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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Technoscam Blog 
(en francais)

It's time to step things up a notch or two. Technoscam is all TPC, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If anyone is interested in helping out, drop me a line @ bluebloggingsoapbox@gmail.com and I will add you as a Team Member. Over the next several days I will be adding all the TPC related content from my blog and several others. If you have any content you would like included, just drop a link in the comments section.

Paul Synnott at 11:05 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Dave - whatcha gonna do? (Video) 
(en francais)

The CPC is on the case...

On the case Click to play
(.wmv file 9.44 mb right click and choose 'Save Target As...' to download file)

On the case - High Quality Click to play
(.wmv file 52 mb right click and choose 'Save Target As...' to download file)

Take Action!
Write a letter to the Editor of your local paper. Ask questions about the Liberal's mismanagement of $2.9 billion dollars of your tax money.

Call your local radio station

Download the video and email it to your friends, family and co-workers.

Paul Synnott at 8:00 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Thursday, September 29, 2005

BQ MP Stéphane Bergeron leaving? 
(en francais)


Stéphane Bergeron, MP for Verchères-Les Patriotes seems to be leaving Parliament. Not sure why. I caught the tail end of several speeches honouring him and wishing him well. Did a quick re-wind of my CPAC feed. He mentions leaving and thanks many people, but doesn't say why.

Paul Synnott at 2:00 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Who will Stand Up for Canada? Jack wants to know (Video) 
(en francais)

Jack's looking for someone...

Stand Up! Click to play
(.wmv file 7.83 mb right click and choose 'Save Target As...' to download file)

Download the video and email it to your friends, family and co-workers.


Note: still looking for how to turn off the autoplay feature in Firefox browsers. If I can't resolve it, I'll move all the videos and place links to them on the sidebar. Probably better to do it this way in the long run to reduce page load time.

Paul Synnott at 12:25 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


On corruptions trail - A new TPC video 
(en francais)

The Inspector goes in search of answers...

The Inspector Click to play
(.wmv file 7.42 mb right click and choose 'Save Target As...' to download file)

The Inspector - High Quality Click to play
(.wmv file 21 mb right click and choose 'Save Target As...' to download file)

Take Action!
Write a letter to the Editor of your local paper. Ask questions about the Liberal's mismanagement of $2.9 billion dollars of your tax money.

Download the video and email it to your friends, family and co-workers.


Note: Still working on file size issues. I've provided several differnt sizes this time. Guess it's time to learn a little more about video compression

Paul Synnott at 7:30 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Use the Force James! 
(en francais)

See our young Warrior battle the MINISTER...

Rajotte Battles the Minister Click to play
(.wmv file 10.2 mb right click and choose 'Save Target As...' to download file)


Take Action!
Write a letter to the Editor of your local paper. Ask questions about the Liberal's mismanagement of $2.9 billion dollars of your tax money.

Download the video and email it to your friends, family and co-workers.


Note: I apologize for the poor video quality and file size. Still learning, but I'm starting to get the hang of it. Feel free to join in. Photoshop, Powerpoint, Video - whatever your favourite is. Remember, the JibJab site was visited more often then either the Bush or Kerry sites. You CAN make a difference.

Note 2: if anyone knows how to turn off the 'autoplay' in Firefox, drop me a line.

Paul Synnott at 8:00 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Vaction fund rumoured for David Dingwall 
(en francais)

Former Liberal minister Dingwall under fire over spending at mint


I hear a few... people... are taking up a collection to send David Dingwall on a vacation. You can chip in here.

Bon Voyage David. See ya in April!

Paul Synnott at 6:35 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Rajotte stands up for taxpayers. Emerson? 
(en francais)


Technoscam Tussle

Well, this should give you an idea how today's Question Period went.

James Rajotte was in there lobbing the ball, posing valid questions about the Liberal's mismanagement of the Technology Partnership Canada program. Minister Emerson though, was doing the typical Liberal dodge.

Keep up the good work James, we all know how this one turns out!

Stay tuned for the full movie later tonight.


(I know, the Photoshop needs some work yet - I'm practicing!)

Paul Synnott at 5:17 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


TPC comes to Windsor-Essex 
(en francais)

Interesting Letter to the Editor in the Windsor Star this morning from Essex CPC MP Jeff Watson. I almost fell out of my chair as I got near the bottom:
"The current Liberal "auto policy" that Emerson speaks of looks like this: an auto company can hire a former (Liberal) cabinet minister inside the two-year ethics "cooling off" period, waiver from the Liberal-appointed ethics commissioner in hand, to lobby the Liberal government for a Technology Canada grant.

TPC is currently under a full audit for illegally paying millions in commissions to lobbyists for securing these grants. Sound familiar?"
Must be nice to have friends in low high places. TPC is starting to look like a retirement home for ex-Liberal cabinet ministers.

