Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:21 pm Post subject: Why pick on PMO staffers?
Conservative supporters will remember how the opposition - Liberals, in particular - savaged the Calgary associates of PM Harper in the last two federal elections. Tom Flanagan seemed to take the lion's share of the blows, with groups ranging from First Nations groups to the NDP portraying him as some sort of political troglodyte.
Now, the attention has shifted to PMO Chief of Staff Ian Brodie and Deputy Chief Patrick Muttart. Not satisfied with the non-story behind PM Harper's trip to see the opening of the NHL season or the NS Tory convention - costs for which were apparently borne by the party - the trip taken by Brodie, Burney and others back in early March '07 to Washington has been the focus of at least two newspaper writeups recently.
In a (subscription only) article entitled "Tories won't release names of passengers on DND plane", a big deal is made of the fact that Mr. Brodie did not disclose any of his meal expenses or that the trip even took place.
Transition chief Burney, Mr. Brodie's EA Cardow, and Muttart were apparently also on the trip. While there must be a simple explanation, the article fails to describe why Mr. Muttart would need to stay overnight in Washington - thus costing the taxpayers close to $1500 - and not return with the others on the same day.
What I fail to understand - or accept - is why anonymous staffers get caught in the political crossfire. Most of them work extremely hard for not much pay.
Elected officials are probably fair game, but why pick on the staffers?
Last edited by cbasu on Fri Oct 27, 2006 9:31 pm; edited 3 times in total
If the expenses were paid by the party, why do we care?
One would expect a normal answer to be "we do not", until you ask the question "but, how much do the trips really cost?".
In an Oct 28/06 CP/Star article entitled 'PM's trips tallied up' Bruce Cheadle wrote:
(abridged) .. Buckler said the reimbursements for the two flights — one to Halifax last February, another to Toronto on Oct. 4 — were calculated by using average commercial rates for the same trip on the same day.
The Defence Department, meanwhile, said yesterday it has been ordered "by the powers that be" not to divulge the exact cost of the flights, but did provide general operating costs...
Now, it becomes a story about accountability and transparency. There must be an election coming.
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