Sunday, February 05, 2006

Why would Martin lie about Dingwall?

Much ado on the blogsphere this weekend (particularly over at Blogging Tories) about David Dingwall and his entitlements. As usual though, the Cons have the story wrong and ignore their own hypocrisy on the issue.

This Globe story has the background and the latest on an arbitrator ruling Dingwall was fired and is entitled to $417, 780 in compensation. Dingwall was forced-out of his job as head of the Royal Canadian Mint over Conservative allegations of expense account improprieties. After an independent audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers he was completely cleared of any wrongdoing. That’s important to remember. Yes, he acted like an arrogant dick (I’m entitled to my entitlements), but he didn’t break any rules. I don’t recall hearing any apologies from the Conservatives, but maybe I just didn’t buy a paper that day.

Anyway, while I find it odd that it would take an arbitrator to decide if the government fired the guy or if he quit, Jason Chernaik has an explanation that sounds plausible to me (in the comments):

Bill Graham said something very interesting. He suggested that Dingwall resigned, but then claimed in arbitration to have been fired. That is why I suspect that he claimed "constructive dismissal", which is a legal idea that you can be fired without really being fired.

The Conservatives and their blogging army are now claiming Paul Martin lied when he told the HoC back in the day that Dingwall had resigned. The comment above shows why that accusation is factually inaccurate. Martin told what he knew to be the truth at the time, Dingwall seems to have later modified his story. My question is why would Martin lie and say Dingwall had quit if he had actually fired him? What’s motivation for telling that lie? What does it gain him?

Would it not have been better for Martin, if he actually had fired Dingwall, to say “yeah, I canned his ass and I don’t condone his behaviour, next question?” It kills the story. So why on God’s green Earth would he fire Dingwall but then lie to the HoC and say he resigned? Loyalty to a Chretien loyalist? Puhhleazzze. To quote SNL’s parody of Johnny Cochrane: It does not make sense!

Fact check: The Conservatives wanted him fired. On the basis of tourqued allegations of wrongdoing that have been proven to be false, false allegations they have never apologized for leveling. The government had to agree with the arbitrator’s ruling because if Dingwall has sued they’d have lost, and the taxpayers would have been on the hook for more then he’s getting in his legally entitled severance. I’d rather he not get a dime, but the law is the law.

So I say to Stephen Harper: If you’re not just blowing smoke and going for cheap political points here but really believe there has been a wrong committed, then Monday morning after your swearing-in put a stop-payment on Dingwall’s cheque and invite him to sue you. Otherwise, quit wasting our time!

And Blogging Tories, why no comments on this story, hmm? I guess he feels entitled to his entitlements too.

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phil said...

"My question is why would Martin lie and say Dingwall had quit if he had actually fired him? What’s motivation for telling that lie? What does it gain him?"

Simple. Mr. Entitlements, as a former miniser of public works, has dirt on Mr. Dithers. So the latter has to be really careful as to how he treats the former. That is exactly why the latter put very little fight against his entitlements.
But then again, from a party who pocketed over a million dollars of our money, we can't expect much more, can we.

JD said...

The Conservatives are really setting themselves up for a huge fall. Imagine the feeding frenzy when there are Conservative screw ups. The media likes nothing better than to attack sanctimonious people like Jason Kenney. Since they've built their whole campaign on "ethics" the "rug will be pulled out from under them" soon enough - it is inevitable. BTW, I wonder if Harper's role in the Grewal scam will resurface? Enjoy the next couple of days Harper et. al. The fun is about to begin. Old Mike Harris retreads like Tony Clement (a guy who is so ashamed of his real last name that he changed it - wow, what a great example of personal character) and Flaherty in Cabinet. What a joke!

A BCer in Toronto said...

Simple. Mr. Entitlements, as a former miniser of public works, has dirt on Mr. Dithers.

Yes, simple indeed. I don't know why I didn't see it before. It was the butler in the pantry with the candlestick. And to think I've been called a tin foil hat wearer.

Unless Dingwall has 'dirt' on Harper, I trust Stephen will be putting a stop-payment on the cheque tomorrow and fight Dingwall in court, right?...

Rick W said...

I hope Harper does put a stop payment on Dingleballs check. I would love to see what might come out in court. You can discount it as another conspiracy theory or whatever, but the Liberal governments track record leads to most canadians being suspitious of them. Why do you guys continue to stick up for Dingwall. Someone here isn't telling the truth. It appears to be Dingwall who changed his story, but when the arbitrator finds that he is entitled to 417G's, it is now looking like Martin's version of events is untrue. The bottom line is, Dingwall stated under oath before the parliamentary committee that he resigned. Therefore, why not let him try to sue for severence.

A BCer in Toronto said...

*I'm not defending Dingwall. I'm correcting the record by stating the facts. I also said I do think he changed his story re: resign/fired. I think he's a dick.

*I'd like to read the arbitrator's report and his reasonings. But Dingwall's committee testimony is protected by privelege, and would not be admissable in a lawsuit. You may recall this was an issue with Guite and Gomery.

*If Harper doesn't put a stop-payment on the Dingwall severance, will it be because

a) Dingwall has dirt on him?
b) Harper is a pussy?
c) Harper recognizes the government has no legal ground to stand on and doesn't want to waste taxpayer dollars on a pointless partisan lawsuit?

*If Harper does let it go to court and Dingwall wins, costing the taxpayer even more in legal fees and damages, can I say I told you so and call in a boondoggle?

My prediction? Harper lets the cheque go through for reason C.

pale said...

David Dingwall resigned over his failure to register as a lobbyist and expenses he filed while heading up the Crown corporation.

Prime Minister Paul Martin said he had accepted Mr. Dingwall's resignation.

Dingwall became embroiled in this controversy after it was revealed he failed to register as a lobbyist for a Toronto pharmaceutical company.

His lobbying activities on behalf of Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. are under scrutiny by Industry Canada.

In May, 2000, Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. agreed to pay Mr. Dingwall $350,000 if the company were successful in getting at least $15-million under the department's Technology Partnerships Canada program, The Globe and Mail reported.

TPC rules forbid payment of contingency fees to lobbyists. This week, the company agreed to pay back more than $400,000 to Ottawa. His officials said this week that the failure to register, as required by federal law, was an "honest mistake"!

John McCallum, the former federal minister responsible for the mint, said he reluctantly accepts Mr. Dingwall's decision but respects his request to respond to the allegations fully without taking away from his position at the Mint.

Rick W said...

You may be correct in your prediction, but I am getting tired of the phrase "pointless partisan lawsuit" whenever a member of the sqeaky clean Liberal party is questioned about obvious irregularities. It's not a waste of taxpayers money when you try to bring credibility back to government. To turn the other cheek and try to just forget it is what is pissing off most canadians even more.

A BCer in Toronto said...


Investigate the lobbying stuff, there may be something there. And Dingwall's shifting story is shady. But my point with "pointless partisan lawsuit is this:

If all your legal advice indicates you would loose in court, it would be pointless to proceed.

And if you proceed against legal advice to go after a political opponent, that would seem to be partisan.

Hence, a pointless partisan lawsuit.

Again, I don't like Dingwall. In an ideal world we'd have canned him and told him where to go. But we have to live in the real world. It sucks, but that's life.

Rick W said...

Good points, Jeff. Without actually being privy to whats on the arbitrators report, we are left to speculation. As for your statement about Pallister's politicing with his aids, I guess that is his choice even if it doesn't look good. It's not like he took his chauffer?? to Paris or something. But seriously, here in Manitoba, if Brian Pallister wants to do the Conservative Party of Manitoba any favours, he will keep his inflated ego in Ottawa. Just my personal oppinion of the man.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly why the Liberals should not be in power. You actually think that excessive expenses are just part of the "entitlement".

And you don't think there is one damn thing that is wrong about it. I'm a tax payer and I certainly do not think that he is entitle to excessive expenses.

A BCer in Toronto said...

You actually think that excessive expenses are just part of the "entitlement".

Only problem is the expenses weren't excessive. An independant audit concluded they were within the rules and procedures set by the organization.

But don't let a little thing like the facts get in the way of a good rant.

phil said...

You still need to explain why PMPM said that Ding had resigned, when the arbit concluded he was fired. Either PMPM did not know what he was talking about, or he lied. Take your pick

A BCer in Toronto said...

Read more closely Phil, I'll explain again and in more detail.

Martin said he'd resigned because he had resigned. Dingwall seems to have changed his mind later at arbitration argued he was "constructively dismissed", which is legally equivelent to being fired. Translated, yes he resigned but he felt forced to resign to take the heat off of the government over the (false) allegations made against him by the Conservatives.

I'm not saying I agree with the arbitrator, but that is what he ruled and that is why there has been the resigned/fired confusion.