Tonight, dinner’s on your local Conservative MP

by Aaron Wherry

Susan Delacourt first wrote about the problematic nature of giant novelty cheques in July. At the time, Gerard Kennedy made a shrewd observation that should perhaps be repeated here for the benefit of those who now find themselves in possession of a giant novelty cheque signed by a government MP.

“The one thing I did learn when I worked for the food bank is you can actually cash those things. It’s a legal document. I think we’re going to try to get hold of those people and tell them they actually got double grants there. They got one from the government and one from Peter Van Loan, who’s apparently so riven with guilt over the time it took to get to them that he wants to make it up to them.”




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Tonight, dinner’s on your local Conservative MP

  1. When those who find themselves in possession of a giant novelty cheque signed by a government MP, with the big 'C' in the corner, can one assume that the funds will be withdrawn from party coffers? Seems only fair, given all the free Conservative Party publicity.

  2. It's a legal document

    Yyyyyeah, let's see them bring an action under the Bills of Exchange Act to have the giant novelty cheque cashed. Come on, Liberals, really? Is this the best you can do?

  3. It's a legal document

    Yyyyyeah, let's see them bring an action under the Bills of Exchange Act to have the giant novelty cheque cashed. On the legal advice of something Gerard Kennedy thinks he remembers from his food bank days. That seems highly likely.

    Come on, Liberals, really? Is this the best you can do?

  4. It's a legal document

    Yyyyyeah, let's see them bring an action under the Bills of Exchange Act to enforce the giant novelty cheque. On the legal basis of something Gerard Kennedy thinks he remembers from his food bank days. That seems highly likely.

    Come on, Liberals, really? Is this the best you can do?

  5. I've heard this before, and it would be pretty amusing if the Conservative party or its MPs had to honour these cheques. However, the pictures I've seen suggest these aren't legal cheques since they don't specify a bank. The first source I could find was American, so I hope someone will correct this if it's not accurate for Canada.

    "As long as it has the account owner's name, the date, the words "Pay to the order of" followed by the payee's name, the dollar amount in numerical and in written form, the name of the bank where the account is held (along with the bank's city and state) and the signature of the account owner, it's valid."

    • I think Kennedy is claiming that these are promissory notes and not cheques, i.e. a personal promise to pay X.

      • Thanks – that seems to run into some problems too. In Byles on Bills of Exchange, 25th Edition ( London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1983), authors M. Megrath and F. Ryder write, at page 317:

        "No precise words of contract are essential in a promissory note providing that the legal effect is an unconditional promise to pay and also that there is evidence of the intention of the parties to make a promissory note."

        I don't think they'll find intention, particularly since there was an actual cheque exchanged. Still, it's worth a few embarrassing press stories.

      • Am I reading that Mr.Kennedy is suggesting the recievers of these novelty cheques should cash them? isn't that stealing from the federal government ? Hmmm……. isn't Mr. Kennedy a Liberal MP?

        • Have you been following this story Curt. Mr. Kennedy is implying (in jest at that) that since these cheques are from the Conservative Party or individuals MP's that the recipients should cash those cheques to hold them accountable for their actions. Hmmmm accountable, isn't that a key word used by Conservatives?!?

  6. Forget employment increasing. Let us not worry about our economic standing. Bread and butter on our dinner tables? Too pedestrian.

    It's time to focus on what really matters to everyday Canadians:

    Giant novelty cheques.

    • Well, Say Anything Steve has beat you to that. Months ago he stopped worrying about unemployment increasing, our economic standing, bread and butter on our dinner tables, and instead started focussing on giant novelty cheques, how to spread the pork to Tory ridings, playing piano at elitist arts events and playing cribbage at seniors homes.

      • Your obvious dislike for PM Harper is clouding the remaining bit of good judgment you had left.

    • Would people like Biff defend this government if it murdered people? You know the line from the old joke — "We've already established what you are, now we're merely arguing price."

      • So now you think it`s ok to make jokes about our gov`t murdering people—-get a grip.

        • That wasn't a joke about the government murdering people, it was a joke about Biff being a prostitute.

          Still not classy, but at least call him on what he wrote! There's no way a literate person can read those two sentences as constituting a joke about our government murdering people.

