Thursday, May 07, 2009

A shocking display of accountability

A few more notes on the Dhalla matter this morning...

It's not clear how any of this Globe report this morning is relevant or advances the reporting on the allegations: "Scandal sidelines 'high-maintenance' Liberal MP." "High maintenance," difficult to work for, seeking out opportunities to speak at events. Um, she's an ambitious MP? Anyone? Nice colleagues though.

This CP report gets at some more relevant facts, including that the Conservatives are dissenting from a number of the recommendations in yesterday's Citizenship and Immigration Committee report on Temporary Foreign Workers and Non-Status Workers:
...the new report from the Commons committee on citizenship and immigration appeared to suggest the government can and should do more
....

The report made a series of recommendations calling for greater oversight and education of foreign workers.

The Conservatives on the panel, in a dissenting report, disagreed with 10 of the 36 recommendations, including one calling for a government response to all complaints.

"We oppose efforts to create an unnecessary advisory board, or to require the government to respond to the comments of every group or individual who chooses to express a view," said the Conservatives on the committee.

They're also dissenting from one of the principal recommendations of the report on creating permanent residency for temporary foreign workers along the lines of the opportunity given to the live-in caregivers (recommendations 3 & 6 p. 55, Conservative dissent at p. 75). A few things to keep in mind as we hear them pontificating about the plight of the foreign worker.

One other larger point, Dhalla has stepped away from her critic's role while this whole matter is being investigated, demonstrating respect for the notion of parliamentary accountability. Remember that quaint notion? As a lawmaker, she should appropriately do so and it's a signal to the Canadian people about what kind of government the Liberals would offer. This contrasts with the Conservative approach, where ministers such as Lunn (interference in Nuclear Safety Commission) and the Ritz (oversaw cuts to meat inspections & overall performance during listeriosis outbreak which killed 20 Canadians), for example, see no accountability for their performances. The accountability chip is missing from those on the Conservative benches, no lectures from these folks please.