.

      74. Secretary of State for multiculturalism and status of women Sheila Finestone using government car (which junior ministers are only allowed to use for government business) to drive home to Montreal, which even Sheila Copps criticized. (Ottawa Citizen, May 22, 1994)

      75. Liberal MP Jag Bhaduria’s hate mail to his former employers, wishing that they had been shot by killer Marc Lepine

      76. Liberal MP Jag Bhaduria making false claims about his academic qualifications.

      77. Paul Martin and Maria Minna attending fundraising dinner for group linked to Tamil Tigers in May 2000 (National Post, Sept. 8th, 2001).

      78. David Anderson, as National Revenue Minister, suing the government for lost wages after being removed as IRB appointee by Conservative government seeking $454,000 from a deficit-ravaged federal treasury. (Vancouver Sun, July 24, 2004). Anderson eventually agreed to drop the suit.

      79. David Anderson suggesting that the BC doesn’t need extra House of Commons seats, because they wouldn’t be worth much given the poor quality of most West Coast MPs. (Vancouver Sun, July 24, 2004)

      80. A consultant on an executive interchange program persuaded Natural Resources to undertake a $700-million reorganization of its research facilities for which no business case had been made. The program was fast-tracked because he had developed a social relationship with the deputy minister. He was eventually charged with diverting $525,000 to a numbered company he controlled. (Globe and Mail, May 30, 2005)

      And the list continues under Prime Minister Martin:

      81. Raid on reporter Juliet O’Neill’s home by RCMP

      82. Permanent Resident Cards granted by ministerial edict for strippers.

      83. Judy Sgro going on vacation as cards became mandatory and landed immigrants were left stranded

      84. Minister Frulla’s renovations

      85. Pay raises for chiefs-of-staff in ministers offices, while spending is frozen for public service.

      86. The government’s changing numbers on how much money has gone to CSL

      87. Lobbyists in Paul Martin’s transition team being allowed to return to lobbying immediately, after being involved in process of picking new cabinet and senior staff.

      88. Minister Comuzzi’s anti-Quebec comments

      89. Martin government using closure after only six days in the House of Commons, followed by using time allocation in the Senate.

      90. Problems with DND’s contracts with Compaq Computers that may have cost taxpayers up to $159 million for work not performed.

      91. Martin using government jets to tour the country campaigning before election, spending up to $1 million for air travel alone.

      92. Martin’s relationship with Earnscliffe

      93. Questionable contracts to Earnscliffe

      94. The appointment of former Liberal MLA Howard Sapers as the Correctional Investigator of Canada

      95. Pierre Pettigrew’s flip flopping on health care

      96. David Dingwall’s expenses as head of Royal Canadian Mint

      97. Liberals planning to give David Dingwall a severance package after he resigned

      98. The secret National Unity Fund reserve

      99. Calling an early election after earlier promising first to get to the bottom of the sponsorship scandal

      100. Martin suggesting changes to legislation and introducing bill that benefited CSL, despite concerns from his own Deputy Minister that he was in a conflict-of-interest (Ottawa Citizen, May 26, 2004)

      101. $99 million Public Works contract that went to company overseen by Liberal fundraiser and future Senator Paul Massicotte (Montreal Gazette, June 26, 2004)

      102. Parliamentary Secretary Dan McTeague’s 3-person, $224 trip to a Pizzeria

      103. Immigration Minister Judy Sgro’s staff being allowed to stay on “extended travel” benefits, letting them bill taxpayers’ for thousands of dollars in hotel rooms and meals, because they didn’t want to move from Toronto to Ottawa until after the election.

      104. Correctional Service of Canada Commissioner Lucie McClung’s travel expenses

      105. Contracting irregularities on more than two dozen projects at DND worth tens of millions of dollars, showing over-billing, profit excesses, unauthorized additional work, lack of accounting records, spiralling cost overruns, etc. (Globe and Mail, July 14, 2004).

