The Commons: And so we come full circle

The Tories look for support in the unlikeliest of places

by Aaron Wherry

091019_slide_chretienThe Scene. The Prime Minister was not in his seat this afternoon when Question Period began. Which seems a shame. Not least because of the profound moment in the history of his government that he was not there to witness firsthand. The rest of us will at least be able to say we were there, that we saw it with our own eyes and heard it with our own ears. The Prime Minister will have to suffice with seeing it on TV. Or perhaps hearing about it from a member of his staff.

Although, maybe it was best he wasn’t there after all. Indeed, in a way, it’s better he was spared the awful sight.

The session began simply enough with the obvious, the Liberal leader wondering aloud about a potential conflict of interest involving a Conservative senator and a sizable government contract. “Mr. Speaker, a pattern is becoming all too clear,” Michael Ignatieff posited. “The Conservative government is using stimulus spending to buy votes and reward its friends. This morning, we learned that one of the Prime Minister’s newest senators works for a company that has just won $1.4 million in infrastructure spending. At a time when the middle class is struggling, would the Prime Minister explain why infrastructure spending that is needed by all Canadians ends up in the hands of a member of his own—”

His time expired, the Transport Minister stood smirking to dismiss Mr. Ignatieff’s concerns. The Liberal tried again, this time en francais. John Baird once more swatted the question away. “Mr. Speaker, there is no reason to jump to the conclusions that the Leader of the Opposition does,” Mr. Baird declared. “If he has any evidence of any wrongdoing, rather than pontificating in this place, he should put his facts on the table and be accountable for those. We have been completely open, completely transparent with the infrastructure spending that we have made.”

The Liberals howled with mocking laughter.

“The grant in question was made by a crown corporation,” the Minister finished, “with no lobbying and no involvement whatsoever of my office or the office of the Minister of Public Works.”

Here, then, is where it happened. Where everything that once was up turned down. Where left became right, day became night and blue became red. 

“Mr. Speaker, this is part of a wider pattern,” Mr. Ignatieff said, starting his third attempt. “More than 50 Conservative MPs have handed out $600 million in cheques with their own signatures on them. The Prime Minister walks around…

There was some heckling.

“Mr. Speaker,” Mr. Ignatieff continued, “his spokesman says, ‘We’re shocked. We’re shocked. Let’s round up the usual suspects.’ But everybody knows nothing is authorized by the government unless it goes through the Prime Minister’s Office. Would the Prime Minister tell the House whether he personally signed off on this strategy. Did he or did he not approve these actions?”

As noted, the Prime Minister was not present to address this matter himself. So here, again, came John Baird with the government’s official response.

“No, Mr. Speaker,” he said. “Mr. Speaker, let us be very clear. The members of Parliament who support our economic action plan should be very proud of its achievements. Members of Parliament should not apologize for their achievements.”

He might’ve stopped there. He might’ve left well enough alone. But he went on, all caution cast aside, perhaps even unaware himself of what he was about to do.

“Here is what the Prime Minister said,” the Minister continued. “‘Listen. We are the government. I don’t see why we can’t try to get credit for what we do. I hope we do so. There is nothing to be ashamed in that.’ Do members know who said that? It was Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.”

The Conservatives behind Mr. Baird did not boo. They howled delightedly. Indeed, several stood to applaud.

So it was spoken and now so it is written in the record of Parliament, forever cast in proverbial stone. Nearly four years ago, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives came to power on one promise: that he and they were nothing like Jean Chrétien and his Liberals, that he and they were different, better. And here, nearly four years later, was John Baird, one of Mr. Harper’s most trusted ministers, wrapping himself in ideals of a man who represented everything the Prime Minister once despised, making Mr. Chrétien’s words his own.

So much for all that then.

It was all over at this point but for the shouting. A gleeful Gilles Duceppe happily damned the government’s cause. Wayne Easter stood and suggested the Conservatives were trying to “manipulate the public mind.” Mr. Baird rose and said he had pictures of Mr. Easter handing out government cheques in a previous life. Peter MacKay, the Defence Minister, resolutely questioned the patriotism of a pair of opposition members.

It fell to Thomas Mulcair, the NDP deputy, to stand and delight in the day’s revelation.

“The Conservatives were elected on the promise that they would do better than the Liberal Party on the sponsorship scandal,” he ventured. “What do they do? They create their own, except that this time they are using taxpayers’ money to promote the Conservative Party directly. They are using big taxpayers’ cheques with big Conservative logos. What is next, putting the Conservative logo on Canada’s Olympic uniforms?”

He paused for comedic effect.

