Why the Conservatives will have a very bad week

Tease the day: the auditor general’s report and the latest budget bill will have the government playing defence


Sean Kilpatrick/CP

Michael Ferguson made sure the Conservative gang in the House of Commons has a very bad week. The auditor general released his spring report yesterday, eleven chapters of government scrutiny, just in time for Question Period. The opposition had a field day. Ferguson found, in chapter eight, that $3.1 billion that was supposed to be dedicated to anti-terrorism programs was, well, who knows where it went? He expressed concern, in chapter seven, about the sustainability of Canada’s search-and-rescue capability. In chapter six, Ferguson worried that the government and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission weren’t cooperating, and that the government’s goal of creating a historical record of residential schools was in jeopardy.

The list goes on, but those three chapters alone shine a light on security, defence and aboriginal affairs. Just a week after the government touted anti-terror legislation that would give authorities more power to thwart terrorists, Ferguson rains on that parade. The government’s looking increasingly fragile on defence issues; even in Question Period, the opposition is scoring points against Defence Minister Peter MacKay. And then there’s aboriginal affairs, where the government hopes new minister Bernard Valcourt can make headway on a file that caused migraines earlier this year. This won’t help.

If all that weren’t enough, the government now stands accused—on the front page of The Globe and Mail—of meddling in collective bargaining at Canada Post, Via Rail and the CBC. Those proposals lie within the Conservatives’ budget bill.

So now we witness how many fronts the government can defend, all at the same time, as the opposition salivates.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with the government’s plan to play a central role in collective bargaining with a number of arms-length agencies, including the CBC. The National Post fronts the Conservatives playing defence after Auditor General Michael Ferguson released his spring report yesterday. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the lack of cooperation between the government and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission with respect to which documents should be included in an historical record of residential schools in Canada. The Ottawa Citizen leads with the re-tendering of a $2.5-billion contract to facilitate the relocation of RCMP and military personnel. iPolitics fronts a profile of beloved Ottawa politico Charles King, who died recently. CBC.ca leads with apparent infighting between Rona Ambrose and Peter MacKay related to the purchase of new search-and-rescue aircraft. National Newswatch showcases the same story.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Bangladesh. The Retail Council of Canada will introduce improved industry guidelines for best practices and also join an international group hoping to create safety standards in Bangladesh. 2. Charbonneau. A Liberal organizer in Quebec, Gilles Cloutier, testified to a long career of shady fundraising and electioneering, including during the 1995 secession referendum.
3. Great Lakes. The International Joint Commission is recommending that a new structure be built in the St. Clair River to help raise water levels in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. 4. Diabetes. The government’s lack of a cohesive approach to diabetes research caught the attention of Auditor General Michael Ferguson, who said a better plan is required.

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Why the Conservatives will have a very bad week

  1. Sure, Mulcair as opposition is trying to score points. But did Nick Taylor-Vaisey hear Justin, as opposition, speak up on the AG report yesterday?

    Of course not! Time will tell how much of the AG’s report comes back to haunt the Liberals.

    But then again, we may not hear about that any time soon, as far as Macleans is concerned.

      • “Why not” what?

        Why you did not mention the time frame of the Ag’s report?


        Why may we not hear about that anytime soon, as far as Macleans is concerned?

          • Who is ‘we’? And what is ‘it’?

            I am talking about it: the AG’s timeline of his report. I am talking about it: Justin not bringing up the AG’s report.

            I don’t see you or anyone else here talking about it. So the ‘we’ you’re referring to puzzles me.

          • This conversation thread is talking about it. Those participating are the we. Are you that spiteful of anything against the cons, that you look for anything to complain about? You’re the one that started this topic, and now that people are talking, you’re trying to change the topic. Off your ADHD meds, or something?

          • Show me where you are talking about the 2001-2009 timeline? Show me where you are talking about Justin, as opposition, debating the AG’s report?

            Show me others on this site who have talked about it?

            I have talked about it. Not we.

          • Look no further, than this conversation thread. We’re talking about it right now, but you can’t seem to get past you first talking point.

          • Oh, I’m sure that now you and others will have talked about the AG’s time frame. But not when I first answered Nick’s post. Of course you’ve made sure now that the ‘it’ has been talked about by others, just so that you could prove me wrong. But such action on your part speaks more about your sneaky behaviour, then it does about my sense of honesty. Because I CAN say with honesty, that when I replied to Nick’s post, no one but me had talked about ‘it’. Difficult for you to have to admit that, but there you go!

          • This comment was deleted.