Paul Synnott at 12:15 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


And into the breach goes eFrank - now live! 
(en francais)



Front page is just a tease. $9.95 a month to peak inside.

Paul Synnott at 10:46 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


CPC MP Rajotte takes Liberals to task over TPC (Video) 
(en francais)

Question Period, Monday September 26th

Rajotte Takes Liberals to Task Click to play
(.wmv file 6.85 mb right click and choose 'Save Target As...' to download file)

(Thanks to Robert at My Blahg for the video inspiration!)

Take Action!
Write a letter to the Editor of your local paper. Ask questions about the Liberal's mismanagement of $2.9 billion dollars of your tax money.

Download the video and email it to your friends, family and co-workers.

Paul Synnott at 8:00 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Stephen Harper questions Martin on Gas Tax Gouging 
(en francais)


Question Period Video
(10.6 mb .mpg video To download, right click and choose "Save Target As...)

If you want the latest videos delivered direct to your desktop, subscribe to the CPC Videocast.

Paul Synnott at 4:55 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Monday, September 26, 2005

TPC - Dingwall and Bioniche 
(en francais)


Press release from Bioniche regarding the ongoing Technoscam TPC program "compliance" issues.
Bioniche in Good Standing with Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC)

-- TPC a contributor to two major Bioniche projects --

BELLEVILLE, ON, Sept. 26 /CNW/ - Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: BNC),
a research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company, todayconfirmed its good standing with Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC), a special operating agency of Industry Canada, in the face of questions by the federal government about how the funding was obtained.

Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. was awarded two contracts (repayable loans)
with TPC in 2001, for:

1. The development and commercialization of an E. coli O157:H7 vaccine.
TPC has agreed to contribute $7.6 million Cdn. to this project.

2. Projects relating to the Company's proprietary Mycobacterial
Cell Wall technologies. TPC has agreed to contribute $9.6 million
Cdn. to this project.

The Company utilized consultants to assist in the application for funds, which was a complicated process due to the complexity of the projects. Industry Canada informed the Company on Friday, September 23, 2005 that the structure of compensation for these consultants did not conform to government rules and, accordingly, the Company was put in default under the program. As a result, the Company entered into a settlement with Industry Canada, whereby the Company will pay to the government an amount equal to the portionof the consultants' fees that were in dispute, plus costs of the audit, for a total amount of $463,974.71, plus interest. This has put the Company back in good standing under the program.
Mighty expensive clerical errors going on here.

Paul Synnott at 9:30 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


TPC - Dingwall and Lorus Therapeutics Inc 
(en francais)

At the rate this is going, ex-Liberal Cabinet Minister David Dingwall is going to be looking for a friendly Witness Protection Program - from his Liberal colleagues.

Interesting details in the article. Seems like the nice people at TPC were willing to overlook David's 'clerical' error of not registering and award the $6.6 million dollars. The issue stayed under review for a while, until Industry Minister Emerson wrote to Lorus on the 23rd of August to tell them the deal was off.

I wonder if that was before or after Minister Emerson had read the Kroll Report that was completed on the 29th of June, 2004. Couldn't have more un-registered lobbyists working for companies applying to the TPC - could we? Or do we have more?

The writers at the 'Young and the Restless' couldn't write better stuff than this. Only problem is, advertisers pay for TV, the taxpayers are paying for this.
Dingwall's lapse cost company investment
Former minister's failure to register as lobbyist was honest mistake, aide says


By JEFF SALLOT AND SIMON TUCK

Monday, September 26, 2005 Page A4

OTTAWA -- Former Liberal cabinet minister David Dingwall failed to register as a lobbyist for a Toronto pharmaceutical company, a lapse that prevented the firm from receiving $6.6-million in federal investment, government sources say.

The failure to register, as required by federal law, was an honest mistake, said Gloria McArter, Mr. Dingwall's executive assistant at the time. "I believe that was clerical error," she said.

Paul Synnott at 10:45 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Dingwall - Adscam, TPC Technoscam, ACOA 
(en francais)

It's certainly starting to look like an interesting week for ex-Liberal Cabinet Minister David Dingwall.

First we have this from Small Dead Animals, TPC And Adscam Dingwall,

then we have the latest from the Halifax Herald, Former ACOA minister holds 500,000 shares in assisted firm

Seems like Mr. Dingwall should have a lot of explaining to do this week.

I guess Bourque must have missed this little tidbit when he was trolling for Stephen Harper stories this morning.

(Note: I had some interesting pics to go with this one, but it's either Blogger or me that is experiencing difficulties this morning)

Paul Synnott at 8:33 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


CPAC to start Podcasting 
(en francais)

For all you political junkies, looks like CPAC is going to start podcasting some of it's shows on the 27th of September. Audio only and details are sketchy, but it's a start.

