The February draft

by Aaron Wherry

The Conservatives have leaked a February draft of the Auditor General’s report. It differs from the January draft in language used, but the concerns are still there.

In our view, by presenting the request for funding in this way the government was not transparent about its purpose. Parliament was not provided with a clear explanation of the nature of the approval being sought or that these expenditures would not be required to meet the pre-existing terms and conditions of the Border Infrastructure Fund…

We are concerned by the lack of documentation around the process for selecting projects for funding . Supporting documentation is important, in our view, to show that the selection process was transparent and provided a mechanism for accountability. When the Treasury Board approved Infrastructure Canada’s submission for the G8 infrastructure program, it stated that the Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments be respected . Under this policy there should be selection criteria because any expenditure of public funds should demonstrate transparency, accountability, and value for money.




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The February draft

  1. Anyone here ever watched "In the Loop", and that scene near the end when Malcolm Tucker is editing a policy paper before a UN Security Council vote?

    This feels a lot like that.

    • I watched that movie and loved it, but I don't know if the edits in that scene are analogous to the edits we see here.

      In this case, it was the AG and her staff who edited the report, so any changes to the language in the February draft were not intended to paint a rosier picture, but were presumably intended to improve accuracy.

      • This version of the report was leaked by the Conservatives to QMI. Since Sheila can't really comment on the validity of those changes (since they haven't been approved and formally tabled yet), the Conservatives could have marked it up considerably before sending it off to QMI.

        They could even make 'suggested' changes they know would never be approved, since it's not the final version. All they have to do is kill the story until the election is over, which means minimizing the damage and dealing with the resulting controversy when Sheila tables the final version. If they have a majority, they won't have to deal with any fallout at all.

        Since these are all drafts, they all have to be taken with a grain of salt. Certainly I'm suspect of this version in terms of just how many edits the CPC threw in there before 'leaking' it, but I'm also quite curious why the January version was originally leaked. Why not the most recent version?

        • I agree that we should take all these drafts with a grain of salt, but don't forget that the AG knows exactly which drafts are which. If the February draft was "marked up" or improperly altered in any way, the AG would know about it and there could be hell to pay.

          The AG, quite properly, won't comment on the leaked drafts before the final report is released, but I'm pretty sure that the AG would say something if doctored versions of the drafts were being circulated.

          I have no idea why the January version was originally leaked. Maybe that's all the leaker had available, or maybe the January version was chosen because its text was more damning than later drafts.

          • The Tory-leaked draft is pretty damning, mind you.

          • Indeed. Not as damning as the January draft, but as Wherry points out, the concerns are still there.

          • " but I'm pretty sure that the AG would say something if doctored versions of the drafts were being circulated. "

            I'm pretty sure she'd do no such thing, her statement would still stand: "these are leaked drafts, don't trust leaked drafts."

          • There is a huge difference between leaked drafts that are authentic, and leaked drafts that have been altered.

          • Any audited entity has the right of retort, as you likely understand. It would appear that the CPC have, to all appearances, offered that particular plea in the form of the February version (Such as it is). Neither document, as provisioned, is the 'Tabled Document' and neither, ultimately, ought have any legal heft or consequence.

            Political consequences, OTOH, are a different animal. "The real stuff" is basically embargoed. But, lordy, it don't look good.

          • I don't think Sheila can comment on a doctored 'draft' than she can any other draft. We saw this with Munir Sheikh, the head of Statistics Canada, when he resigned. Even though Clement was broadcasting blatant lies, he couldn't officially comment on those lies without breaking ministerial privilege. I assume Sheila can't comment on any elements associated with a report that lies outside the official record, no matter how blatant the lie may be. In effect, you could determine what a report actually says by telling blatant lies and forcing rebuttals. It would be a messy (but effective) way to determine what is in the report.

            Now I wait to see someone leak a "March" draft of the document: G8 Report v3.0.

          • The AG doesn't have to worry about ministerial privilege, etc. If someone was circulating bogus leaked drafts, the AG could easily say so, and why wouldn't she? It's one thing not to comment on genuine leaked drafts, because changes have been made in the final version, and because she can't comment until the report is officially presented in the House.

            It's another thing altogether not to comment on bogus leaked drafts. IMHO she would be obliged to point out that someone had altered the drafts.

          • You're correct, I misspoke when I said "ministerial privilege", of course. However, she is bound to the House of Commons, and since they're not sitting she's kind of stuck in a corner. Even as the independent auditor, she still has to answer to the HoC. That's why she wasn't allowed to audit MP expenses.

            As an aside, I just read through the majority of the Auditor General Act, in large part so that I don't keep looking like an idiot in these conversations. Now, can anyone point me toward some sort of gender-neutrality act? Otherwise, the entire act is written with reference to males, one of which Sheila most decidedly is not. I'm sure it's an easy answer, like the Charter of Rights and Freedoms or something, but I'm just curious and running out of time tonight to look.

          • Sort of like that 'doctored quote' of Fraser's approval of government action circa 2001? Stephen Harper has proven over and over — from sending a minion with a tape recorder to entrap a member of the government, to ok-ing a bribe to an MP for his vote — that there is nothing that should come between him and winning. Not even three expensive haircuts.
            Time for a real haircut, Steve.

