Monday, April 11, 2011

A Blessing In Disguise?

Auditor General Sheila Fraser has declared she will wait until after the May 2 election before she releases a controversial audit into how the Harper government spent millions of dollars relating to last year's G8 summit in Ontario.Moreover, she has stressed that despite there being a leaked draft version making its rounds in the public, only her final report — once it is introduced in Parliament — will represent her audit findings and conclusions.She made the declaration in a written statement released Monday afternoon, just hours after news of the leaked report landed like a bombshell in the federal election campaign.

According to an article in today's Vancouver Sun, Auditor General Sheila Fraser is quoted as saying:

"I strongly caution the public to wait until our final report . . . has been tabled in Parliament and made public."

Quick out of the gate are the Liberals begging for the report to be released and the NDP wanting a public inquiry. The Conservative Party itself has also asked for the report to be released. I can understand the Liberals asking for the report to be released, but not the NDP. (we've seen what happened the last time they tried to bluff Stephen Harper)

For the Conservatives, the early release of this report is a win, in three possible ways.

1) It shows that they are transparent and have nothing to hide.

2) The final report is likely to be more factual, and will probably absolve the party of anything illegal. If it's negative, it may not make them look like great money managers on this front, but in that case

3) It'll make them look more credible on their estimates for the purchase of new fighter aircraft after the 2015 election and more credible in their deficit fighting plan and refusal to raise taxes as the Liberals and NDP want to do.

Why would I assume that a negative Auditor General's report would make them look more fiscally responsible in these other areas? Well, if the parliamentary budget officer was able to give the G8 & G20 spending a thumbs up for openess and transparency and accuracy while Sheila Fraser is reporting the opposite, then how can we trust his departments numbers when it comes to predicting the costs of military purchases for 30 years down the road?


gimbol said...

The timing of this leak is highly suspicious just one day before the debate.
However, I think the bureaucrat that leaked might be in a bit of a pickle if the RCMP find them.
The other silver lining is that if Iggy tries to use this during the debate, he may not expect Harper to remind him that if he knows who leaked the document he must report that information to the authorities, then he can also remind Iggy that what was leaked does not match the second report.

mikey d said...

And maybe he can tell the count, don't be so lame and pay back the 40 million you owe Canadians.