Friday, June 05, 2015

The Senate scandal Canada's FIFA minus the bribes?

Good Day Readers:

It's getting so bad now you need a scorecard to keep track of who has been named in the Auditor General's Report. There is something terribly wrong with the way the process has been handled. The Report will not be released until next Tuesday yet rumours are rampant on all the networks regarding its contents.

Then there's this. Recently elected Senate Speaker Leo Housakos, Government Leader Claude Carignan and Opposition Leader James Cowan, all identified as having expense issues, were members of a powerful subcommittee that named former Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie as an independent, outside arbitrator. Speaker Housakos is even on the public record as praising "Justice RoadKill" as he's "affectionately" known at CyberSmokeBlog.

"I hope no one questions the credibility of that arbitrator - I certainly don't and I don't think anyone who knows the background of the gentleman would either."

CSB isn't so sure he's the best choice. Reference its May 26, 2015 posting entitled, Does Stephen Harper suffer from a terminal case of ROCD ("RoadKill" Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)? in which four examples of his questionable decision making from the past were cited.

Because of an obvious conflict of interest Messrs Housakos, Carignan and Cowan should immediately recuse themselves from the arbitration decision-making process.

Here's an ad for RoadKill's arbitration service a well-read informed reader sent CyberSmokeBlog recently.
The Honourable William Ian Corneil Binnie, Q.C.

The Honourable Ian Binnie served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada for almost 14 years. When he retired in 2011 he was described by the Globe and Mail as “arguably the country’s premier judge” and by Montreal’s La Presse as “peut-être le juge le plus influent au Canada pendant la dernière décennie.”

He authored over 170 opinions on the country’s top court, including leading cases in patent interpretation and validity, protection of famous trade-marks, media law, commercial disputes, punitive damages, expert evidence, and many aspects of constitutional, criminal and administrative law. Mr.

Binnie was educated at McGill, Cambridge (he was called to the English Bar) and the University of Toronto. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1967 and argued numerous cases in most of the common law provinces and the Supreme Court of Canada. He appeared before the International Court of Justice and international tribunals in both governmental and private law disputes.

Mr. Binnie was appointed Associate Deputy Minister of Justice for Canada in 1982. In 1986 he returned to private practice as a senior litigation partner at McCarty Tétrault until his appointment directly to the Supreme Court of Canada in January 1998. In 1993, Mr. Binnie was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a member of the Middle Temple and the Commercial Bar Association (U.K.). Mr. Binnie was elected a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists (Geneva) in April 2003

Here are some of the other smiling folks at Arbitraton Place, Senators, just waiting to take your money so don't be afraid make that call today! 

Ironies of ironies? Retired Winnipeg Senator Sharon Carstairs named in the Auditor's Report while in the Senate was responsible for advising new appointees on expenditures rules. Prior to being appointed in 1994 by then Prime Minister Jean Chretien she was an outspoken advocate for a Triple E Senate. Once there not a peep out of her on the subject. She resigned in late 2011 before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.

Can you imagine how much the Senate has ripped off Canadian taxpayers if an audit were done starting from its creation in 1867?

Clare L. Pieuk

Senate Expenses: Two sitting senators among the 9 cases to be sent to RCMP Staff
Thursday, June 4, 2015

Two sitting senators – Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu and Colin Kenny – are among nine who the Auditor General plans to refer to the RCMP for a criminal investigation, CTV News has learned.

The other seven are all retired. They are:
  • Don Oliver (appointed by Brian Mulroney)
  • Gerry St. Germain (appointed by Mulroney)
  • Sharon Carstairs (appointed by Jean Chretien)
  • Rose-Marie Losier-Cool (appointed by Chretien)
  • Bill Rompkey (appointed by Chretien)
  • Rod Zimmer (appointed by Chretien)
  • Marie-Paule Charette-Poulin (appointed by Chretien)
In addition to the nine senators being referred to the RCMP, 21 more will be compelled to repay questionable expenses.

Sources say a special RCMP team is ready to start investigating, not only the nine that will be referred to them but the other 21, for a total of 30 new cases.

That means there are now 30 new senators flagged for questionable spending, in addition to suspended Senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau, and retired Senator Mac Harb.

The Senators who will be named in the report will get a chance to appeal to independent arbitrator Ian Binnie, a former Supreme Court justice who was recently appointed by the Senate to settle disputes.

Senate speaker Leo Housakos said he is looking forward to having the report released next week.

“We’re looking forward to coming clean with the Canadian public on this issue,” he said.

Housakos is among the 21 named. His flagged expenses include $1,500 spent by a staffer who travelled to a charity event, which Housakos said the staffer has paid back.

Housakos’ flagged expenses also include about $6,000 spent on a contract for policy advice, which he said was much cheaper than hiring a full-time policy advisor at the Senate’s expense.

“There’s a disagreement between (the Auditor General) and I on that particular issue and I will be sending it to the independent arbitrator for a final ruling,” he said.

Leader of the opposition in the Senate James Cowan will also be named in the report over questionable travel expenses that amounted to more than $10,000.

Cowan said he was asked for more information on meetings he travelled for and that he “simply doesn’t have” that information. Cowan also plans to appeal to Binnie.
Government leader in the Senate Claude Carignan is also among the 21 named. Carignan said a staffer misinterpreted rules on travel and has paid back $3,000 mistakenly expensed.
Auditor General Michael Ferguson’s sweeping audit of all Senators was provided to the Board of Internal Economy Thursday and will be publicly released next week.

CTV News has previously reported that the Senate audit cost $21 million. That audit has uncovered $978,627 of questionable expenses.

Based on a report by CTV Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife


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