    • I could totally see Harper chewing out the PMO staff, while destroying a fax machine. If only he had a Scottish accent.

  2. Anyone here ever watched "In the Loop", and that scene near the end when Malcolm Tucker is editing a policy paper before a UN Security Council vote?

    This feels a lot like that.

  3. I watched that movie and loved it, but I don't know if the edits in that scene are analogous to the edits we see here.

    In this case, it was the AG and her staff who edited the report, so any changes to the language in the February draft were not intended to paint a rosier picture, but were presumably intended to improve accuracy.

  4. The AG and her staff will have edited the report, however, after consultation with the government. Who may have had motivations for the changes they suggested that went beyond improving accuracy.

    • All auditors allow management to review audit reports before they are finalized. This allows clarification of issues and it works to the benefit of both parties. One it allows management to clarify issues. 2 It protects the auditor from making a serious error .

      • Sure — but given that, in a completely separate story today, the government has been shown to have recycled the AG's praise of the Chretien government as praise of itself, I also don't think that we can have all that much confidence that an alleged revised draft leaked by the Tories will necessarily reflect the views of the AG's office. I mean, they've got quite the track record by now of altering documents….

        • Given that she nailed their hides to the wall over the misquote earlier today, I think they would have to be complete imbeciles to issue a second doctored report, again putting words into the AG's mouth, on the same day.

          (I can't believe I'm actually defending the CPC… I think I'd better go lay down now)

          • With the doctered quote, I believe they have already proven themselves to be complete imbeciles. The question, is I think, are they capable of learning from this mistake? I wouldn't put money on it.

  5. The AG and her staff will have edited the report, however, after consultation with the government. Who may have had motivations for the changes they suggested that went beyond improving accuracy.

  6. This version of the report was leaked by the Conservatives to QMI. Since Sheila can't really comment on the validity of those changes (since they haven't been approved and formally tabled yet), the Conservatives could have marked it up considerably before sending it off to QMI.

    They could even make 'suggested' changes they know would never be approved, since it's not the final version. All they have to do is kill the story until the election is over, which means minimizing the damage and dealing with the resulting controversy when Sheila tables the final version. If they have a majority, they won't have to deal with any fallout at all.

    Since these are all drafts, they all have to be taken with a grain of salt. Certainly I'm suspect of this version in terms of just how many edits the CPC threw in there before 'leaking' it, but I'm also quite curious why the January version was originally leaked. Why not the most recent version?

  7. All auditors allow management to review audit reports before they are finalized. This allows clarification of issues and it works to the benefit of both parties. One it allows management to clarify issues. 2 It protects the auditor from making a serious error .

  8. Interesting that they released a different draft instead of the final draft that they claim to have and to have illegally distributed to non-Privy Council members like various war room staffers.

    Still, it is no wonder they have been so desperate to suppress this report and prevent it from being brought to the public.

    • I find your belief in internal firewalls between the PMO, PCO, and CPC war-room to be refreshing. Certainly, they've been synonymous in my head for ages now.

  9. Interesting that they released a different draft instead of the final draft that they claim to have and to have illegally distributed to non-Privy Council members like various war room staffers.

    Still, it is no wonder they have been so desperate to suppress this report and prevent it from being brought to the public.

  10. Sure — but given that, in a completely separate story today, the government has been shown to have recycled the AG's praise of the Chretien government as praise of itself, I also don't think that we can have all that much confidence that an alleged revised draft leaked by the Tories will necessarily reflect the views of the AG's office. I mean, they've got quite the track record by now of altering documents….

  11. I find your belief in internal firewalls between the PMO, PCO, and CPC war-room to be refreshing. Certainly, they've been synonymous in my head for ages now.

  12. I agree that we should take all these drafts with a grain of salt, but don't forget that the AG knows exactly which drafts are which. If the February draft was "marked up" or improperly altered in any way, the AG would know about it and there could be hell to pay.

    The AG, quite properly, won't comment on the leaked drafts before the final report is released, but I'm pretty sure that the AG would say something if doctored versions of the drafts were being circulated.

    I have no idea why the January version was originally leaked. Maybe that's all the leaker had available, or maybe the January version was chosen because its text was more damning than later drafts.

  13. The Tory-leaked draft is pretty damning, mind you.

  14. Indeed. Not as damning as the January draft, but as Wherry points out, the concerns are still there.

  15. We will no doubt see many different 'drafts' of this before the election.

    It's called 'muddying the waters'

  16. We will no doubt see many different 'drafts' of this before the election.

    It's called 'muddying the waters'

  17. " but I'm pretty sure that the AG would say something if doctored versions of the drafts were being circulated. "

    I'm pretty sure she'd do no such thing, her statement would still stand: 'these are leaked drafts, don't trust leaked drafts.'

  18. Interesting that they released a different draft instead of the final draft

    Is it possible that the February draft is the final draft?

    According to the AG website:

    The Office of the Auditor General (the Office or OAG) produces two key audit draft chapters:

    1. the audit principal's draft chapter (the first draft chapter for external comment, commonly referred to as the PX draft chapter); and

    2. the transmission draft chapter (the final draft issued before publication, commonly referred to as the DM draft chapter).
    http://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/meth_gd

    Total speculation here, but maybe the January draft is the PX draft, and the February draft is the DM draft?

