Diane, it’s even worse than you claim

Diane Francis is a writer from Central Canada whose typical view of the country is about 400 miles wide. So, it’s not surprising that in her New York Post expose, she ignores corrupt political acts in western Canada.

For example, the Confederation Bridge, crossing 13 kilometres of ocean (yes, thirteen) from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island, cost $1.3 billion ($1.8 billion in 2013 dollars). Two Fraser River bridges near Vancouver will cost the public over $6 billion.

Nor does Diane Francis note that BC residents pay punitive carbon taxes while BC Liberal’s largest financial supporter exports billions of dollars worth of coal while paying no carbon tax on the fossilized carbon and damn little in the way of royalties to the public that purportedly owns the mineral.

Diane Francis also fails to write about the poisoning of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations people so that multinational oil companies can extract bitumen with minimum cost and maximum profit. Nor does she cover the supposedly neutral National Energy Board coordinating spying efforts of CSIS, RCMP and private oil companies in a futile campaign to discredit environmental groups.

In Quebec, the mafia may have a directing hold on government; in the two western provinces, it is the mostly foreign owned resource companies. Ordinary people, east and west, are the victims.

However, Francis did give her view of scandals in the 400 mile strip of Canada she knows best. Writing in the New York Post, November 23, 2013:

“Toronto’s crack-smoking Mayor Rob Ford is the most famous Canadian in the world. The Charlie Sheen of politics opens his mouth simply to change feet.

“…But if Americans think Ford is an anomaly, they’re giving Canada way too much credit. In truth, the country is awash in scandal.

“Most unnerving is Quebec, Canada’s Tammany Hall… ‘Acts of collusion and corruption exist everywhere in Quebec — in every region…’

“There are 20 more ongoing investigations outside the construction industry…

“In the province next door, the Ontario Provincial Police anti-rackets squad recently scoured the premier’s office. Its probe concerns the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of two gas plants in 2011 on the eve of an election at a cost to taxpayers of $1 billion.

“In London, Ontario, another mayor has refused to quit despite the fact that he has been charged with fraud and faces a trial soon on allegations that he used taxpayer money to help pay for his son’s wedding reception…

“A more king-sized violation in Quebec involves public official Arthur Porter and two executives of SNC-Lavalin, who were arrested this year for fraud involving the $2.3 billion contract to build the McGill University Health Center.

“Porter, who is now in Panama fighting extradition, was also charged with conspiracy and money laundering.

“Another eyebrow raiser was the fact that Porter had been appointed in 2008 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to be chair of the oversight committee of the country’s CIA…

“The [Senate] is a throwback from Britain’s House of Lords and an undemocratic patronage dump for friends, partisans and bagmen.

“…This week, Senate shenanigans reached into the prime minister’s office after police accused one of the senators, and the prime minister’s former chief of staff, of bribery, fraud and breach of trust…

“With such serious charges floating around, it’s hard to get exorcised about Rob Ford…

“So, the next time your Canadian cousins get smug about their superior culture, kindness and hockey, remind them that politicians behaving badly isn’t unique to the US…

“Canada gets just as dirty — so stay tuned and hold into your tuques.”

Categories: Ethics

13 replies »

  1. Yeah. If she only knew! Try as we might, we still don't get acknowledged as Canada's “Most Corrupt Province in the Land”.
    Well, it took how many years to get the railroad to the west coast? Surely our sullied reputation can beat that time.


  2. There is a Federal government group process by which an entity like the NEB, which is constantly in need of running roughshod over the public “open house” processes, eg Enbridge's Northern Gateway Pipeline. RCMP forces are required (to keep protestors at bay), Treasury, EI commission, etc…. Harper like's to call the group hugging process, the Horizontal Initiative Database aka HID

    Occasionally, government goals go beyond the sphere of a single federal department. In such instances, departments must work collaboratively with partners to achieve shared outcomes. The objective of reporting on horizontal initiatives is to provide parliamentarians, the public and government with an overall picture of public expenditures, plans and performance for all major horizontal initiatives.

    Index for Partnerships By Fiscal Year 2013

    If Harper seems distracted as of late, there's this on his mind: the Plum Pox Management and Monitoring Program (PPMMP). which is in it's second straight year of existence.


  3. This reminds me of a line Jack Webster used to use: “There it goes, the Ontario media mafia!” You can bet that if the antics of the BC Liberals were carried out in Ont or Que, they'd be front page, lead off stories.


  4. Diane Francis, Barbara Amiel, Margaret Wente, actually most any columnist you'd care to name in the press and broadcast world all like to stare at the collective conservative navel and muse on irrelevance. I wonder if they believe the tripe they publish. Too bad so many readers swallow the cod with the swallop.


  5. Yes, please someone, anyone help us in BC to get the message out that our government is as corrupt as any in Canada! Call political 911!

    oh and Dan, wouldn't that be cods with the wallop?


  6. As the “Eye” ages, I have come to the opinion that our politicians are all on the take.

    Decades ago, public service was regarded as an honourable profession (an “Eye's” relative was a cabinet minister in both the Pearson and Trudeau governments. He was well off when he retired, but his car was a 50's vintage when he retired in the 70's!), today, politics are in it for money, travel, and lucrative graft.

    In the municipality where I live, a noted land developer (held in great esteem by the local media) has bought off the majority in council and not one of his projects have ever had any scrutiny, in fact some of the developers projects are illegal, but no one cares and complaints are met with threats. In the same municipality another long time developer had to jump through 15 years of hoops to get his projects the OK and only the quiet whisper of legal action got council to give the OK.

    In BC, major construction projects are so over engineered and overbuilt, that they cost 3 or 4 times more than they should and are a sort of pay off to government friends in the trucking, engineering and road building industries. The SFPR has more to do getting farm land out of the ALR, than moving truck efficiently.

    The proposed Massey tunnel replacement is all about sending Panama MAX coal carriers up to McQuarrie owned Surrey Docks not improving congestion.

    SkyTrain construction is all about giving Bombardier and SNC Lavalin huge chunks of taxpayer's monies by building costly, yet obsolete mini-metros in the region.

    Organized crime, both in the drug underworld and corporate sponsored, now run BC and Canada, gun play is common, yet the mainstream media have escaped in a “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” hubris, less they become targets of the criminal cabal now running the show and now, mostly their bosses.

    Even the pathetic Bill Boring doesn't have the moral fortitude to say enough and tell it like it is, as life is far too comfortable, so he continues his sickly patter.

    Canada has become a pathetic autocracy, where the words democracy and democratic has lost all meaning – we have, by our collective silence, have become the Ford nation. Adolph Hitler and his vile band of murdered would be quite please how things are turning out in Canada.


  7. Diane Francis… One vile despicable piece of work,On and on she screamed at peter Gzowsky how it was those greedy unions that forced management at the westray mine to cut corners on safety hence they the union is responsible for that tragedy. always there is a platform available for the likes of her. just sick.


  8. The New York Post, publisher of Diane Francis piece is another property in Rupert Murdoch's noble media empire. Francis' interest is in selling books and it worked for me. Yesterday, I bought a hardcover copy of her title “Contrapreneurs” for $3.95. Hope it's worth that exalted price.


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