Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Entitled to his Entitlements

When the government announces something on the Friday before the Canada Day long weekend, it's usually a sign that they hope people won't pay a lot of attention to it:

OTTAWA -- The Harper government has given a longtime Ottawa Conservative a plum patronage spot at the Royal Canadian Mint -- once at the centre of Tory wrath over a prominent Liberal who had a patronage job there.

Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon quietly announced on Friday that Claude Bennett, a former provincial Conservative cabinet minister who led the controversial municipal amalgamation of the Ottawa region, will be a director on the mint's board.

Meet the new government...same as the old government...



  • I hope he doesn't chew gum or there could be trouble...

    By Blogger Jeff, at 1:45 p.m.  

  • Harperites don't chew gum. It prevents them from walking.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 2:26 p.m.  

  • All due respect, but board appointments seem materially different to me than executive positions. One pays a tonne and allows you to expense any number of things. The other usually gives you an honorarium in the order of $10,000 and pays you to come to a quartet of meetings each year.

    In either case, I think these appointments are probably fair and can be reasonably made as political awards. I just think it's worth noting that Conservative objections didn't have so much to do with patronage itself, but with seeming abuse of a position (though I should also say I think they were wrong on about half the facts with Dingwall).

    By Blogger Peter Loewen, at 2:57 p.m.  

  • Peter,
    Conservatives objected just because. No other reason.

    Contrary to popular belief as of late, its wrong when conservatives do it too.

    Had they been a little more specific when they made the criticism then maybe I would believe the same as you but they didn't.

    I also don't think anyone has the ability to tell others what the conservatives were thinking at the time.

    These people are the smarmiest bunch ever in government so I wouldn't necessarily give the the benefit of a doubt either.

    By Blogger Jay, at 3:16 p.m.  

  • Fair enough. I am glad you've now taken their place as a complainer. We need guys like you. I guess.

    By Blogger Peter Loewen, at 3:24 p.m.  

  • Stevie did the same thing last summer "quietly" appointing loyal conservatives to high level positions. Can't remember the number off-hand, but there were a great many.

    I never noticed the same level of unease in the Public Service when a Lib government was elected and appointments were made.

    By Blogger 900ft Jesus, at 3:42 p.m.  

  • Then

    "Those documents showed that Dingwall and his top aides accumulated office expenses of more than $740,000 in 2004. That total included $130,000 in foreign and domestic travel, $14,000 in meals and $11,000 in hospitality.

    On February 4th 2006 it was released that the government was following its binding arbitration ruling by paying Dingwall $417,780 along with associated pension benefits."



    "The job pays a retainer of $5,300 to $6,200 annually, a per diem of $410 to $485 while on mint business and "reasonable travel and other expenses."

    By Blogger Calgary Junkie, at 3:43 p.m.  

  • Cal Junkie,

    Thanks for those numbers. It's clear that this is a patronage appointment, but it's a pretty reasonable one. And, from the first paragraph, it's clear that the Dingwall thing was a big tempest in a teapot.

    By Blogger Peter Loewen, at 3:53 p.m.  

  • A closer read of the story and it appears the writer was just bringing the Dingwall thing into this to jazz it up a bit. Dingwall was the president of the Mint, this fellow is merely being appointed to the board of directors. Not the same job.

    A check of the Mint's Web site shows the president is currently Ian Bennett, a former federal civil servant appointed last summer.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 4:09 p.m.  

  • My hat is off to the sharp eyed author of this blog who not only knows where the bodies are likely to be buried, but even the likely dates of the evil deed. This neat package on patronage is worth a lot of votes for the Liberals, one may think and offers such a lovely image of the Cons sneaking around to do what they formerly denounced.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 5:25 p.m.  

  • CJ - you are comparing office expenses to remuneration. They are not the same things.

    I see that after this person is paid, he still may claim reasonable travel expenses. No word on whether he can claim office expenses, but I would guess not since he is a board member and not the president of the Mint.

    As BCer points out, these are two different positions and therefore it stands to reason they would be paid differently.

    By Blogger Gayle, at 6:04 p.m.  

  • Trolling for something?
    How bout Stelmach's PC's down to 34%

    By Blogger art in calgary, at 6:26 p.m.  

  • PMSH has approximatley 2500 public appointments to make. He campaigned on a commission to be set up so as the appointments were not 'political'.

    but, you remember the scene made by the opp parties on committee:

    ''..in early-2006, Harper made a first stab at a public appointments commission. It was headed by Alberta oilman Gwyn Morgan, a Harper supporter, and included Quebec businesswoman Jacqueline Boutet, former Liberal minister Roy MacLaren, and Vancouver businessman Hassan Khosrowshahi, chairman of the Fraser Institute, a conservative think-tank.

    The prime minister abruptly cancelled the appointments after opposition MPs on a parliamentary committee attacked Morgan's credentials.''

    By Blogger wilson, at 9:53 p.m.  

  • wilson said

    "Vancouver businessman Hassan Khosrowshahi, chairman of the Fraser Institute, a conservative think-tank."

    Actually, the Fraser Institute isn’t a think tank. It’s purely a propaganda machine. From wikipedia IPCC Fourth Assessment Report:

    Shortly after publication of the AR4 Summary for Policymakers, The libertarian Fraser Institute issued an alternative "Independent Summary for Policymakers" (ISPM) drawing skeptical conclusions. An analysis by climate scientists writing for noted climate science blog RealClimate describes it as "profoundly ignorant" of IPCC processes, and stated that it is better to think of the ISPM as the "Incorrect Summary for Policymakers".

    By Blogger JimTan, at 3:53 a.m.  

  • "quietly announced" ... I love that media bias. Did they record the decibel level of his voice or something?

    But I digress. Every government - Liberal or Tory - is going to be corrupt. But the threat of being booted from office at least keeps them within eye distance from decency. A change in government was essential for both Canada and the Liberal party.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 10:07 a.m.  

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