  19. There is a huge difference between leaked drafts that are authentic, and leaked drafts that have been altered.

  20. I don't think Sheila can comment on a doctored 'draft' than she can any other draft. We saw this with Munir Sheikh, the head of Statistics Canada, when he resigned. Even though Clement was broadcasting blatant lies, he couldn't officially comment on those lies without breaking ministerial privilege. I assume Sheila can't comment on any elements associated with a report that lies outside the official record, no matter how blatant the lie may be. In effect, you could determine what a report actually says by telling blatant lies and forcing rebuttals. It would be a messy (but effective) way to determine what is in the report.

    Now I wait to see someone leak a "March" draft of the document: G8 Report v3.0.

  21. Unfortunately, I doubt we'll ever know for sure, unless the final report tabled by Fraser is identical to that which was leaked by the Conservatives. In which case, we'll know but it'll be far to late to care. :)

  22. Unfortunately, I doubt we'll ever know for sure, unless the final report tabled by Fraser is identical to that which was leaked by the Conservatives. In which case, we'll know but it'll be far to late to care. :)

  23. The AG doesn't have to worry about ministerial privilege, etc. If someone was circulating bogus leaked drafts, the AG could easily say so, and why wouldn't she? It's one thing not to comment on genuine leaked drafts, because changes have been made in the final version, and because she can't comment until the report is officially presented in the House.

    It's another thing altogether not to comment on bogus leaked drafts. IMHO she would be obliged to point out that someone had altered the drafts.

  24. I could totally see Harper chewing out the PMO staff, while destroying a fax machine. If only he had a Scottish accent.

  25. Leaking controlled docs:
    January draft: Some unknown civil-servant hero risked career and more to shine the light on Harper's follies. They may get caught – even go to jail? (I hope they get away with this particular act of civil disobedience.)
    February draft: For a minister of the crown to engage in the same behavior is beyond the pale.

    So which of the following three scenarios is likely to happen?
    a) Baird will go to jail.
    b) Baird will resign in disgrace.
    c) Headlines will proclaim that Harper is on the verge of a majority.

    • Leaking controlled docs:
      January draft: Some unknown civil-servant hero risked career and more to shine the light on Harper's follies. They may get caught – even go to jail? (I hope they get away with this particular act of civil disobedience.)
      February draft: For a minister of the crown to engage in the same behavior is beyond the pale.

      I'm curious, was that sarcasm or an honestly held opinion (the contrast between the heroic civil servant and the evil Baird).

      I don't see any reason to defend releasing a draft version of a report, that should not have been released, this is made much worse if the leaker knew there was a later draft that was substantially different.

      • I don't think Baird is evil, but if there is evidence that the government broke the law, I'd say breaking the story is pretty defensible. This isn't a Tory-Liberal thing, either – Stephen Harper was happy to run Allan Cutler (the adscam whistleblower) as his candidate in Ottawa South. That said, if the leaker was releasing a more inflammatory draft (when they knew a less inflammatory one existed) in order to influence the election, that is somewhat shady.

      • No one is claiming that the two reports are any different in substance, let alone substantially different.

        The only thing that seems to be different is the inflammatory nature of the langue used to describe it.

        • And I expect the AG used the inflammatory language in the first draft to get them to understand the seriousness of her concerns. I've seen that before, then the language is watered down before it goes out to all the stakeholders. The trick is for us stakeholders to understand the seriousness of her concerns is still there!

    • By "civil-servant hero" do you mean the person who leaked the draft not to the press (as a whistleblower would do) but to "a supporter of an opposition party" (as CP put it) who then leaked it to the Canadian Press? Do you mean the "hero" who violated his/her civil service oath and departmental confidentiality policy in order to generate some headlines? I just want to be certain because in most mature democracies public servants who violae their oaths for partisan reasons find their asses on the curb in short order.

    • I find it bizarre that you think the law should be applied unequally. Your logic is like a pretzel.

      Crime committed by opposer of democratically elected government:
      no prosecution necessary, he's on the right side

      Crime committed by member of democratically elected government:
      who cares if he was elected by the people, throw the book at him!

      • Anyone who commits an act of civil disobedience (in this case committing a whistle-blowing crime to expose a larger crime) knows they will face consequences should they be caught. Hence the "hero" description.
        (I personally hope they get away with it but that is beside the point.)
        Lets turn the tables:
        Why should this leaker face ANY consequence if Baird doesn't pay dearly for his transgression?
        Baird not only broke the law, he just gave his hidden enemy a get-out-of-jail free card, should the unknown hero get caught.

        • So your definition of "hero" is "criminal"? There's another word for civil disobedience: crime.

          Baird? What did he do? Are you inventing stuff? I've played along with your hypothetical MP argument, but frankly you've completed invented this Baird theory. Anybody who commits the same crime should get the same penalty, but it's not right to be throwing around false accusations based on no evidence.

          However, the reality is likely the opposite of what your partisan mind can conjure….