          • Dear kmc2: if you would follow the posts in regards to ‘it’ you will be able to figure it out. I’m surprised you have not figured it out already!

          • You’re the only one having trouble understanding anything.

          • And you like that, right? You can explain things to me all day!

          • Yeah, but you’re beginning to bore me.

          • Only now am I beginning to bore you? You must not be able to find good entertainment elsewhere, or why did you stay so long?

            Thank you for following me around. I appreciate it. When there is nothing left to seriously discuss here, we might as well shoot the cr$p out of things, no? It was a pleasure talking to you.

          • Slow morning.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • You are lying. No one had talked about it before I mentioned it to Nick. Only after my conversation with Nick, did the the subjects covered under ‘it’ come to be covered within postings. Try again.

          • On this article maybe, but not others. But you would know that if you could google search, but you can’t even get that right.

          • Okay how about this: Liberal and Conservative-led governments both mismanaged security funds and can’t account for their use. Now can we talk about fixing the mess? Or is that too much to expect from the Government?

          • Government will fix the mess. Bureaucrats will help them, just as they helped the Ministers in creating the mess in the first place. Nothing new there.

          • You mean the mess they’ve been sitting on, till now?

          • Too much to expect from the cons and the libs apparently.

          • She’s never gonna forgive you guys for endorsing JT as being potentially more than a shiny pony.
            Run a few of those Tory ads on your site. That might keep her happy for a while… I doubt it though. You guys are in bed with the dauphin… Now that’s unforgivable, isn’t it!

        • If the cons are so fiscaly responsible, why didn’t they correct the problem, when they came into power, or at least shed light on another mistake by the libs? Funny, after how many years of a con majority, are we now only hearing about this. Maybe the cons have as much vested interest in keeping this story buried.

  2. Wow. What a surprise. The Reform Party is not ready or fit to govern Canada after all! Colour me shocked.

    • Now if there was only some way to collect all those bets that are owed me. Too bad all the people that owe me have lost their good jobs to part time workers, minimal wage and TFWs. Thanks cons, screwing me over, even when I’m right and have won!

      • The 3.1 billion having been wrongly allocated are for the time period 2001-2009. Guess why Nick won’t mention that within his reporting?

        Here’s my bet: Justin won’t bring up the 3.1 billion any time soon either!

        • All that means, is that the cons aren’t the only corrupt politicians.

          • So you don’t want to place a wager then? Smart!

            Here’s another piece of advice, since you are strongly opposed to politician’s rot: why not let one of your buddies who are now without work, take over Justin’s public speaking engagements. Justin says it paid well and Justin is now no longer double dipping; he’s in the House now speaking for the record.

          • When have I ever defended justin? He’s not the problem right, because he’s not the one in power. The cons have a majority government, which means they take the majority of the blame, when they screw up. I know, it was a lot easier for conbots, when the libs were running amok, but now they’re not the ones ruining the country.

            Every time you bring up the libs, or ndp to defend the cons, you aren’t doing a very good job, all you accomplish is making the cons look as bad as the others, or in some cases worse.

          • No one is perfect – not you, not me, and not Harper.

            But Justin seems to think he is perfect. Or should I take that one back and say instead that some people are lead to believe that Justin is and will be perfect?

            Well, the polls are predicting that Justin will win the next big majority, and it’s wise on my part to try and prick through that sense of perfection before it’s too late, right?

          • Who here, is saying justin is perfect? You’re the only one. It’s like you conbots have a weird school yard crush and don’t know how to express it. I know I’d never vote lib and no one I know would either. Again, justin and the libs are what the cons like to call a non story.

          • So you believe the polls?

          • She believes whatever best suits harpo’s needs.

          • I am finding it amazing how terrified they are of Mr. T.

          • I don’t get it. harpo should be more worried about what his former voters what to do to him, than what justin will ever be able to accomplish with the libs.

        • “wrongly allocated”? Do you know something that the AG does not?

          If you don’t have any record of expenditures for $3.1 billion, then how do you know where it was actually spent?


          • Interesting how you so conveniently ignore what the AG has said in his release of the report. That indeed no money has gone missing. That indeed the 3.1 billion has not been properly allocated. Why the need to be so selective about it all, when the AG was anything but selective.

          • Do you understand the definition of the word lost, or missing? If someone can’t say here’s the 3.1 billion dollars, it’s missing, or lost.

            missing |ˈmisiNG|
            (of a thing) not able to be found because it is not in its expected place: a quantity of cash has gone missing .
            • not present or included when expected or supposed to be: passion was an element that had been missing from her life for too long | you can fill in the missing details later.

