Julian Fantino
2 min

Fallout from those website exemptions

The story of the government’s exempting itself from its own rules on the Economic Action Plan website continues to reverberate around the Nation’s Capital. Of the better stories today, the CBC’s Kady O’Malley delves further into those Treasury Board exemptions, while The Globe and Mail posts the paper trail of the broken rules. The Liberals, not wanting to be left out, presented a mock invoice to the Conservatives, which says they owe the treasury $45 million for the partisan advertising.

There are also revelations that suspended former Liberal senator Raymond Lavigne, who is facing fraud charges, has been racking up thousands of dollars in expenses while on suspension and unable to actually do any senatorial duties. Which is bad, and hey, maybe the Senate does need to look at tightening its rules and disciplinary procedures for such an event (but doing it in a way that recognizes that this is a body of legislators that has to remain independent, and that accountability mechanisms should reflect that). But cripes, could We The Media stop using the word “unelected” as an epithet, considering that almost no one who uses it actually knows anything about what the Senate actually does or what its purpose is, or the reasons why it wasn’t designed to be an elected body? Because it is actually something of some significance.

David Akin sucks up to Julian Fantino in this piece for Sun Media. Heather Mallick, meanwhile, calls out the tactic of appointing Fantino to the seniors' portfolio as a ploy to get more elderly voters rather than as doing something significant on the file. Also of note – a shakeup of the cabinet committees has put public safety into social affairs, and who’s a member of that? Julian Fantino. So it looks like he may still have some influence on police policy (as much as any cabinet minister has any influence in this government).

Susan Delacourt (yet again) calls out the media’s penchant for quoting these “anonymous Liberal sources” who really seem more like Conservative operatives than anything.

Here’s a look at tax cuts versus tax expenditures, and what it means (and costs the treasury). The example – those tax breaks for transit passes cost the treasury $130 million a year (of a budgeted $200 million a year), but there’s no evidence that it’s actually increased ridership.

And as problems mount with the F-35, Canadian officials stauchly defend it as the “only” advanced aircraft of the future.

Up today – Liberal finance critic Scott Brison has a press conference on government waste, in which I’m sure he’ll talk about this ongoing website issue.
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