          The other leaker is likely another one of your so-called heroes, but this time it's a conservative civil servant. They might even be in adjoining desks. So you should be cheering for him, he's one of your heroes, he's committing an act of civil disobedience so that Canadians can see the truth, according to your view of the world.

          • No invention here. Pay attention!
            Baird and friends are the bold leakers here. He openly talked about the Feb. draft which then showed up minutes later with CTV. from our good friend Kady:
            "A numbered, controlled document — either the entire chapter, or a portion thereof — that, according to proper audit process, would have been given to the department's audit liaison earlier this year with strict rules on how such material is supposed to be distributed and tracked — found its way into the hands of the political wing of the governing party, which promptly leaked it to a second media outlet in an effort to douse the political firestorm that ensued from the original story, apparently without the slightest concern that such a breach of the rules could put into question the integrity of the entire audit process to date. "

          • First of all, there is no such thing as a "political wing" of a party. A party is entirely political. That's why they call it a "political party".

            She seems to be saying a conservative party member leaked it to the media. That's what I said is most likely. A conservative in the civil service, most likely. Your connection to Baird is non-existent.

  26. Leaking controlled docs:
    January draft: Some unknown civil-servant hero risked career and more to shine the light on Harper's follies. They may get caught – even go to jail? (I hope they get away with this particular act of civil disobedience.)
    February draft: For a minister of the crown to engage in the same behavior is beyond the pale.

    So which of the following three scenarios is likely to happen?
    a) Baird will go to jail.
    b) Baird will resign in disgrace.
    c) Headlines will proclaim that Harper is on the verge of a majority.

  27. Scottish accents make everything funnier.

  28. I can't even read Tucker's quotes on IMDB without hearing them in his voice, and laughing out loud.

    "Well, it is out there, it's out there now, lurking like a big hairy rapist at a coach station. You know, if I could, I'd punch you into paralysis!"

    EDIT: Although my favourite line in the movie is from a different character: "No, no, no, you needn't worry about the Canadians, they're just happy to be there. They always look surprised when they're invited."

  29. I don't think anybody expected either report to have the Tories come out smelling like roses – spending on the G-8 certainly had some issues (although security, and not the items that made headlines drove the cost estimates). However, there is a critical difference between the Tories being bad (and secretive) money managers, and the Tories being criminals that covered up an illegal slush fund. The first is something we already know, while the second potentially breaks new ground.

    • The second version doesn't preclude the fact that the spending was illegal. The AG may have softened the language, but she is not a court of law.

      • But softening the language doesn't mean she changed her opinion, anyway.

      • Actually, it sounds a lot like the report she wrote about the Transitional Jobs Fund a decade ago. Its encouraging to know that some things never change.

    • I think a lot of us have long thought that the spending in Clement's riding was, at the least, crass and blatent pork-barrelling. I, for one, have been wondering about its legality. So I don't know that it broke new ground; more like, confirmed suspicions.

  30. I don't think anybody expected either report to have the Tories come out smelling like roses – spending on the G-8 certainly had some issues (although security, and not the items that made headlines drove the cost estimates). However, there is a critical difference between the Tories being bad (and secretive) money managers, and the Tories being criminals that covered up an illegal slush fund. The first is something we already know, while the second potentially breaks new ground.

  31. Leaking controlled docs:
    January draft: Some unknown civil-servant hero risked career and more to shine the light on Harper's follies. They may get caught – even go to jail? (I hope they get away with this particular act of civil disobedience.)
    February draft: For a minister of the crown to engage in the same behavior is beyond the pale.

    I'm curious, was that sarcasm or an honestly held opinion (the contrast between the heroic civil servant and the evil Baird).

    I don't see any reason to defend releasing a draft version of a report, that should not have been released, this is made much worse if the leaker knew there was a later draft that was substantially different.

  32. The second version doesn't preclude the fact that the spending was illegal. The AG may have softened the language, but she is not a court of law.

  33. I agree; if they are doctored, she would clearly be free to say so. Further, I think her integrity is such that she would step down, if necessary, in order to make such a statement. She is likely incensed enough over the leaks; I doubt very much she would sit still for any doctoring.

    And I very much doubt the CPC would be stupid enough to risk a doctored document, either. It would almost certainly lead to criminal charges; would lend credence to the claim that Oda was deliberately doctoring hers; and would pretty much guarantee there'd be no CPC majority. It might even cost them enough to put the Liberals into first place.

    As it is, there may be legal & political repurcussions enough for leaking an authentic draft – even if only to counter the earlier draft.

  34. I don't think Baird is evil, but if there is evidence that the government broke the law, I'd say breaking the story is pretty defensible. This isn't a Tory-Liberal thing, either – Stephen Harper was happy to run Allan Cutler (the adscam whistleblower) as his candidate in Ottawa South. That said, if the leaker was releasing a more inflammatory draft (when they knew a less inflammatory one existed) in order to influence the election, that is somewhat shady.

  35. Could be but that doesn't seem to be the case.

    Ryan Sparrow – what the heck is this staffer doing anywhere near a draft AG report?!?!? – referred to the final draft. John Baird referred to the final draft. But what was released is only being referred to as the February draft as far as I can tell.

