Monday, April 11, 2011

Friendly Advice to my Conservative Friends

Just because you've gotten away with taking Michael Ignatieff's quotes wildly out of context, it doesn't mean you can get away with it for everyone else.

Especially when the "everyone else" is Sheila Fraser, who your party has played no small role in lifting to deity status:

Tories misquoted me on summit costs, Fraser says

Auditor General Sheila Fraser has written a scathing letter rebuking the Conservatives for misquoting her in a parliamentary report on the costs of the G8/G20 summits in Toronto last summer, CBC News has learned.

The Conservatives' report, presented as a dissenting opinion to the Commons the morning Parliament was dissolved last month, quotes Fraser giving high marks to the Harper government for prudent spending on the summits.

The report quoted the auditor general as saying: “We found that the processes and controls around that were very good, and that the monies were spent as they were intended to be spent.”

But in her leter addressed to members of a Commons committee on Friday, which was received by the clerk and members on Monday, Fraser said the quote had nothing to do with the summits.

Instead, she said, the Conservatives recycled an old comment she made on security spending by a previous Liberal government after the 9/11 terrorist attacks a decade ago.

“The comments attributed to me in the [Conservative] report are completely unrelated to G8/G20 spending,” Fraser writes in her letter.

“I would appreciate it if the report could be modified as it is clearly erroneous.”

I know it sounds weird, but I almost want to give Harper the benefit of the doubt here. If only because I can't imagine anyone intentionally doing something so stupid, and expecting to get away with it.

But I think we're long past giving anyone in this government the benefit of the doubt on these kinds of issues.



  • Here's a link to the entire article from the Glasgow Herald

    href=""Michael's own words, since you are so worried about the context of Michael's quote in 2004 the year before he came back to be Liberal leader, ""I am an American Democrat. I will vote for Kerry in November."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:48 p.m.  

  • The previous link isn't working. Click <a href=">here</a> to go to the entire article from the Glasgow Herald.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:51 p.m.  

  • goalpost change attempt - FAIL!

    By Blogger Gene Rayburn, at 6:00 p.m.  

  • The guy is a walking contradiction.

    By Blogger ridenrain, at 6:27 p.m.  

  • Instead, she said, the Conservatives recycled an old comment she made on security spending by a previous Liberal government after the 9/11 terrorist attacks a decade ago.

    That is really sad. You couldn't find anything nice she said about you, so you recycled a comment she made about the Liberals? How desperate is that?

    And the whole thing about Ignatieff voting in America.... Who cares? Probably 90% of Canadians would vote in an American election if they could. And Democrats are popular in Canada -- especially when the other option is Bush.

    As for being a walking contradiction, guess the less said about Harper's coalitionist tendencies, the better.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 6:56 p.m.  

  • "The guy is a walking contradiction."

    Often the description of ridenrain after reading his explanation of things.

    By Blogger Gene Rayburn, at 7:07 p.m.  

  • Like you CG, I'm ready to believe this is some kind of bizarre error -- it is difficult to picture someone thinking they could get away with such an obvious misstep.

    Perhaps we will know more.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 7:21 p.m.  

  • Like you CG, I'm ready to believe this is some kind of bizarre error -- it is difficult to picture someone thinking they could get away with such an obvious misstep.

    But isn't this a pattern with them?

    The inserted "not" in the Karios funding report. Tony Clement's comments that made it seem like Stats Can supported his decision to end the mandatory survey. This happens repeatedly with the Conservatives.

    By Blogger sharonapple88, at 7:31 p.m.  

  • Well, Dan also says "we're long past that benefit of the doubt" here... and I agree on that point as well.

    I always vote, it's important. Really am not inspired this time around.

    By Blogger Jacques Beau Vert, at 7:49 p.m.  

  • The Conservatives are always pulling this kind of stuff. Remember the Conference board of Canada economist who costed the Tory platform saying that the one he examined was not the same platform the Conservatives released.

    “Paul Darby, deputy chief economist of the Conference Board of Canada, originally concluded that Stephen Harper's Conservative platform “is affordable in each fiscal year from 2005-2006 through 2010-2011.”
    The Conservative party promoted that conclusion last week as evidence its election platform had been “independently verified” by the Conference Board, an Ottawa-based think-tank.
    But Mr. Darby says the version of the platform he was given to vet didn't include a Conservative health-care guarantee which states patients will be transported to another jurisdiction if they can't get timely care at home.
    It also omitted a Tory platform promise to redress the so-called “fiscal imbalance” between Ottawa and the provinces.
    Mr. Darby wouldn't comment on whether the timely health-care guarantee would bear a significant cost.
    “Talk to Harper,” he said. “It is not in the platform I received from them.”

    By Blogger Koby, at 8:38 p.m.  

  • cHEAT CHEAt and cheat some more...the tory motto

    By Blogger Terence, at 9:34 p.m.  

  • My advice: find a way to blame it on Tony Clement. Harper may not be a lovable guy, but he just might be more charismatic and believable than Tony.

    By Anonymous hosertohoosier, at 10:42 p.m.  

  • H2H, I'm confused: for which party is that advice intended?

    By Blogger saphorr, at 11:41 p.m.  

  • The Conservatives. However, it looks like they already have a damage control strategy. They leaked the February draft of the report, which uses much more restraint (though still saying similar things).

    By Anonymous hosertohoosier, at 11:48 p.m.  

  • The Conservatives tired to have the second report released, but so far no dice.

    "If, as the Conservatives say, there is a later draft, or a final report, which removes the “inflammatory” language contained in Fraser’s draft, they were unable to get it formally released.

    John Baird, the Conservative house leader in the last Parliament, called on Fraser to release her final verdict (as did all party leaders).

    Fraser refused.

    Rules, you know.

    With Parliament dissolved, there is nowhere for Fraser to table her report.

    Just a week ago, the Conservatives were leaning on the same rules which had them hamstrung Monday evening.

    When Ignatieff called for the release of the Fraser report on the G8 legacy fund on its scheduled April 5 release date, the Conservatives moved into high dudgeon, calling the request “ridiculous.’’

    By Blogger Koby, at 3:40 a.m.  

  • Back to the original topic, the Conservatives have apologized for the out-of-context quote, and are looking into how it came to be included in the response at Committee.

    And since the media largely chose to ignore the apology and continue to run with the original story, the Conservatives reiterated their apology again today.

    (By comparison, a Liberal candidate out west has a long history of handing out short sentences to convicted rapists while sitting as a Judge, but as soon as he issues a short apology the media drop the story. If he were truly sorry why didn't he change after the Court of Appeals continued to overrule him?)

    By Blogger Paul, at 6:51 p.m.  

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