For Immediate Release
March 8, 2011
What is Harper hiding with the former Integrity Commissioner?
OTTAWA – Liberals are calling on Stephen Harper to tell Canadians what he was trying to hide with his gag order and half-a-million-dollar payout to former Integrity Commissioner Christiane Ouimet.
“A senior government official resigns in disgrace after failing to do her job, but gets rewarded with more than $500,000 of Canadians’ money,” said Jean-Claude D’Amours, Liberal MP and Public Accounts Committee member. “What is Mr. Harper trying to hide with his gag order?”
Last week media reports revealed that the Conservative government paid Ms. Ouimet more than $500,000 - $407,000 in severance pay and another $130,000 as part of an agreement that she not say or do anything that may “impair the reputation” or “be otherwise detrimental” to the government. (Postmedia News, March 5, 2011)
“Ms. Ouimet’s golden parachute tells us one thing about the Harper Conservatives’ approach to watchdogs: do nothing and you’ll get a half-million-dollar severance, but do your job properly, like Linda Keen, Paul Kennedy or Munir Sheikh, and you’ll be fired,” said Mr. D’Amours.
Liberal MP Navdeep Bains, who also sits on the Public Accounts Committee, noted that officers of Parliament are required to act independently, and will find out if this was the case.
“Canadians deserve to know what role the Prime Minister’s Office and the Privy Council Office had in Ms. Ouimet’s atrocious record of sweeping away 228 whistleblower complaints without an investigation,” said Mr. Bains. “Many of these cases involved the misuse of funds and government property that would be highly embarrassing to the Conservative government.
“In less than three years, the Prime Minister has destroyed the credibility of an independent Public Sector Integrity Commission,” concluded Mr. Bains. “If public servants – and all Canadians – can’t count on the PMO or PCO to defend those who expose wrongdoing, who can they trust?"
Office of Jean-Claude D’Amours, MP, 613-995-0581
Office of the Hon. Navdeep Bains, MP, 613-995-7784
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Posted by Brent Fullard at 10:12 AM