  36. Could be but that doesn't seem to be the case.

    Ryan Sparrow – what the heck is this staffer doing anywhere near a draft AG report?!?!? – referred to the final draft. John Baird referred to the final draft. But what was released is only being referred to as the February draft as far as I can tell.

  37. Tomorrow's talking points today: Sheila Fraser is a Liberal appointee.

    • That would be a sign of true desperation on the part of the CPC, and I highly doubt they would go there. She scored #66 on the CBC "Greatest Canadians" poll from a few years back. It'd be almost like badmouthing the great one.

    • Liberal appointee. You're grasping at straws there.
      Sheila Fraser is the same Auditor General who tool the Liberals to task over the sponsorship scandal.

      • That's never stopped the CPC from smearing someone inconvenient before.

  38. Tomorrow's talking points today: Sheila Fraser is a Liberal appointee.

  39. No one is claiming that the two reports are any different in substance, let alone substantially different.

    The only thing that seems to be different is the inflammatory nature of the langue used to describe it.

  40. Given that she nailed their hides to the wall over the misquote earlier today, I think they would have to be complete imbeciles to issue a second doctored report, again putting words into the AG's mouth, on the same day.

    (I can't believe I'm actually defending the CPC… I think I'd better go lay down now)

  41. You're correct, I misspoke when I said "ministerial privilege", of course. However, she is bound to the House of Commons, and since they're not sitting she's kind of stuck in a corner. Even as the independent auditor, she still has to answer to the HoC. That's why she wasn't allowed to audit MP expenses.

    As an aside, I just read through the majority of the Auditor General Act, in large part so that I don't keep looking like an idiot in these conversations. Now, can anyone point me toward some sort of gender-neutrality act? Otherwise, the entire act is written with reference to males, one of which Sheila most decidedly is not. I'm sure it's an easy answer, like the Charter of Rights and Freedoms or something, but I'm just curious and running out of time tonight to look.

  42. And I expect the AG used the inflammatory language in the first draft to get them to understand the seriousness of her concerns. I've seen that before, then the language is watered down before it goes out to all the stakeholders. The trick is for us stakeholders to understand the seriousness of her concerns is still there!

  43. But softening the language doesn't mean she changed her opinion, anyway.

  44. I think a lot of us have long thought that the spending in Clement's riding was, at the least, crass and blatent pork-barrelling. I, for one, have been wondering about its legality. So I don't know that it broke new ground; more like, confirmed suspicions.

  45. I wonder if now Mr. Harper can see the downside to telling lies as if he reveled in it, as if shredding his own credibility and that of his office was a worthy goal. What must it be like to be a man who needs to suddenly prove his honesty and gain a nations trust, and yet the counter-arguments of "the documents could be altered and he could be lying about it" and "he could be using words so out of their context they mean their opposite" are not just idle speculation BUT PRACTICES HE HAS ENGAGED IN DURING THE LAST FEW WEEKS, EVEN TODAY.

  46. I wonder if now Mr. Harper can see the downside to telling lies as if he reveled in it, as if shredding his own credibility and that of his office was a worthy goal. What must it be like to be a man who needs to suddenly prove his honesty and gain a nations trust, and yet the counter-arguments of "the documents could be altered and he could be lying about it" and "he could be using words so out of their context they mean their opposite" are not just idle speculation BUT PRACTICES HE HAS ENGAGED IN DURING THE LAST FEW WEEKS, EVEN TODAY.

  47. No, but she is a fixture in the court of public opinion. The clarity with which she levels accusations is going to move votes, if not clap people in irons.

  48. With the doctered quote, I believe they have already proven themselves to be complete imbeciles. The question, is I think, are they capable of learning from this mistake? I wouldn't put money on it.

  49. That would be a sign of true desperation on the part of the CPC, and I highly doubt they would go there. She scored #66 on the CBC "Greatest Canadians" poll from a few years back. It'd be almost like badmouthing the great one.

  50. Substantially different?

  51. Liberal appointee. You're grasping at straws there.
    Sheila Fraser is the same Auditor General who tool the Liberals to task over the sponsorship scandal.

  52. It (NorthenPOV's point) seemed like a Tory-Liberal thing to me, the question about sarcasm was sincere by the way.

    I agree that breaking the story can be defended, but regardless of whether or not the reports differ in substance (ted below) deliberately releasing the more inflammatory one, if that was the case would bring the whole thing to a very partisan level.

    By the way, while I said that breaking the story can be defended I still don't think it was the right thing to do, and I hope the person that leaked it is disciplined (and whoever leaked the later draft as well).

  53. Sort of like that 'doctored quote' of Fraser's approval of government action circa 2001? Stephen Harper has proven over and over — from sending a minion with a tape recorder to entrap a member of the government, to ok-ing a bribe to an MP for his vote — that there is nothing that should come between him and winning. Not even three expensive haircuts.
    Time for a real haircut, Steve.

  54. Any audited entity has the right of retort, as you likely understand. It would appear that the CPC have, to all appearances, offered that particular plea in the form of the February version (Such as it is). Neither document, as provisioned, is the 'Tabled Document' and neither, ultimately, ought have any legal heft or consequence.

    Political consequences, OTOH, are a different animal. "The real stuff" is basically embargoed. But, lordy, it don't look good.