“No, they have already done that,” he answered. “When will the government clean up its act and stop using taxpayers’ money for partisan political purposes?”

Mr. Baird did not have much of an answer for this one.

The Stats. Government spending, 16 questions. The environment, seven questions. Afghanistan, six questions. Crime, three questions. Quebec and H1N1, two questions each. Pensions and the Olympics, one question each.

John Baird, 13 answers. Mark Warawa and Peter MacKay, six answers each. Rob Nicholson and Christian Paradis, four answers each. Josee Verner and Leona Aglukkaq, two answers each. Tony Clement, one answer.

The Commons: And so we come full circle

  1. ROFL – LMFAO – this is why I love canadian politics – to quote easter – it takes a doorknob to know one! what a hoot .. the lot of em ….

  2. You didn't see Baird's photo in the HofC…….but Tom Clark has it on CTV – re: Easter and the cheque…..no Liberal logo and no signature of Easter.

    Baird mislead on purpose for his sheep.

    • While this kind of deception from the Harperites doesn't surprise, it always disgusts. Sure wish the press gallery would out them on this stuff.

    • It doesn't have to be true, it just has to be plausible.

      • Isn't that the same strategy employed by fraudsters like Madoff, etc.?

    • And over at the National Post today, Ivison actually was impressed by Baird's performance. No wonder people get disgusted with politics and some journalists too, I might add.

      • Sloppy journalism has it's own rewards – like false rumours planted with a gullible journalist who didn't bother to look anywhere else for confirmation.

  3. This is not going to end well. You have to believe there is more of this out there, especially with so much money sloshing around.

    How hard can it be to link Conservative party donations straight back to executives of companies receiving contracts? Not very hard.

    • "How hard can it be to link Conservative party donations straight back to executives of companies receiving contracts?"

      Yeah, right. A $1,000 contribution (annual max, might be 1,100) is going to lead to a new bridge or highway? What planet are you living on?

      • How many employees of the company also "made" a donation?

      • How many employees of the company also made a donation?

  4. I think we can now safely say that Movement Conservatism in Canada is officially dead.

    • "Now" we can safely say that?

      Where have you been the last, oh, 4 years.

      His first day in office he appointed an unelected senator. The next month he raised income taxes. Later that year he raised taxes again by taxing income trusts. Over the course of that year he shattered spending records and didn't bother cutting any spending. Then he broke his own spending record. He passed a fixed election date law and promptly broke it. He's even been pushing for a national securities regulatory over the provincial regulators.

      Is there one single core conservative/reform value or principle that Say Anything Steve has tried to keep since coming into office?

      • Before coming to office, they ran the "in and out" scandal to get elected. The rot has been present since before Harper even took office.

      • My bad, shoulda specified "Ottawa" :D

      • I was just going to say that there is a lady in Alberta named Danielle Smith who might disagree with this assessment.

    • Well if Harper is just a corrupt Liberal, can we lose the hidden agenda bit?

      • Not until he abandons his paleo conservative understanding of federalism…he does that and boy howdy we got ourselves another Chretien! ;)

      • Been through Giorno/Harris majority in Ontario. Ended in tragedy. Wait and see on Harper majority in Ottawa. But I got a pretty good idea where it will go.

        • All the time and effort intelligent, educated and enlightened canadians spent trying to kill of the disease known as "movement conservatism" turns out to have been totally wasted. All we had to do was let Stephen Harper do the job for us. Of course we never dreamed how effective a job he would do. The shear scope of conservative dishonesty is breath taking. Keep up the good work Stevie.

  5. "The Prime Minister was not in his seat this afternoon when Question Period began."

    So where was he? No news about 'Conservative' stimulus chequeboards presented anywhere today so that's not his excuse. It's not like him to run and hide when the opposition has him dead to rights on his shady dealings.

    The responses from Baird et al to opposition questions about Conservative conflict-of-interest and branding of stimulus chequeboards was something to behold – over and over again the theme of the day was that they have nothing to apologize for. Seems a lot of Canadians think differently.

  6. "So it was spoken and now so it is written in the record of Parliament, forever cast in proverbial stone. Nearly four years ago, Stephen Harper's Conservatives came to power on one promise: that he and they were nothing like Jean Chrétien and his Liberals, that he and they were different, better. And here, nearly four years later, was John Baird, one of Mr. Harper's most trusted ministers, wrapping himself in ideals of a man who represented everything the Prime Minister once despised, making Mr. Chrétien's words his own."

    Oh well played Aaron. Well played indeed.

