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 @ email@example.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.
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.
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.
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.
Rajotte stands up for taxpayers. Emerson? (en francais)
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!)
-- 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.
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.
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.
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. Ricktoo, 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.
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.)
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.
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.
In yet another sign that the Grit spin-machine is gearing up for an election, Liberal Restaraunt CriticImmigration 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%.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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!
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.
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.
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.
"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."
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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"?
"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.
"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.' "