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

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

TPC Program Fraud - what does it take? 
(en francais)

Are there any investigative journalists left in Canada? This situation has been ongoing for a long time now. The second phase of the audit has been proceeding since August of last year, in secrecy. The Liberals favourite tactic. (H/T to Conservative Life and Strong World)

Industry Canada audit to expand

The released documents make clear that the wider round of audits has uncovered further problems and that a deeper probe is needed.

Emerson acknowledged in June there would likely be other firms caught paying forbidden commissions.

The investigation has become so complex that Industry Canada has created a special committee to oversee the work.

Cuerrier said no decision has yet been taken on whether to launch the planned third phase of auditing for more of the hundreds of companies receiving aid.

The Technology Partnerships Canada program, which supports more than 700 projects with almost $2.9 billion, is undergoing a separate policy review to determine whether it remains relevant.

"I haven't been satisfied that the program is designed to meet the core public policy objective that I think it should be trying to meet," Emerson said earlier this year.

"I think what's needed is a fundamental review and reshaping."

Cuerrier said the department is expected to make an announcement on the review in a few weeks. The minister was not available this week for comment, she added.

The fund has been dogged by controversy since its founding in 1996 to promote innovation in aerospace, automotive, defence and high-tech companies.

The government has contended that the seed money it provides will be fully paid back in royalties, but as of January only $95 million of the $2 billion paid out had been returned.

So lets see if I've got this right:

We've known for over a year now that illegal commissions were being paid. This was determined after auditing only 5 of the program participants,

the repayment rate on our "investments" is failing miserably,

the departments own reports have identified many of the problems year after year, but nothing has been done to fix things,

the Auditor-General has highlighted problems with the program, which still have not been fixed,

the Industry Minister continues to dole out money from this program,

they're not sure if they should launch another round of audits
This is going to make ADSCAM look like chump change. Yet another Liberal program, run in complete secrecy. The department's own reports admit that they have no way of measuring the effectiveness of the program - they haven't gotten around to setting up that part of the program.

Other than myself, Bill and Conservative Life, no one has even started looking into the other side of the equation here. How many of these companies are large donors to the Liberal party? Seeing how many lobbyists have been caught receiving illegal commissions, don't you think it's a valid question to know who they are and if they too are large donors to the Liberal party? Why the need to slap the veil of secrecy on the first round of audits? This is public money and the public has the right to know who was defrauding the government and what action was taken. To date, all that seems to have occured is "Emerson told the Commons in June that the missing money had been repaid"

The biggest question is - Why is this program still running?

Below is the summary to date that has been compiled regarding this program. In case you haven't noticed - I'm a little pissed. I must admit I'm also puzzled. Just what does it take for the Canadian people to wake up and realize they are being fleeced day in and day out by the 'natural ruling party'? I guess this will just end up being another program where no one is responsible. Things just got out of hand.

Following the post in Part I, I decided what I had read was unsettling and begged further research. I am currently working with public information available from the TPC website and using the Elections Canada contribution database. Feel free to pitch in and help with ideas, suggestions or a bit of research. If you'd like to help, drop me a line at bluebloggingsoapbox@gmail.com

Part I - I like to get ahead on things

Part II - Slight of hand?

Part III - Donations are good.


Part IV - and the winner is...

Update - from Bill @ Strongworld
Bill does some digging on Zenon, some familiar names attached to the company. Maurice Strong ring any bells?

Update from Bill @ Strongworld

CPC Press Release from MP James Rajotte
Corporate Welfare Plan Fails on All Counts

from Bill @ Strongworld
Liberal friendly TPC recipient: Aeterna Labs Inc.

from Bill @ Strongworld
Liberal friendly TPC recipient: BioChem Pharma

from Bill @ Strongworld
Liberal Friendly TPC recipient: SNC Lavalin Control Systems

TPC Program Update - The Gravy Train Rolls On

Sources/Research Tools/Inspiration

Unofficial Canadian Political Contributions Search Tool (Ver: alpha 0.61 - April 27, 2005)
Created and hosted by Andrew Anderson @ Boundy by Gravity

Technology Partnerships Canada - website. This is where I found all the yearly reports, audits and evaluations.

Susan Riley - Ottawa Citizen columnist - Susan's article that I read in the Windsor Star is what got me started on this.

Google - what would we do without it?

Auditor General of Canada - website. Hours and hours of fun reading here. Almost depressing when you realize that successive Auditor General's have been making the same recommendations for years.

Blogging Tories - a not so suprisingly diverse group of men and women dedicated to the Conservative cause.

WE Speak at 8:12 p.m.    | en francais | Go to Top|

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