Thursday, August 18, 2011

First Thing We Do Is Get Rid Of The Auditors

Life for Tony Clement would be so much easier if people didn't keep records. The problem is that, even though he went to extraordinary lengths to bury those records, they've now seen the light of day. Consequently, he and his deputies, who claimed the three monkeys defense -- see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil -- are now up to their butts in alligators.

It's true,  Lawrence Martin writes,  that the Chretien Liberals did the same thing -- and the Conservatives were in high dudgeon:

The Liberal attitude toward public money is that it is their own treasure trove,” then Calgary MP and now cabinet minister Diane Albonczy said at the time.

But the Liberals never tried to axe the auditors who reviewed the government records. With the present government, though, things are different:

Auditors have long been a thorn in the side of the Harper government. In this context, it is interesting to note the government recently announced that its fight against the deficit includes the elimination of 92 auditor generals. The decision was made by none other than Clement’s own Treasury Board, as well as by Public Works. Opposition critics find it heavily ironic that having lavished such largesse over his riding and having stirred the G-8 slush-fund controversy, Clement is now minister in charge of deficit reduction.

Under the banner of "personal freedom" the same Mr. Clement sent Statistics Canada's long term census form down the memory hole. His boss prorogued Parliament rather than turn over Afghan prisoner files.

And they claim they have the country's best interests at heart. What Canada needs, they say, is fewer auditors.

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