A story about Gary Goodyear has been around for a couple of days now. It's not a good story, in fact, it could well be a story that is devastating to the Minister of State, but at the moment it's difficult to know what to make of it.
As the story goes, an adoption agency that declared bankruptcy has been linked to Goodyear and his wife. The details still aren't clear, but there is enough there to be concerned. More about that later, because it's the character of Goodyear that drew me to this and I'd like to top note that a bit.
You see, this story falls into an unattractive pattern for this MP. The first time I remember noticing Goodyear was watching the Procedures and House Affairs committee meetings. He was chair and his behaviour was deplorable, to the point that he was eventually ousted. He managed to maintain a fairly passive aggressive stance during meetings, so some of it flew under the radar, but his lack of objectivity and blatant partisanship were thinly veiled and I recall being astonished that the business of the nation could be conducted in that manner. (I know. I soon learned that many in the CPC behaved accordingly)
The committee was trying to get to the In and Out overspending and it was clear that Goodyear was having none of that. No investigation for us!..was his message. Since then, I've watched him and he's become increasingly more arrogant, more partisan and um, less free with the truth, shall we say.
So I was a bit surprised when he was appointed the Minister of State Science and Technology, but then thought maybe he had displayed the traits most desired by this PM to hold such a title. Think Clement, Baird, Nicholson, Day, Toews...wait! I'd have to name most of them but you get the idea.
When the controversy about evolution came up earlier this year, it brought even more of his character to light. His bizarre answer to a question on evolution illustrated his mindset and defensiveness and brought into question his dedication to portions of his file, specifically funding to labs that use model organisms rooted in the Theory. Noted: Goodyear oversaw $147.9 million in funding cuts for science programs, the most prominent being no funding for new projects at Genome Canada. Obviously his motives were called into question.
So now back to the main story. What to make of it? Consider this, as put forward by Kady O'Malley:
According to the Statement of Affairs released earlier this week by BDO Dunwoody, the agency was paying $3,000 a month to Constant Energy for property at 382 Queen Street West in Cambridge. BDO lists Constant Energy’s total outstanding claim at $96,000, which works out to 32 months rent, and it is the first entry on the list of “preferred creditors for wages/rent/etc.” The Queen St. W property is currently occupied by the Hespeler Community Chiropractic Centre.
So Goodyear is co-owner of Constant Energy, which happens to be the landlord for property that Imagine rents...except they appear not to have paid rent for almost 3 years? In another account, it appears that maybe 3 property's were rented by the group, but not clear if any were ever used.
So what is going on? Goodyear's wife is prominent within the Imagine organization and Goodyear himself said that he had no involvement but once again, that's not entirely true is it?
Gary Goodyear, who is minister of state for science and technology and MP for Cambridge, said in a written statement this week that his wife wasn't involved in the agency's finances and that he has "never been involved with the operations of the agency."
He did not mention Constant Energy, a real estate holding company that rented office space to the adoption agency for $3,000 a month under a three-year lease. The minister disclosed his ownership of the company, as required, to the federal ethics commissioner this year.
He declined through his spokesperson yesterday to be interviewed or answer written questions about the company's business dealings with the agency.
Imagine Adoption, which Gary Goodyear praised at a ribbon-cutting ceremony when it moved into new offices last year, was subletting the office to another business.
This is a story worth watching. Goodyear's record doesn't bode well for a good outcome, but we will have to wait and see.
If anyone is in Goodyear's riding and has anything further to add, feel free to comment or e-mail me if you'd prefer privacy.
Update - Another view.