Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Glover-Aglukkaq Predictor Model!

Good Day Readers:

CyberSmokeBlog is not one to say, "Told you so!" but in this case it will - gloat ... gloat ... gloat. As predicted, it certainly didn't take a Liberal Member of Parliament long to file a complaint with the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner's Office.

When the illegal fundraising Leona Aglukkaq story broke yesterday, CSB postulated there's a political business model that allows voters to predict how Conservative cabinet ministers will react when caught red- handed with their pants/pantyhose down hand in the cookie jar. In the case of Ms Aglukkaq here's what you should be watching for next:

1. Claim others prepared the invitations without your knowledge, therefore, you had no idea whatsoever who'd be at the event or why

2. You just happened to drop by briefly when, as fate would have it, the media arrived

3. If you're Leona Aglukkaq have an entry and exit strategy, that is to say, use a back door to quickly arrive and depart

4. Tell the media it's a private gathering, therefore, get lost

5. Immediately write to the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner asking for clarification of the rules (the plead ignorance defence), even though they're clearly spelled out, offer your full support in any subsequent investigation and apologize all over yourself promising it will never ever happen again

6. Return all donations post haste as though nothing happened

7. When all else fails blame it on the Riding Association and deny, deny, deny .....

Ever noticed the alacrity with which the Harper government plays fast and loose with the Elections Canada and the Ethics Commissioner's rules?

Clare L. Pieuk
Leona Aglukkaq denies conflict of interest allegations

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Leona Aglukkaq says a $100 a plate fundraiser in Ottawa on Tuesday 'was an event for a local riding. It was never advertised as anything more and was fully consistent with the guidelines that are in place.'

The federal minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency is hitting back at critics accusing her of conflict of interest.

The Nunavut Conservative Party Riding Association threw a $100 a plate fundraiser in Ottawa Tuesday night.

It took place at the Westin Hotel, the official hotel partner of the annual Northern Lights conference and trade show, which got underway the next day.

Leona Aglukkaq was the guest of honour.

A media report by CTV said some of the people who attended work for organizations that get funding from CanNor, including special guest Nellie Cournoyea, chair of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, which got more than $200,000 in funding from CanNor last year.

The event has raised questions about whether the minister is in breach of the federal Conflict of Interest Act.
In Question Period yesterday, opposition liberals challenged Aglukkaq about the fundraiser, and she responded.

“I'd like to thank the honourable member for that question so I can correct that inaccurate news story, and correct that inaccurate question,” she said in the House of Commons. “There was an event for a local riding. It was never advertised as anything more, and was fully consistent with the guidelines that are in place.”

The Northern Lights trade show highlights businesses and trade opportunities in Canada's North and Eastern Arctic. It's organized by the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce and the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce in Nunavut.

And then ...
Liberal MP asks ethics watchdog to investigate Aglukkaq over fundraiser

CTV Staff
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Conservative MP Leona Aglukkaq attended a fundraiser in her honour at an upscale hotel in Ottawa, Ontario Tuesday, January 28, 2014.

A Liberal MP is asking the federal ethics watchdog to investigate a fundraiser held in cabinet minister Leona Aglukkaq’s honour, where guests included people who receive funding from her department.

Scott Andrews, the Liberal Critic for Open Government and Ethics, has written a letter to Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson asking her to investigate Aglukkaq’s actions in relation to Tuesday’s fundraiser.

Aglukkaq, who is the Environment Minister and the Minister of Economic Development for the North, attended the event at an upscale Ottawa hotel, where guests donated $100 to also attend and got a $50 tax break.

One of the special guests was Nellie Cournoyea, the former Premier of the Northwest Territories and now the Chair of Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, which received more than $200,000 in funding from Aglukkaq’s department last year.

In his letter to Dawson, Andrews also says: “Public records show that on August 28, 2013 the Inuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization, a sub-entity of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, received $441,500 directly from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.”

Under federal government conflict of interest rules, cabinet ministers should not “solicit or accept funds from a person or organization who has lobbied or is likely to lobby the public office holders or their office, department or committee.”

The rules also say ministers must avoid “situations where issues of preferential treatment or other conflicts of interest could arise.”

Late Tuesday, Aglukkaq’s office insisted the minister followed conflict of interest rules, saying anyone who benefitted from her department did not pay for a ticket and were simply invited guests.

"Care has been taken not to solicit or accept funds from lobbyists or departmental stakeholders,” Jennifer Kennedy, Aglukkaq’s director of communications, said in an email to CTV News.

"The Nunavut Electoral District Association operates a rigorous screening procedure, both before and after events, to ensure that only appropriate donations are accepted."

Dawson recently said she would begin investigating Heritage Minister Shelly Glover, over a fundraiser held in her name where members of Winnipeg’s art and culture community were asked to donate money.


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