          • It seems to me that Justin likes to bring up the meaning of words pulled up out of a dictionary. He did so in the House once already.

            Perhaps today Justin will give us a dictionary explanation of what the word ‘missing’ means in Liberal terms.

            Oh, did you know that Justin has a poor House sitting record? Yes, yes he does. He must be very familiar with the word ‘missing’! He may or may not be there today. We shall see.

          • What, you’re arguing with a dictionary now? How is my dictionary a lib dictionary?

            No one can say a damn thing, without you bringing up justin. justin, justin, justin, justin, I just can’t seem to say justin enough times. Get a room already, geez.

          • You must not have heard Justin’s turn in the House. He really did bring in the meaning of words coming out of dictionaries. True story.

            Justin, oh, Justin, when will we get to know you??

          • Doesn’t have any bearings on my above posts, though.

          • How so?

          • What does justin’s dictionary in parliament, have to do with my dictionary here? It doesn’t.

            If you’re going to use the English language you need to know what words mean. Trying to tell us that 3.1 billion dollars isn’t missing when know one knows where it is, means you don’t know what the word missing means.

          • The English language has a well-known liberal bias.

          • So what, you think the cons should just get to rewrite the English dictionary?

          • Puahahahaha~!

            It’s not “missing”.

            Oh no no no.

            They just don’t know where it went.

            *Big* difference there.


          • I can’t wait till Justin explains to us how it all happened between 2001 and 2006.

          • I’m more concerned about finding the money, than hearing either the libs, or cons explanation, why they collectively have screwed Canadians over, for 3.1 billion dollars.

          • Good for you! Keep up the good work!

          • See my above post, on the definition of the word missing.

            Sorry, depending on how the list is organized it may be below this post.

          • missing = “Francien’s brain”…

          • How can you say the money has not been properly allocated if there is no record of it?

          • Because she doesn’t know the English language very well. Maybe she’s from Quebec and hasn’t had the proper schooling in proper use of the English language.

          • She’s Dutch, and the language isn’t her problem- it’s her shilling.

          • Doesn’t mean she didn’t grow up in Quebec. It’d explain a lot about her.

    • They’re in over their heads. They didn’t run for us. Harper is not a leader.

      • He’s a leader alright, a corrupt leader, of a corrupt regime.

    • The AG report states that the first $7.7 B was spent in 1 year, 2001.
      That only leaves $2 B in spending over the following 8 years.

      • I thought it was 13, 3 of which can’t be accounted for.

  3. It seems the cons have been having a very bad year. Can’t go a week without at least one federal con scandal. Now we’re even hearing about how preston manning is interfering with municipal politics and a campaign financing scheme.

    Canada needs to get off it’s collective @$$es and start rounding up these corrupt politicians and tossing them in jail. I seem to remember a certain federal party, promising tough on crime, but when it comes to white collar crime and politics, nothing is ever done about it.

  4. Taxpayers have a right to know how the ‘current’ government is spending our money.
    Clement needs to re-do the Conservative years in the AG report.

    It didn’t take Clement long to find spending funded under PSAT that should have been in the Treasury Board report but wasn’t: the arming of border guards, marine security and anti-terror initiatives in Afghanistan.
    The money isn’t missing.

    • Right, we just don’t know where it went… Distinctions matter eh!

      Funny you mention Tony C. He would know all about money that didn’t go “missing”, just got reallocated.. Improperly. Still no paper trail for that one yet I believe – according to this AG! Still, it didn’t go “missing”. That’s the point to keep in mind.

    • If it’s not missing, someone would know where it is. Look up the word missing in a dictionary some time. Or just try reading more often, expand your vocabulary.

      Maybe clement is trying for a more expensive gazebo.

      • A really big one offshore maybe.

        • That’s not a moon, it’s clement’s death gazebo!

    • So what the specific amounts then?

    • Tony looked in his car’s trunk?

  5. It’s a week later and I still get a big kick out of watching that Nathan Cullen/Peter MacKay exchange. Watch at the 2:03 mark, just about every other Conservative is smirking knowing they had their own petard foisted back on themselves.

  6. Harper is right on taking over VIA RAIL collective bargaining. He owes compensation of pensions and health and dental care to VIA RAIL employees who suffered und repulsive health conditions from raw sewage in the shops and tracks. Judge MacKenzie did not address these issues as a Judge appointed by Parliament to do that. We have no idea how many of the public were killed by these horrific terrorists actions

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