  55. By "civil-servant hero" do you mean the person who leaked the draft not to the press (as a whistleblower would do) but to "a supporter of an opposition party" (as CP put it) who then leaked it to the Canadian Press? Do you mean the "hero" who violated his/her civil service oath and departmental confidentiality policy in order to generate some headlines? I just want to be certain because in most mature democracies public servants who violae their oaths for partisan reasons find their asses on the curb in short order.

  56. Actually, it sounds a lot like the report she wrote about the Transitional Jobs Fund a decade ago. Its encouraging to know that some things never change.

  57. It is quite ironic that a government supposedly ended due to contempt for the supremacy of parliament has now been beset by an opposition releasing a document that should only have been tabled before parliament.

    • Actually, it's fitting that a government who treated its work and citizens with contempt should be called on it.

    • The Opposition didn't release the document. Presumably some civil servant did. The only member of Parliament who leaked a doc was a member of the government, Baird?

    • In committee, the opposition Liberals and Bloc wanted to release the document. The Tories and NDP did not.

  58. It is quite ironic that a government supposedly ended due to contempt for the supremacy of parliament has now been beset by an opposition releasing a document that should only have been tabled before parliament.

  59. I would like to see Wells or Coyne weigh in on this, because what we're seeing with the release of confidential documents is very troubling.

    • behead baird!

  60. I would like to see Wells or Coyne weigh in on this, because what we're seeing with the release of confidential documents is very troubling.

  61. I find it bizarre that you think the law should be applied unequally. Your logic is like a pretzel.

    Crime committed by opposer of democratically elected government:
    no prosecution necessary, he's on the right side

    Crime committed by member of democratically elected government:
    who cares if he was elected by the people, throw the book at him!

  62. I want to see Ms. Fraser crack a whole bunch of heads when Parliament resumes. These stupid leak-games are demeaning to this country's parliamentary democracy.

    • Five years of harper's crap and THIS is what demeans demiocracy? You jest.

  63. I want to see Ms. Fraser crack a whole bunch of heads when Parliament resumes. These stupid leak-games are demeaning to this country's parliamentary democracy.

  64. Partisan liberals aside,

    did anyone think for a moment that this whole "respect for parliamentary procedure" which the opposition cried out from the rooftops, was anything more than a pretext to grab power.

    Now that such respect isn't so convenient,

    out the window it goes.

    Iggy is now personally campaigning based on the contect of a first (illiegally leaked) draft which has since proven false by subsequent drafts.

    • Yes! I wouldn't mind at all seeing the CPC start trying to campaign on issues of respect for the rules of democracy.

      After all this time saying "Real Canadians aren't interested in complex and detailed discussions of parliamentary procedures", let them start enthusiastically rallying Real Canadians into a complex and detailed discussion of parliamentary procedures.

      Make it so, PMO-PCO-CPC-InfoAlerteBot!

      • Except if they campaigned on them, you couldn't believe them. See 2006 and their governing, post 2006.

        • Of course. But the point is, it would be hilarious.

          (You know, except for the feeling of deep sadness in my heart.)

    • Good Lord Chet! The Conservatives ran on a clean up government transparency and accountability platform and have done nothing but continually avoid/abuse/neglect/trample those very things.

      You have a lot of nerve writing a post like this.

  65. Partisan liberals aside,

    did anyone think for a moment that this whole "respect for parliamentary procedure" which the opposition cried out from the rooftops, was anything more than a pretext to grab power.

    Now that such respect isn't so convenient,

    out the window it goes.

    Iggy is now personally campaigning based on the contect of a first (illiegally leaked) draft which has since proven false by subsequent drafts.

  66. Meanwhile the partisan press is more than happy to ignore the AG's express words that such a first draft NOT be relied upon as being accurate,

    to ignore subsequent drafts which bear out that warning,

    and to focus on the "EXPLOSIVE CHARGES MADE BY THE AG" as the CP has done. This wire service is picked up by the countries dailies and will be run ad nauseum.

    The media. Deliberately cherry picking out the most unreliable (but helpfully damning to the "incorrect" party) while willfully supressing the oh so important context (which unhelpfully mitigates the damage to the "incorrect" party).

    The corruption scandal of our generation to be sure.

    • The version leaked by the conservatives said the same thing. The only difference was that the word "mislead" was changed to "not made transparent".

      The intellectual gymnastics CPC supporters must engage in to defend their government is breathtaking.

    • Are you suggesting the following items have no significance?

      $274,000 on public toilets 20 km from the summit site.
      $100,000 on a gazebo an hour's drive away.
      $1.1 million for sidewalk and tree upgrades 100 km away.
      $194,000 for a park 100 km away.
      $745,000 on downtown improvements for three towns nearly 70 km away.

  67. Meanwhile the partisan press is more than happy to ignore the AG's express words that such a first draft NOT be relied upon as being accurate,

    to ignore subsequent drafts which bear out that warning,

    and to focus on the "EXPLOSIVE CHARGES MADE BY THE AG" as the CP has done. This wire service is picked up by the countries dailies and will be run ad nauseum.

    The media. Deliberately cherry picking out the most unreliable (but helpfully damning to the "incorrect" party) while willfully supressing the oh so important context (which unhelpfully mitigates the damage to the "incorrect" party).