      106. ACOA Minister Joe McGuire canceling ACOA loan and grant to ABL Industries Inc. because it would compete with company in his riding. (Fredericton Daily Gleaner, July 17, 2004).

      107. Andy Mitchell’s chief of staff’s $22,000 in expenses to commute to Ottawa (Toronto Star, August 2, 2004).

      108. André Ouellet’s travel and hospitality expenses at Canada Post.

      109. Government delaying release of audit on Ouellet until after the election (Globe and Mail, July 31, 2004).

      110. Martin’s principle secretary Francis Fox’s sister getting untendered contracts (The Province, July 27, 2004).

      111. Continuing problems in advertising files at Public Works (Ottawa Sun, July 26, 2004).

      112. A Liberal Party of Canada fundraising letter signed by Paul Martin, asking potential contributors to offer $7,000, $7,100 or $7,200 in contributions – far in excess of donation limits passed by the very same Liberal government

      113. Liberal Senator Raymond Lavigne violating municipal bylaws. Municipality pursuing legal action against him. (Ottawa Citizen, August 19, 2004).

      114. Spa Days for inmates approved by the Correctional Service of Canada, which on Aug. 21 invited inmates at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont., to dabble with manicures, pedicures and aromatherapy, not to mention cups of tea served in fine china, all accompanied by a harp serenade. (National Post, September 9, 2004).

      115. Five employees in the ”overwhelmed” immigration section of Canada’s embassy in Iran have been fired over the past year after they each were caught breaching federal ethics rules (National Post, September 13, 2004).

      116. Questionable contracts and spending from the Canada Investment and Savings group set up by Martin in 1996 (Globe and Mail, September 13, 2004)

      117. Questionable contracting practices at Canada Information Office (The Hill Times, September 13, 2004).

      118. A top Canadian diplomat based in China has resigned amid reports he is being investigated for allegedly taking bribes to help Chinese nationals enter Canada illegally. (Vancouver Sun, September 22, 2004).

      119. Abuse of government credit cards by staff at Fisheries Department (CP Wire, September 24, 2004).

      120. Canada’s questionable hiring of the niece of Syria’s foreign affairs minister to work at the embassy in Damascus (Globe and Mail, October 5, 2004)

      121. Hélène Scherrer using a government Challenger to fly to Banff during election to give partisan speech

      122. Abuse of Challengers by Paul Martin and various ministers (eg. Andy Mitchell, Claudette Bradshaw)

      123. Abuse of Challenger jets for political business instead of government business (Le Devoir, October 4, 2005)

      124. Paul Martin taking Challenger jets to Liberal fundraisers

      125. Challenger food bill of $508 per flight

      126. Expenses during election filed by aide to Ralph Goodale

      127. Questionable expenses during election filed by aides to Judy Sgro

      128. Ongoing problems and safety concerns with the submarine program

      129. Various federal departments reported in excess of $1.1 million in theft of computers in 2003, but the information is potentially more valuable than the hardware (Vancouver Sun, October 14, 2004).

      130. According to the latest public-accounts-of-Canada reports for the period March 2004 and March 2005, over 700 laptops, desktops and central processing units went missing from 35 federal government agencies — worth $6 million. (The Province, October 19, 2005)

      131. Federal government has lost track of $587 million a year in EI overpayments and underpayments at the Department of Human Resources. (Ottawa Citizen, October 12, 2004). However, the government defends itself by stating that in fact it has only lost track of $25 million a year and collects the other overpayments. (Ottawa Citizen, October 13, 2004)

      132. $133,000 grant to a Toronto film company that used classified ads to search for the “perfect” penis. (National Post, October 14, 2004).

      133. Man convicted of fraud against government hired to teach ethics course to public servants (National Post, October 20, 2004).

      134. Public Works selling confiscated grow-op equipment to drug traffickers. (National Post, October 21, 2004). 135. Pressure by Liberal MPs and ministers on ACOA to make funding decisions based on politics (New Brunswick Telegraph Journal, October 25, 2004).