  7. In our country we have accepted the fact that existing Provincial and Federal governments get credit for programs. Notice all those signs beside major highway projects, etc. So what is wrong with that? The media and opposition have whined continuously about where the stimulus is going, and in spite of the declared thousands upon thousands of stated projects across the country, those same people are skeptical. Now the handing out of funds by the Conservatives are getting noticed, finally. That's called transparency. In our riding in Nova Scotia, at this moment, not a Conservative riding, we have received all kinds of stimulus which is really helping our area with roads, sidewalks, etc. So please folks, learn to accept the work being done by so many happy to have jobs and let's get on with putting this country back on the road to recovery. Why do so many Canadians nit pik over everything in sight. What a waste of energy. Smile.

    • Let me explain in little words. When the government spends our tax dollars it does so as the Government of Canada, NOT as the Conservative Party nor as "the Harper Government" not as Stephen Stalin's dictatorship. There are Treasury Board rules that say taxpayers' money must be spent in a non-partisan manner and be credited to the Government of Canada, NOT as a way of advertising a corrupt political party such as the current Conservative Party.

    • Interesting you should highlight Nova Scotia, because we know that the three Conservative ridings received a total of $162 million more than all 8 non-Conservative ridings put together.

      No one is saying the Conserveratives are only paying themselves. And no one is saying they can't announce and take some credit for what they are doing.

      Canadians are saying that they can't use our money as a war chest to run their re-election campaign and they need to dole the money out evenly and fairly based on need, not partisanship.

      • Since the money is infrastructure money, it should be doled out on the basis of infrastructure needs. When people talk about partisanship in spending, they should consider that infrastructure is only a fraction of the total money spent (for instance Toronto gets less in infrastructure, but lots more in gas tax revenues).

        Moreover, if the Conservatives were to pander to their partisan interests they wouldn't dump the money in ridings they are going to win anyway. They would dump it in swing ridings.

        • Maybe they aint so smart after all.

        • They are. And when it's not a swing riding they hold, I believe we've found they invite the conservative candidate for that riding to hand out the cheque.

          • Yeah. I forgot about that stuff. Did the libs really do this sort of thing in the past? It all sounds so surreal. It seems these guys have really pushed the ethical envelope.

  8. Taking the long view, the problem with Sponsorship II: The Stimulus is that, in the court of public opinion, the CPC is soon going to be discredited as a bunch of ultrapartisan spendthrift incompetents, while the LPC has not yet been de-discredited as such. So there is nobody available for the public to trust.

    Just got back from Argentina. Must say we're in better hands than our Argentine friends — no coups, no hyperinflation, no fascism, no bank panics — but frankly at this point I don't think it's because of the quality of our elected leadership.

    • Welcome back Jack.

    • "while the LPC has not yet been de-discredited as such"

      Excuse me? You must have been in Argentina longer than you thought Rip.

      Wondering where you were, you should probably go back.

      • Conbots are so charming.

        • Many of us find the ole Conbot/Fiberal type language just as endearing.

        • Many of us find the ole Conbot/Fiberal type language just as endearing.

      • You may want to try reading that again.

        • What!. who! Me! Read what again?

          • Oh yeah i finally got it. Duh!

          • Heh. Shall I change it to "observing" for you next time?
            Although those little arrows could be clearer, I'll admit.

    • Bienvenido!

    • Thanks, guys — good to be back. I'll keep up the Argentinian analogies, by way of after-the-fact reportage, until someone gently tells me to stop.

  9. The two funniest words uttered by so-called conservatives – "openess and transparency."

  10. "We have been completely open, completely transparent with the infrastructure spending that we have made.”

    Again we see the strategy of "the bigger and more brazen the lie, the more easily accepted".

  11. "Stephen Harper's Conservatives came to power on one promise"

    …cutting the GST!

  12. Why is there a picture of Chrétien? I like it!!! More Chrétien less Harper!

    • I agree, he is a far better representation of dishonesty and corruption that Harper will ever be. BTW is that hotel still for sale or did he get his money back from BDC already?

      • Chretien was in govt for 40 years or more. I'm surprised he took as little as he did.

        • Ah, the picture of a fiscally responsible and warm politician. Jean, save us from this Stepford Steve!

  13. Well said, Aaron. I can't help feeling sorry for Preston Manning – this is not what he intended for the Reform movement. Sometime between his leadership and 2006, anything that was populist or sincere in the party disappeared.

    • Harper as Napolean and Manning as…er…Old Major. An interesting take on Orwell I must say…but was there ever a Snowball?

      • It's not Animal Farm. Animal Farm was about totalitarianism. What we have is a case of what's fairly typical in politics, a group that gains momentum and popular support with promises of reform and change and then, as soon as they have some influence, switches to regard political success as the ends rather than the means.

