Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Only lemmings need apply

"Tory candidate dumped for frank TV comments." But of course. Not Harper material, clearly. What with all the truth-telling about the infrastructure spending not being available for a medical facility in the Markham riding because it's held by a Liberal. So, the truth-teller gets the axe:
As a regional councillor from Markham, Landon, 61, is used to being independent and speaking his mind, "so it's hard for me to bow to a lot of structure and having everything approved by Ottawa," he said.
...
"I didn't follow Conservative policy in terms of getting permission to go on that TV show and I made a comment on that show that was an embarrassment to some members of the Conservative party."
Yes, in fact, this is what you said:
Mr. Landon, a regional councillor who will try to unseat Mr. McCallum to become Markham-Unionville's MP next election, said on a local Rogers TV show this week that the government won't give money to Markham to help fund a medical device research facility "because it's held by the Liberals."
Yes, that was an embarrassing disclosure for Conservatives, indeed. So now he's off to the woodshed, to be replaced by a more pliable cipher that can read talking points and attend at central party approved media appearances. Defining democracy down, onwards valiant Conservatives.

Of note in that Star report, the Parliamentary Budget Officer is making noises again and is liable to weigh in at some point on the infrastructure spending truthiness. This is an issue that cries out for a review now. Gerard Kennedy's report is quite damaging and is in total contradiction to the government's rosy picture issued yesterday by the Prime Minister. The government is predictably stonewalling the PBO:
Parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page says the government isn't sharing infrastructure-spending details he needs to determine whether the almost $16 billion over two years is being spent.

Page said his office filed a request for specific infrastructure spending at the end of August but was stonewalled.

"We got a letter back from the deputy minister of transport and infrastructure just last week saying this is a significant data request ... and they weren't prepared to give us this data (at this time)," said Page, who has been a thorn in the Harper government's side.

Page has embarrassed the federal government by casting doubt on Ottawa's price tag for the Afghan mission and accurately predicting the deficit would be far greater than forecast by the Conservatives.

"We are looking at where the bar has been set in other countries on openness and transparency on stimulus money and ... we will keep asking for the information so we can do our own analysis on money going out the door," he told the Toronto Star. (emphasis added)
What's the government got to hide if they're so confident in their 90% hype?