Friday, January 19, 2007

Oops

Alberta Grits are demanding an overhaul of the province's election finances disclosure law after Elections Alberta revealed the Tories haven't filed required financial reports for nearly two decades.

"There needs to be a complete review and overhaul," said Liberal MLA Hugh MacDonald.

"Things have to be more tightly controlled and they have to be more rigidly enforced."

MacDonald was stunned to discover yesterday that the Tory party failed to file mandatory reports to Elections Alberta since 1987 and no one noticed until he asked to see the documents.

Now, before people jump all over the Conservatives for this one, let's consider a few things. First of all, when a government's term is 30 years, missing your deadline for 20 years in Alberta years is only, like, 3 years for other provinces. So this is only the equivalent of the governing party not disclosing their finances for a mere three years which I'm sure most voters would think nothing of.

And, before Albertans rise up and blame the Tories for this, let's remember the important thing - the party will be punished:

The law calls for a fine of not more than $1,000 for violating the act.

15 Comments:

  • People jump all over Wajid Khan for not filing for two years.

    And these guys ( the WHOLE PROVINCIAL PARTY) DON'T FILE FOR 20 YEARS and no one blinks ???

    And the find for non-compliance is . . . . . . how much?

    $1000.00


    You have to love those P.C. hypocirites

    Integrity Act indeed.

    There is good info coming out now about the $250,000 paid by Haper to Ezra Levant.

    And the $500,000 donation to pay off Peter MacKay's leadership debts.

    When is the election ?

    By Blogger Down & Out in L A, at 11:29 PM  

  • That's a pretty big oversight.

    By Blogger IslandLiberal, at 11:57 PM  

  • 30 years? gimmeabreak. I'd comment further, but I need to run out & buy some popcorn to go with the beer while I watch Eddy talk his way out of this one.

    Sheesh

    By Blogger Candace, at 2:08 AM  

  • Bring on those by-elections.

    By Blogger Glen, at 3:59 AM  

  • Wow, that's really surprising - I read that yesterday and couldn't believe it. It's the $1000 fine that really makes it astounding -- I'd love to see what fine I would incur if I did the same thing.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 12:00 PM  

  • Really, what can people going to do to punish the Alberta Conservatives, vote Liberal?

    Oh, that was a good one..still laughing so hard I'm crying..

    By Blogger JL, at 1:17 AM  

  • 20 years? That suggests that the arrogance and rot was well entrenched by the time Don Getty took over...which is consistent - that's about the time the party lost sight of the citizens of this province.

    By Blogger Grog, at 9:36 AM  

  • Let's all remember that for some, oh - I dunno, let's call it "bizarre" reason, Albertans vote for the PC's regardless of what they do. While we can blame the Tories for haphazard reporting or worse, failure to report is symptomatic of a benevolent dictatorship in Alberta, the fact is that voters have nobody to blame but themselves. Assuming they even give a rat's ass and that my friends, is questionable at best. There are a myriad of reasons why the Tories are re-elected every three or four years and from my perspective, that's the larger issue. That Kevin Taft hasn't been able to crack the public's disinterest in the provincial Liberal party isn't necessarily his fault - he's contained by the fact that the official opposition is called the "Liberal" party and as we all know, that is basically a bad word here in Alberty. I believe that voters in this province probably would embrace middle of the road public policy, but it would have to be under a party with a name that doesn't resemble it's "evil twin" in Ottawa. In short - what's it going to take to get another party to form a government in this province. Somehow I suspect the return of Jesus might occur before that happens and frankly, that's a sad statement on politics in Alberta. A centre party can divorce itself from it's federal counterpart - what's more important? Maintaining a relationship with a federal party that is basically hated all through Alberta for whatever reason and then being bound for perpetual opposition, or winning an election and implementing middle of the road public policy while at the same time, not being seen as having anything to do with the Liberal party of Canada. We can lament the malaise of Alberta voters until the cows come home, the sad fact is that a centre alternative might exist, but it suffers from bad brand identification.

    By Blogger Left Right and Center, at 10:41 AM  

  • re: Left right and center

    I think you have the analysis is somewhat incorrect for a number of reasons.

    First of all, the there is a prevalancy for most Albertan's to be at least small "c" conservative. As a result, any party that promotes policies that do not fit that mold will not form a government.

    Second of all, the provincial Conservatives have had a remarkable ability to change and adapt. There was a marked difference between Lougheed, Getty and Klein. Stelmach will also, but the jury is still out whether he will be another Getty or more substantial. If Stelmach falters, my suspicion is that very quickly the Alberta public and the PC stalwarts will ensure change.

    I do agree that the "Liberal" brand is damaged in Alberta, and probably will continue to be for many, many years. Kevin Taft I believe is a very intelligent and decent human being, and actually probably would make a good Conservative cabinet minister, but I just don't see him as a leader of any party that can inspire.

