Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Flaherty's Harry Potter logic: do as I say, not as I do

Question of the day: Could Jim Flaherty get any more hypocritical if he tried?

No, since you will recall that exercise of blatant political posturing and exercise in populist pandering back in October when Jim Flaherty trumpeted the clarion call of “Standing up for Consumers”.

We haven’t seen such nonsensical pandering since Jack Layton and Finance Lunatic (sorry, Finance Critic) Judy Wasylycia-Lies felt that all of Canada’s economic woes would be solved by lowering ATM fees. That was another exercise in futility that Flaherty never delivered on, despite all his best huffing and puffing.

Back in October were we implored by the Finance Minister to shop around and get the best deal. Well, duh. And this from a man whose household is run by two elderly retired folks. When did Jim Flaherty last shop for groceries? Who knows, shopping around could save a few bucks.

"If consumers don't think they are getting a fair deal, they should compare prices and shop around." were Jim’s wise words as Minister Flaherty Stands Up for Canadian Consumers

Unfortunately this is where the blatant hypocrisy comes in, since we are implored by Jim O’Flaherty to shop around for the best deal on a Harry Potter book, but when it comes to his own fictional speech writer, Flaherty is absolved of such mundane tasks as calling such a lucrative contract for tender, before granting a $122,000 contract to his old pal, Hugh MacPhie,, from the bad old Harris days in Ontario. After all it ain’t his money. Just schmuck taxpayer’s money, from his perspective.

We are assured that “the government received value for money””. However, what does that even mean?

Keep in mind this very “value for money” speech writer wrote a speech for Flaherty entitled Aspire, that neglected to even realize that Canada extends west of the rockies, leaving an entire province out of his aspirational nonsense message that came in at about $22.79 per word. Maybe the “value for money concept” precluded BC from being ackowledged.

Reprimand Flaherty over contract, opposition urges


truth in trusts said...

That was a classic! Our illustrious Finance Minister pays list price for a book in Canadian dollars and gets ripped off. Is he too stupid to use a computer to shop around for the best price? Is he too stupid to figure out the fallacy of the tax leakage calculations himself? Probably, he just believes what is printed on the cover.

Dr Mike said...

Dear Mr Flaherty,

Can I get a job with you --the pay is great & I would not have to work all that hard.

Sounds like the perfect job for an old retired guy like myself who could use a little extra coin.

It seems my coin supply is a bit depleted since you introduced your Tax Fairness Plan awhile back.

However , a job that pays 122 grand for a smattering of work would just cover my losses.

Thanking you in advance for your help with this matter.


Robert Gibbs said...

Harper Government Gave Other Untendered Contracts To Former Conservative Mike Harris Aide

Glen McGregor , The Ottawa Citizen (Edit)
Published: Friday, February 08, 2008

The Harper government gave at least two other untendered contracts to the former Ontario Conservative Mike Harris aide who received a $122,000 untendered speech writing contract - thereby breaking the law - that is already the subject of a complaint to the Ethics Commissioner and the Auditor General.

Under Treasury Board rules, contracts worth $25,000 or more must be opened up to competitive bidding from other potential suppliers.

But Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's friend and supporter, Mr. MacPhie, also received at least two other untendered contracts from Industry Canada in the same period, the Ottawa Citizen has learned.

These two other currently known contracts, issued in January and May 2007, were valued at a combined total of over $36,000.

But additionally, an Ottawa Citizen analysis showed that a disproportionate percentage of contracts awarded by Flaherty's department, Finance Canada, since the Conservatives took office were pegged between $24,000 and $24,999 - conveniently just below the cutoff for competitive bidding.

Robert Gibbs said...

Conservative's Flaherty Broke Rules To Hire Ex-Harris Aide

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty handed untendered contract worth $122K to speechwriter for former premier Mike Harris

Feb 02, 2008 04:30 AM
Richard Brennan

OTTAWA–Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has broken federal rules by handing a former Mike Harris speechwriter an untendered contract worth more than $120,000, the Toronto Star has learned.

The $122,430 contract to Hugh MacPhie, who worked in the former Ontario Conservative premier's office and who supported Flaherty in his failed bid to lead the Ontario Tories, violated Treasury Board guidelines requiring multiple bids for contracts over $25,000.

The contract called for MacPhie to work on last year's budget speech and to provide communications advice to the finance department.

"Here's the finance minister awarding a single-source contract for $122,000 - or $22 per word - for two months of work to an old Harris spin doctor. This is really an egregious abuse of his position," NDP critic MP Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) said yesterday.

Late yesterday, Dan Miles, a senior communications adviser to Flaherty, admitted that federal contracting rules had been broken.

The confirmation of the untendered communications contract was included in information provided to the New Democrats through an Access to Information request, which also revealed that an untendered $24,900 contract – $100 below the required tender level – was given to Sara Beth Mintz, a vice-president of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.

"What's going on here?" Angus said.

In fact, the original contract was for $98,580, but MacPhie then billed for another $24,000.

Angus said it is clear that Flaherty is "using taxpayers' money to help out a lot of Conservative friends and they are basically breaking the rules to do it."

He said it is particularly galling because the Conservatives ran in the last election on a promise to end the patronage and special deals.

"Now they are giving these untendered contracts to the old Mike Harris gang," he said.

Anonymous said...

Not to split hairs, but Flaherty's logic comes from Lewis Carroll,
not J.K Rowling.

Take Flaherty's debates with Bill Casey about the Atlantic Accord. He persisted in saying "there are no changes to the Atlantic Accord." It was the classic Alice in Wonderland "the words mean what I say they mean, nothing more,nothing less!"

Meanwhile, Harry Potter's logic is pretty basic. Good versus evil. No parallels to the Canadian political scene there.

Elizabeth May

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth May is right.

Pure Lewis Carroll. Or pure Orwell for that matter. eg: Tax Fairness Plan, "leveling the playing field", "tax leakage"....all unproven fantasmagorical concepts being propagated by the main stream misleadia and certain clowns who call themselves Members of Parliament

In reality all this is just the Big Lie concept advanced by Leo Strauss...and the mew Governor of the Bank of Canada: Mark Corruption

Brent Fullard

Dr Mike said...

Now that Jim has been found-out , what will we do with him??

He is like a bad case of fleas ; even after a good bath ( & we sure took
one ) , that persistent one miserable "bitey" flea is still there.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that the value is just under the $25K that requires a tendering process. Tiny but sneaky little guy that Jimmy.

Please visit link: http://www.thestar.com/article/303484

Anonymous said...

Just like his sneaky carve out for pension plans to own “private” trusts and not be taxed the way “public” trusts are

Anonymous said...

"I sat in the Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty‚s office, explaining that our
bookstores were full of inventory that we had suddenly paid too much for,
hoping that he would tell Canadians that strong bookstores˜not just cheap
prices˜were good for Canada too. He told us to find cheaper sources."


"Find cheaper sources". What a joke. With wee Jimmy holding up Harry
Potter book that he bought from the most expensive source in Canada, at the

Standing up for Canadian consumers if he could find a box to stand on so he
could see over his desk to see what a consumer looks like.