Colle-gate

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Pigs at the Trough

Well, it appears that the Liberals are at it again. Or more likely, they’re still at it and only got caught again. Ontario opposition parties claim to have caught the government using tax money in a “slush fund” scandal that is highly reminiscent of their federal Liberal counterparts.1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 12

“There is a clear perception that the Liberal government handed out millions of dollars seemingly without the basic checks and balances that taxpayers rightly expect.”2

“…opposition parties raised repeated examples of questionable grants given to groups, some with Liberal ties, while other reputable organizations were not even aware the funds were available.”10

“Premier Dalton McGuinty…is caught in a scandal reminiscent of the AdScam affair which brought down the federal Liberals last year. Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter, as his federal counterpart Sheila Fraser did in AdScam, delivered a devastating report on how $32 million of public money was literally shovelled out the door by the Liberals to selected community groups with little or no documentation, virtually on the sole say-so of citizenship minister Michael Colle and his staff.”13

Poltical Connections

“The connections…are piling up so fast Premier Dalton McGuinty can no longer justify blocking demands for an auditor general’s probe…”7

“Earlier this year, the Star uncovered five cases in which money was handed out to groups with Liberal ties…”8

Denials

“… rather than provide answers, Premier Dalton McGuinty and Colle have ducked the issue at every turn.”2

“For weeks, after the Star first revealed the questionable spending on April 18, McGuinty steadfastly refused to fire Colle and lashed out at opposition critics, once suggesting racism was behind their attacks.”8

Even though London “MPP Khalil Ramal, Liberal MPP for London-Fanshawe, was parliamentary assistant to Colle…”12 he is apparently trying to distance himself from the scandal or any knowledge about the way that the slush money was doled out: “Ramal said…he was surprised and unhappy to learn…”12

Investigation Demands

“Critics are pushing for a special probe by Ontario’s auditor general before the Oct. 10 provincial election to determine whether political favouritism played a role into how grants were awarded.”1

“Because of the government’s stonewalling, the only way to learn exactly what has happened is for McGuinty to authorize an independent review by the provincial auditor general. Such a probe could provide Ontarians with the answers they deserve about how their money was spent.”2

“Conservative Leader John Tory…and NDP Leader Howard Hampton have been calling for an auditor’s investigation into the way grants were handed out…without advance public notice or a formal application process.”7

Investigation Refusals

“The Liberals have voted down opposition motions for a special probe, arguing the auditor general is free to look at any spending as part of his annual review out in December.”1

“The Liberals…used their majority on the public accounts committee to block an opposition bid to have Auditor General Jim McCarter look into the fund and report back before the Oct. 10 election.”2

“McGuinty should have acted in April when the scandal first erupted. Instead, he stonewalled the Legislature for weeks.”3

Public Pressure Works

“Pressure from the opposition and newspaper editorials…to let the auditor general look at the books became so great that McGuinty finally relented…”3

“As the…”slush fund” scandal derailed the government’s agenda, he gave in to calls for a probe and asked the auditor general to investigate on May 10.”8

Auditor General Findings

“Auditor General Jim McCarter slammed spending controls on the grants as among ‘the worst that we’ve ever seen.’ His criticism was scathing as he detailed the lack of control and transparency as the money was doled out…”8

“It was one of the worst I have ever seen, with virtually no controls,” said Auditor-General Jim McCarter after outling the findings of his probe…9

“McCarter said…We had a number of grants where there wasn’t even documentation as to what they wanted the money for.”10

Doubtful Recovery

“One government source said he doubts it’s possible to get the money back because the grants were unconditional, and any recovery attempts could cause legal problems.”6

Accountability

In a recent television election commercial, Dalton McGuinty proclaims “We’re running on our record.”

Whatever the spin you try to put on it, Dalton, your record will certainly be used to judge you. And your countless broken promises from your last campaign as well.


01. http://www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/210752
02. http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/211738
03. http://www.thestar.com/article/240319
04. http://www.thestar.com/article/240467
05. http://www.thestar.com/article/240470
06. http://www.thestar.com/News/article/240465
07. http://www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/204843
08. http://www.thestar.com/News/Ontario/article/240471
09. http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=…
10. http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/National/2007/07/27/4371876-sun.html
11. http://www.thespec.com/news/Local/article/224609
12. http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Local/2007/07/28/4374789-sun.html
13. http://torontosun.com/Comment/Commentary/2007/07/27/4371751.html

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One Response to “Colle-gate”

  1. Toronto Tenants Association Says:

    Here is something that was posted this morning on Rabble about this:

    All I know is that at the time I checked out two groups who had been mentioned as getting grants without having any written applications, and this is what showed up in the web site domain registration for one of the groups, Inter-Cultural Neighbourhood Social Services, back on April 27, 2007 (when I sent the data to a reporter I know):
    Whois icnss.ca
    Domain icnss.ca
    Status: EXIST
    Organization: Mississauga West Provincial Liberal Association
    Date approved: 2002/07/09
    Last changed: 2002/07/09
    Renewal Date: 2007/07/09
    Registrar: Tucows.com Co.
    Description: The Mississauga West Provincial Liberal Association is an Ontario Riding Association serving members of the Ontario Liberal Party in the Mississauga West constituency.
    DNS1: ns.elehost.com
    DNS2: ns1.elehost.com

    Administrative Contact

    Name: Ms. Heather McKee
    Job Title: Treasurer
    Postal Address: Mississauga West Provincial Liberal Association
    Mississauga West Provincial Liberal Association
    5510 Turney Drive
    Mississauga ON L5M 4Y8 Canada
    Phone: +1 (905) 858-0535
    Fax: +1 (905) 858-1050
    Email: treasurer@mississaugawest.on.ca

    Technical Contact

    Name: Mr Bob Delaney
    Job Title: Treasurer
    Postal Address: Mississauga West Provincial Liberal Association
    Mississauga West Provincial Liberal Association
    7028 Rosehurst Drive
    Mississauga ON L5N 6Y8 Canada
    Phone: 905-785-6677
    Fax: +1 (905) 858-1050
    Email: bobdelaney@msn.com

    Since that time they have changed the site’s registration to remove any reference to the Liberal Party.

    It is no wonder there are claims that these groups might have had ties to the Liberal Party.

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