A Question of Integrity

Niagara Falls, Ontario - Friday, June 7, 2002 - by: Joe Hueglin


Which is the more important question, control of the Liberal Government or its probity?




The two foremost contenders for control as the most powerful Ministers are jointly responsible for what has transpired both positively and negatively from October 1993 'til this month. It is unclear how
"life would be any different with Prime Minister Paul Martin rather than Prime Minister Jean Chrétien running the federal government."(1)




What is clear is that on their watch there has not been "complete and confirmed integrity".(2) The Auditor General's report on advertising contacts and the RCMP being called in, court battles by the Information Commissioner to obtain information and his view that
"New ways to obscure ministerial spending, new laws brought in after Sept. 11 and new government bodies not subject to access laws all point to a steady erosion of the right to key information"(3),
together with the steadily mounting evidence of misuse of advertising contracts deny them this.(4)




That doubt has arisen beyond purely partisan considerations is attested to by four Liberal Members of Parliament voting with opposition members to call implicated civil servants before the Commons Public Accounts Committee.(5)




The question of control of the Government will be settled by Liberals no later than the vote on Leadership Review next February.




The more important question for all Canadians, the integrity of that Government, will not be until there is an independent Commission with full powers of investigation. Something neither Jean Chretien nor any of those seeking to unseat him are prepared to support.



Joe Hueglin



Martin as PM? More of the same By Thomas Walkon, The Toronto Star, June 4, 2002


probity - Complete and confirmed integrity; uprightness:


Feds ripped on info access, by Ravi Nessman, Associated Press, June 6, 2002




Liberal MPs break ranks in committee, support grilling public works bureaucrats. Louise Elliott, June 4, 2002, Canadian Press.