Paul Synnott at 6:20 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Blogging Tories Site of the Week 
(en francais)



Ottawa Young Conservatives
An Ottawa based online forum for supporters of Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party!

Do you have a University of College campus group in your area? Here are tomorrow's Conservatives - today. Loud and proud. Take some time to meet them.

Blog on!

Paul Synnott at 11:10 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Note to all Conservatives 
(en francais)

While the rest of us (myself included) were watching Question Period and CPAC today, listening to shrill voices in the wind, two people were out working, doing what needs to be done.

Garth Turner, new cowboy boots and all, spent the day canvassing his riding. Rick too, has spent the week canvassing some of the toughest polls for us in the city. I feel ashamed, having spent the last hour watching a bunch of mindless pap on CPAC instead of doing something productive for Rick's campaign.



Sometimes it's too easy to get distracted by the latest happenings in the media because they tell us that it's 'important'. After reading Garth's post today and reflecting on it some, there's not much doubt in my mind what's important.

This election will be won on the ground.

One person - One vote at a time.

H/T to Rick and Garth. You get it. Hopefully, the rest of us will soon.

Paul Synnott at 9:34 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Some quick reading for everyone 
(en francais)


Way past my bedtime, but I wanted to post these two articles for everyone. One on Paul Martin and one on the Conservative Party:




Sun, September 25, 2005
EDITORIAL: Martin has blurry 'vision'

A sensible agenda for Prime Minister Paul Martin to get to work on as Parliament resumes tomorrow after its long summer break would be something like this:

(1) Fix health care.

(2) Fix our catch-and-release criminal justice system.

(3) Lower federal taxes on gasoline.

This, as opposed to the speech Martin gave not to Canadians, but to senior bureaucrats in Ottawa last week, that was as lacking in substance as it was overhyped by the media. (Except for the Toronto Sun, of course.)
What Conservatives Need to Learn
By: Rachel Marsden
PUBLISHED: TORONTO SUN (September 23/05)

COPYRIGHT 2005 RACHEL MARSDEN

Another week, another high-profile conservative meltdown over party leadership. This week’s came courtesy of Carol Jamieson—Vice Chair of the Conservative Party’s GTA Presidents Council. In an open letter to fellow conservatives headlined on Bourque Newswatch, Jamieson whacked Stephen Harper around like a bloated piñata on the summer yard party circuit, ultimately calling for him to step down.
I know there are many out there that have no love for Ms. Marsden, but put that aside for a minute and have a good read. While I disagree with her thoughts on Stephen Harper, I pretty much agree with the main thrust of her article.

Paul Synnott at 10:04 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Saturday, September 24, 2005

Stand up for Stephen Harper blog 
(en francais)

New blog in support of Stephen Harper. Interesting note on it:
Carol Jamieson will be on Goldhawk Live, CPAC's Sunday-night call-in show this week.

The show takes calls from 8 - 9 pm ET, that's 5-6 pm PT, at 1-877-296-2722.


Edit: I posted the actual link to the blog this time!

Paul Synnott at 6:17 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Dehors - Harper - out! - credibility boost from MWW 
(en francais)


Dehors - Harper - out! certainly reveals their true colours today, with a rambling rant from everyone's favourite - Meaghan Walker-Williams.

She does manage to work the Blogging Tories in there a couple of times, but I'm actually in awe that she managed to pen more than two paragraphs without mentioning Kate.

Bourque must be hurting for hits to keep peddling this offal.

Thank heavens for Neale News!

Paul Synnott at 6:16 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Conservatives miss CBC says insider 
(en francais)

Federal Labour Minister to join CBC talks
Ottawa had been reluctant to get involved in the lockout, saying that the dispute between the guild and CBC management needs to be resolved at the bargaining table. However, many insiders describe a confluence of events pushing Ottawa to find a solution, from the embarrassment of the public broadcaster not being properly able to air Michaëlle Jean's swearing in as the new governor-general to the effect that the absence of the CBC's regular coverage of federal politics is having on the Liberal and NDP parties political parties.
I damn near broke my tailbone when I fell on the floor with laughter after reading this little tidbit.

Paul Synnott at 3:33 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Signs an election is getting closer II 
(en francais)

In yet another sign that the Grit spin-machine is gearing up for an election, Liberal Restaraunt Critic Immigration Minister Joe Volpe has rummaged around in the closet and dug out the 1993 'Red Book', co-authored by current Prime Minister Paul Martin.

Volpe is set to announce that, after 12 years of being a number 1 priority, immigration levels will be increased by 35%.

Ottawa set to announce immigration overhaul.

For everyone's sake, I hope the economy never becomes a "Number 1 priority" of the Martin government.

It seems to be the kiss of death.

