Monday, April 29, 2013

Part 2: Elections Canada continues to avoid answering questions over botched robocalls investigation

Ever since I uncovered the disturbing bias present in individuals hired to investigate the “robocalls” during the 41st election, I’ve received hundreds of emails from people demanding I further dig into the “robocalls” investigation.


You asked for it and Elections Canada has responded.

My request was as follows:

1. A list of all individuals and companies hired for the "robocalls” investigation;

2. The addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of these companies or individuals;

3. The documentation provided to Elections Canada to facilitate the hiring of these individuals and companies;

4. The reasoning by Elections Canada for hiring these individuals and companies;

5. The reasoning by Elections Canada for paying these individuals and companies the contracted amounts, usually in the amount of $78.444.35; and

6. Whether any individuals or companies hired for the "robocalls" investigations have been fired, terminated, disciplined, or other subject to negative employment action, and the reason for this action."

Questions 1 and 2

As previously reported, many of the investigators are private individuals or companies hired under contract to work for Elections Canada.  Except for one, they have no website, email address, telephone number, or any publicly-available information.

Elections Canada’s response:

o   CEO: Marco Perron
o   August 29, 2012 to November 30, 2012
o   Contract amount: $214,700.00
o   Job description: System Audit Services
·         John Dickson Professional Corporation
o   No company website
o   President: S.J.B. Dickson
o   50 Settlers Way, Kemptville, Ontario
o   March 9, 2012 to March 31, 2013
o   Contract amount: $168,500.00
o   Job description: Investigation Services
·         S.H. Neville & Associates Ltd.
o   No company website
o   President: S.H. Neville
o   19 Marchvale Drive, Kanata, Ontario
o   April 9, 2012 to March 31, 2013
o   Contract amount: $78,450.00
o   Job description: Investigation Services
·         Raymond Lincourt & Associes
o   No company website
o   President: Diane Lincourt
o   6590 Windsong Avenue, Orleans, Ontario
o   April 9, 2012 to March 31, 2013
o   Contract amount: $78,450.00
o   Job description: Investigation Services

Questions 3 and 4

What I was looking for: why were these individuals hired? How were bids solicited?  How many companies or individuals submitted applications for these positions?  What hiring process was undertaken to ensure only the best investigators were working on a case supposedly so crucial and essential to protecting Canada’s democracy?  Why are these roles contracted out to private companies rather than Elections Canada employees?  What experience do the companies and individuals noted above have in investigating supposed elections irregularities?

Elections Canada’s response:  “No records could be located.”

Question 5

What I was looking for: as noted previously, several of the contracts awarded to investigate the “robocalls” were in the odd amount of $78,444.35.  Why was this?  Did someone choose to set the contract at this rate, or was this simply coincidence?

Elections Canada’s response: 



Of course, this pricing table raises the question: if investigators are paid to a maximum of $70,000.00 including travel, why the contracts at $78,000+?

Question 6

What I was looking for: to account for any discrepancies between my previous findings and the current request, I wanted to ensure I captured an accurate picture of all individuals or companies working the investigation.  As well, to ensure the “robocalls” investigation was being conducted by only the best, most qualified individuals, I wanted to ensure the public record was clear if any investigators had been terminated, and the reasons if they were.

For instance, 7147660 Canada Inc (owned by Tom Ritchie) was given a $78,444.35 contract from March 12, 2012 to March 31, 2013 which was then bumped to $102,174.35.  Yet he was not listed in Elections Canada’s response to Question 1 above.  Why not?

Elections Canada’s response: “No records could be located.”

Are these responses acceptable to you? Has Elections Canada fulfilled their obligations in responding with open, accessible, transparent information related to the original questions I asked?

If not, you can help by submitting your own ATI request or by donating money to keep this investigation going.  ATI requests cost $5.00 each, which is a nominal amount, but it adds up after repeated and deliberate stonewalling to avoid answering the questions being asked.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Elections Canada response to Access to Information request


Ever since I uncovered the disturbing bias present in individuals hired to investigate the “robocalls” during the 41st election, I’ve received hundreds of emails from people demanding I further dig into what's really going on in the “robocalls” investigation.

You asked for it and Elections Canada has responded.

My questions were:

1. A list of all individuals and companies hired for the "robocalls” investigation;

2. The addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of these companies or individuals;

3. The documentation provided to Elections Canada to facilitate the hiring of these individuals and companies;

4. The reasoning by Elections Canada for hiring these individuals and companies;

5. The reasoning by Elections Canada for paying these individuals and companies the contracted amounts, usually in the amount of $78.444.35; and

6. Whether any individuals or companies hired for the "robocalls" investigations have been fired, terminated, disciplined, or other subject to negative employment action, and the reason for this action."

Did Elections Canada respond to these requests openly and transparently? Do their answers go far enough?

Stay tuned TOMORROW to find out!



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Troubling first week for new Liberal leader Justin Trudeau

For the Prince Arthur Herald



Justin Trudeau needs to fire his public relations team.

Either that, or perhaps the Conservative Party truth ads were entirely correct in depicting Trudeau as being completely devoid of the experience, knowledge, and judgment required of a potential Prime Minister.

Both are probably correct.

It came as no surprise when Trudeau was elected – nay, anointed – on Sunday, following a campaign which held Trudeau as the front runner throughout.