          • The guy insinuates that Biff would defend the gov`t if it murdered people and you take the time to defend that statement—–oh, that`s probably your literary license kicking in.

          • Again, how can anyone who can read read my post as "defending" John's statement? I'm not agree with John's statement, I'm merely pointing out that he didn't write what you claim he wrote.

            Calling John an a** for what he actually wrote is perfectly fine with me. It was inane to suggest that Biff would defend the government if they murdered people. However, it was not much less inane to suggest that he was joking about the government murdering people.

            I merely wanted to suggest that you attack him for what he actually wrote.

  7. Without question, this is a blunder by the Tories. It is wrong and the PMO was right to come out quickly and try to put out the fire. But contrary to what some are trying to suggest, it is a far cry from Adscam. Let's keep this in perspective. These were props for photo ops. They are not cheques and no bank would seriously cash a photo prop without asking a few questions. There is no evidence that anyone was passing money illegally.

    • You just don't get it, do you?

    • But contrary to what some are trying to suggest, it is a far cry from Adscam.

      It's the same as Adscam. Adscam funneled money from the government treasury into Liberal Party coffers via a third party that could then be used to promote the Liberal Party. This cuts out the third party and directly uses money from the government treasury to promote the Conservative Party. And it's been going on for more than three years. It first began with the Government of Canada website changes that were made to give the site a more conservative look. That doesn't happen for free, it's done with our tax dollars.

  8. Is there a Canadian chartered bank or credit union identified on the cheque? Any account number? How exactly would CIBC know where this mini-billboard transits to?

    Sorry. "It's legal money!" has to be one of the silliest responses to this whole silly nonsense of public CPC preening.

    • I think it might have been a bit of a joke.

      • Ya think?

      • LKO, look at the quote: “The one thing I did learn when I worked for the food bank is you can actually cash those things. It's a legal document. Is that a joke? Is Kennedy misleading Canadians with his statement? Is he lying about what he learned at the food bank?

  9. My respect for Gerrard Kennedy has plummeted of late. First, he fails to get the support of either the Bloc or the NDP for a key committee motion, then he makes a ridiculous and ignorant suggestion that you can cash a cheque with no bank or bank account identified.

    • first of all, Kennedy's remark was back in July; second of all, I think it was more of a 'zinger' than a 'whatever-the-opposite-of-a-ridiculous-and-ignorant-suggestion-is'…. and a pretty good zinger at that (references to PVL are almost automatically comedy gold)

    • As I mentioned above, I think he might just have been joking.

      That said, you'd think the Tories would have realized that giant novelty cheques "signed" by MPs (not the Minister in charge of the program) and appearing to come from the Party instead of the Government were a problem (not in terme of them being cashed, but in terms of ethical and legal advertising) back when Kennedy made that joke.

      In July.

    • You had respect for Gerard Kennedy? OK, I have to admit he did show some judgement in choosing Dion over Ignatieff.

    • I thought it was funny, and I've disliked Kennedy ever since he visited my high school around the 1999 elections. I asked him how his party was going to reduce the deficit, cut taxes and increase spending. His response was *cough*, *drink water* and then go on about some old lady in Northern Ontario who is starving because Mike Harris personally stole all her food or whatnot. I have also attended one of his riding association meetings, which was largely stocked full of teacher's union flunkies, who had essentially put together his education budget (this was in 2001 before he was an MP).

      Kennedy is a lightweight (and something of a jerk), who has escaped having people realize this because he is:
      1. Good-looking (but not too good looking)
      2. A Liberal (we tend to assume that Liberals are Grade A smarticuses, and not university dropouts that for some reason were picked to be education minister)
      3. He ran a food bank and therefore can't be an jerk
      4. Most people haven't heard him speak French
      5. As education minister he had some very smart political people working for him

      As a leader Kennedy would be a disaster. His lack of French, coupled with his views on Canadian federalism, would make him toxic in Quebec and unable to contest a referendum campaign. He is arrogant and overconfident, which were big factors in his losing to Dalton McGuinty (a far less skilled politician) in 1996 and coming fourth after Dion in 2006. He sounds good sometimes in opposition (which is where almost all of his experience is – he was only education minister for two years), but if you dig into the facts they aren't there. His cheque statement is an example of this. The fact that his list of Tory projects includes almost no projects from Quebec, Toronto, Vancouver of Montreal (the places where Liberal MP's are), and came out just before major deals were cut with those cities, is another such example.