Paul Synnott at 3:25 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


What lies in wait? 
(en francais)

Adscam is already winding down in the minds of many Canadians. The new Techology Partnerships "Technoscam" is just starting to warm up. With over $2.9 billion dollars given out to Canadian companies over the last 9 years, with little or no oversight from Parliament due to the programs secrecy, I thought I'd take a look at what might be waiting around the corner should the ruling Liberal regime ever be held to task.

The first thing that pops up are those numerous Foundations that our Auditor-General has been warning us about since 1997, shortly after their inception.
4.4 In 1997, the government introduced a new approach to achieving policy objectives by transferring public funds to foundations—non-profit corporations considered to be at arm's length from the government. In our sample, three foundations were established by direct legislation and the others were established under provisions such as the Canada Corporations Act. At 31 March 2004, more than $9 billion in grants had been paid to foundations.

4.5 In the Auditor General's observations on the government's summary financial statements in the Public Accounts of Canada, we have raised concerns about the governance and the accountability of and accounting for government transfers to foundations. These are up-front payments made many years in advance of need. Our performance audits in 1999 and 2002 found that accountability to Parliament was placed unnecessarily at risk—the government had failed to meet the essential requirements for accountability to Parliament, namely credible reporting of results, effective ministerial oversight, and adequate provision for external audit.
Wow! $9 billion of our tax dollars sitting in unaccountable foundations.
4.14 The government has recorded these payments as expenses, even though the foundations do not expect to use the funds for many years. At 31 March 2004, nearly $7.7 billion of these funds were still in the foundations' bank accounts and investments, earning interest. This accounting treatment has resulted in a reduction of the reported annual surplus when funds are transferred to foundations, rather than when funds are distributed to the ultimate intended recipients or used for the ultimate purposes that the government announced for this spending.
From a government that misplaced a billion or so dollars in the HRDC boondoggle, overspent the Gun Registry by 2 billion, squandered millions on Liberal friends during the Adscam fiasco and continues to abuse the Technology Partnerships Canada fund we are supposed to accept their word. "Trust us, only we have the best interests of Canadians at heart".

If this is how they treat those close to their hearts, I'd hate to see what they would do if they're pissed off.

For that you'll have to talk to Sheila.

Paul Synnott at 1:50 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Friday, September 23, 2005

TPC - Ongoing Search 
(en francais)

This is becoming a very interesting project. I've selected three more companies to start taking a look at:

MacDonald Dettwiler

Pratt & Whitney Canada Ltd

SNC-Lavalin


I'll post results as things develop.

Paul Synnott at 11:13 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


TPC - Bioniche 
(en francais)


H/T to Angry and Bill

Seems that Bioniche did very well with former Liberal Cabinet Minister David Dingwall for this one particular project. The "unlimited" figure in 2000/2001 is kind of frightening.




4.3 Unless the Minister agrees otherwise in writing, the amount of the Contribution will not exceed the following amounts in the relevant Fiscal Years of the Project as follows:

2000/01: unlimited
2001/02: $ 1,340,000
2002/03: $3,527,000
2003/04: $2,152,000
2004105: $ 440,000
2005/06: $ 0

The Minister will consider any request to reprofile these funds, but the Minister Will have no obligation to pay any greater amount in any of the said Fiscal Years except to the extent that such reprofiling will have been agreed to by the Minister.
You can review the entire agreement here.

Time for some more digging. You can search the Lobbyist Public Registration Database, which is broken up into two sections:

Pre: June 20th, 2005 Database Search under "Registration Detail Search" - Technology Partnerships Canada

Post: June 20th, 2005 Database You can search by Name, Department, Grant etc.

Paul Synnott at 10:35 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Fundraising for Dummies 
(en francais)


A little Photoshop practice.

Paul Synnott at 7:16 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


TPC - Name That Scandal! 
(en francais)

Going back to my first post in the TPC series:
IndustryGate is too lame, and isn't everyone getting tired of the whole 'gate' label?

Adscam was good. We need to be ready with the appropriate moniker for this barrel of monkeys.

Here are my suggestions on how we should refer to this going forward:

RoboGate - I know - there's that 'gate' again, but it's just too easy. In honour of former Industry Minister Lucienne Robillard, who was minister when all these fine audits and reports were completed. You know - the ones that say that there are no problems! ;

RockPet - can't forget former Industry Minister Allan Rock;

Grease - self explanatory;
Now that this one is warming up, we still need a good name for it. Post all your suggestions in the comments section.

Paul Synnott at 10:42 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


'Evil Right Wing Bitch' is back 
(en francais)

Recent email:
Hi all,

Just a heads-up to let you know that my newest column will be in the Toronto Sun tomorrow (Friday, Sept 23). It will also be online at www.torontosun.com (click on "columnists"), and later at www.rachelmarsden.com . Feel free to drop a line to the editor at editor@tor.sunpub.com . I know they appreciate the feedback (particularly given that I'm new to the paper)--and as always, I'm really grateful to you for all your support.