      136. Paul Martin’s Director of Communications Scott Reid insulting Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador (Toronto Star, October 28, 2004)

      137. The Martin government spent $127,223 on a poll last February testing ways to diffuse negative reaction to the bombshell auditor-general’s report — which included the finding the Liberals ignored their own rules prohibiting the use of tax dollars on partisan polls (Vancouver Sun, November 8, 2004).

      138. Judy Sgro’s campaign volunteer (a stripper) getting ministerial permit

      139. Sgro’s senior policy advisor going to strip club to meet with owner to discuss bringing more strippers into Canada. (National Post, November 25, 2004). Subsequent revelations indicate that he went to at least one other strip club to conduct similar meetings (Toronto Sun, December 7, 2004)

      140. Sgro giving out details of private immigration files, violating Privacy Act

      141. Allegations that Sgro broke the elections law in failing to properly identify the source of a campaign contribution. (Toronto Star, December 8, 2004).

      142. Revelations that the program to bring in foreign exotic dancers was created under pressure from organized crime (National Post, December 18, 2004)

      143. Irwin Cotler appointing his former chief-of-staff to federal court (National Post, November 23, 2004).

      144. Heritage Minister Liza Frulla giving grant to magazine that put her on the cover and made her honourary president (Ottawa Citizen, November 25, 2004)

      145. Despite promising an end to cronyism and patronage, Martin appointing Liberal MP John Harvard as Lt-Governor of Manitoba, in order to get him to step aside for “star” candidate Glen Murray.

      146. Despite promising an end to cronyism and patronage, Martin appointing Liberal MP Yvon Charbonneau to UNESCO, in order to get him to step aside for Martin crony Pablo Rodriguez.

      147. Despite promising an end to cronyism and patronage, Martin appointing former Liberal MP Karen Kraft-Sloan as Ambassador for the Environment. (Department of Foreign Affairs Press Release, February 16, 2005).

      148. Despite promising an end to cronyism and patronage, Martin appointing defeated Liberal candidate Dave Haggard as the chair of a newly created Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship. (OIC 2005-0001)

      149. Despite promising an end to cronyism and patronage, Martin appointed his friend Dennis Dawson to the Senate

      150. Despite promising an end to cronyism and patronage, Martin appointed his former Principal Secretary Francis Fox to the Senate

      151. Despite promising an end to cronyism and patronage, Martin appointed disgraced former cabinet minister Art Eggleton to the Senate

      152. Martin and his wife complaining about having to live in 24 Sussex (Edmonton Journal, November 17, 2004)

      153. Millennium Bureau spending done with same lack of controls and oversight of sponsorship program

      154. The RCMP has charged a senior Immigration Canada manager and four accomplices in an alleged bribes-for-status scheme in which Arab immigrants paid up to $25,000 to have their claims fast-tracked and approved (National Post, December 17, 2004)

      155. Making widows of RCMP officers killed in the line of duty pay for their husbands’ funerals (Under pressure from the Conservative Party, the government reversed this policy)

      156. Martin patronage-appointee Jim Walsh breaking ethics guidelines and attending Liberal Christmas Party (St. John’s Telegram, January 20, 2005).

      157. Port authority losing more than $60,000 in public funds on the stock market. When Central Cape Breton Community Ventures took over the port in Iona in 2000, the private agency deposited only $5,000 of the $245,000 it received from Transport Canada into a designated bank account. The federal funding was meant to cover the port’s maintenance, insurance and professional services costs (Chronicle-Herald, January 31, 2005).

      158. Canadian flag lapel pins being made in China. Only under pressure, Scott Brison flip flops and agrees to have them made in Canada again.

      159. Questionable dealings around the privatization of the Digby Wharf, which even Liberal MP Robert Thibault wants the RCMP to investigate (Chronicle-Herald, February 10, 2005).

