Tonight in all that and still more

Ms. Guergis seems interested in being the Conservative candidate for Simcoe-Grey whenever the next election occurs. The director of a solar power company, and a former Liberal MP, says he was “shocked” to learn his company was the subject of a proposal submitted to the government by Mr. Jaffer’s company. The private investigator tells the Canadian Press that the RCMP told him that it has commenced an investigation. The RCMP won’t say if it has actually done so. An observer wonders if there might be some holes in the Lobbying Act that need tending to. The ethics commissioner says she can’t investigate unless she has “some information that goes to whatever the hell the problem was.” And Mr. Jaffer’s business partner produces the documentation that was requested and, in the process, suggests that perhaps racism had something to do with the reception he and Mr. Jaffer received at the government operations committee the other day. Or at least that some people who watched the committee proceedings told him that perhaps racism had something to do with it.




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Tonight in all that and still more

  1. The only one who seems to be making any sense is the ethics commissioner.

  2. Whaaat? Duff Conacher the lobbyist is complaining about lobbyists yet again? He should just shut up. The Lobbyist Act already hampers legitimate lobbying unduly. The problem is not lobbying, it is people with backgrounds in all parties who abuse the system. This has nothing to do with "loopholes" in the Lobbyist Act.

    • The Lobbying Act (not the Lobbyist Act) does not hamper legitimate lobbying at all — all you have to do is register (which takes about 10 minutes online, and is free), and you only have to register if you are paid to lobby. You also don't have to register if you are lobbying about the enforcement of a law or regulation, or if you are lobbying less than 20 percent of your work time as an employee of a business.

      The loopholes that allow unpaid, part-time corporate lobbying in secret, and lobbying about law enforcement in secret, allow for anyone who wants to lobby in secret to do so (they just have to arrange to be paid for something other than the lobbying they are doing for anyone).

      Secret lobbying allows for politicians and government officials to make deals behind closed doors with lobbyists — not sure why you think that is not a problem?

      Duff Conacher, Coordinator
      Democracy Watch http://www.goodgovernment.ca

      • Secret lobbying is already illegal.If someone makes an arrangement to get paid for something, no matter how the arrangement is structured, then that person comes under the existing rules. There is no need to add additional rules.

        • Sorry, but you are completely incorrect — if someone arranges to be paid to give strategic or another type of advice to someone else or an organization of any kind, and volunteers to lobby for them, they are not required to register. You are only required to register if you are paid to lobby.

          And you are also not required to register if you are lobbying about the enforcement, interpretation or application of a law (which is a huge loophole as many organizations and individuals lobby in this area), nor if you are an employee of a business and lobby less than 20 percent of your work time every 6 months (which allows you to lobby for up to 35 days every 6 months in secret).

          Unregistered lobbyists do not have to comply with the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct and, therefore, they are allowed to do favours for the politicians and government officials they are lobbying (yes, it is illegal for politicians and officials to accept those favours (although there are also loopholes in those prohibitions), but it should also be illegal for all lobbyists to give the favours.

          If the Conservatives had kept the spirit of their 2006 election promise to "Require Cabinet ministers and senior government officials to disclose their contacts with lobbyists" then secret lobbying of these politicians and officials would effectively be illegal. But because of the above loopholes, secret lobbying is legal.

        • TwoYen, at this point, below Duff's comments a gentleman or a lady would write "I'm sorry Duff, I see that you are right and I was wrong."

          • with due respect, I disagree with Duff's interpretation.No one gets around the regs by pretending they are not being pad. In my books, that is fraud.

          • From my understanding, though, your books aren't in Canada, and certainly are not those of a lawyer.

    • Looks like someone has a bit of a crush.
      There's Something About Mary? ;)

  3. Did Jaffer hijack this proposal from the other company and submit it as his own? While unseemly, in the world of government grant competition this happens more than one might think.

  4. So, "ethics commissioner Mary Dawson says she doesn't have enough information to warrant an investigation" and yet Helena Guergis was tossed out of the Conservative caucus.

    Maybe Harper could tell her (and us) what needs to be investigated related to Ms. Guergis and Mr. Jaffer (who I assume is part of the reason Guergis was tossed)…?

    Dawson is simply hopeless as an ethics commissioner, particularly since she has previously stated that her investigations can be "self-initiated".

    • I've been wondering whether the reason that Guergis was tossed was simply because she was embarrassing the Conservatives too much. The Harper government is obsessed with image, and Guergis was adversely affecting the Conservative brand.

  5. If "incredibly obnoxious people" counts as a race, than I suppose the committee was being racist.

    • Now there's a thought. He could have have claimed discrimination based on his disability: OPD or Obnoxious Personality Disorder. Or perhaps WS: Whiners Syndrome.

      Honestly, this stuff just makes him sound guilty of something. There's no bigger whiner than a criminal.

  6. Wow! Racism is tossed into the equation.
    It is amazing what a drowning man will reach for in order to preserve himself.
    Unbelievable.

    • Glemaud has been playing the role of the indignant black man to a tee. He started off by saying the Liberals were lynching him, and now he is being much more direct.

      I wonder if Gillani will take the same tack.

      • I would expect Gillani to say anything and everything to save his own skin.
        Hard to say if playing the race card will be of any benefit to him.

  7. The Conservatives were attacked by the Liberals for years for being unfriendly to visible minorities. Glemaud has a legirtimate complaint. It is the Liberals who are racists.

    • Pipe down. Adults talking.

      • I disagree with TwoYen at least as much as you do, but this "adults talking" thing I see every now and then really bothers me. TwoYen has an opinion. It is wrong-headed, sure, but he is entitled as an adult human being to hold it. It is our job as those who disagree with him to point out why the opinion is wrong–not to disrespect the holder of it. Duff Conacher has already done a fabulous job with actual facts on why the opinion is wrong (not to mention the truth in front of us that Jaffer lobbied without registering as a lobbyist and isn't in trouble for that) so I'm not sure what else we can say to TwoYen. Some people (eg, Wilson, who will defend Guergis and Jaffer just because they USED to be Conservatives) will hold a wrong-headed opinion no matter how many facts you shove beneath their eyes.

        I just know disrespect isn't helping any.

  8. Apparently, Magnum PI handed over some audio tapes to the RCMP. Echoes of Grewal, anyone?

  9. So can anybody tell me why the RCMP won't confirm an investigation that may (or may not) involve MP Guergis, but were only too happy to confirm an investigation into Minister Goodale during an election?

    • That is a very good question. I give with a lot of hope but little assurance the following: Because they learned from their earlier mistake?

      • Refreshing to see that optimism still exists. I regret the power that cynicism seems to have over me these days…

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