Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Despite the new era of restraint, the Progressive Conservative Government is continuing to dole out patronage to defeated candidates, creating lavish new jobs and making a mockery of the Premier's crusade to reign in spending.

It is difficult not to respect John Noseworthy. While some were critical of  the job he did as Auditor General, I think he did an incredible job of making government departments, agencies and crown corporations accountable for the way in which they spent taxpayers money, managed programs and deployed resources.

He was not intimidated by power, in fact he spoke truth to power, earning a great deal of respect in, and outside of the provincial government.

The opposition paint him as a defeated Progressive Conservative candidate that is being rewarded for running against NDP Leader Lorraine Micheal in last year's provincial election. If anything, Noseworthy was naive about politics. The man is a career civil servant who believes in service. It is no secret that he spoke with the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives about running. If he was an opportunist, he would have spoken to the Progressive Conservatives a lot earlier and vied for a winnable seat! My point, he believes in public service.

In fact, didn't a couple of gritty MHA's offer him the Liberal Party on a shinny platter? I remember the alleged fall-out when Noteworthy rejected the overtures at last years Regatta. On top of that, the official oppositions criticism ranks of hypocrisy. Their Chief of Staff is a former MHA that resigned, but is now getting paid by public funds in another role.Wasn't the hiring for that position short circuited as well? I assume the former Liberal Cabinet Minister is hauling down two salaries!

The rub is that at a  point in time when the Premier is calling for restraint and laying-off employees in a bloated un-checked organization, that has refused to listen to past warnings from auditor general about unsustainable levels of spending, has given a defeated Progressive Conservative candidate a $140,000 clean-up just one department.

Noseworthy has never run a department. He is a dam good public accountant. If he had been appointed to head a  task force to look at government wide spending, a comprehensive program review, his percieved reward might be more palatable. If he had been appointed as a Deputy Minister for the department he has been assigned to clean-up, the optics would have been better.

Is Noseworthy the best person for the job, of course not. Government has  dozens of senior planners, accountants and HR people that could have handled this job. A RFP could have been issued for the services.

A $140,000 contract to a former P.C. candidate in receipt of a government pension in an atmosphere where all other contract and temporary employees are fearing for their jobs is not only not very politically astute, it undermines the Premier's credibility in dealing with a long overdue review of government spending.

For many, the fact that Noseworthy has been given this gig speaks to hypocrisy., do as I say, not as I do. This is a shame, because up to this point, Noseworthy has always oozed credibility.

Now he will be perceived as another political pig thrashing around in the public trough.

How disappointing.


Cyril Rogers said...

Peter, Mr. Noseworthy's patronage appointment, and that of Kelvin Parsons as the Liberal Chief-of-Staff, is one of the reasons I am so discouraged about both parties. The Liberals had an excellent opportunity for renewal, new directions, electoral reform and so forth but Mr. Parsons' appointment sends the wrong message, just as the appointment of Mr. Noseworthy does for the PC's.

Both of these individuals had decent careers, and I have nothing against either of them personally, but their appointments just demonstrate how corrupt and full of cronyism the system is. It must change if we are to ever have open and transparent goverments. Call me naive but I am still hopeful that the system can be changed and improved in ways that will allow the average person to truly have their vote count and to be able to have meaningful input.

Mark said...

Cyril - I think a lot of people would echo that sentiment. In a province which tens of thousands have left, it is unconscionable that individuals simultaneously collect pensions and salaries from the same employer (i.e. the province's taxpayers). It is not acceptable in the bureaucracy, it is not acceptable in politics, it is not acceptable in the school boards or the health system. But it has become pervasive.

Wm. Murphy said...

This is a shame, because up to this point, Noseworthy has always oozed credibility.


this from the man that still had the smell of AG on him while he was slinging out Tory propaganda on the hustings.

John Noseworthy has been a Joke then and continues to be ethically bankrupt as he continues to slurp from the trough.

The issue of Parsons has nothing to do with this either. The Libs have a pot of money that they can do what they want with. They can spend it all on one person or hire a bunch of people. The optics are bad and they will eventually answer to that...I could care less what happens in the Opp for Noseworthy, it just shows how out to lunch they are....listening to Burke and the Premier defend the decision is priceless!

Peter L. Whittle said...

I think most people would say that he did a good job as Auditor General. The fact that two AG's in a row were PC candidates is interesting. I would not have considered the job as a launching pad for elected politics.

The Libs do not have a pot of money, the official opposition does. I FIND It HYPOCRITICAL when they criticize the hiring of Noteworthy without a hiring process when they abandoned an advertised competition to hire a pensioner themselves. On that level, I feel comfortable being critical.

I certainly do not endorse, support or see any rationale to support the partisan appointment of a former tory candidate to a gold plated job that is unnecessary.

The liberal criticism that there is no need for the hiring, that it is a partisan reward and that it goes against the Premiers new policy of restraint is fair game.

The lack of a hiring process and Noseworthy's pension..give me a break..nothing to hang their hat on at all...