      160. Adrienne Clarkson spending $17,500 to evaluate cleaning at Rideau Hall (Ottawa Sun, February 19, 2005) 161. Martin patronage appointee Glen Murray breaking ethics guidelines and attending Liberal Convention as delegate

      162. Martin ignoring parliamentary committee and appointing Glen Murray as chair of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy

      163. Marlene Jennings, the Parliamentary Secretary for Canada-U.S. relations, making anti-American remarks

      164. Government knowing about details of torture and murder of Zahra Kazemi back in November and still sending ambassador back to Iran

      165. Government knowing about details of torture and murder of Zahra Kazemi back in November but doing nothing

      166. Tens of thousands of dollars were spent on questionable acquisitions at CFB Borden (Ottawa Sun, April 18, 2005).

      167. Joe Volpe keeping stripper visa program operating, despite having promised to shut it down (, March 5, 2005)

      168. Jean Lapierre acting as lobbyist without registering

      169. Joe Volpe trying to intimidating Sikh community

      170. In the spring of 2003, the RCMP investigated allegations that Liberal MP Gurbax Malhi had requested favours and financial support for Paul Martin’s 2003 leadership campaign in exchange for helping Indian nationals get these temporary resident permits (Globe and Mail, March 10, 2005).

      171. Liberals spending $443,237 to change the name Passport Office to Passport Canada (Montreal Gazette, April 21, 2005).

      172. Ken Dryden’s chief of staff charged with careless driving (Ottawa Citizen, March 22, 2005)

      173. Liberals trying to buy off Conservative MPs with offers of patronage positions

      174. Liberals handling of the submarine program

      175. Public Service Integrity Officer’s travel expenses (Ottawa Sun, May 4, 2005)

      176. Liberal Senator Michel Biron going to hearing to support killer Karla Homolka (CTV News, June 9, 2005)

      177. Public Works contract watchdog Consulting and Audit Canada violating contracting rules (Toronto Star, July 4, 2005)

      178. Technology Partnerships Canada rules being violated to pay lobbyists (Globe and Mail, June 24, 2005)

      179. Former Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Robert Nault is working as a paid lobbyist for Nelson House First Nation in what some allege is an apparent violation of a federal code of conduct. Among the federal departments Nault is lobbying is the Indian and Northern Affairs department he headed until December 2003, according to a lobbying report Nault filed with the federal government. Nault registered as a lobbyist for Nelson House, now known as Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, on July 18, 2005 — one year and seven months after leaving his cabinet post. Under the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders, Nault is barred from working for any entity with which his department had “direct and significant official dealings” for two years after leaving office. He is also barred for two years from lobbying his former department or any of his former cabinet colleagues (Winnipeg Free Press, September 14, 2005)

      180. According to documents obtained by the Globe and Mail, Pierre Pettigrew billed Canadian taxpayers for $10,000 for trips for his driver in 2001 and 2002. Pettigrew took his driver to South America and Europe, even though the driver didn’t do any driving on the trips. (Globe and Mail, September 14, 2005)

      181. Joe Volpe’s questionable hospitality expenses (Globe and Mail, September 21, 2005)

      182. According to media reports, Industry Canada has frozen federal financing for research projects by an Ontario biotechnology firm pending the outcome of an investigation into the company’s agreement to pay $350,000 in lobbying “success” fees to former Liberal cabinet minister David Dingwall. Such contingency fee payments violate Technology Partnership Canada rules. (Globe and Mail, September 23, 2005)

      183. Expenses of chairman of the Royal Canadian Mint Emmanuel Triassi, who also approved David Dingwall’s expenses (Globe and Mail, October 4, 2005)

      184. Last week, Public Works was also silent on details of another case involving forensic accounting. Government accounts published on Thursday showed a department employee had embezzled $3.45 million from Public Works office in Koblenz, Germany. Even though the employee was convicted and jailed in Germany, Public Works will not name him or give any details of the crime (Ottawa Citizen, October 4, 2005)