  14. Funny, no one wants to discuss that of the stimukus monies being spent most of it is a one third, one third, one third partnership with the provinces and municipalities. So are people suggesting that Dalton McGuinty and Gary Doer and Robert Ghiz and Shawn Graham are aiding this corruption. You see, if you stop to actually look at the process these projects are decided upon together by Federal and Provincial bureaucrats. As for ceremonial cheques, hmmm, are people really upset that hard working MP's are signing their names to these cheques whike giving taxpayers back their money for projects that will help their communities. Wake up people! Harper hits 40% and there is nothing that is news worthy other than this drivel. It will go no where fast.

  15. Ooh, Harper is Chretien now. Does this mean he gets to strangle hippies?

    • I doubt it. In an arm wrestling contest, Harper vs Dion, my money's on Dion.

    • They'll beg for strangling once Harper's done with them.

  16. Well Mr. Wherry you are quick to hoist Mr. Harper on his own petard but lets not forget Chretien made most of the same promises about accountability blah, blah in the 1993 election. Review the tapes Wherry. Oh, I know the Libs are entitled to say and do anything they like because they are Liberals. No need to remind anybody of Liberal hypocrisy. The Libs are on a slippery slope here and with Easter showing doorknobs the credibility of being a serious political choice in this country is rapidly running out.

    • One wonders what it will take to get you and others, hollinm, to recognize that NOBODY should be allowed to behave this way and still imagine that they deserve to govern the country. And yet, the great Libservative scam continues unabated. Congratulations, you're really helping!

      • From The Globe and Mail:

        Among other things, Judge Gomery called for measures that would:
        •Ensure that senior civil servants have the full responsibility for the management of public funds and be required to appear before a beefed-up public accounts committee of the House of Commons to justify their actions (or, write up a manual on how to make committees dysfunctional, then just put the MPs name on the cheques)
        •Increase transparency in government by obliging bureaucrats to create a clear paper trail to explain their decisions and make it easy for the public to see these documents via a revamped Access to Information Act (or, refuse to implement any of the widely-held much needed reforms to that Act, and ignore all efforts for more details on stimulus funding)

        You know, the Liberal people in office at the time of the sponsorship scandal were booted out of office, and we had this big public inquiry, but yeah, it wasn't actually meant to be a "how-to" manual.

      • In case you haven't noticed this is politics. How pure as the driven snow the Liberals are when they are in opposition. We watched for 13 years scandal after scandal, abuse of taxpayers funds and in fact outright theft of taxpayer money with nothing much accomplished once the deficit was covered.
        Your buddies asked for quarterly reports and they got them. They were reports to the Canadian people not to the Liberal party of Canada. Oh, I forgot they still think they are the government. Iffy outsmarted himself and Harper and his government simply used the occasion to ensure everybody found out how the government was managing the stimulus spending. You can't demand something and then whine when you get it because you don't like the process.
        Do I agree that the government of Canada websites should be used for partisan purposes? No. However, the PM has a right to speak to Canadians in all corners of the country whether the Libs like it or not and unfortuantely this costs money. Trouble is they are being beat at their own game and they don't much like it.
        Complaining about logos on jackets and doorknobs will certainly not raise the Liberal party in the eyes of Canadians.

      • hollinm continued….

        They have already lost much of their credibility with the public and this kind of silliness will only reinforce that image. Lets not forget all the stimulus funding is decided jointly by the three levels of government and it is they who manage the projects not the federal government. I recall the Libs complaining about the process at the time but the fact remains it was an effort to minimize mismanagement etc.

      • In case you haven't noticed this is politics. How pure as the driven snow the Liberals are when they are in opposition. We watched for 13 years scandal after scandal, abuse of taxpayers funds and in fact outright theft of taxpayer money with nothing much accomplished once the deficit was covered.
        Your buddies asked for quarterly reports and they got them. They were reports to the Canadian people not to the Liberal party of Canada. Oh, I forgot they still think they are the government. Iffy outsmarted himself and Harper and his government simply used the occasion to ensure everybody found out how the government was managing the stimulus spending. You can't demand something and then whine when you get it because you don't like the process.
        Do I agree that the government of Canada websites should be used for partisan purposes? No. However, the PM has a right to speak to Canadians in all corners of the country whether the Libs like it or not and unfortuantely this costs money. Trouble is they are being beat at their own game and they don't much like it.
        Complaining about logos on jackets and doorknobs will certainly not raise the Liberal party in the eyes of Canadians. TBC

    • And who raised holy hell about everthing and everyone when he was opposition leader? Just once it's good to see such a sanctimonious twerp as Harper get his. Yes we all fall short. And Steve has such a long,long way to fall.

      • ah….its called being in opposition. Do you honestly believe that Iffy believes everything that comes out of his mouth these days. Its called politics. When in opposition there is a tendency to be unrealistic in expectations (ask Jack Layton) but in government it is a whole different matter.

        In fact I recall the Liberal platform in 1993 where Chretien talked about bringing honest, accountable government etc. etc. What did we get a tightly controlled government with boondoggle after boondoggle and outright theft of taxpayer money.

        The Conservatives don't have to take any lessons from the Liberal party of Canada. They are the masters of deception and deceit.

      • ah….its called being in opposition. Do you honestly believe that Iffy believes everything that comes out of his mouth these days. Its called politics. When in opposition there is a tendency to be unrealistic in expectations (ask Jack Layton) but in government it is a whole different matter.

        In fact I recall the Liberal platform in 1993 where Chretien talked about bringing honest, accountable government etc. etc. What did we get a tightly controlled government with boondoggle after boondoggle and outright theft of taxpayer money.

        The Conservatives don't have to take any lessons from the Liberal party of Canada. The Libs are the masters of deception and deceit.

        • Again with the Liberals did it too theme. If that's the best defence that Harper supporters can muster, then it only goes to show that they've learned nothing from the past,, or that they've learned how to do it better – not much to inspire confidence.

        • "The Conservatives don't have to take any lessons from the Liberal party of Canada."

          On the contrary the pupil is fast becoming the master. And all you can do is you can manage is:' just because we said we were better, doesn't mean you actually expected us to try and be better did you'? As for not believing what comes out of the mouths of politicians, i'd lay odds you didn't think that way when Saint Steve was threatening to burn the place down and drive the money changers out of the temple.

  17. And the sheeple will still follow King Harper. Sad when this man can corrupt so many minds

  18. So Harper is Chretien, is he?. Hmm…Chretien was in power for 10 years and his party for 13 years. If he's not Chretien, perhaps he's Mackenzie King? King was in power for around 25 years. So if Harper is now a Liberal, you'd better get used to it;.Liberals often stick around awhile.

    • Harper isn't Chretien… just the embodiment of everything the Official Opposition Leader Stephen Harper hated about Chretien.

      Plus Chretien had a personality. King possibly had two.

      Anyways, Canadian's usually leave Cons in power long enough to destroy the finances, so now that that is done, it's time for the current Liberals to grow up.

      • There's a species of coniferous tree in California who's cones can only open with the heat of a forest fire. They do so explosively.

  19. Is there anybody in Canada, with the intelligence of a door knob, that was confused by the giant novelty cheques, that they may be genuine and negotiable, or that they were actually enlarged duplicates of real cheques and not just some huge cardboard props that are often used in photo ops across Canada by all kinds of organizations. A cheque must have some basic criteria to it to make it valid and negotiable, and anyone could see they didn't meet the standard.
    No way did it look like an official government announcement, either as a blown up duplicate of a genuine announcement nor it wasn't even a close to a crude facsimile of an official government announcement, so I suspect the use of the Conservative logo is no problem, and the ethics commissioner will find that to be the case.
    It seems that only Wayne Easter, has complained that his supporters couldn't recognize that these props were not real and genuine. I always thought that Easter's supporters had to be imbeciles to elect him – now I know for sure, and if they are confused as Easter maintains, that erases all doubt.

    • I, too, long for a quiz before we get the opportunity to vote. We probably don't have one because of the number that would fail.

    • No, but apparently there are quite a few people who rival a doorknob's intelligence that are trying to make the rest of us think that's what the problem was.

    • No, but apparently there are quite a few people who rival a doorknob's intelligence that are trying to make it seem like that's what the problem was.

      It's not that they're using fake cheques.
      It's that they're using fake cheques that try to take credit for the stimulus funds away from the Government of Canada and give it to the Conservative Party.

    • The use of the Conervative logo is a problem. The PMO has acknowledged that. It is wrong to use a party logo on a government announcement for partisan purposes. The use of the logo is not at issue.

      However, there was only ONE cheque that had a government logo – Gerald Keddy's. All other cheques may have used MP's name but they did not use the CPC party logo. Both Liberals and Tories have used big cheques as props at local announcements. The ethical issue here is more debatable since the MP can claim he/she is representing the government at the ceremony. The MPs signature on the cheques is not as overt a partisan act as using the logo. Nevertheless, a far better idea would be to use a prop that carries the signature of the Receiver General.

