Wednesday, June 03, 2009

PMO "investigating" Lisa Raitt's document security breach

By investigate I'm sure they mean lots of people saying "what the hell happened?" and "can we blame the Liberals somehow?" This may buy them a day or two at best, but I'd be very surprised if question period isn't dominated with calls for the resignation or firing of Lisa Raitt, followed by intensive media scrutiny.

Besides, Harper has already set the standard.

From CP:

The Prime Minister's Office is investigating how a senior cabinet minister left behind sensitive government documents at television news bureau in Ottawa.

A spokesman for the prime minister, Kory Teneycke, says the government is still establishing exactly what went on.

CTV News reported that Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt or one of her aides left behind a binder of documents on Atomic Energy of Canada at its Ottawa bureau nearly a week ago.

The network says a federal government employee picked up the documents this morning after a story aired Tuesday night.

The report says the documents list millions of dollars in funding for the corporation that have not been made public, including $72 million to ``maintain the option of isotope production.''

A spokeswoman for Raitt declined to comment.
They may try to pin this on an anonymous staffer, deflect blame by attacking CTV for keeping and reporting on the documents, or both. Remember, they also tried to blame Julie Couillard when Maxime Bernier left secret documents at her apartment.

The buck stops with the minister, though. This is her responsibility as the minister. That's how our system works: ministerial responsibility. Lisa Raitt is going to have to fall on her sword. The only question is how long Stephen Harper lets her twist in the wind first.

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1 comment:

JimBobby said...

Whooee! Underlying all of this is teh fact that AECL is as incompetent as teh minister in charge of it. The AECL refurbishment of Bruce A 1&2 is now known to be 433 days behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget. Par for the nuclear course, I realize, but how can Ontario even consider AECL's unproven ACR-1000 design for its ridiculous $26.6 billion commitment to unneeded new nuclear builds?

That $26 Bn will undoubtedly turn into 10's of billions more and we all know who pays for these cost overruns.

Of course, Ontario could choose France's Areva to build teh new reactors. They're 42 months behind schedule on their only contract to build the same new generation EPR reactor that is being considered for Ontario. The Finnish project is also running 60% over budget on top of the fact that Finland was depending on Areva to be on time so that Finland would not face multi-million dollar penalties under Kyoto.

Governments need to face up to the fact that nuclear is the most expensive and least reliable option for meeting energy needs. We dole out lavish corporate welfare to these nuclear giants and, in turn, they use that money to lobby governments and mount public relations campaigns aimed at convincing decision makers and the public that they are selling a viable product.

The secrecy surrounding nuclear costs is only the tip of the iceberg. What are we not being told about lapses in safety and nuclear security? We are creating stockpiles of highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel without any permanent storage solution. These stockpiles are guarded by paramilitary swat teams who must constantly upgrade their capabilities to stay ahead of terrorists and rogue states. We are saddling countless future generations with these security costs all so we can continue to waste energy like there's no tomorrow.