Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gomery Throttles PM's "Record of Accountability"

John Gomery says "Stephen Harper seems to have abandoned any commitment to transparent government" according to TorStar. Gomery indicates that most of his recommendations were rejected outright by the PM and the Conservatives. He claimed most of his recommendations fell into a "black hole".

Gomery's report on some improprieties by a handful of Quebecers who happened to be members of the Liberal Party (although some were also involved with the federal Conservatives), was what caused the downfall of the Liberal gov't - and it was all the Conservatives had in the way of a policy platform ("blah, blah, blah, Gomery, blah, blah, blah, accountability" was all they had to say - meaning it, or NOT). Now it seems the Conservatives are doing the very same things (see election funding investigations), and beyond (see PMO knowledge of Schreiber-Mulroney affair, Gurmant Grewal resignation, interference in the bureaucracy, Prisoner Transfer-gate, nuclear safety, etc.).

According to Gomery: "The government was saying at the time that transparency was very important and that they wanted to improve the transparency. In practice it's been an exact reverse". Coming from a man who the Conservatives held to be a "mini-god" when they were in Opposition, this means a lot. Especially since they can't criticize him for being biased.

In the past few days Sheila Fraser has also come out with very serious concerns about the secrecy and lack of transparency of the Harper Conservatives. In a recent television interview she talked about her views on the two-faced nature of the Conservative gov't on matters of accountability and transparency.

Time for Opposition MPs to start hammering the Conservatives on their lack of accountability, and their fear of adopting Gomery measures. What are the Conservatives afraid of?

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