  10. My respect for Gerrard Kennedy has plummeted of late. First, he fails to get the support either the Bloc or the NDP for a key committee motion, then he makes a ridiculous and ignorant suggestion that you can cash a cheque with no bank or bank account identified.

  11. It's a legal document

    Yyyyyeah, let's see them bring an action under the Bills of Exchange Act to enforce the giant novelty cheque against the federal government. That seems highly likely.

    Come on, Liberals, really? Is this the best you can do?

    • Not against the Canadian Govt. funded by taxpayer dollars, oh no please it's who ever signed the cheque. If it's one or two MPs then they are payers. If it has the CPC logo on it then they are also responsible for payment. Unless it's a forged cheque or NSF in which case legal measures would be appropriate.

    • Not against the Canadian Govt. funded by taxpayer dollars, oh no please it's who ever signed the cheque. If it's one or two MPs then they are payers. If it has the CPC logo on it then they are also responsible for payment. Unless it's a forged cheque or NSF in which case legal measures would be appropriate.

      In the 'bad' old days they would just stand next to a Govt. Of Canada standardized sign with the name of the program and perhaps the minister responsible discreetly mentioned at the bottom somewhere.

      • sounds good, just as soon as you can prove the following:
        transit number
        bank number
        account number

        and that there was an actual offer from the individual in question (not acting as an agent of the government, but the person) to the group in question, and that that offer was accepted.

        long story short – kennedy was joking, and you're an idiot if you think this would pass in court.

    • Liberal, NDP, or neorhino.ca for that matter, it's all smoke and mirrors….

      The question ought to be Conservatives, is that the best YOU can do? This ''he without sin…'' nonsense the '''Harper Government''™ pulls on Canadians is too rich.

      In this instance, there is only one issue at hand (or rather a larger pattern). It only concerns ethical lapses and partisan cronyism on the part of The Conservative Party of Canada… Nothing else. If you chose to stand by this sort of behaviour, so be it… No sense in throwing it back on the Libs or any one else, it has nothing to do with them.

      What you might fail to grasp is considering Harper and the Opposition spoke loudly against Liberal partisan cronyism, campaigned heavily on the theme (think ''sense of entitlement''), and largely getting elected into office on the matter, it could be said that many indeed expected better from the ''Harper Government''™. But, this is the best they can do…

      - More Senate nomination in one year than ever, and not a single non CPC Senator named – even in Paul Martin's short reign, he managed to name a Conservative Senator.

      - Plenty more partisan nominations across the board. (staffers, spouses, former colleagues, major donors, etc…)

      - Biggest deficit ever, with the better part of the money spent on CPC ridings (whom make up a bit more than a third of the House)

      This is as a Minority. The notion of a Majority disgusts me.

    • I'm more intereested in finding out who stiffed the Daily Bread Food Bank by not following through with a real cheque after presenting a giant novelty one. Or was Gerard saying that he cashed the same donation twice?

  12. " . . . you can cash a cheque with no bank or bank account identified. "

    Is that not exactly Harper's approach to governing Canada?

    • Unfortunately, all of the real spending will be properly accounted for and piled on top of our debt. I can see the sense in that for this year, maybe next, but projections of 6% increases in spending for the next four years leads to a spiralling debt and poor fiscal management.

      • Actually, I am STILL hoping that the Liberals are correct, that very little has been shoveled "out the door," and that we can put a stop to this theft of future wealth immediately.

  13. Over-sized novelty cheques for public pork (from the Conservatives) vs. looting eHealth in Ontario for private pork (from the Liberals).

    Which is worse?

  14. "one thing I did learn when I worked for the food bank is you can actually cash those things"

    Liar! He learned it from the Adam Sandler classic "Happy Gilmore" like the rest of us!

  15. Has anyone started sending giant novelty cheques to Kennedy as contributions to the Liberal party? I would love to see Mercer send a singing telegram with a cheque to Kennedy's riding office.

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