    I do believe that the PC party has responded to most Albertan's concerns, and essentially have given us good government for many years. I also believe that since 1998 they have wandered into the realm of big government, and that even though we have these massive surpluses, that we are building an unsustainable government infrastructure. I hope that Stelmach starts doing something about this, but I have my doubts.

    The question I would ask of you is what is it about a centrist party in Alberta that be a positive over one that is center/right or right??

    By Blogger Andy, at 2:05 PM  

  • >>Second of all, the provincial Conservatives have had a remarkable ability to change and adapt.<<

    You're kidding about this statement, aren't you? Seriously, the last six years under Klein has been much like the Seinfeld show - just as Seinfeld was "a show about nothing", the last few years under Ralph Klein produced less than nothing, and most pundits, columnists and anyone with half a brain has indicated that the government was devoid of any fresh ideas. While Albertans tend to cling to a conservative set of values, my sense is they exist specifically to contrast that which occurs in Ottawa. In other words, Albertans wear their alienation like a comfortable sweater and consistently vote PC simply because the provincial Tories were pro-corporation, pro-oil and "Ottawa sucks".

    I believe that Albertans would embrace any party (save for anything smelling remotely like the NDP) that offers a feasible alternative to the governing Tories. The trouble is that no such party exists.

    By Blogger Left Right and Center, at 3:38 PM  

  • Really, what can people going to do to punish the Alberta Conservatives, vote Liberal?

    Ha, yah I'd like to know who these "Albertan Grits" are and whether or not I can count the number of their members on one hand.

    By Blogger McLea, at 4:34 PM  

  • i agree with lrac, voters have nobody to blame but themselves. and how many seats will the cons lose for this one? how bout this prediction...they gain seats in the next provincial election! bold eh?

    By Blogger ktr, at 6:50 PM  

  • CG, I don't really understand, as a fellow Westerner but more West than you.

    30 years is never 3 years, especially when the acts in question are those which helped establish those thirty years of dominance.

    $1000 is ridiculous. It's shameful.

    Why are politics in Alberta so malignant.

    I don't see why federal policiticians waste their time there. Go to Manitoba, BC, Sask... much better soil to grow representation.

    By Blogger petroom, at 10:34 AM  

  • Politics in Alberta aren't malignent... redundant maybe, but never malignent.

    Besides... whats a decade or two between friends.

    By Blogger WC Macdonell, at 11:28 AM  

  • Here is an other environmental issue that might blow up soon:

    Choosing to let patients die of superbug infections!

    While we are still busy navel gazing to see what went wrong during the SARS-farce it should be noted that between yesterday, today and tomorrow almost twice as many Canadians will have died of antibiotic-resistant superbug infections than died during the entire SARS crisis and it repeats day after day after day at infinitum......

    It is my humble opinion that antibiotic-resistance is the mother of all regulatory-scientific-environmental misadventures; however, choosing to let patients die in the light of the overwhelming scientific evidence that bacteriophage therapy could cure many of these infections is, in my humble opinion, a crime!

    The absurdity of the superbug crisis consists of the fact that it can be demonstrated that we had technology, namely bacteriophage therapy, long before we created the antibiotic-resistance superbug crisis through massive abuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobials. Additionally many politicians, bureaucrats, scientists and members of the public health community are or should be well informed about phage therapy which can cure many superbug infections. In spite of a voluminous literature attesting to the scientific validity and medical effectiveness of phage therapy (see http://www.phage.org and find phage therapy references), there are still phage therapy deniers who would resist the careful deployment of these weapons of mass-destruction for specific pathogens in the war with superbugs. Superbugs are winning most battles with an estimated 17 million human casualties due to microbial infections worldwide annually ( 17 million is roughly half the population of Canada or California; the total casualties of WW II are estimated to have been 55 million in about 6 years - superbugs kill more people every 4 years) . Many of these infections are acquired by patients after entering hospitals for unrelated illnesses, making hospitals significant killing fields in the war with superbugs. In Canada as many as 30 patients are dying of such infections daily and some say that an equal number of amputations are also performed to stop such infections. We have known the magnitude of the problem at least since the early 1970's when Ottawa bacteriologist Dr. J.C. N. Westwood was on the conference and media circuit with essentially the same message that is reflected in current papers and news reports ( J.C.N. Westwood, Current National Patterns - Canada, Proceedings of the International Conference on Nosocomial Infections, Center for Disease Control, Aug. 3-6, 1970, 17). Nothing has significantly changed unless we consider the worsening of the problem as success!

    To hear someone say that the superbug crisis is manageable reminds me of the scholarly 2005 best selling non-fiction book by Princeton University professor emeritus Harry Frankfurt - On Bullshit (see http://press.princeton.edu/titles/7929.html ; http://www.slate.com/id/2114268/ ), it is difficult to decide whether such a statement is a lie or bullshit; however, it is easy to deduce a shocking lack of empathy for those who suffer and die from superbug infections and for their relatives as well as medical staff who have to deal with such infections while exposed to infection risks every shift as well as the potential of taking a present home.

