Monday, October 05, 2009

Show Us the Money

Regular readers will of course recognise Gerard Kennedy, Lib MP for Parkdale-High Park. You may not be as familiar with Senator Elaine McCoy, from Alberta.

Senator McCoy is a Conservative Senator, but that increasing rare form of Conservative, a Progressive Conservative...and she happens to be one of my favourite Senators.

With introductions out of the way, I'd like to point out that it is possible for parties to work together for the benefit of Canadians and underscore just how this present government makes that impossible.

I should note, that Kennedy and McCoy have not collaborated, but they could have. You see, they are both trying to follow the money the government of Canada is claiming to spend on stimulating the economy. Both have recognised that there have been an abundance of announcements and both were trying to measure the effectiveness of public dollars being spent. Both parties are frustrated and have found that the government is not being forthcoming with details. As a result, their efforts have been somewhat thwarted.

While it could be claimed by some, that MP Kennedy is simply on a partisan witch hunt, I'd ask you to first consider the man. Yes, he is a committed Liberal, but he is also a committed public servant with an earnest view of how government should operate. Senator McCoy, similarly, is a committed individual who wants the truth to be available to all Canadians, in spite of how this may reflect on the Conservative government. She has a reputation for being an independent voice and thinker, standing for truth for the region she represents.

The secrecy that this government is employing is shameful, maybe shameless, especially since they continue to tell all and sundry that they were elected because of the promised and (un)implemented Accountability Act. In fact, John Baird rose in the House today and had the temerity to insist that this is the most transparent government in our history. All opposition parties howled with laughter...and rightly so.

The opposite is true of course and if anyone out there is as geeky as me and caught some CPAC this weekend, that was beyond obvious. (More about that later in the week.)

Okay, I still don't have you? How about non-partisan contributors to this debate? Kevin Gaudet for instance. You know him. Head of the Taxpayer's Federation...against just about all spending by government. Or what about Kevin Page, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, appointed by this government then starved for money to keep his department working. They both agree that there is no clear way to follow the money and in Page's case, he's being denied access to the very numbers he was put in place to keep an eye on.

How is it that the electorate is buying what the government is selling them? Well, that might have to do with a certain, million upon million dollar advertising campaign, that you are paying for incidentally, taking the issue and turning it in to propaganda. There is something wrong in a democracy where this is allowed to happen and media seem not to see a story in this.

Given that, I should also note the following from Question Period today. Seriously, this is how bad, how disingenuous, this government has become. Martha Hall Findlay asked the pres. of the Treasury Board this:

[Martha Hall Findlay] (l): Mr. Speaker, I tried last week to get some answers on government advertising but got no answer, no numbers. So I'll try again and I'm going to ask the president of the Treasury Board, because after all, he is the one responsible for the spending and he should know. So how much exactly have Canadian taxpayers now paid for this government's partisan pat yourself on the back advertising so far?

Get ready for this...

The honourable president of the treasury board: [Vic Toews] 'Treasury, treasury well, in fact, the government of Canada does not bill the taxpayer for that kind of advertising. What the government of Canada does is get out key messages that reach a large number of Canadians on important issues -- and they laugh -- h1n1, elder abuse, the home renovation tax credit, Canadian forces recruitment. That's what the role of government is and we will continue to do that.

What a pathetic excuse for a Minister. Makes you really wonder what has gone on in his department doesn't it?

Member for Willowdale. [Martha Hall Findlay] Mr. Speaker, who does the president of treasury board thinks actually pays for government spending if it isn't the Canadian taxpayers? I'm not sure which is worse, the fact that he doesn't have the numbers, he doesn't know them or he's trying to hide something. Look at the t.v. campaign alone. We're talking tens of of millions of dollars. 40, 60, A hundred. Once in government, the government did away -- this conservative government did away with the rules restricting ad spending and they've run wild ever since. In '07-'08 they spent double what the previous government spent so I challenge the minister once again to give us a number, how much has this government spent on its advertising?

I won't bore you with his non answer. Suffice it to say, he wanted to talk about H1N1 instead...sort of.