Stay tuned to the website at www.rachelmarsden.com for more developments...or just to buy one of the hot new "evil right-wing bitch" or "evil right-wing bastard" brand t-shirts!

Cheers,
Rachel
Gotta luv the Sun, never a dull moment.

Edit: I posted this without first looking at today's Sun. I haven't been able to find an article by Rachel, as yet.

Edit 2: You can find the article on Rachel's website. Look's like it must have got bumped from Friday's issue. Will be interesting to see if it's in Saturday's or not.

Paul Synnott at 9:52 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Liberal's TPC Smokescreen Pt II 
(en francais)


Better get that fire engine warmed up. The smoke's starting to get thicker, and the fire's starting to get a little warm for some people.

Dingwall at centre of probe into lobby payments

Former Liberal Cabinet Minister David Dingwall is one of the "lobbyists" that current Liberal Cabinet Minister David Emerson doesn't want to identify.

Wonder why? This is going to make Adscam look like child's play.

Paul Synnott at 9:46 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Letter to the Editor from Susan McArthur 
(en francais)


Good job Susan.

Harper is the man to lead the Conservative team
National Post
September 23, 2005
Re: Conservative Critics Nipping At Harper, Sept. 22.

What a shock that Carol Jamieson captured mainstream media attention. While it is true that she has been involved in party politics for a long time, she does not speaks for Conservative party riding presidents, candidates or activists in the Toronto area. It is astonishing that with only a handful of signatories, her petition is considered as newsworthy.

The real Conservative news in the Toronto-area is that our candidates are working hard to address the issues voters care about. These include:

- Smog and infrastructure, with tax credits proposed for TTC users;

- Crime, with a Conservative task force proposing solutions to end violent crime;

- High gas and home heating fuel taxes. To hear views on this issue, Conservative candidates in 20 ridings met motorists at the pumps recently;

- Immigration. The party held a series of roundtables with frustrated new Canadians, in particular those who felt they had been hoodwinked by the Liberal "family reunification" program.

Politics is the ultimate team sport. The overwhelming majority of Tories in the Toronto area are working hard for the Conservative team to give Canadians the government they need and want -- a Conservative government led by Stephen Harper.

Susan McArthur, member of the national council for the Conservative Party of Canada, Toronto.

Paul Synnott at 5:57 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Liberal's TPC Smokescreen 
(en francais)

Industry Minister David Emerson's press release today would have everyone believe that all is well in hand at Industry Canada and appropriate steps are being taken to resolve "compliance" issue.

Considering the size and scope of this program - $2.9 billion dollars from 1996 to present, and the number of companies found to be 'not in compliance', tip of the iceberg doesn't even begin to describe the fiasco that is going on.

Emerson is trying to use smoke and mirrors to give the impression that the Liberals are dealing with the issue. The TPC program has been cancelled and a new one is being launched in the new year. The new program appears to be nothing more than TPC with a new name and some tweaks to it. Something smells to high heaven in this whole mess.

Let's take a look at what we know to date.

1. First audit found 4 companies 'not in compliance' with TPC program guidelines. The non-compliance being that they were paying an un-registered lobbyist a contingency or success fee on the basis of the TPC program grants

2. 2nd audit looked at 47 companies. Of these, only 21 or 45% have been found to have no problems. Of the rest, 11 or 23% were found to be 'non-compliant', with further information still required from another 11 and field work/quality review still pending on yet another 4.

The latest verifiable numbers available for the TCP program are contained in the Audit of Technology Partnerships Canada conducted in 2003.

"As of June 30, 2002 the TPC portfolio consisted of 447 projects, of which 289 were funded by IRAP-TPC. The following is a breakdown, by year, of TPC (including IRAP-TPC) funded contributions:

Year Value of Contracted Projects Cumulative Value of
Contracted Projects
1996-1997 $408,283,045 $408,283,045
1997-1998 $153,972,376 $562,255,421
1998-1999 $213,591,699 $775,847,120
1999-2000 $370,792,456 $1,146,639,576
2000-2001 $499,343,563 $1,645,983,139
2001-2002 $201,860,698 $1,847,843,837

The assignment examined the both the TPC program as well as the IRAP-TPC initiative. Approximately 95% of TPC funding was directed to projects where the contribution amount exceeds $500,000 and the remaining 5% was directed to IRAP-TPC projects, all under $500,000."
So, as of June 30th, 2002 there were 158 TPC files and 289 IRAP-TPC files. (IRAP-TPC is the Industrial Research Assistance Program-Techology Partnerships Canada program run in coordination with the National Research Council). I have not been able to determine as yet how many more files are included from June 2002 until March 2004, the time frame that was used in the Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Consulting Inc. - Interim Report: Compliance Audit of TPC Recipients as of September 16, 2005.