It was also no surprise when the Conservative Party released their first round of ads highlighting Trudeau’s lack of experience and judgment shortly following his election.

I call them “truth ads” because that’s what they are.  They’re not “American-style attack ads” where the challenger accuses the incumbent of favouring child molesters and murderers.

Those “American-style attack ads” inexplicably bend the truth into something entirely false, or something entirely unrecognizable and uncontextualized to what actually happened.

But then there are the Conservative Party’s truth ads.  These are videos depicting Trudeau stripping and suggesting that Quebec should become its own country, with the clear implication that these are not activities or words of a potential Prime Minister.

Was Trudeau’s striptease fundraising for cancer?  Yes.  But, as the Liberals have been quick to point out, Laureen Harper and Labour Minister Lisa Raitt were there too.  What the Liberals seem to miss is that both Harper and Raitt seemed able to raise money without taking their clothes off.

Even Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella admits the image of a potential Prime Minister “cavorting like Channing Tatum in Magic Mike” does not bode well for voters.

The week didn’t get any better for Trudeau.

On Wednesday he attempted to rationalize the Boston marathon bombings, stating he hoped to find the “root cause” of the bombings, hoping to understand why the bombers felt “excluded” from society.  It didn’t take long for pretty much every news agency to jump at Trudeau’s gaffe: people were dead and injured from an act of terrorism, and Trudeau wants to talk to them about their feelings?

Also on Wednesday, it was revealed that despite years of arguing against the Temporary Foreign Worker program, Trudeau himself petitioned for temporary foreign workers in his Quebec riding.

The letter, written in April 2009, asked for temporary foreign workers from China because a restaurant was renovating and reorganizing its menu, (apparently) requiring “experienced and innovative refined cuisine chefs” that could not be found anywhere else but China.

Keep in mind this was only Wednesday – a mere 72 hours since Trudeau was crowned Liberal leader, and he had already made more gaffes and mistakes than anyone in Harper’s or Mulcair’s offices would ever dream of making.

We saw Trudeau attempt to regain some credibility by celebrating the anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – ahem, of course, by staying out of his father’s shadow.

But the damage was done.  Trudeau’s inexperience coupled with the Liberals’ belief that he’s the next Messiah (seriously, his website has a young Liberal professing her belief that Trudeau is just as important as Jesus) could not be saved by invoking the name of Justin Trudeau’s father.

“Doesn’t have the judgment or experience to be Prime Minister” could not have rung clearer in Trudeau’s first week as Liberal leader.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The NDP still aren’t the party that’s Here for Canada

Published for the Prince Arthur Herald


Members of the left wing have, for some time now, been calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to get his party under control whenever someone steps out of line or proposes something too offensive to them.

I suggest they take a long, hard look in the mirror following their convention this past weekend, and perhaps take some of their own advice.

Friday evening, New Democrats heard from Democrats from the United States.  Apparently President Obama’s Democrats are about as popular in Canada as they are in the United States, as even their fellow Statists protested against the Democrats’ policies.

On Saturday, delegates chose to pursue an affordable housing strategy.  That’s great news, since Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has pursued the largest-ever project to house people who need it.

Also on the agenda were discussions on adding more staff to Service Canada, changing employment insurance, and changing the “net benefit test” under the Investment Canada Act.

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but are these resolutions really the “substance and experience” the NDP promised to Canadians?

Did the NDP really gather 2000 of its staunchest party supporters, charging anywhere from $99 to $1200 for admission, to discuss how many staff Service Canada should have?

Quite obviously missing from the table: the economy, Mulcair’s ridiculous references to “Dutch disease” and how their party plans to compete with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s 900,000 net new jobs created since July 2009.

They would also repeal Budget 2012 and affirm Idle No More’s legitimacy and usefulness.

Oh, and they also support changing the way Canada holds elections, favouring a mixed-member proportional rather than first-past-the-post system.

The problem is these policies have already been implemented or proposed, and they failed.  In the case of changing to an MMP system, Ontarians voted on that very question in 2007, and rejected it by 63 percent.  Similar questions have been raised in British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island – and the result is the same.

Pursuing the same failed policies – specifically those already rejected by voters - is hardly logical behaviour from a party attempting to showcase its “substance and experience.”

On Sunday afternoon, the inevitable came: New Democrats voted on whether they should hide their socialist ideology by removing references to their belief in socialism.  The vote was overwhelming in favour of removing references to socialism, but Canadians need not be confused, that Mulcair’s NDP remain the same radical, socialist, left-wing party they were before this weekend’s convention.  They continue to demand gun control and the same ill-advised policies with which Canadians have so famously associated the NDP.

Unfortunately, what was supposed to be an exercise in showing how good the NDP could be at managing the public purse and proposing sensible, balanced policies, turned into the usual radical, job-killing, tax-raising, disorganized chaos for which the left wing has always been known.

Thomas Mulcair’s New Democrats still aren’t the party that’s here for Canada. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Despicable comments from NDP MP

Absolutely despicable (and inaccurate) comments from NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice.

Meanwhile, Boulerice's boss, Thomas Mulcair disagrees:

"The Canadian soldiers' tremendous bravery, sound strategic planning and powerful artillery support are widely credited with the success of this mission," Mulcair said. "It is a point of pride for all Canadians that our soldiers serving today are still recognized as embodying those fine qualities."
I look forward to the impending media stories of the NDP falling apart and rebelling because their leader can't control his caucus.