Art Eggleton, his former firlfriend and the Prime Minister


Niagara Falls, Ontario - Monday, May 27, 2002 - by: Joe Hueglin


Sunday's was the second shuffling out of Cabinet those having to respond to accusations of questionable practices, first Maria Minna and Alphonso Gagliano' now Art Eggleton and Don Boudria.




Removal from Cabinet cuts off questioning in the House of Commons. Neither outgoing or incoming Ministers can be held responsible.




Eggleton, under fire for giving a $36,500 contract to a friend, called this
"Much ado is being made about nothing here by the media and then the Opposition . . . in an interview Sunday on CTV's Question Period."
  But justice was to be done! Howard Wilson, the federal ethics counsellor, ruled that Eggleton was in "clear breach" of the cabinet conflict-of-interest code"* and within six hours he was gone!




Chretien's claim no minister has resigned for dereliction of departmental duty stands. Eggleton made no admission of wrongdoing affecting department responsibilities, such as paying three times for material a firm not eligible to bid for in the first place. No, it was about hiring a personal friend out of discretionary ministerial funds.




What will the public's reaction be to the Prime Minister proclaiming
"We were having a few problems - in public life there always are problems,"




Will it be to accept there "were" problems that are now resolved? Or will cynicism be deepened as Cabinet shuffles become viewed as the means by which errant ministers are removed from facing responsibility for their actions.



Joe Hueglin

  Eggleton dropped from cabinet, Boudria shuffled amid ethics controversy JIM BROWN(CP)
  Groupaction criminal probe launched Globe and Mail