      185. The federal government inadvertently revealed yesterday that it is conducting a large-scale forensic accounting probe into “possibly criminal matters” when it published details of a contract intended for a Quebec accounting firm. The notice awarding a $2-million contract for forensic accounting services was published on the government’s tendering website, MERX. It gave notice that Consulting and Audit Canada was planning to award the sole-source contract to Leclerc Juricomptable, a Quebec City firm specializing in forensic work and litigation support. The contract award notice said the work had to be sole-sourced to Leclerc because it is “not in the public interest to jeopardize the current investment in the investigation or to significantly increase the risk to a successful completion of the investigation into possibly criminal matters.” A spokesman for the Department of PublicWorks and Government Services said yesterday that the notice was published “prematurely” and would be withdrawn last night. He could not say, however, what is under investigation, but said the contract was not tied to another scandal that has kept Quebec forensic accountants busy over the past years. “It’s not related to sponsorship or Gomery, that I can tell you,” said spokesman Pierre Teotonio (Ottawa Citizen, October 4, 2005). It was subsequently revealed that the department involved was CIDA (CP Wire, October 4, 2005)

      186. Questions about campaign funds from Raymond Chan’s campaign going to his companies (Vancouver Sun, October 7, 2005)

      187. Questions about a possible conflict-of-interest between Chan’s activities as minister on behalf of possible business associates (Vancouver Sun, October 7, 2005)

      188. Questions about the report that Chan filed with the Ethics Commissioner (Vancouver Sun, October 7, 2005)

      189. Government giving out contract that specifies no paper trail to be left in government offices (Vancouver Province, October 11, 2005)

      190. Questionable travel expenses at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (CP, October 16, 2005)

      191. Two employees at DFO fired for making fraudulent travel claims (CP, The Province, October 18, 2005)

      192. Lobbyist registrar Michael Nelson has launched investigations of four people for eight possible breaches of the ethics guidelines for lobbyists, the first such investigations ever launched under the code. (Globe and Mail, October 18, 2005)

      193. According to media reports, the federal government has terminated two contracts with a consulting firm that used to be run by Liberal MP David Smith and now run by his wife, following a forensic audit of the contracting practices at a federal agency (Globe and Mail, October 19, 2005)

      194. ATI requests by prisoners for information on prison system and guards, when information is actually disclosed

      195. Liberal candidate Richard Mahoney lobbying for satellite radio company for a month before registering (Ottawa Citizen, October 19, 2005)

      196. Delays and ballooning costs mean a giant software project at National Defence will eclipse its original budget and won’t meet its goals until 2011 — if at all. An internal audit obtained by Canadian Press raises red flags about a new system designed to streamline computer tracking of military inventory and purchases. MASIS — or Materiel Acquisition Support Information System — started in 1997 as a $147-million undertaking. What began as a focused effort to cover a single equipment category in each of the navy, army and air force soon mushroomed. By 2003, Defence officials estimated MASIS would be in place by 2006 at a cost of $325 million, more than twice its forecast budget. A full introduction of the complex software has now been extended to 2011. The heavily censored May 2005 internal audit, released under the Access to Information Act, catalogues a litany of “revised planned milestones.” “The prime contract has been amended six times, each time increasing amounts for professional service fees,” it says. (CP, The Record, October 24, 2005)

      197. Hospitality and travel expenses of executives at CMHC (Journal de Montréal, October 24, 2005)

      198. Questions about Squamish land deal lease (The Province, October 26, 2005)

      199. Liberals handling of tainted water at Kashechewan First Nation

      • Billy Bob shows it hands down – it’s not just appointments but the long, sorry Liberal record that just doesn’t erase very well. No I think the fundamental problem with Harper is that he relies too much on the PMO, a staff that Trudeau I instituted.

        • Wow! Long list. Got to be fair though some of it was inherited from good ole’ Lyin’ Brian.