      • Is that really correct? Only one cheque with the party logo. Somehow i doubt that will prove to be the case. These stories are likely just the tip of the ice-berg. Hold on to your hats we're in for a wild ride.

      • There are at least 3 cheques with the CPC logo. Keddy had 2 of them himself and Colin Mayes had one. Del Mastro also has had 2 announcements with the CPC logo in the background and Raitt had an announcement where she wore a CPC hockey jersey. It's far from 1 logo on 1 cheque of 1 rogue MP.

        • I'd just like to go on the record here as thinking Lisa Raitt's clothing options are completely irrelevant. She could go to the photo-op wearing Stephen Harper Team hat, sweater, gloves, whatever. As long as the cheque says Government of Canada.

      • "However, there was only ONE cheque that had a government logo"

        And isn't that kind of statement exactly the problem. Gerald Keddy did not use a "government logo". He used a CONSERVATIVE logo. They are not the same thing.

        • You are correct. I mispoke. I mean to say only one cheque with a CPC logo. If Gerald Keddy had two cheques it is still ONE incident. And, Lisa Raitt's wearing of a logo on her jacket, while perhaps ill advised, is certainly not worthy of a major scandal. I have not seen the Mayes cheque, but even if that is true that only makes two incident — a far cry from the hundreds of incidents spouted by a hyperventilating David McGuinty the other day. He really needs to take a valium.

        • You are correct. I mispoke. I meant to say only one cheque with a CPC/CPC logo. If Gerald Keddy had two cheques it is still ONE incident. And, Lisa Raitt's wearing of a logo on her jacket, while perhaps ill advised, is certainly not worthy of a major scandal. I have not seen the Mayes cheque, but even if that is true that only makes two incident — a far cry from the hundreds of incidents spouted by a hyperventilating David McGuinty the other day. He really needs to take a valium.

        • You are correct. I mispoke. I meant to say only one cheque with a CPC/CPC logo. If Gerald Keddy had two cheques it is still ONE incident. And, Lisa Raitt's wearing of a logo on her jacket, while perhaps ill advised, is certainly not worthy of a major scandal. I have not seen the Mayes cheque, but even if that is true that only makes two incidents — a far cry from the hundreds of incidents spouted by a hyperventilating David McGuinty the other day. He really needs to take a valium.

      • Do you not see another problem, TwoYen? Take the Larry Miller boatload of cheques, for example. Only in the tiniest, most inconspicuous place does it show Canada has anything whatsoever to do with the funds. It is hard NOT to be bribed with your own money when you don't know it's your own money. Or, it is hard to be proud of the way you are spending your money when you don't know it is your money you're spending.

        I have absolutely no problem with an MP having a photo-op where he hands over a large novelty cheque for the cameras. He is seen to support his constituents. But I do think the large novelty cheque needs to be a rough representation of the actual cheque to both make any sense and avoid misunderstandings. Yes, you can make the case that you've got to be stupid not to understand what is going on, but if we were that bright would we keep falling for politicians' lies?

        • Ther is not a single living. breathing. Liberal in Canada that does not know that this is GOVERMENT stimulus funds. If this bothers you, vote agaisnt the Tories in the next election. It's not as if the money was passed in a brown paper bag in a restaurant.

          • There is not a single living, breathing card-carrying Liberal that does not know. That is probably true. But there are more eligible voters than there are Liberals (I'll wait for your cheering to die down). Can you be as sure that every one of those eligible voters didn't look at a novelty cheque that right where companies generally put their name on a cheque, states Larry Miller MP, and realize this cheque was NOT coming from Larry Miller?

          • Oh yeah I also meant to say that apparently there's nothing WRONG with passing money in a brown paper bag in a restaurant.

            And to any Liberal MPs, or potential Liberal MPs, please know we will not think kindly if you do it too, years later. "The Conservatives did it first" will not, repeat will not, be an acceptable excuse.

          • I can just see it now. Liberal Truth squads telling Prime Minister Bob Rae that he's not allowed to make announcements of government stimulus programs. Although Rae was Premier of Ontario before the Internet was invented (well, almost) I'm sure someone can dredge up pictures of him holding props during announcement ceremonies. Props are good. They help publicize an event. Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.

        • Jenn…give this thing a rest. There is nobody in this world and I repeat nobody who receives this stimulus money who doesn't understand that the money is coming from the government of Canada. Lets stop with the silliness. It's a fake cardboard check. I don't care what logo was on it or who signed it and whether the MP was wearing green, yellow or purple put the tinfoil hat away.
          I know Liberals and the other opposition parties are trying to make this an issue but the bottom line is Canadians will need to make a choice in the next election. Harper or Iffy. We all know from polling that Harper consistently outpolls Iffy on all the economic leadership criteria and this issue will not change that fact.
          The Libs are great at trying to invent faux scandals but what they are doing shows a lot of desperation and will not endear them to the Canadian people after all is said and done. It makes them look petty.