To date the audits have found problems with 15 files and another 15 are still under investigation. Those are alarmingly high numbers dealing with large sums of taxpayers money.

The Kroll Lindquist Avey - Report Regarding TPC Funding to Four Specific Companies contains some very interesting details.


What are the "political requirements" of the TPC program?








Who are this persons "buddies"? Is this the unregistered lobbyist?

The lobbyist is claiming that half of his project will be funded and they are discussing the steps to get the remainder funded

What "political process from the top down can also be initiated, if required"? Was this political process initiated?



The biggest problem with this program and the audits that are now being released is the degree of secrecy being attached. The department is citing Privacy Act and Access to Information concerns for the need to continue shielding the names of most of the people and companies involved. Considering what I have been able to find in the little that they have released, I can see why they are reluctant to release any more.

The Kroll report identifies one un-registered lobbyist, who are the rest? What if anything is being done about these un-registered lobbyists? Who were they lobbying?

There are far too many questions remaining regarding this program to just simply sweep away the problems and hide everything under a new name.

As the saying goes, 'where there's smoke, there's usually fire'. Considering the amount of smoke being generated by Minister Emerson, I think someone better call the Fire Department - quick!

Paul Synnott at 5:50 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A Picture is worth a thousand words... 
(en francais)



'Nuff Said on that issue!

Paul Synnott at 8:40 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Jack Layton: One man, two definitions for Canada 
(en francais)

Layton's speech in French,English asymmetrical
By BILL CURRY
Wednesday, September 21, 2005 Page A8
Ottawa -- The federal government must take strong leadership toward "common" goals to keep the country together, NDP Leader Jack Layton said in a speech to the Canadian Club yesterday.

But when speaking in French, Mr. Layton said Canadians support Quebec having "significant asymmetry" in delivering its programs.

After the speech, Mr. Layton denied his message in French contradicted what he said in English. An NDP official said Mr. Layton's view of asymmetrical federalism has more standards than the Liberal version, first used last year to explain a side deal with Quebec at a summit on health care.
Definition: Common Definition: Asymmetrical Definition: Pandering

Paul Synnott at 5:35 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Hagar the Horrible seeks Joe Volpe 
(en francais)

Paul Synnott at 5:02 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Signs an election is getting closer 
(en francais)

Liberal Government funded ads touting something that they want to campaign on.

National campaign launched to raise awareness of primary health care


Cost: $9,592,000

|TV Ad(Windows)| |TV Ad (Quicktime)|

Like 'em or not, at least the Conservative Party of Canada PAID for their own ads.

I'll give the Liberals credit though, they've managed to introduce a new wrinkle:
The National Primary Health Care Awareness Strategy

The National Primary Health Care Awareness Strategy (NPHCAS) is a joint project with federal, provincial and territorial partners. Its goal is to increase awareness and understanding of primary health care among Canadians.
Take a close look at the top right hand corner of the website - "Funded by Health Canada."

The ad campaign:
Television ads will run on national networks for six weeks starting tomorrow, September 21, 2005, and will be repeated for another six weeks in January 2006. Print ads will appear over eight weeks in the Saturday edition of many daily and weekly newspapers across the country beginning this Saturday, September 24, and also repeated in January 2006.
The timing is coincidental of course. Six weeks of TV ads and eight weeks of print leading up to the release of the Gomery report. Follow that up with a repeat in January, leading up to an election call, if we haven't already had one.

Should be interesting to see what other fascinating 'education' initiatives the Liberals decide to launch in the coming months.

It's only your tax dollars hard at work.

Paul Synnott at 3:53 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


TPC Coverup 
(en francais)

CPC MP James Rajotte is trying to raise this issue in the MSM. Help him out. Write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper. NealeNews has an excellent 'Newspaper' section listing links to many papers across the country. Other than the voting booth, this is one of the few avenues that average Canadians have to make their voice heard.

Time to take advantage of it.

Industry Canada Press Release

Ministers Speech at Montreal Chamber of Commerce


A few questions spring to mind:

1. I wonder why Industry Minister Emerson is announcing these changes at a Montreal Chamber of Commerce meeting, instead of the House of Commons?

2. Why will Emerson not release the audits?

3. If illegal commissions were paid to unregistered lobbyists, why are the RCMP not investigating and criminal charges being considered? Are they waiting for limitations to run out as they did in Adscam?

4. Does the Minister actually think that adding another layer of "experts", appointed by the Liberals, is going to change this program? (visions of a fox and the henhouse come to mind here)

5. Why will the Minister not do the right thing and refer this entire program to the Auditor-General?

Those are just a few off the top of my head. I'm sure Mr. Rajotte has a few more!

