Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Mother of all "transcription errors?"

Good Day Readers:

The now former lawyer for Manitoba's Peguis First Nation in an earlier report (National Post) claimed a mistake of more than $900,000 in the ledger he created was a "transcription error." In reality the payment to Stacey Meek's numbered company was only $55,000. Ms Meek is married to Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench "All Star" Justice Vic Toews. Wonder if there were any other transcription errors?

Jeezus, that must have made for the Mother of all balance sheets!

It was certainly nice to see Winnipeg Member of Parliament Pat Martin in spite of his too tight cheap on sale Hudson Bay underwear still had the presence of mind to file a complaint with the federal Ethics Commissioner.

Perhaps Ms Meek should file a complaint with the Manitoba Law Society. CyberSmokeBlog enjoys attending its big, fat, juicy, salacious discipline hearings.Besides, Justice All Star would like that.

"Commissioner Paulson, immediately arrest those people over there they're child pornographers because they oppose my highly invasive internet Bills C-30 and 51!" ..... CyberSmokeBlog

Now wouldn't that be interesting - All Star subpoeaned to testify in a potential upcoming lawsuit between the Peguis First Nation and lawyer Jeffrey Rath? Who can forget his attempt to push through parliament warantless internet legislation and especially his red neck reply to a Liberal MP who dared question it?

When Vic Toews as Public Safety Minister was attempting to ram through the House of Commons the aforementioned Bills C-30 and 51, a really ....ed off hacker group called Anonymous posted multiple highly critical YouTube videos, such as the one below, that remain on the internet to this day.

And then there was this .....

Say what you will but Anonymous has done its homework.

A thoroughly ....ed off Vic Toews looking for the Anonymous needle in a haystack.

But of course the poor misguided lad never found it!

And they made this fellow a federal Justice? Jezus!

Clare L. Pieuk
Ex-MP's lobbying scrutinized
Months of work for Peguis First Nation under microscope

By Mia Rabson
Saturday, March 14, 2015

Vic Toews who was a federal Tory minister, lobbied the Manitoba government on behalf of a First Nation after leaving politics and before becoming a judge. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press Files)

OTTAWA -- The federal ethics commissioner has been asked to investigate whether former senior Manitoba cabinet minister Vic Toews broke the Conflict of Interest Act when he took on lobbying work after he left office in 2013.

NDP MP Pat Martin wrote to Mary Dawson Friday. He wants her to look into Toews' lobbying of the Manitoba government on behalf of the Peguis First Nation through its lawyer during the eight months between his departure from cabinet and his appointment to the Court of Queen's Bench.

"I think the conflict-of-interest commissioner should come down like a ton of bricks on this particular minister, and they should tighten things up for the future," Martin said Friday.

"You're not supposed to, you know, go shopping around as soon as you're finished and look up these old clients, you know, for some quid pro quo.

"That's the appearance here if these allegations are true."

In the fall of 2013, Toews registered with the provincial lobbyist registry to lobby the provincial government on behalf of four clients: Norway House Cree Nation, Whitesand River Group, the Metis Economic Development Organization and lawyer Jeffrey Rath.

'I think the conflict-of-interest commissioner should come down like a ton of bricks on this particular minister, and they should tighten things up for the future' — Winnipeg NDP MP Pat Martin

Rath has represented Peguis on a number of files, including the Kapyong Barracks land dispute with the federal government and the joint venture between Peguis and the Manitoba Jockey Club to build a hotel and conference centre at Assiniboia Downs.

As the senior minister for Manitoba from 2006 to 2013, Toews was the lead in negotiations between Ottawa and Treaty One First Nations, including Peguis, over the Kapyong Barracks site on Kenaston Boulevard.

The Assiniboia Downs project was a provincial matter in which Toews would not have been involved.

In 2013 and 2014, Toews lobbied for the Downs project with both Anna Rothney -- then the head of the provincial cabinet's influential planning and priorities committee and a key adviser to Premier Greg Selinger -- and Liam Martin.

Martin, who is Pat Martin's son, was Selinger's chief of staff at the time.

Documents obtained by the Free Press from court files involving lawsuits between Peguis and Rath, who have parted company, show a numbered company owned by Toews' wife, Stacey Meek, was paid $966,000 from the Peguis lawyer's trust for "strategic advice."

There is no date on the transactions.

Rath told the Free Press Friday those entries are a mistake, and the payments were made to a different company.

He said he is working to get the records corrected.

Meek told the National Post this week her company never received nearly that amount, that it was paid $50,000 for work it did for Rath, and it never did any work for Peguis.

Neither Meek nor Toews responded to a Free Press request for comment Friday.

Pat Martin said it wouldn't matter how much the company was paid: If Toews was lobbying for Peguis, that should be considered a violation of the Conflict of Interest Act for cabinet ministers.

"She says it was no more than $50,000, tops," Martin said in question period Friday. "As if that makes it OK."

His letter to the ethics commissioner asks her to determine if Toews had direct dealings with Peguis during his last year in office and whether his post-employment dealings with Peguis broke the law.

Although the act does not bar former cabinet ministers from lobbying provincial governments (it does prohibit lobbying the federal government) during the two-year post-employment cooling-off period, it does place restrictions on their activities.

Former cabinet ministers are prevented from doing anything that takes "improper advantage" of their previous office, acting on behalf of a person or organization connected to any issues dealt with as a cabinet minister and providing advice to clients using information acquired while in cabinet and that is not available to the general public.

"As the senior minister, I don't see how you could find a client that you didn't connect with as minister in some way," Pat Martin said.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 14, 2015 A3


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