    The corruption scandal of our generation to be sure.

  68. Well, since chet`s joined us now…

    Fair bit of concern I'm seeing about the propriety of these documents being leaked, no doubt lots more concern to come. "Troubling", "demeaning", "contemptuous", "lowering the bar", etc.

    But we all know where the bar is set now, right? The Harper Government™ has limboed that sucker so far down you'd have to dig a trench to see the top side of it.

    The message for weeks and months now has been "those quaint ol' rules of procedure just don't apply anymore". So that's the game that's been called. As such, I will have great trouble sympathizing with the all the "respect for procedure" arguments that are about to come creeping out of the darkness where none lived before.

  69. Well, since chet`s joined us now…

    Fair bit of concern I'm seeing about the propriety of these documents being leaked, no doubt lots more concern to come. "Troubling", "demeaning", "contemptuous", "lowering the bar", etc.

    But we all know where the bar is set now, right? The Harper Government™ has limboed that sucker so far down you'd have to dig a trench to see the top side of it.

    The message for weeks and months now has been "those quaint ol' rules of procedure just don't apply anymore". So that's the game that's been called. As such, I will have great trouble sympathizing with the all the "respect for procedure" arguments that are about to come creeping out of the darkness where none lived before.

  70. Yes! I wouldn't mind at all seeing the CPC start trying to campaign on issues of respect for the rules of democracy.

    After all this time saying "Real Canadians aren't interested in complex and detailed discussions of parliamentary procedures", let them start enthusiastically rallying Real Canadians into a complex and detailed discussion of parliamentary procedures.

    Make it so, PMO-PCO-CPC-InfoAlerteBot!

  71. Halo.

    The public tunes out the partisan crap driven by a partisan media, who've lost credibility long ago. The sky can only fall so long. Want proof?

    Go to Calgary Grit's website for an informative summary of the polls.

    Do you know what the public does care about?

    Their personal well being. On that score, the IMF just released a report showing Canada doing very well compared to other countries.

    Every poll. Every one, shows the public appreciates Harper's steady hand at the helm in these tough economic times, and there's not a media frenzied ginned up scandal in the world that's going to change that very true fact.

    • The Liberals were steady at the helm before Adscam deservedly brought them down.

      This is NOT crap and it should matter. The very fact that you love to promote that it is just partisan whining, says to me that you place winning above all else. Do you teach your kids that too?

    • As long as the economy's good, scrutiny in the manner in which the government conducts itself is not necessary.

      GREAT message. Fantastic.

      • Wow! Chet and The Harper Government Tm gang… to belong, all you need is a shrinking heart, a closed mind and an ability to defend the indefensible. Extra secretiveness,guile and ability to lie outright are bonus attributes.

        Where's that whistle-blower protection so talked about by you all? It was actually whistle-blower encouragement as I recall when Harper was in opposition, wasn't it?

    • Hey Chet- what's your take on gottabesaid's observation? Where's the tipping point? I would think the libertarian in you is silently screaming right now.

  72. Halo.

    The public tunes out the partisan crap driven by a partisan media, who've lost credibility long ago. The sky can only fall so long. Want proof?

    Go to Calgary Grit's website for an informative summary of the polls.

    Do you know what the public does care about?

    Their personal well being. On that score, the IMF just released a report showing Canada doing very well compared to other countries.

    Every poll. Every one, shows the public appreciates Harper's steady hand at the helm in these tough economic times, and there's not a media frenzied ginned up scandal in the world that's going to change that very true fact.

  73. Leaking controlled documents – just like leaking audio tapes of Guman Grewal.

    Anyone investigating this, like an ethic commissioner, knows that they will be fired for daring to do so.

  74. Leaking controlled documents – just like leaking audio tapes of Guman Grewal.

    Anyone investigating this, like an ethic commissioner, knows that they will be fired for daring to do so.

  75. Good Lord Chet! The Conservatives ran on a clean up government transparency and accountability platform and have done nothing but continually avoid/abuse/neglect/trample those very things.

    You have a lot of nerve writing a post like this.

  76. The Liberals were steady at the helm before Adscam deservedly brought them down.

    This is NOT crap and it should matter. The very fact that you love to promote that it is just partisan whining, says to me that you place winning above all else. Do you teach your kids that too?

  77. The version leaked by the conservatives said the same thing. The only difference was that the word "mislead" was changed to "not made transparent".

    The intellectual gymnastics CPC supporters must engage in to defend their government is breathtaking.

  78. You,

    like the media, only seem to care about hypocricy of the CPC, but not of Iggy. All evils now can only be committed by Harper.

    Harper derangement syndrome has clearly set in with the media. They've become unhinged, completely incapable of balance in this election.

    Imagine the headlines and 24 hour newsloop if the CPC had a white supremist leader in their fold. My God, it would be shrieking from the rooftops. It's the Liberals, so there's barely a whisper.

  79. As long as the economy's good, scrutiny in the manner in which the government conducts itself is not necessary.

    GREAT message. Fantastic.

  80. Actually, it's fitting that a government who treated its work and citizens with contempt should be called on it.

  81. Hey Chet- what's your take on gottabesaid's observation? Where's the tipping point? I would think the libertarian in you is silently screaming right now.

