Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson won’t probe potential conflicts of interest in Conservative candidate Peter Penashue’s campaign in Labrador after Green Party leader Elizabeth May launched a complaint. Penashue stepped down as Harper’s cabinet minister after acknowledging his campaign accepted illegal campaign donations in the 2011 election campaign. Meanwhile polling trends appear set to give Liberal candidate Yvonne Jones a landslide victory in the riding with over 60% of the popular vote.
Upon an audit made on the housing allowance and meal expenses of Liberal Senator Mac Harb and Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau, and on travelling expenses of Conservative Senator Pamela Wallin, thousands of dollars will have to be repaid. Senate caucus meetings will take place tomorrow to determine if the forensic audits should be forwarded to the RCMP. This comes at a time when the relevance and legitimacy of the Senate are questioned and the Official Opposition argues the institution should be abolished.
A CBC News Investigation has found Canada will be paying up to ten times more than other countries to design ice-breaker ships for Arctic patrol. The design for the Canadian ship, set to be similar to the Norwegian model will cost $288 million to design while Norway paid less than $100 million to design and build their ships in 2002.
While the PMO and Prime Minister Stephen Harper think it is alright to use taxpayer money to fund a campaign of smears and deceit, a growing number of Conservative MPs are standing up for their principle and rejecting petty and desperate politics. Recently the Liberal Party got a leak of “10-percenter” ads the Conservatives planned to mail constituents on tax-payer dimes to attempt to smear Justin Trudeau.
Auditor General Michael Ferguson released his annual spring report which found lack of information to be the theme of the Conservatives’ program spending. Included in this analysis is $3.1 billion in funding for anti-terrorism which can’t be accounted for and off the radar. In times of economic uncertainty and austerity, can the Conservatives really afford to lose $3.1 billion without having it accounted for?
If the Conservatives couldn’t have stooped to a new low, according to a leaked document, they are now planning to use our money and Parliamentary mail privileges to distribute their petty and pathetic attacks against Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. As a taxpayer, it is appalling to learn the money that is shelled out is going to go to petty politics the Conservative Party can pay for themselves. This alone should be met with an electoral loss in 2015, Harper is in way over his head.
Conservative MP Peter Penashue resigned his Labrador seat Thursday after admitting to accepting $27,850 in 28 illegal donations and claiming it to be a mistake of one of his volunteers. Penashue is being investigated by Elections Canada and a report will be released shortly. Based on recent findings, this electoral scandal goes up the Tory hierarchy. Penashue intends to run again and a veteran Liberal is ready to take him on.
Stephen Harper’s recent defense of Senator Pamela Wallin’s travelling expenses in times of austerity should have raised a red flag. Add on top of that, Senator Bert Brown’s claim that asking for his traveling expenses is a “threat” and what we already know of Senators Mike Duffy and Patrick Brazeau and only one thing can be said: for Conservatives, it’s alright for senators to be loose with taxpayer money.
International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino is defending $544,813 in federal funding that went to Ontario-based evangelical group Crossroads Christian Communications that describes homosexuality as a perversion and a sin. The group produces television programs and received the money to dig wells, build latrines and promote hygiene awareness in Uganda until 2014.
The senate is supposed to be a chamber of sober thought. Once the partisan House of Commons has finished getting legislation passed, the Senate is to revise it and amend it where necessary. In recent years, however, the senate has become as much a political obstacle as the House and not without its fair share of grievances Canadians can fire a corrupt parliamentarian but getting rid of a corrupt senator is a much harder task.