Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Bullies Just Can't Help Themselves

Actually, in my opinion, it's worse than just being a bully. This is all about protecting reputations. The reputation of a minister and of the government as a whole. They are trying to make this issue go away but in their usual ham-fisted way, they appear to have poked a hornet's nest.

It seems that Gary Lunn, (undoubtedly with Harper's insistence), is keeping up the bullying of Linda Keen. A leaked letter sent to Keen on December 27th in part said the following:

"Serious questions have arisen about whether the commission, under your leadership, could have dealt more appropriately with the risk management of the situation," Mr. Lunn writes in the three-page letter, dated Dec. 27.

It goes on to say:

"These events cast doubt on whether you possess the fundamental good judgment required by the incumbent of the office of president of the commission," writes Mr. Lunn. "These doubts have led me to question whether you should continue to serve as president of the commission. I am considering making a recommendation to the Governor in Council (Cabinet) that your designation as president of the commission be terminated."

This to me verges on intimidation. She is an appointed civil servant. She's been appointed to a tribunal or a regulatory commission. While the government does have some power over her position, she does not serve at the pleasure of the PM. If they want to be rid of her, they must have cause.

Well Keen is not exactly shy and retiring. She responded to Lunn in a 38 page letter, (including attachments). Lunn's letter is in there too.

In essence, she points out that Lunn has not cited cause and with the partisan tone taken by Lunn, Clement and the PM, she does not believe that the matter will be looked at in an objective manner. She suggests a form of an independent enquiry.

Here is the truth. Linda Keen did NOT close down the reactor. In fact, way back in October, Lunn knew there were problems. In his Estimates he submitted that 70M dollars were required for the upgrades to the back-up pumps. On Nov. 07th, he was on site and told that there were problems. He knew about the shut down on Nov. 18th and was told that it would take time on Nov. 22nd. He was reminded of that on Nov. 30th. It took him until Dec. 05th to tell Tony Clement and between the two of them, no one said anything until the 09th of December.

This is a case of the government doing everything possible to cover their own incompetence, specifically Lunn. He should be the target of Harper's rath, but he Harper could not afford that.

They thought they would do all of this under the wire, but alas, Lunn's letter was leaked in spite of it's security designation. Keen has notified both the RCMP and the Privacy Commissioner to investigate how it went public.

Harper made a huge mistake in calling this woman a liberal appointee. That he did it with all the crassness that he now becoming famous for on the floor of the House of Commons wasn't forgotten, but it had died down. Now it's front and centre once again, thanks to Lunn.

Arrogance is a bear. It will never work in your favour and will always come back to bite. The Con's cannot help themselves and that suits me fine. This is an incompetent government and despite Harper's desire to stay in power in an effort to project a man we can trust his clever tactics are backfiring.

Just watch. He'll taunt Dion for an election if it all looks like it's going south.

Which reminds me, Baird should take care. Labelling everyone who disagrees with you as a Liberal, has not done the Con's any favours.

Although the Harper government asked the round table for its advice in 2006, Environment Minister John Baird quickly dismissed the carbon tax proposal as a "Liberal idea," explaining that he had already addressed the concerns raised in the report by introducing a new federal green plan that sets a price on carbon emissions.

Liberal judiciary, senate, appointees and now the NRTEE? I don't think they are watching what they are stepping in. Others will notice the stench though.


Anonymous said...

Her job was to ensure safety and when she did it, Harper and fiends want to fire her.

She did what the law told her to...

I wonder how the wonderful Connies will spin this one... of course it's different when they do this.. right?

Gayle said...

Wow. You would think with all those donations the conservatives could afford a decent lawyer or two to vet these things before they send them out.

Although, since they distrust liberal lawyers they may have trouble finding a decent lawyer to give them advice. :)

Anonymous said...

Harper made this bed. What would've been a story on the 30th page of the newspaper of how the nuclear facility in Chalk River was shutting down to improve its emergency back-up systems turned into a front page story when Harper savaged Keen on the floor of the Commons for 'partisanship'.
To begin with, this was never a controversy, but Harper re-invented it as one. He truly deserves it permanently attached to his name, and all its dividends this coming year.

Shun said...

For those interested in the movement to unseat Gary Lunn google Shun Lunn or visit: http://members.shaw.ca/shunlunn

Anonymous said...

I have been following this issue closely since before it broke and believe it is tied into two things.

1) The privatization of AECL was first floated in the media, in the biz pages in June 2006 and again in July 2007 as well as in recent weeks.

2) It is extremely likely that there was no isotope crisis. Nuclear plants in Europe were gearing up to cover any shortage from Chalk River. In fact, MDS-Nordion has an agreement with a Belgian supplier for exactly that. However, there could have been a financial crunch for MDS-Nordion who produce the isotopes. Their 1Q profits would have been down by millions with no Chalk River operation. Furthermore, they benefitted from the privatization of part of AECL when Mulroney was in charge.

We need a public inquiry to get to the bottom of this. Fraser's report should be the starting point, I think.

Anonymous said...

Berlynn, you are correct about Mulroney privatization, which stripped off the profitable part from AECL so that now Canadian taxpayers heavily subsidize medical isotopes, mainly for American customers. This is why no US company (or government agency) will touch medical isotopes and why problems with Chalk River cause a shortage in the US. The whole thing is a disaster and the deals made MDS may mean that Canadians are on the hook for propping them up for a long time. I agree an inquiry is needed. The partisan slogging we have recently witnessed is just the tip of the iceberg wrt AECL problems.