The federal government is paying $400,000 in severance to Christiane Ouimet, the disgraced former public-sector integrity commissioner who resigned in haste last fall, Postmedia News has learned. ...
[Auditor-General Sheila] Fraser's disparaging report slammed Ouimet for failing to properly do her job and found the office — which has an $11-million budget — investigated only five of 228 complaints filed during Ouimet's three-and-a-half-year tenure.
Ouimet also berated, intimidated and yelled and swore at her staff, the report said.
Following the criticism and backlash the report caused, the public accounts committee asked Ouimet to testify and to explain her actions.
Letter-writing, phoning and knocking on doors went unanswered for months before a lawyer for Ouimet, Ivan Whitehall, contacted the chair of the committee....
Oda told a House committee she didn’t know who inserted the “not,” only to admit later that she had ordered the doctoring of the document. “Any reasonable person confronted with what appears to have transpired would necessarily be extremely concerned, if not shocked,” House Speaker Peter Milliken said after reviewing the facts.
[Immigration Minister Jason] Kenney was asked by a reporter with The Canadian Press whether it was acceptable for a cabinet minister to lie and change a document — referring to the controversy surrounding International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda. Kenney responded: "Radio-Canada, they lie all the time. Which media are you with?"
[Debby] Sorochynski [former campaign manager for MP Inky Mark] said she remembers the issue because it sounded similar to a case involving Conservative cabinet minister Vic Toews, who pleaded guilty and was convicted of electoral overspending in a Manitoba provincial election.
Three other candidates in that election were also convicted of the breach of electoral laws.
The provincial Progressive Conservative party had asked candidates shortly before the 1999 election to sign an authorization to absorb $7,500 each in central campaign expenses, according to the Winnipeg Free Press account of court testimony. Ms. Toews's lawyer said at the time that Mr. Toews initially did not want to participate in the plan.
“That was a well-known, documented story in Manitoba, so when the national office offered an opportunity to get involved in something that sounded similar to that, we just said No,” Ms. Sorochynski said.
... the letter asks the MPs to use their riding associations to raise $200,000 over the next week to support the “Conservative Ethnic Paid Media Strategy,” which is then described in detail.
... The package raised cries of outrage among opposition MPs, who pointed out that the letter was printed on Mr. Kenney’s Parliamentary office letterhead, violating rules prohibiting ministerial staff from using government resources to promote party interests.
... To improve the party’s standing, the Conservatives plan to direct $318,000 towards a massive advertising buy on ethnic media TV outlets, where they could saturate the airwaves with 30-second spots for as little as $200 each.
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