TPC changes cover-up real problem: Rajotte
20 September 2005

OTTAWA – James Rajotte, Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Leduc and Senior Opposition Critic for Industry, Science and Technology today called the proposed changes to the Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) program a cover-up.

“This Liberal government is simply trying to sweep the chronic mismanagement of TPC under the carpet,” said Rajotte. “Rather than account for the billions of dollars granted under this program, the Liberals are going to change the name and hope everyone forgets.”

Rajotte is particularly disturbed by the fact that the new program, called the Transformative Technologies Program (TTP) will not be a cost-recovery program. Instead it seems grants will be given to for-profit businesses without any return on taxpayers’ investments.

“This is blatant corporate welfare,” said Rajotte. “TPC gave money to Paul Martin’s own shipping company, Canadian Shipbuilding and Engineering (CS&E). We can expect more grants to friendly Liberals under the new program.”

Rajotte renewed his call for the release of all recently completed audits of the TPC program. He fears that Minister David Emerson has finally had to change the program because the audits have uncovered wide-spread misuse of taxpayer money.

In addition, Rajotte is calling for a complete public accounting of all payments by TPC as well as all repayments by the private-sector companies that received the loans.

“I want to see a chart of all the money that has been loaned versus all the money that has been paid back,” said Rajotte.


- 30 -

For further information, contact James Rajotte (613) 992-3594 or (780) 495-4351

Paul Synnott at 1:20 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Tuesday, September 20, 2005

TPC vs Adscam, A Comparison 
(en francais)

I just want to make sure that I have this right:

When Liberals in Quebec are convicted of scamming the government of millions of dollars, it's called fraud and you get sentenced to the lecture tour,

When Liberals in the rest of Canada are found illegally accepting commissions, it's called "administrative compliance problems".

Industry Minister Emerson "These are unacceptable breaches of contracts and they will be remedied"

TPC Program - A Study


More to follow on this one - I need to go have a extra-large Tim's and calm down for a while.

Edit: I should note that it hasn't been determined that it was Liberals accepting commissions in the TPC program - yet. The details have been shrouded in secrecy by Minister Emerson, and he will keep them that way if at all possible.

Paul Synnott at 7:27 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Liberal appointments pork continues unchecked 
(en francais)

Many claim that Windsor is the last bastion of NDP/Union power. You would never know it from the Windsor Star's Editorial pages. Keep up the good work.







Citizenship judges: Merit should be the key

Windsor Star

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The position of "citizenship judge" has long been considered one of the better patronage appointments available from the federal government. If you have the right connections, you get a nice title, and a not-unsubstantial annual salary of about $91,000.

However, that's not to say the job of a citizenship judge isn't important. Each year, 20 full-time and part-time citizenship judges make decisions that lead to about 130,000 people officially becoming Canadians. This is a watershed in their lives, and citizenship judges play a significant role in introducing them to Canada. Ceremonies awarding citizenship can be highly emotional, and tend to remind all of us about the value of being a Canadian. It's a process that strengthens the country.

However, the position is predisposed to patronage. For example, despite his vow to get rid of cronyism, Prime Minister Paul Martin recently gave judgeships to two longtime Liberal activists who willingly agreed to give up their secured riding nominations so two of the PM's star recruits could run in last year's federal election. And, as the Vancouver Sun has reported, others who are ruling on citizenship applications include a former senior Liberal official's mother-in-law, a former Alberta Liberal of the Year, and former federal and provincial candidates, organizers and senior political aides.

Yet despite the ongoing criticism, it appears Ottawa has no intention to change the appointment process. In fact, Steven Heckbert, a spokesman for Immigration Minister Joe Volpe, says political activism is a good trait for a citizenship judge.

Patronage, however, should have no place in the appointment of citizenship judges. And there is one straightforward way to ensure citizenship judgeships aren't merely sinecures for the party faithful. The nominees could be vetted and approved by an all-party committee of MPs. It would ensure politics don't supercede qualifications.

Paul Synnott at 5:58 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Simon Wiesenthal Dies in Vienna at 96 
(en francais)

Simon Wiesenthal: "The Conscience of the Holocaust, Dies in Vienna" at 96

Simon Wiesenthal, the famous Nazi Hunter has died in Vienna at the age of 96, the Simon Wiesenthal Center announced today (September 20th).

"Simon Wiesenthal was the conscience of the Holocaust," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the International Human Rights NGO named in Mr. Wiesenthal’s honor, adding, "When the Holocaust ended in 1945 and the whole world went home to forget, he alone remained behind to remember. He did not forget. He became the permanent representative of the victims, determined to bring the perpetrators of the history’s greatest crime to justice. There was no press conference and no president or Prime Minister or world leader announced his appointment. He just took the job. It was a job no one else wanted.

