Wednesday, January 25, 2012

MORE TRUMPHALISM FROM DUNDERDALE GOVERNMENT

It is not only the opposition parties that the current provincial government feels it should not be accountable to.

In addition to shuttering the House of Assembly to the members who were elected to sit there, the government has now told the Province's Auditor General to go pound sand.

Acting Auditor General Wayne Loveys has filed a formal complaint with the House of Assembly (which he is an officer of)  citing a "denial of access" to information related to the government's $5-billion infrastructure strategy.

The CBC is reporting that he has been stone walled  by Transportation and Works; Health and Community Services; Education; Municipal Affairs; and Justice related the expenditure of the infrastructure funds for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

The government issued a refrain that has become all to common with reporters,  and the province's Privacy commissioner, when they request public information -  the documents he wants are exempt from audit because they would disclose cabinet deliberations.

Cabinet deliberations about how real politics works. How the victors share the spoils! How Ministers horse trade projects, how most projects are approved on potential political payback, and if they take place in government districts, as opposed to opposition districts.

It is pretty early to be making comparisons to Tony Clement and the G8 legacy fund scandal or the Federal Sponsorship Scandal, but a lot of the public taxpayers money, $ 5,000,000,000 that was doled out. We have  right to know how the decisions were made, if we got value for our money and if the process was unduly partisan.

Public bodies in this province have already abused the privacy legislation by claiming privilege over records that they simply did not want made public. Considering the lessons learned (and sentences doled out) through the House of Assembly scandal one would think that that a performance audit would be a good idea.

Of course the A.G. has been gagged from talking about situations regarding misspending at the legislature.  Under legislation passed in 2008, the only public disclosure of inappropriate MHA or staff spending happens if criminal charges are filed.

"Trust me, it is okay" does not work for me. If they are so confident in the decisions and the process, why not let the AG in? I am not suggesting that any one has done anything illegal, god forbid. They cannot blame people for being suspicious, one can only surmise that they have something to hide.


The refusal to be accountable to the Auditor General is symptomatic of a government that has been showing unprecedented arrogance only a few months after winning a majority government.

I hope that Loveys does not become another Darlene Neville.


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