          As for the PMO and Trudeau. I really don’t remember him pulling the same type of stunts his successors have. Trudeau was a man ahead of his time. I think toward the end of his of his tenure he was heavily influenced by some of those around him and he disappointed a lot of people.

          Lots of secrets in the present PMO just itching to be told. Canada’s dirty little secrets.

        • And unfortunately it won’t erase Harper’s sorry record or the long line of creeps, cons and psychopaths he’s elevated to the country’s highest offices.
          It’s hard to imagine what can salvage his 36% approval rating.
          Paul Bernardo has been in the news lately. Maybe while the Conservative Party is waiting for their advertising co-producers in Syria to provide them with new footage they could work some of Bernardo’s snuff-flicks into an ad to remind us how “tough on crime” they are.

          • Birds of a feather….. Harper has shown he has no judgement, amongst other things, too numerous to list. He has well earned the disgust of the Nation.

          • In all fairness, Pam Wallin worked for Chretin first. He hired her to work for him in New York City. She has a hand me down. Also, Nigel Wright is laughable on that list. Did the man steal taxpayer’s money? No. He gave it back. He deserves the Order of Canada.

      • Yessir, Billy Bob! You whine “yeah, but lookit what the other guy did!” instead of having the balls to own your own peccadilloes. Typical POS Conservative shill.

        • You are partially right Trudeau I’s PMO was largely a think tank which looked at various policies in depth. However, he didn’t heed them so they disappeared back to the universities and were replaced by people experienced in dealing with the press. I was privileged to study under one of the very senior policy analysts and it was rather sad. The decay of the PMO continued under all of Trudeau I’s successors, bar none.

        • You are not doing so badly yourself!

        • Billy Bob is just reminding us that if Harper is a diabolical sociopath, he followed well worn steps. I say thanks Billy Bob. After listening to people praise Chretien for vising Putin, one would have thought he was a consummate statesman who never made a misstep in office. Thank goodness you set the record straight. It is too bad you didn’t get into all the Liberal Senators and their issues.

      • 10 – Airbus investigation – investigating Karl Heinz Schriber and Conservative PM Brian Mulroney.
        Let’s get our facts straight.

      • Do you feel better now. You do know that obsession is a recognised psychiatric disorder.

      • I see the Trolls for Harper PAC have been working overtime. Too bad that they can only find fault in others and can’t see their own faults. There are none so blind as those who
        will not see. Kinda pathetic in a sick sort of way.

  3. I grant you his SCC appointments have been pathetic.

    • So you don’t see a problem with all the people he appointed who broke the law, but you DO see a problem with his appointees who uphold it.

      Good to know.

  4. Nadon arguably doesn’t belong on this list. Unlike the others, he himself did nothing wrong; the affair was all Harper’s doing for trying an end run around the Constitutional requirements for one of the three Quebec seats on the SCC, and ignoring well-meaning advice from the Chief Justice intended to head off any inappropriate choices before they became an embarrassment for the PM.

    • I agree. I was feeling quite sorry for him at the end.

    • Granted, the unqualified nominee was not involved in criminal activities or things of the sort but, claiming to be drafted by the Detroit Red Wings at 14 years old is a bit ridiculous.

      But like you said, that fiasco is all Harper…

  5. These are the crooks we know, we know, these are the crooks we know!

  6. How about that Marc Harb or the Sponsorship scandal….O Wait…

    • Harb is nothing compared to the $100 million spent by the Harper Conservatives advertising programs that either never existed or not passed by Parliament. That’s $100 of taxpayer money not Conservative money. Nothing like trying to bribe and mislead us with our own money!

  7. Investigating Karl Heinz Schreiber and trying to pin his relationship to Mulroney somehow on Harper was part of the opposition of this group when in fact it was not even the same Conservative party involved. Harper was the Reform Party and Mulroney took his Conservative party down in flames, left with less than a handful of seats under Kim Campbell. How much did the Karl Heinz Schreiber investigation cost Canadian taxpayers when it was Mr. Rock of the Liberal party who handed Mulroney millions of dollars? Do not try to paint the current government with Brian Mulroney’s paper-bag dealings. We voted Reform and then changed the name. He was never one of us.

  8. Are you suggesting that child molesters don’t do a good job of hiding in plain sight or just the one that ingratiated himself with Harper didn’t? There are a whole lot of good teachers and volunteers and coaches who never molested children and now you are saying that they should feel guilty because they couldn’t identify the ones that did. How about heaping a little more guilt on the parents who didn’t pick up on. Maybe you should talk to Theo Fleury or Sheldon Kennedy about how many adults Graham James ingratiated himself with before Sheldon Kennedy came forth and exposed him as a child abuser.

  9. I suppose at least the poor judgement has been consistent.

    But fortunately his bad judgement has been limited to appointments and not the major issues of our time.

    You can’t take away from him the fact he knew from the start that the Iraq war was a terrible idea … Oh wait.
    Thankfully he saw the recession coming, listened to the consensus of economists and … Oh wait.
    Well, at least he didn’t fall for the ridiculous deniers trap of scientific ignorance on the existence of global warming … Oh wait.
    Well, it’s not like he spoke against something as straightforward and obvious as the right of same sex marriage … Oh wait.

    Hmmmm … Even though it’s been a decade in power, it kinda seems he’s the one still “not ready yet.”

    • Chretien called Bush and offered Canada’s assistance in the Iraq war. You must be the only Lib who doesn’t know this fact. As for climate change, Canada has shut down more coal burning electrical plants than the US by far. That is why they can reach their target easier, they have a lot of coal burning plants to shut down..we don’t. We add 2 percent to climate change world wise and most of it comes from one place, the tarsands or everyone could stop driving cars or we could outlaw cattle as methane gas is a big carbon emitter. We don’t have that many options. If you have some great ideas that would bankrupt entire provinces, bring them forth.

      • Not to mention that we have had same sex marriage for over a decade with Harper at the helm. The US just got it last week. For all your scare mongering that he would take away abortion and same sex marriage, it never happened. In two minority governments, the opposition never took him out, why is that?

      • No idea who you’re directing any of that towards or what any of it is in response to.

        I didn’t mention anything about Chrétien or the Libral Party. I provided a reminder that while many thoughtful people were questioning the legality of, the complete disconnect from 9-11, and the shaky evidence provided for WMDs, to wage war in Iraq, Harper jumped aboard the knee-jerk, reactionary and less thoughtful train. He was of course wrong.

        I made no mention of the very interesting and important conversation about what, if anything, we should do about climate change. Lots of room for debate there. I provided a reminder that more than 20 years after compelling evidence identified global waing was indeed occurring and it was indeed caused by man and a strong consensus reached by experts and scientists in multiple fields, Stephen Harper said the science was still out. Only after polls showed a growing backlash, did he suddenly find sound judgement and recant. He had been wrong. Again.

        I made no mention of taking away access to abortion or same-sex marriage. I provided a reminder that when the issue surfaced, he spoke bitterly against it. Said it wasn’t needed. In fact swore such a right would never see the light of day in Canada. Again, he was wrong.

        He has consistently shown a remarkable level of poor judgement. He’d actually be better off just flipping a coin, he’d at least get half the issues right.

        Your response was defensive, knee-jerk, bitter, not well considered, and entirely unrelated to what I wrote. Funny. That’s the exact same failing Harper suffers from in his approach to governing.

  10. Woah now. Is the Author trying to excuse Harper?

    Harper isn’t the top of the food chain for the Conservatives and their backers. Anyone with a brain knows this.

    But you can’t excuse the man. You can’t excuse anyone in this party of holier-than-thou sycophants.

    Would like the author to clarify whether or not they are trying to excuse Harper and his merry band of miscreants.

    Please and thankyou