Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Getting to know the Liberal Spin-masters

Well, things are getting even more dirty. The Liberals, as reported in THIS National Post piece, are billing Canadians one million dollars to protect them from the Gomery stench. The Libs have set up a special "war room" to deal with the Gomery fallout; what's interesting is WHO is spinning the spin.

"Revelations from the inquiry, which is digging into the $250-million sponsorship scheme, forced the Liberals to set aside $750,000 in a trust fund to pay back money improperly obtained by the party.

One memo to Mr. Himelfarb indicates the strategy office was set up almost immediately after the Martin government launched the inquiry in February 2004 upon the release of Auditor General Sheila Fraser's damning report on the sponsorship program.

Dated Feb. 18, 2004, the memo describes "the intergovernmental co-ordination group" being set up in the PCO, the nerve centre of the federal government, under the proposed direction of bureaucrat Guy McKenzie. However, the summary and attachments are mostly blanked out, under section 23 of the Access to Information Act, due to "solicitor/client privilege."

Guy McKenzie

From the Canadian Press, February, 2004:

"Fraser plans next week to hand the House's public accounts committee another list of people who authorized sponsorship transactions involving departments and Crown corporations.

Also named Friday were Jim Judd, secretary of the Treasury Board; Ran Quail, former deputy minister of public works who oversaw the troubled sponsorship program; Pierre Tremblay and Chuck Guite, former directors of the sponsorship plan; Guy McKenzie, executive director of Communications Canada; Marc LeFrancois, president of Via Rail; and Christina Sirsly, a Via Rail vice-president."

Translation: One of the people under investigation in the Gomery Inquiry is responsible for setting up the department responsible for de-torquing any Gomery fallout. Interesting.

Ursula Menke

"The office's operating budget now totals $1,068,000 after its first-year budget of $534,000 in 2004-05 was renewed for a second year, according to Hali Gernon of the PCO.

Ms. Gernon said the office has a small staff of about "four or five" employees and since June 2004 has been under the direction of lawyer Ursula Menke, the former deputy commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard and inspector general of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

Claiming "solicitor/client privilege," the PCO did not release any of the meeting minutes or briefing notes of the co-ordinating committee in response to the Access to Information request made by Ottawa researcher Ken Rubin."

Translation: Someone with CSIS ties is now managing the Psy-op to de-torque the Gomery Inquiry. However, to Menke's credit, she did, in 1993, detail how a CSIS report of its own activities was incomplete. I hope that she is able to report how the Gomery Inquiry is an incomplete investigation of Liberal corruption. Read more about Menke HERE.

"Menke's career in the public and private sectors has helped her to develop policy development and problem solving skills. Prior to joining the CRTC, she held such positions as Vice President, Council and Secretary General at the Metropolitan life insurance company. She was also Inspector General of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Senior Corporate Adviser in the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions of Canada, as well as Legal Adviser in the Department of Finance."

So the Department of Finance might be her connection to PMPM.