Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Harper Government™ is all about who you know, not who you are

Let's recall once again what the PM tells the nation in one of his recent ads: "We're lucky to live in Canada, a land where merit means more than privilege, where who you are matters more than who you know or where you came from." Harper's words are ringing very untrue this week. The hypocrisy from the great accountability crusader circa 2006 continues to be laid bare.

It is confirmed that Tom Pentefountas got his CRTC gig as Vice-Chair courtesy of Conservative Senator Leo Housakos, not due to any particular qualifications pertinent to the highly specialized telecommunications industry and he didn't even apply for it, to boot. Housakos did it for him:
«J'ai été contacté par un ami que vous connaissez, a-t-il expliqué. J'avais déjà fait application pour un autre poste. Et quand cette position-là a été ouverte, il m'a joint et j'ai très certainement exprimé mon désir de faire partie du concours.»

Questionné pour savoir s'il avait lui-même déposé son CV, celui dont le mandat commence le 4 avril a répondu: «M. Housakos a appliqué. En d'autres termes, il a déposé le CV pour moi.»

We also learn of extensive patronage appointments to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency that are now under investigation, all appointments seeming to be tied to Peter MacKay:
The Public Service Commission of Canada is investigating the Harper government for appointing Conservatives close to Defence Minister Peter MacKay to senior positions in the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Since the Tories took power in 2006, at least 10 well-connected Conservatives have won plum jobs at Atlantic regional development agencies.

Maria Barrados, president of the commission, which is charged with making sure governments don’t politicize the public service, told MPs on the government operations committee Tuesday that lawyers in her investigative unit have looked into the situation and decided to proceed with a complete probe.

"In the case of the complaints I got on ACOA, they have in fact launched full investigations," she said.
Clearly, the Prime Minister's words are in need of a re-write. Truth in advertising and all that.