The task was overwhelming. The cause had few friends. The Allies were already focused on the Cold War, the survivors were rebuilding their shattered lives and Simon Wiesenthal was all alone, combining the role of both prosecutor and detective at the same time."

Overcoming the world’s indifference and apathy, Simon Wiesenthal helped bring over 1,100 Nazi War Criminals before the Bar of Justice.

There will be a news conference at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Wednesday, September 20th at 10 am.

For biographical information and photographs on Simon Wiesenthal's life, use this link.

For more information call the Public Relations Department at 310 553-9036.

Paul Synnott at 3:49 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


State funded media 
(en francais)

Russia Tests 24hr English TV Station

But others said a state-funded TV station could hardly be allowed to criticize the authorities and provide a truly balanced viewpoint. "When the state is behind mass media, this rarely produces a decent information product," said Konstantin Isakov of the MR&MC media consulting group.



For some strange reason, that quote made me think of another state-funded TV station.

Paul Synnott at 3:22 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Monday, September 19, 2005

Mirror, Mirror... 
(en francais)

Dissident Quebec Conservatives slam Harper's leadership
Ontario Conservative Party member Carol Jamieson, who is also director of two of the party’s Toronto riding associations and vice-chair of the GTA’s Presidents’ Council, has added her name to the list “He should resign and get the hell out of my party. He’s a disaster,” said Ms. Jamieson who has been a Conservative since the days of John Diefenbaker. “Mr Harper doesn’t like to leave his office. When he does, he doesn’t like to talk to people,” said Ms. Jamieson. “Why would the party go to the polls with him?”
Sometimes, you just need to look at yourself first. This is certainly one of those times.
What's that line about "heal thyself"?

Paul Synnott at 3:24 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Sunday, September 18, 2005

And the winner is... 
(en francais)

Tories maintain criticism of Pettigrew trips

"Nobody in the country is going to understand, nor should they, why Mr. Pettigrew (took) his driver.... His driver isn't versed, as has been pointed out, in international affairs," Conservative strategist Tim Powers said, appearing on CTV's Question Period.

"Why is he spending the taxpayers' money to take this gentleman on a holiday?
Conservative Party strategist Tim Powers had a good showing on today's Question Period: Political Panel. No offense to the previous people, they just didn't have what it takes to go toe to toe with Scott Reid on national TV. I think we have a winner in Mr. Powers. A couple more shows and he'll have Reid's number.

Two thumbs up for Tim Powers

Paul Synnott at 9:45 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Porkbusters 
(en francais)


An interesting new initiative started over at The Truth Laid Bear in conjunction with Instapundit

Porkbusters

Instapundit gives a complete explanation here.

You have to stay up late and work pretty hard to keep up with these bloggers.

Paul Synnott at 8:47 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


This Photoshop thing IS kinda fun 
(en francais)


Needs some work as yet, but you get the picture.

Edit: Robert has been practicing his photoshop as well.

Return Fire!

ROTFLMAO!

Paul Synnott at 8:13 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Blogging Tories Site of the Week 
(en francais)



Political Staples



A proud member of the Staple family of blogs.

Also includes Media Staples




Drop in and say hello to Greg Staples.

Blog on

Paul Synnott at 8:50 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Perogies and the NDP 
(en francais)


If you love:

A. Conservatives,
B. Jim Flaherty,
C. Perogies,
D. Sour Cream,
E. Butter,
F. Freedom

or just can't stand the NDP


Check out Monte Solberg's post. It's a classic.

Paul Synnott at 7:16 AM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Saturday, September 17, 2005

More to worry about than the weather 
(en francais)


Having read this recent article on the murder of a candidate for the upcoming Afghanistan election, I could help but shake my head at the self-serving moaning by NDP MPs Joe Comartin and Pat Martin.

In the spirit of cooperation, I thought I'd help them out with some shopping. I found a really good deal on some touques - only $12.75.

Pretty cool logo too!

Paul Synnott at 10:07 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Friday, September 16, 2005

Have your say on "NDP Budget" 
(en francais)



Courtesy of My Blahg

Have your say on the NDP's "Better Bribe Balanced Budget"

Paul Synnott at 9:10 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|


Shapiro Sings 
(en francais)


When it came to Judy Sgro, getting information out of this guy required a crowbar and a generous helping of taxpayers money.

Now, when it comes to Conservative MP Conservative MP Deepak Obhrai, you can't shut the guy up.

For good measure, Mr. Shapiro decides to weigh in on the Sponsorship scandal as well.

Ethics boss calls sponsorships 'triumph of theft'
Program a 'perfect storm' for thieves or entrepreneurs, Shapiro says

"And that comes together, so now you have a government ready to do what they believe are good things coming together with a private sector who smells blood and says 'geez, this is not an opportunity that will ever come twice in a lifetime.' "

Paul Synnott at 7:51 PM links to this post    | en francais | Go to Top|




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