We are in a mess here people, but it's not being spoken of with enough emphasis, in my opinion.

I've noted some people here who are speaking out, but unless we speak out, nothing is going to change.
Write your MP's for sure, but also write the editors of newspapers and demand more coverage. I know some journo's who would love to cover this stuff, but can't unless we create a demand.
We can do that, I know we can.
References here and here.


RuralSandi said...

We have journos? I think we only have opinion people. We've had weeks and weeks of headlines from the media attacking Ignatieff and at every moment Harper saying Canadians don't want an election.

Isn't that the Goebbels method - speak an untruth until it is perceived to be the truth?

The Gala, for example, was Sat night. We read and heard it all day Sunday.....and now all day Monday and Macleans even has the clip on their sidebar.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch a lot of things are being ignored.

So much for the voice of the people.

Lizt. said...

I know there is much to find out..don't you think Harper knows this? I don't know why the media is so mad at the Liberals ..what did Harper do , to suddenly get the love of the media..they believe all his lies..what is this Country coming to?
Harper knows exactly what he is doing, including that stunt the other night. RT has good one..Richard Nixon could really play piano.... we will have an election,one way or the other, so we do not find anything out..that is who he is.
I agree with RuralSandi .... every 5 minutes they are attacking Michael

FredfromBC said...

I agree with RuralSandi .... every 5 minutes they are attacking Michael


That would be because he has been lurching from crisis to crisis lately, and the news media loves that. They would love it just as much if it were Stephen Harper demonstrating his lack of political acumen daily, and Michael Ignatieff playing piano and singing.

And speaking of that, Ignatieff's lame attempt to sing an insult in response went over like a lead balloon (he didn't even get the words right). Just because the Prime Minister has a good PR day or two doesn't mean that you *have* to attack him; Canadians reject that kind of stuff as mean-spirited and pointless...

RuralSandi said...

It's all about taxpayer funding by the government.

The media is funded by taxpayers and that's what it's all about.

And, things are getting very bad for media so they need to suck up.

Jan said...

Just to clarify -- the economic action plan updates are a public service ad, so Canadians will know in these uncertain times, that there are steps being taken(as they should be)to assist them. They are non-partisan. I have no problem with this --especially since the MSM has been extremely lacking in informing Canadians.
The political ads are paid for by the Conservative Party of Canada (not the government) and are labelled such. Monies are from donation and the $1.95 per vote (which all political parties get)which is tax-payer funded.

KNB said...

Um, nice try Jan.

I am pretty clear on how it is upposed to work, however, if you believe that the Action Plan ad is non partisan, you're not watching the same ad's I am and experts across the country are.

Everyone has said if they don't cross the line, they are certainly on it.

If you are happy with your money being thrown away like that, well you deserve the gov't I presume you voted for.

MSM not doing enough to tell us what? That announcements are being made? Hockey rinks are being promised?

What a bunch of nonsense!

KNB said...

Yo, Jan. Sorry, you can't just come here and lie, nor can you post libelous comments.

Comment deleted

Sir Francis said...

Elaine McCoy's a gutsy lady, and she's doing traditional Progressive Conservatism proud. I look forward to watching her plunge more harpoons into Harper's flabby ass.

KNB said...

Sir Francis...isn't she? Love this woman.

I know most people/readers, wouldn't understand my siding/agreeing with a Conservative's her reason that sold me.

Funny thing about intelligence and reason. It resonates above all else.

FredfromBC said...

KNB said...

Um, nice try Jan.

I am pretty clear on how it is upposed to work, however, if you believe that the Action Plan ad is non partisan, you're not watching the same ad's I am and experts across the country are.


Um, nice try KNB.

Maybe you could point out what exactly is "partisan" about the ads in question (or the website, if you like). Are the Liberals or other opposition parties mentioned at all? Certainly Stephen Harper's name will be what? He is, after all, the Prime Minister of Canada and Leader of the Conservative Party. It's *his* government we're talking about here, and Canadians seem to be liking the job he is doing...

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