    What is Phage Therapy? Prior to the discovery and widespread use of antibiotics, bacterial infections were treated worldwide by the administration of bacteriophages. Bacteriophages or phages are highly specific viruses that invade bacterial cells and, in the case of lytic phages, disrupt bacterial metabolism and cause the bacterium to die. Interestingly it was the French-Canadian microbiologist, Felix d'Herelle, while working at the Institute Pasteur in Paris in 1917 who is credited with discovering and promoting phage therapy. While the use of phage therapy was discontinued in the West soon after the discovery of antibiotics they continued to be utilized in Eastern Europe and today many infections untreatable with antibiotics can be treated in clinics in Georgia (Europe) and Poland. Once one accepts the fact that it requires microscopes to see the world of bacteria and bacteriophages, phage therapy may be compared to any biological control methodology and can conceptually be described as: What a cat is to a mouse the right bacteriophage is to a specific bacterium or superbug. Phage therapy has been going on in nature as a balancing force in the evolution of microbes for a long time. Medical phage therapy is simply the intervention of humans to ensure that the balance is in favour of bacteriophages over susceptible bacterial pathogens! While there is considerable expertise on phage therapy in Canada at the research level as can be substantiated by googling phage therapy ("pages from Canada" only), medical phage therapy is not currently approved or practised in Canada; however, according to a letter signed by the former federal health minister phage therapy can be made available legally to Canadian patients under the Special Access Program of our Food & Drugs Act! A discussion of phage therapy is currently very timely, not only because too many patients are dying of superbug infections; but also because of the recent release of the Canadian film: Killer Cure: The Amazing Adventures of Bacteriophage and the June 2006 release of the English book by Thomas Haeusler entitled Viruses vs. Superbugs, a solution to the antibiotics crisis? ( see http://www.bacteriophagetherapy.info ) - both are available at Ottawa libraries. Additionally, the record of an excellent question-and-answer session with Dr. Roger Johnson of the Public Health Agency of Canada can be found at http://meristem.com/topstories/ts06_08.html .

    Further, the phage therapy file has dramatically changed during the last few weeks because the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has amended the US food additive regulations to provide for the safe use of a bacteriophage preparation on ready-to-eat meat and poultry products as an antimicrobial agent against Listeria monocytogenes (see http://www.fda.gov/OHRMS/DOCKETS/98fr/02f-0316-nfr0001.pdf ). This excellent submission evaluation changes the scientific validity of phage therapy from Eastern European science, which sadly too many of us Westerners dismiss with hubris and bias as not credible, to approved and supported by the all-knowing and all-seeing FDA at least for ready-to-eat meats. Otherwise the US situation is similar to the Canadian situation - much expertise at the research level but little human treatment, which is a pity.
    Superbugs are everybody’s business because superbugs make everybody their business and every North American should study the above references because sooner or later everybody will be faced with an infection or know a relative or friend who will be suffering or dying with one. Withholding such treatment from patients when antibiotics are failing ought to be a crime; however, those who have the money, knowledge and time to travel when faced with an infection where antibiotics are failing may be able to get phage therapy treatment in Georgia ( http://www.phagetherapycenter.com ) or Poland - http://www.aite.wroclaw.pl/phages/phages.html .

    What is even more surprising is that an international phage therapy company would probably be willing and able to set up a phage therapy clinic in any country if the right regulatory climate existed. Since January 1, 2000 as many 82,000 Canadians may have died of such bacterial infections and there is not even a memorial for them. Would it not be nice if the Canadian governments and public health officials got together and funded the Felix d'Herelle Center for Phage Therapy to provide the phage therapy treatment option to patients when antibiotics fail and we have nothing left to offer them?

    Yours truly and happy New Year.

    P.S.: WORLD MEDICAL ASSOCIATION DECLARATION OF HELSINKI PARAGRAPH 32:

    "In the treatment of a patient, where proven prophylactic, diagnostic and
    therapeutic methods do not exist or have been ineffective, the physician,
    with informed consent from the patient, must be free to use unproven or new
    prophylactic, diagnostic and therapeutic measures, if in the physician's
    judgement it offers hope of saving life, re-establishing health or
    alleviating suffering. Where possible, these measures should be made the
    object of research, designed to evaluate their safety and efficacy. In all
    cases, new information should be recorded and, where appropriate, published.
    The other relevant guidelines of this Declaration should be followed."

    FROM: The World Medical Association:

    http://www.wma.net/e/policy/b3.htm - and

    http://www.aite.wroclaw.pl/phages/phages.html

    By Blogger Spokesthingy, at 7:33 PM  

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