Saturday, May 14, 2005

Reloscam: A Brief Rebriefing

A news release from John Williams, MP:
[...]John Williams publicized Elections Canada records that indicate the Royal LePage Relocations, the company at the centre of the ongoing conracting scandal at Public Works has donated thousands of dollars to the Liberal Party of Canada.

"The billion-dollar contract originally awarded to Royal LePage Relocations by Public Works seems to follow what the Auditor General has already said about this government, that 'public servants have broken every rule in the the book',", said Williams. "The fact that the contract is going to be re-tendered and that a new set of public servants will make the decision on the contract says volumes[...] In addition, its parent company Brascan Corp. has donated $80,424 to the Liberal Party in the last five years.

Archived over at Being American in T.O. is this snippet from a story run in the Toronto Sun:
The unusual decision comes one month after the Canadian International Trade Tribunal determined that public servants evaluating the bids for the lucrative contract drew up the criteria to favour Royal LePage Relocations.
We are reminded in this little refresher of a familiar set of players: the Public Accounts Committee, and Public Works. Again, some eyebrow-raising Liberal Party contribution patterns were reported involving Brascan and Royal LePage Relocations. So, under a cloud, the contract was taken to bid again. How proper was the contract rebidding? Seems there is a question about some cruising that took place.

For the inquisitive among you, a quick glance of the Branscan Corporation Board of Directors quicly reveals this bio:
Senator Eyton has served as a director of Brascan since September 1979. A resident of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, he is a Member of the Senate of Canada and a director of Noranda Inc., Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. and General Motors of Canada Limited. He is also Chairman of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and a Governor of the Canadian Olympic Foundation and Junior Achievement of Canada.
Mr. Loyola Hearn (St. John's West, CPC): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Finance pleaded innocent to any wrongdoing regarding the issuing of contracts. He said that all the rules throughout the process were indeed followed.

How then can he account for the secret internal letter sent to him by his colleague David Dingwall stating that the minister's department had demonstrated a pattern of non-compliance with and avoidance of Treasury Board guidelines?

Hon. Ralph Goodale (Minister of Finance, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the specific letter that was referred to was one dated in March 1995 that talked about a certain polling activity that needed to be done in relation to the budget and the activities flowing out of the budget in the spring of 1995.

I explained at that time that there was an urgent reason why the work had to be done so the program could be administered properly, and that when the whole process was completed, the program was reviewed and received a favourable report from the Auditor General.
Mr. Hearn was at that time in the Public Works critic for the CPC.

With some new information provided by a source close to the new relocation story, I have some checking to do at the Unofficial Elections Canada Database Query tool. Stayed tuned.