Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Russ Hiebert's fan mail & Mulroney supporting days

In an ideal world, MPs like Conservative Russ Hiebert would be vulnerable come next election, whenever that may be. Hiebert, in the hot seat for his travel expenses, which are permissible yet hypocritical given his past electoral posturing, might yet find them to be an issue. He is speaking about them after a week's silence and is now vowing to look at his high expenditures on travel. Hiebert's constituents recall his promises and are now sending him fan mail about the hypocrisy:
Backbench MP Russ Hiebert was elected with the mandate to fight government waste.

The South Surrey-White Rock-Cloverdale MP turns out to be one of the biggest spenders in Parliament, spending over $637,000 – $214,000 of that in travel.
Personally, I could have done without this dubious honour of having a spendthrifty MP, who, when running for office, proclaimed to be able to bring change and honesty to Parliament.
It is indeed unfortunate Russ Hiebert has to be B.C.’s MP with the largest expense account.

Hiebert has oft preached government restraint and, along with Conservative colleagues, seen government accountability as a key issue during election campaigns.

The life of an MP is demanding. It is laudable for Hiebert and his wife to make a conscious effort at maintaining their marriage and parental requirements. That being said, I do not see why, especially in this economic climate, the taxpayer has to pay for his familial demands. Simply because this excessive spending falls under the normal guidelines of costs incurred does not excuse the hypocrisy of preaching one message and living out another.
Here's another aspect to Hiebert's situation:
Whilst you feel an entitlement of taxpayer coverage for your family, you also blatantly suggest daycare services should not be provided for those who require the same in order to care for their families.

Does this not suggest a double-standard or, at the very least, an elitist attitude that your family situation is more important than that of other Canadian families?
Never thought about it that way...good point.

While we're on Hiebert today, let's remember this timely classic from the archives reminding us of the Conservative position at the Mulroney-Schreiber parliamentary committee hearings:
Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney did nothing wrong by accepting $100,000 in cash from lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber while still a sitting MP in August, 1993, a key Conservative on the Commons ethics committee says.

British Columbia MP Russ Hiebert said Tuesday he does not believe Mr. Mulroney contravened the code of conduct for office holders at the time -- or the Criminal Code for that matter.

"Based on everything we've heard so far, there appears to be no violation of the code of conduct that was in place at the time or any other wrongdoing. It just appears to be a failed business deal between Mr. Mulroney and Mr. Schreiber," said Mr. Hiebert, the lead questioner for the Conservative government on the committee.
Russ, meet Justice Oliphant (at p. 33):
The conduct exhibited by Mr. Mulroney in accepting cash-stuffed envelopes from Mr. Schreiber on three separate occasions, failing to record the fact of the cash payments, failing to deposit the cash into a bank or other financial institution, and failing to disclose the fact of the cash payments when given the opportunity to do so goes a long way, in my view, to supporting my position that the financial dealings between Mr. Schreiber and Mr. Mulroney were inappropriate. These dealings do not reflect the highest standards of conduct, nor do they represent conduct that is so scrupulous it will bear the closest public scrutiny.
How much does a Conservative "stronghold" riding put up with these days anyway?