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Stephen Harper Failing to Clean Up the Bureaucracy

March 21st, 2006

When I sit here and write something about the political parties I disagree with, I try to be fair. I am biased for sure, but I do try to think about where they are coming from, and present that point, then I call them, liars and cheats.

I offer the above by way of introduction to this article, which is so completely void of fairness that it ought never have been allowed to be printed:

The Dingwall case is not the only example of how the new government has yet to cut its way through a thicket of bureaucratic practices that Information Commissioner John Reid says are denying the public essential knowledge.

It was six weeks ago yesterday the government of Stephen Harper was sworn in, an they have spent no (zero, nil, nata) days sitting in Parliament as a government. Here’s a quote from the story:

But last night, she (Sandra Buckler, Mr. Harper’s director of communications) said there was nothing the PMO could do because it would be “deemed as political interference.”

Riddle me this. If Sandra Buckler had interfered with the bureaucrats, do you think the story would have been a positive one? Or would they be excoriating Stephen Harper for interfering? That’s why this piece is patently unfair, they have written the government into a no win situation. Look at the lead in the story:

The new Conservative government has been caught in the potentially embarrassing situation of withholding information about the sudden “resignation” last year of former Liberal cabinet minister David Dingwall from his post as president of the Royal Canadian Mint.

But the story goes on to say:

The request had been working its way through the bureaucracy since before the election.

The PCO censorship process, and the eventual release of a file that contains almost nothing of substance, appears to have caught political officials in Mr. Harper’s office unaware

.The Conservatives have been withholding information on a report that started under the Liberal’s and that they knew nothing about. I’ll be the first to lambast them when, in two years time, things haven’t improved. I’ll jump right on the bandwagon of complaint if they stall, cover up and use the access to information act as a political barrier. But for God’s sake, give them time. At least a sitting of Parliament to enact a law or two. Then, if Jack Layton hasn’t called an investigation into every attempt to improve the access to information act, if the Liberal leader de jour hasn’t blocked all legislation involving the access to information act, I will happily go at Stephen Harper for not keeping this promise. But for now, there is no way The Conservatives could have improved the situation legally.

I don’t know why I’m surprised that the Globe and Mail gave us this piece, it is the paper that brought us Stevie Cameron, but I do expect better of our media. The Globe and Mail should be embarrassed.

And a big boo hiss to Bourque, who ran with the headline “HARPER’S PCO MUZZLES DINGWALL FILE.” There has been much criticism of Bourque recently, very much deserved it appears.


  1. Anonymous
    March 22nd, 2006 at 01:18 | #1

    Interesting comments. I love your intro.

  2. Anonymous
    March 22nd, 2006 at 08:44 | #2

    I should add that, while I love your intro, I think you should be ashamed of your attack on Bourque. Where were you during the election, under a rock ? Without his massive help we would not have won the election. Sure, it frustrates the hell out of me when he turns his nuclear arsenal on us when he thinks we deserve it. But, yes, convenient of you to forget how big a role he played in our victory.

  3. Brian
    March 22nd, 2006 at 10:11 | #3

    I do agree that Bourque seemed to turn during the election, but that headline is way off base. So I stand by my boo hiss on this instance.

  4. HLS
    March 22nd, 2006 at 17:58 | #4

    Politicians always make promises during the election. What else is new? Your article is well written. If you want to have a laugh, then read my post, STEPHEN “Le Bedaine” HARPER. An Open Letter To The Prime Minister. It can be found on my blog, hladdie.blogspot.com. Let me know what you think of it.

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