Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"Mr. Clean" Gets Smeared

Over the last few weeks, it has been a given in media accounts that the Harper government is clean as the driven snow. There has been talk of the non-lavish lifestyles of Harper, Dion, Layton and Duceppe - and how their wives all have lucrative careers. There have been references to the Gomery inquiry and subsequent unspecified improvements in preventing government ethics violations. There have been columns about how Schreiber is appearing in an Ottawa that is completely different from the old corrupt Ottawa he knew in the 80s and early 90s.

Schreiber disagreed.

In today's Ethics committee testimony, Schreiber alleged that Harper's government is even more corrupt than Mulroney's. Schreiber said that the big budgets (and presumably the biggest sources of corrupt funds) are in the ministries of Transport and Defence, and that Peter MacKay was moved to Defence because his old portfolio (External Affairs) had no budget and so provided no financial benefit to its minister. Schreiber said that Harper is so isolated that he may have no idea what's going on. Schreiber went on to mention a series of projects that had allowed influence peddlers to bribe the current government: the Minto deal, something in Nova Scotia, and submarines. Ouch.

New Democrat MP Pat Martin added that tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of the passing of anti-corruption legislation that Harper has yet to implement.

Is any of this true? I have no idea. I hope we don't have to wait 19 years to start looking into it.


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