It is now Day 18 and the English-language leaders' debate is tonight. Are you excited? I know I am! And for we, the media, thus begins the fixation of looking for a “knockout moment,” which may never happen, but we’ll be counting on one all the same.
The reverberation of that leaked auditor general’s draft report continued to ricochet around the nation’s capital yesterday. Later in the day, the plot thickened not once, but twice. First, the Conservatives decided to try a bit of damage control and leak a later draft of the damning report chapter to both CTV and QMI/Sun Media. The draft was promptly posted. While the language is toned down in a few of the criticisms, it’s still pretty damning about the government's disregard for Parliament with respect to the expenditures from the Border Infrastructure Fund (Huntsville is nowhere near a border crossing) and its not using the appropriate process in deciding how the funds were to be spent.
Then the plot thickened again.
The CBC reported that the Conservatives inserted a quote from the auditor general that purported to praise their spending practices around the G8/G20. (This was found hidden in a dissenting opinion of a parliamentary committee report tabled to Parliament on the day of the vote that brought the government down.) The problem is that she didn’t praise them. She never appeared at that committee and the phrase was taken from an interview she gave on Liberal spending practices after examining security infrastructure in the wake of 9/11. She was not happy and demanded its retraction in a scathing letter; Stockwell Day went on TV to apologize. Taking liberties with the auditor general is a very dangerous thing to do and reinforces the narrative of the Conservatives’ contempt for Parliament. This cannot end well.
Kady O’Malley gives us a primer on where those leaked documents would have come from and what that means.
Susan Delacourt reminisces about past spending abuses and the sad fact of the efficacy of pork.
The CBC’s Reality Check team reminds us that the Conservatives’ increasing of health transfers isn’t something they’ve done of their own volition, but rather they’re honouring the agreement that Paul Martin made in 2004.
Because we’ve heard so much about it during the election campaign and the weeks leading up to it, you should probably know that Quebec is starting the planning process for replacing the Champlain Bridge; it’s now a “when,” not an “if” a new one will be needed.
Today’s Bruce Carson revelation is that he took his former fiancée – another former escort and alleged money launderer – to a party at 24 Sussex, where she met the prime minister. Ooh, this is all just so tawdry that the media will lap up this latest revelation as well.
And the lawyer advocating against the government position in the polygamy trial argues that our polygamy laws are outdated relics from the 1890s and wouldn’t stand up to a Charter challenge – which is really what the whole trial is about.