Last year, a letter surfaced from a CanWest media lobbysist urging people to attend a $250/head fundraiser also to be attended by Heritage Minister Bev Oda.
OOPS! No problem...the fundraiser was cancelled.
But, a lot of people had sent cheques to Oda's riding association. Yesterday Oda claimed that these donations were not related to her fundraiser.
OOPS! Turns out her own spokesman, Jean-Luc Benoit says that some of the cheques were related to the fundraiser. No problem...the cheques were all returned uncashed.
But, riding associations must declare all returned donations. According to Elections Canada, no such declarations were ever received from Oda's riding association.
OOPS! No problem...according to Oda, this was all just a simple "clerical error". "The first priority of Canada's New Government is accountability and transparency" said Oda.
Now, I don't particularly care about the smattering of $250 and $500 donations. On the whole, they are but a drop in the bucket of the Conservative fundraising machine. I suspect that the motivations of her riding association staffers may have been less than admirable, but for the sake of argument let's just say that I even buy the whole "clerical error" nonsense. (Can you imagine the hissyfit Conservatives would be throwing if she was a Liberal minister?).
But for the love of God, would Conservatives please stop referring to themselves as Canada's "new" government. I bought a new pair of underwear in January 2006. While I could spend a great deal of time chronicling the many similarities between Stephen Harper's government and my year-old boxers, I will limit myself to the observation that in May 2007, I consider neither to be "new". The Conservative government's obsession with media catchphrases and talking points ("new government", "not a leader", "turning the corner", "getting the job done" etc etc) is nothing but a loathsome reminder of their admiration of hollow Republican-style politics and an insult to the intelligence of all Canadians.
4 years ago