Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Dissing Spector and Other Committee Meeting Revelations

What a bizarre day at various committees.

The Natural Resources Committee heard from the senior VP of AECL, Brian McGee, Gordon Edwards the President of the Canadian Coalition of Nuclear Safety as well as Dr. Perry of UBC and Dr. Gulenchyn a nuclear medicine specialist from Hamilton. She's also an adviser to the federal government.

I didn't hear the entire meeting, but what I did hear tells me that the government is going to have a hard time shaking this fiasco. McGee admitted that the upgrades needed were not given the proper priority. Gordon Edwards asked why the AECL and MDS Nordion haven't been called to account and that the firing of Linda Keen was a classic case of shooting the messenger. Dr. Perry asked the committee to get to the bottom of the issue to determine whether or not this was the emergency they made it out to be, because he had no knowledge of anyone in imminent danger of dying as a result of the shut down and finally, even the government witness Dr. Gulenchyn could not state that there were actual cases of peoples lives being at risk. She also admitted that therapy was NOT an issue.

To my ear, the government lied once again and continues to.

A fuller explaination can be found here and if more info surfaces I'll add it. I will say this though. The Canadian Medical Association Journal has an article that suggests that the international community was neither consulted or tapped as they should have been. It suggests to me that MDS Nordion's bottom line may have been protected here along with some of AECL's income. McGee suggests that they only receive 30 million a year from Nordion, (don't you love it when they throw in the word only with sums like that?), because that is only 10% of their income stream. The article (pdf) is here.

Then it was on to the Procedure and House Affairs Committee. You remember them right? That's the committee that is trying to look at the Conservative "In and Out" scheme during the last election. I say trying because the meeting started at 11:00 and ended at 17:30 (sorry I worked at airports for a time and the 24 hour clock is easier for me) that's 5:30pm and there was basically only one person speaking. That would be the Conservative member, Tom Lukiwski. Yep, he spent almost the entire day talking, or should I say spewing the same nonsense over and over and over. Basically he was saying, you can't see mine 'till you show me yours. It was beyond ridiculous, but an apparently a legitimate tactic that I happen to think is a waste of time and money. To be fair, I have no idea of how many times the Lib's employed this during the last government. That said, I think there is a limit to how often they can do this and they have done it often. This was their last kick at the can.

Iif you want a great take at what went on, here's is Kady O'Malley's live blog. She makes me laugh out loud often and I consider that quite the talent on this unemotional of all mediums.

And finally, we had the Ethic's Committee and the anticipated bombshell of Norman Spector. Now, this one is interesting. The media I've seen thus far is trying to say it was much ado about nothing, but I disagree.

It was the media who suggested that this was going to be damning, Spector only said he would provide context for lot's of money/cash, being transferred to Mulroney. As I saw it, Spector came to the committee to tell them how common it was for Mulroney and perhaps other PM's to get top up's of their salaries from their Party. Was it bizarre that Mulroney stashed cash in freezers? Without a doubt, but the practice of transferring cash apparently was not. Of course you can have your own views on that practice, but it seems to me that this was not his point.

He indeed lectured the committee members and without saying it, he was feeding them the adage, follow the money, but for gawd's sake, follow the right money.

The media seem to be doing a bit of butt covering here by discrediting Spector and it should be obvious to all that I am the last person who would traditionally support him but I hope it's just as obvious that I try to look at most issues objectively or at least look at fact.

He raised good points and attempted to re-focus the Committee on what is important. Specifically Bearhead. Why after it was apparently dead did it keep being discussed? That stinks for sure.

My comment at this point would be why did Mulroney's team spend so much time trying to diffuse his testimony? I mean unless you are feeling a bit vulnerable, why would you go on the defensive? I'm just asking because Robin Sears, who in my opinion has no credibility left (paid for hire kind of guy from the NDP to Mulroney, quite the feat don't you think?), has been on every media source that I've had access too. He's playing Spector as the buffoon, though the more he speaks I would suggest he's filling that bill.

Yes Spector was both dramatic and melodramatic and I know that Sears is paid to say this stuff, but do you know what? It's time for us to cut through the junk, demand truth from government, parliamentarians and media.

It's sport to suggest that the US dumbs down their public. I don't think that we've been paying close enough attention to what is going on here.

Speaking of the US, off to Super Tuesday...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hilarious reworking of Brian Mulroney's bio "borrowed" from his law firm's website: