Friday, March 03, 2006

CBC: Ethics watchdog will investigate Harper

The CBC is reporting Ethics Commissioner Bernard Sharpiro will investigate Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his conduct in inducing former Liberal David Emerson to cross the floor and join his cabinet.

Said Shapiro: "...the subject of this inquiry is the prime minister..."

Oh, the fun questions this raises. Here's just two, off the top of my head:

1/ Will Harper find the time to speak with with Shaprio in person, or will he send his latest lobbyist turned communications director to speak for him instead?

2/ Will Harper resign until the results of the investigation are released?

Well, back to (pretending to) work, but that was fun!

Ethics watchdog to examine conduct of Harper, Emerson
Last Updated Fri, 03 Mar 2006 15:11:45 EST
CBC News

The federal ethics commissioner says he is opening a preliminary inquiry into conflict-of-interest allegations against Prime Minister Stephen Harper concerning his formerly Liberal cabinet minister David Emerson.

Emerson ran as a Liberal in the campaign leading up to the Jan. 23 general election, but was a surprise appointment to Harper's Conservative cabinet on Feb. 6.


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CurisoitykilledTheCat said...

Gotta love it. The Ethics Prime Minister being investigated by the Ethics Commissioner for enticing an elected parliamentarian to walk away from his voters and join another party.

“Superficial criticism” my foot!

It will be very interesting to see just how much of this investigation is made public, and how cooperative Messrs Harper and Emerson will be.

I am sure the voters of Vancouver Kingsway would like public disclosure of the materials provided to and part of the Ethics Commissioner’s investigation.

By the way, I wonder if the Commissioner will be calling for evidence from others directly involved? I could just imagine the number of disaffected Liberal party members who volunteered time and money to elect Emerson, relishing in his statements of opposition to Mr Harper’s New Tories, who would now welcome a chance personally to explain to the Commissioner just how much they feel cheated by the defection of their MP.

Must be at least a dozen voters who would like to explain their dismay, perhaps hundreds ...

Could be a long hearing.

Anonymous said...

So this is what Stephen Harper was talking about when he mentioned the checks and balances of the Liberals who were put in place by Mr. Martin. Anyone who thought that the Ethics Commissioner was competely unbiased . . . think again.

Clown Party of Canada said...

I wonder if he will investagate if it was ethical for Martin not to tell Canadians about Dingwells severance pay unil after the election - when he knew three Days before te election? Also for giving it to him as his last act as PM? As a slap in the face to all decent Canadians - No wonder the LIEberal party is distncing themselves from him.

Let's face it, he was on Martins side no matter what he did.

So far he has cleared ALL LIEberals of any wrong doing - if he doesn't clear Harper then it proves he was bought by the LIEberals.

Ethichs Comissioner, what a joke. It would be like giving all the LIEberals a position in Paralament to make them feel better. Sorry. LIEberals already did that.

Anonymous said...

How about Tony Vallerri's money laundering house flip scheme; or Volpe's immigration situation; or gosh, the conflict of interest for Paul Martin's companies to have received more than 1/2 billion dollars from the government under various shell companies owned by CSL, or how about making one of the AdScam agency bosses Ambassador of Costa Rica; or how about Paul Martin's company receiving $1 million from Saddam's oil for food scam through Mo Strong or how about which Liberals who now sit in government received dirty money to finance their elections or.... come on people - let's get some complaints in there if that is all it takes to make the Liberal lap dog sit up and do his doggy doo doo dance.

Or, is he only motivated when it is Conservative meat he smells.

Anonymous said...

I love it. It is getting better all the time. The Ethics Commissioner did not let us know about the Grewel affair before the elections, nor Harper not wanting to meet with him. If he is so much of a Liberal,why did he hold back so he would not interfere with elections ?

ottlib said...

I think that Canada's politics needs to move away from the constant scandal mongering that has been going on and is still going on.

We should be talking about the issues that are important to our country.

However, the Conservative reaction to this is priceless.

You made Liberal scandal a cornerstone of your last three election campaigns and now you are complaining when the tables are turned.

What the %$#*& did you expect?

That old cliche of "He who lives by the sword dies by the sword" has been around so long because it is so true.

I have a reason to complain about this because one of the reasons why I dislike the Conservatives is their constant scandal mongering and it infuriates me that the Liberals seem to be going down that road as well. Hopefully, when the leadership race really gets going we will start to talk about the issues that are important to Canadians instead of this BS.

At any rate Conservatives should not be complaining about this as much as you should be complaining about Stephen Harper giving his opponents an opening so early in his mandate.

It was Stephen Harper that pitched his opponents three lob balls so don't blame them for trying to hit them out of the park.

CoteGauche said...

I wonder if the PM will actually find time to talk to the Ethics Commisioner about this investigation. I still don't think he has found time to talk to him about the Grewal tapes.

Dana said...

"The Prime Minister's Office attacked the credibility of the ethics commissioner Friday night after he announced an investigation into conflict of interest allegations against Stephen Harper."

Then again perhaps Happer will just have Shapiro stood up against a wall.

Anonymous said...

After parliament was disolved Mr. Kenny asked Mr. Shapiro to investigate Tony Valari and the land deal. Mr. Shapiro sent Mr. Kenny a letter stating that because parliament was no longer in session he did not have a mandate to investigate any members of parliament. I guess the house is sitting as we speak, right? Typical Liberal attitude. Make the rules up as you go.

moquitlam said...

Yeh, not like your Tory PM Stephen flintstone -- dismantling his ethics platform on the fly... showing that it is possible to be a worse party in power than in opposition. Looks good on you Harpocrite!
As Nelson Muntz would say
'Hah Haw!'

A BCer in Toronto said...

The entirely predictable Conservative reaction to this siutation is like a microcosm of the scandal response strategy I've seen from their blogsphere army since I've been posting. In short it's "Well the Libs did it too! He/She/It is a Liberal hack! What about (insert real or imagined unrelated Liberal scandal here)!"

Why did the Cons not just say "We've done nothing wrong here, everyone knows that. If Mr, Sharpiro wants to investigate let him, we have nothing to hide. In the mean time, we've got a country to govern and issues of real importance to focus on..."

Maybe because they do know they did something wrong? Interesting times.

Scotian said...

Again Harper illustrates there is one set of rules for him and his friends and another for everyone else. This man is such a raging hypocrite when it comes to principles and ethics let alone accountability. At every turn when he has had to deal with problems/scandal within his party he has done everything possible to bury it, and when that wouldn't work he would do everything in his power to obfuscate and muddy the matter so that unless one was paying very close attention to details from the outset one could be easily misled.

I just finished a rather lengthy post at Saundrie about this attitude of Harper's, including a recap of his actions and inactions in the Grewal fraud. So I am not going to add much here except to say this shows a degree of arrogance surpassing the Liberals, and to have such within weeks of becoming a government is NOT a good sign.

CuriosityKilledTheCat said...

Who shall guard the guards?

Clearly something stinks in Denmark (on the Rideau), and the stench emanates from both the former governing party and the current one. The average citizen reads or hears about the shenanigans and shakes his or her head, disbelievingly.

There are two issues: (1) Whether we need an ethics commissioner to keep Parliamentarians on the straight and narrow and if so what kind of commissioner with what kind of powers. (2) Should the Emerson-Harper deal be investigated and should Harper cooperate with the ethics commissioner.

In my view the answer in both cases is Yes.

Yes to a properly constituted Ethics Commissioner, appointed as a member of the civil service, with a legislated independent mandate, and an a mandate to be impartial.

Yes to Harper and Emerson cooperating with the Ethics Commissioner.

Stephen Harper campaigned on a platform of ethics, as Mr Clean, bringing a new broom to the capital city. He won a narrow victory. Now it is time for him to govern in a clean and ethical manner. By doing these two things – passing legislation for an independent ethics commissioner, and cooperating re the Emerson walkabout – he will be acting in accordance with promises made before the election.

By not doing these two things, he will be breaking promises made to the voters.

It is as simple as that, and no contortions of logic an obscure this moral simplicity.

Anonymous said...

BCer, if you look at my blog you'll see I took that approach whole-heartedly.

The Conservatives DID nothing wrong, so go ahead, conduct your investigation utilizing your newly-righteous Ethics Commissioner who did nothing to investigate, oh, sorry, cleared the Liberals of all kinds of wrong doings.

It's funny how you guys can be so crystal clear on conservative hypocrisy, yet adamantly denied it being so in your tenure in office.

Why don't you be honest.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Woo, simmer down there Dark Blue. I'm glad to see you took the line you did on your blog. I think it's right politically, and factually. (Other then the fact Sharprio didn't have the job when Brison crossed.) I'm no Shaprio fan, and I agree with my own advice for Harper. Marganizle by ignoring. As much as the Emerson thing pisses me off, it is politics as usual, and isn't forbidden by any existing rules.

That has been my view throughout this. What I've been on about is the flip floppery on Conservative positions on floor crossing pre and post election.

As for this post itself I just found the fact the EC was investigating Harper hilarious. How could I not? As I'm said, I'm no Shapiro fan but he has the job for the time being. I'm loathe to acknowledge Harper is the PM, but I have to deal with it.

As for my bring silent on Liberal hypicroacy, well, I haven't, as a read of my blog will demonstrate.

Anonymous said...

I'm fine, BCer, just thought you were saying something you weren't. As a matter of fact, you display some serious logic and level-headedness that is rarely found among the Liberal bloggers, and for that I commend you. (I'm a regular visitor, you just may not know it yet, hehe.)

That being said, perhaps you'd want to call me a Mulroney Tory, seeing as how I don't give a crap six-ways from Sunday what stunts we pull, as long as it's us doing it.

Hey, at least I can admit to being a dirty slime-bucket.

Typical Tory, no?

But seriously, Shapiro should be the one who's investigated, no the Prime Minister. And that fact is as good as gold.

;) How are you today?

A BCer in Toronto said...

I'm fabulous, Dark Blue. The sun is coming out again in Toronto and warmer weather is on the horizon. And in Ottawa, Stephen keeps providing more and more entertainment. I'm not loathe to say it's fun...

CuriosityKilledTheCat said...

One Martin, Two Martins; One Probe, Two Probes; Next Step, the Clean Parliament Act...

So NDP MP Martin has asked the Ethics Commissioner to investigate the Stronach/Martin walkabout.

Good for him! One of the strongest tenets of a working democracy founded on the rule of law is that there should be one law, for all.

Every MP has the right to ask the Ethics Commissioner to investigate. This is one of the checks and balances in our Parliament.

This is one way we manage to guard the guards.

Now, the Ethics Commissioner should investigate both the Emerson and Stronach walkabouts, using all the powers of his office to ensure that all MPs he wishes to talk to about these matters, obey the law and give him the cooperation the law says is due to him.

And then, when the dust is settled, let us have the NDP and Bloc cooperate in introducing the Clean Parliament Act, being some real legislation on ethics. No loopholes, no vagueness, sharp clarity about walkabouts, lobbyists etc. It would stand a good chance of being passed if the Bloc, NDP and Liberals want it to.

Take a very brave and very foolish party to oppose the Clean Parliament Act given recent events.