        • Jenn…give this thing a rest. There is nobody in this world and I repeat nobody who receives this stimulus money who doesn't understand that the money is coming from the government of Canada. Lets stop with the silliness. It a fake cardboard check. I don't care what logo was on it or who signed it and whether the MP was wearing green, yellow or purple put the tinfoil hat away.
          I know Liberals and the other opposition parties are trying to make this an issue but the bottom line is Canadians will need to make a choice in the next election. Harper or Iffy. We all know from polling that Harper consistently outpolls Iffy on all the economic leadership criteria and this issue will not change that fact.
          The Libs are great at trying to invent faux scandals but what they are doing shows a lot of desperation and will not endear them to the Canadian people after all is said and done. It makes them look petty.

    • No doubt whatever that most Canadians would be carefully examining those chequeboards to see if they contained the criteria to make them valid and negotiable, but wouldn't have a second thought about the Conservative logo.

  20. Pls give context to jc quote.

    LLK. Antwerpen. Belgium,

  21. It's not just partisan gamesmanship, the House unanimously passed something called the Accountability Act that was designed to make these behaviours illegal, and for the record, CTV has already removed the clip of Tom Clark proving Baird was a liar. Senator Duffy, hard at work pimping Stephen Harper for Canadians

    • The CTV had lobbyists in the House long before Duffy.

  22. That's Baird, running out of foots and space in his mouth to put them in. Nothing too amazing here.

    What's more amazing to me is that it took an NDP MP to bring Baird's faux pas to light.

  23. The PM's never around to take the heat. He sneeks out of bad situations before they happen, example: last december and now this mess

  24. The PM's never around to take the heat. He sneaks out of bad situations before they happen, example: last december and more recently this mess

  25. Does this mean the Liberals now think Harper is awesome? I'll remind you all of the various justifications:

    (1) Yes he's corrupt, but they're all corrupt!
    (2) A smart slippery PM is exactly what this country needs. Naive twits like the Opposition could never govern effectively.
    (3) Better to elect the devil you know than gamble on the one you don't!
    (4) Yes he'll misuse taxpayer money and bribe his friends, but at least nothing will get done federally and that's a good thing!
    (5) We don't care, we like him.
    (6) Doesn't matter what he's like, we vote Conservative 'cause it's Canada's Natural Governing Party.
    (7) Who cares about corruption. He looks Prime Ministerial. Have you seen those backwoods dweebs in the Opposition?
    (8) Peter Mansbridge likes him, and news anchors know everything so he must be ok.

    Let me also remind everyone that what we have here so far are (a) some disturbing allegations from the Liberals, (b) a lack of openness from the Conservatives to clear things up, and (c) an idiotic statement by Baird. That is a far cry, as yet, from proven misuse of public money on a grand scale…which is what Chretien left us as his legacy.

    So yes, if the CPC is funneling these funds to CPC ridings, they should face the music. I'm guessing though that all those on this board who are shocked, shocked I tell you, at the (alleged) shenanigans were Liberal voters both before and after Chretien's Shawinigate and Adscam peccadilloes came to light – and by "came to light" I mean "became known facts", not "were alleged by members of the Opposition".

  26. Does this mean all the Liberals now think Harper is awesome? I'll remind you all of the various justifications:

    (1) Yes he's corrupt, but they're all corrupt!
    (2) A smart slippery PM is exactly what this country needs. Naive twits like the Opposition could never govern effectively.
    (3) Better to elect the devil you know than gamble on the one you don't!
    (4) Yes he'll misuse taxpayer money and bribe his friends, but at least nothing will get done federally and that's a good thing!
    (5) We don't care, we like him.
    (6) Doesn't matter what he's like, we vote Conservative 'cause it's Canada's Natural Governing Party.
    (7) Who cares about corruption. He looks Prime Ministerial. Have you seen those backwoods dweebs in the Opposition?
    (8) Peter Mansbridge likes him, and news anchors know everything so he must be ok.

    Let me also remind everyone that what we have here so far are (a) some disturbing allegations from the Liberals, (b) a lack of openness from the Conservatives to clear things up, and (c) an idiotic statement by Baird. That is a far cry, as yet, from proven misuse of public money on a grand scale…which is what Chretien left us as his legacy.