  82. Wow! Chet and The Harper Government Tm gang… to belong, all you need is a shrinking heart, a closed mind and an ability to defend the indefensible. Extra secretiveness,guile and ability to lie outright are bonus attributes.

    Where's that whistle-blower protection so talked about by you all? It was actually whistle-blower encouragement as I recall when Harper was in opposition, wasn't it?

  83. behead baird!

  84. Are you suggesting the following items have no significance?

    $274,000 on public toilets 20 km from the summit site.
    $100,000 on a gazebo an hour's drive away.
    $1.1 million for sidewalk and tree upgrades 100 km away.
    $194,000 for a park 100 km away.
    $745,000 on downtown improvements for three towns nearly 70 km away.

  85. Five years of harper's crap and THIS is what demeans demiocracy? You jest.

  86. Lack of documentation around the process for selecting projects for funding; lack of supporting documentation; unknown value for money. It all sounds so familiar.

    The big difference is that the initial comments on the report regarding the possibility of criminal activities and misleading parliament have been removed. But the fact remains that they were made!

    So I get from this that when presented with the possibility of malfeasance the Liberals would call the police and encourage further investigation while the Conservatives will ask the Auditor General to provide proof or remove the comments.

  87. Lack of documentation around the process for selecting projects for funding; lack of supporting documentation; unknown value for money. It all sounds so familiar.

    The big difference is that the initial comments on the report regarding the possibility of criminal activities and misleading parliament have been removed. But the fact remains that they were made!

    So I get from this that when presented with the possibility of malfeasance the Liberals would call the police and encourage further investigation while the Conservatives will ask the Auditor General to provide proof or remove the comments.

  88. Anyone who commits an act of civil disobedience (in this case committing a whistle-blowing crime to expose a larger crime) knows they will face consequences should they be caught. Hence the "hero" description.
    (I personally hope they get away with it but that is beside the point.)
    Lets turn the tables:
    Why should this leaker face ANY consequence if Baird doesn't pay dearly for his transgression?
    Baird not only broke the law, he just gave his hidden enemy a get-out-of-jail free card, should the unknown hero get caught.

  89. Matthew 7, verses 1-5

  90. Matthew 7, verses 1-5

  91. The Opposition didn't release the document. Presumably some civil servant did. The only member of Parliament who leaked a doc was a member of the government, Baird?

  92. Except if they campaigned on them, you couldn't believe them. See 2006 and their governing, post 2006.

  93. That's never stopped the CPC from smearing someone inconvenient before.

  94. In committee, the opposition Liberals and Bloc wanted to release the document. The Tories and NDP did not.

  95. so to remain consistent you hope Baird gets punished too?

    • Did he leak the second draft? If so, absolutely. Frankly I think the appropriate thing for any politician of any party would be to refuse to discuss any of the drafts. Fat chance of that happening though.

      I really don't see this as heroic whistle-blowing, I see it as a partisan attempt to influence the election. I will also happily concede that we should know about any inappropriate spending on the part of the Conservatives, but in my opinion the means don't justify the ends here.

  96. so to remain consistent you hope Baird gets punished too?

  97. Did he leak the second draft? If so, absolutely. Frankly I think the appropriate thing for any politician of any party would be to refuse to discuss any of the drafts. Fat chance of that happening though.

    I really don't see this as heroic whistle-blowing, I see it as a partisan attempt to influence the election. I will also happily concede that we should know about any inappropriate spending on the part of the Conservatives, but in my opinion the means don't justify the ends here.

  98. So your definition of "hero" is "criminal"? There's another word for civil disobedience: crime.

    Baird? What did he do? Are you inventing stuff? I've played along with your hypothetical MP argument, but frankly you've completed invented this Baird theory. Anybody who commits the same crime should get the same penalty, but it's not right to be throwing around false accusations based on no evidence.

    However, the reality is likely the opposite of what your partisan mind can conjure….

    The other leaker is likely another one of your so-called heroes, but this time it's a conservative civil servant. They might even be in adjoining desks. So you should be cheering for him, he's one of your heroes, he's committing an act of civil disobedience so that Canadians can see the truth, according to your view of the world.

  99. No invention here. Pay attention!
    Baird and friends are the bold leakers here. He openly talked about the Feb. draft which then showed up minutes later with CTV. from our good friend Kady:
    "A numbered, controlled document — either the entire chapter, or a portion thereof — that, according to proper audit process, would have been given to the department's audit liaison earlier this year with strict rules on how such material is supposed to be distributed and tracked — found its way into the hands of the political wing of the governing party, which promptly leaked it to a second media outlet in an effort to douse the political firestorm that ensued from the original story, apparently without the slightest concern that such a breach of the rules could put into question the integrity of the entire audit process to date. "

  100. Of course. But the point is, it would be hilarious.

    (You know, except for the feeling of deep sadness in my heart.)

  101. First of all, there is no such thing as a "political wing" of a party. A party is entirely political. That's why they call it a "political party".

    She seems to be saying a conservative party member leaked it to the media. That's what I said is most likely. A conservative in the civil service, most likely. Your connection to Baird is non-existent.

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