    So yes, if the CPC is funneling these funds to CPC ridings, they should face the music. I'm guessing though that all those on this board who are shocked, shocked I tell you, at the (alleged) shenanigans were Liberal voters both before and after Chretien's Shawinigate and Adscam peccadilloes came to light – and by "came to light" I mean "became known facts", not "were alleged by members of the Opposition".

  27. Does this mean the Liberals now think Harper is awesome? I'll remind you all of the various justifications:

    (1) Yes he's corrupt, but they're all corrupt!
    (2) A smart slippery PM is exactly what this country needs. Naive twits like the Opposition could never govern effectively.
    (3) Better to elect the devil you know than gamble on the one you don't!
    (4) Yes he'll misuse taxpayer money and bribe his friends, but at least nothing will get done federally and that's a good thing!
    (5) We don't care, we like him.
    (6) Doesn't matter what he's like, we vote Conservative 'cause it's Canada's Natural Governing Party.
    (7) Who cares about corruption. He looks Prime Ministerial. Have you seen those backwoods dweebs in the Opposition?
    (8) Peter Mansbridge likes him, and news anchors know everything so he must be ok.

    Let me also remind everyone that what we have here so far are (a) some disturbing allegations from the Liberals, (b) a lack of openness from the Conservatives to clear things up, and (c) an idiotic statement by Baird. That is a far cry, as yet, from proven misuse of public money on a grand scale…which is what Chretien's Liberals left us as their legacy.

    So yes, if the CPC is funneling these funds to CPC ridings, they should face the music. I'm guessing though that all those on this board who are shocked, shocked I tell you, at the (alleged) shenanigans were Liberal voters both before and after Chretien's Shawinigate and Adscam peccadilloes came to light – and by "came to light" I mean "became known facts", not "were alleged by members of the Opposition".

  28. Does this mean the Liberals now think Harper is awesome? I'll remind you all of the various justifications:

    (1) Yes he's corrupt, but they're all corrupt!
    (2) A smart slippery PM is exactly what this country needs. Naive twits like the Opposition could never govern effectively.
    (3) Better to elect the devil you know than gamble on the one you don't!
    (4) Yes he'll misuse taxpayer money and bribe his friends, but at least nothing will get done federally and that's a good thing!
    (5) We don't care, we like him.
    (6) Doesn't matter what he's like, we vote Conservative 'cause it's Canada's Natural Governing Party.
    (7) Who cares about corruption. He looks Prime Ministerial. Have you seen those backwoods dweebs in the Opposition?
    (8) Peter Mansbridge likes him, and news anchors know everything so he must be ok.

    Let me also remind everyone that what we have here so far are (a) some disturbing allegations from the Liberals, (b) a lack of openness from the Conservatives to clear things up, and (c) an idiotic statement by Baird. That is a far cry, as yet, from proven misuse of public money on a grand scale…which is what Chretien's Liberals left us as their legacy.

    So yes, if the CPC is frantically funneling these fantastic funds to CPC ridings, they should face the music. I'm guessing though that all those on this board who are shocked, shocked I tell you, at the (alleged) shenanigans were Liberal voters both before and after Chretien's Shawinigate and Adscam peccadilloes came to light – and by "came to light" I mean "became known facts", not "were alleged by members of the Opposition".

    • Gaunilon, that was brilliant. Well done!

      The only point I might make in defence (the rest is bang on, LOL) is that a whole lot of us who are Liberals now, did not vote for the Liberal Party on their next opportunity after the sponsorship scandal came to light. I speak for myself, yes, but I'm betting I speak for a number of others around here as well.

      • I am not a Liberal or a member of any party, and have voted for many different parties. I don't like Ignatieff all that much, etiher.

        But as an Albertan and a Canadian, I have only contempt for Harper, who is the worst PM in living memory, worse even than Mulroney. Harper betrays Canada and Canadians every chance he gets and our children will suffer for the bad decisions that meanspirited prick makes today.

      • Fair enough. I just wanted to highlight that a lot of Liberals are keen to hammer Conservatives on their hypocrisy, but were themselves quite hypocritical in the first place. Sort of hypocrisy-squared.

  29. Ahh seeing JC get this award makes me gag.Lord black and he make good companinions

  30. Again "Just a Small Detail.. CBC contacted the office of Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt to ask about the lobbyist who helped organize a fundraiser on her behalf on Sept. 24. Michael B. McSweeney is vice-president of the Cement Association of Canada. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/politicalbytes/2009

    and is this now also related to the Quebec corruptions scandals going on presently as well.. after all some of of the biggest cement companies are in Montreal.. Lafarge Cement included.. and is this why the Conservative federal government does not want to get into Quebec's legal affairs too?

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