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Liberal Party.

Discuss the upcoming provincial election. Keep it civil in here, people. It's not the Political Arena.

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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby Alvis » Jan 7th, 2013, 1:50 pm

flamingfingers wrote:BC Libs fire troublesome Auditor General
Posted on January 6, 2013 by Ian
BC’s Auditor General John Doyle

The Sun and the Province are reporting tonight that the BC Liberals appear to be firing BC’s strong Auditor General, John Doyle.

Oh wait I mean to say in the obscuring way the Liberals do, they plan to fail to reappoint BC’s strong Auditor General, John Doyle

That’s the John Doyle who’s taking the government to court over the BC Liberals refusal to hand over documents that reveal crucial details about the $6 million of public money they paid out to halt the BC Rail trial.

Clearly the BC Liberal government is willing to go to the end of the earth to continue the cover-up of the BC Rail deal.

It’s the John Doyle who called Speaker Bill Barisoff and the Liberal dominated committee that runs the legislature for their child like accounting processes.

The Liberals got caught on that one and they hate Doyle for holding them accountable for the way their Speaker runs the legislature.

It’s the same John Doyle that reported that the budget deficit was likely hundreds of millions higher than Finance Minister Mike de Jong falsely reported.

So they’re gunning Doyle before he can report out on their imaginary February budget.

In other words it the same John Doyle who has been holding this government to account since his appointment in 2007.

The committee overseeing the reappointment is made up of three Liberals and two New Democrats. According to the Province newspaper Committee member John Les said he ”could not comment on why Doyle was not reappointed or which committee members wanted to see him go, but said it was not unusual for a government to have a “somewhat adversarial” relationship with the Auditor General”.

I call *bleep*. I’m told that the vote split down party lines with New Democrats favouring Doyle’s reappointment following his strong performance in the final interview stage.

The Liberals on the committee wanted Doyle gone, no doubt following orders from the Liberal caucus and the Premier’s office.

This government has no shame. When accountability raises its ugly head their first and only instinct is to shoot.

Now their intentions are clear: fire Doyle and hire a docile good old boy in an expedited process before the election call.

My advice to the NDP? Stall like heck, defeat the government and reverse this disastrous decision that goes completely against the public interest.

This is the biggest sign to date of how corrupt this government is. If this doesn’t tell you that you can’t believe a single thing this government says, nothing will.

Read the comments here:
http://therealstory.ca/



For all the BC Liberals cheer leaders, what happened to the most open, transparent and accountable government we were promised in 2001?
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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby flamingfingers » Jan 7th, 2013, 2:15 pm

And where is premier photo op??
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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby Urbane » Jan 7th, 2013, 2:24 pm

Some questions to ponder:

If Dix becomes Premier of British Columbia will he ever have any photo-ops and will he ever take any vacations? And since the Liberals play politics and Dix and the NDP'ers on here don't like that can we assume that Dix and the NDP won't be playing politics? And will Dix go out of his way to appoint people to positions of power who will be critical of his government? Is Utopia just around the corner?
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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby flamingfingers » Jan 7th, 2013, 2:38 pm

Seems like the decision to dump John Doyle is not finding much favor with ANYONE:
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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby maple leaf » Jan 7th, 2013, 2:40 pm

For anyone who is interested in making changes to the status quo and change the way things are done,no matter who is in government,sign a petition here.



Decision not to reappoint Auditor General bad for B.C.
(Victoria, 7 January 2013) – IntegrityBC is calling for changes to how the appointments and re-appointments of Legislature Officers are handled, in the wake of the B.C. legislature special committee’s decision not to reappoint Auditor General John Doyle.
Saturday’s news that Auditor General John Doyle would not be reappointed is bad for B.C. in the organization’s view not only because John Doyle was more than effective in his job, but also because it points to flaws in the process of how these nominations are handled.
“Government watchdogs are supposed to have teeth, not wear muzzles,” said IntegrityBC executive director Dermod Travis. “It’s difficult to imagine that any successor to John Doyle will not read the writing that was written on the wall with this decision: if you want to be reappointed don’t do the job of Auditor General too well.”
In the context of fixed-date elections, the organization is recommending that the terms of Legislature Officers be structured so that re-appointments take place within six months following a general election, and new appointments within 18 months.
“The timing and manner of how the news broke regarding the decision not to reappoint John Doyle is deplorable,” said Travis. “The decision itself will strike most observers as vindictive and partisan.”
The appointment of Officers of the Legislature requires the unanimous consent of the Legislature. Among these positions are: the Auditor General, the Conflict of Interest Commissioner, the Chief Electoral Officer, the Information and Privacy Commissioner, the Ombudsman and the Police Complaint Commissioner.
Re-appointments to such positions should be a matter of course in the absence of work- related performance issues and they should not be made in the dying days of any government.
The organization has launched an online petition in the wake of the Doyle decision calling the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to freeze the appointments or re-appointments of all Legislature Officers until after the May 2013 B.C. election and introduce new policies to ensure that all such appointments or re-appointments take place within six months of each fixed-date general election.
The petition can be found on the organization’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/integritybritishcolumbia
or at https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/ ... e-officers
The organization has received numerous comments on its Facebook page and petition regarding the Doyle decision, including:
“Our Auditor General is beyond reproach and is completing investigations that BC voters want answers to;”
“Getting rid of inconvenient officers to avoid embarrassing scandal before the election is disgraceful and unfair;”
“This is such an offensive decision. This man was responsible for telling British Columbians “actually, those financial statements aren’t telling you everything they’re supposed to, and here are three pages of things the government has accounted for incorrectly.” Rather than correct the errors and giving British Columbians the full story, the government just fired him. I’m really disgusted by this.”
- 30 -
For more information:
Dermod Travis, Executive Director
IntegrityBC
250-590-5126
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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby Alvis » Jan 7th, 2013, 3:29 pm

flamingfingers wrote:Seems like the decision to dump John Doyle is not finding much favor with ANYONE:

Who is keith Baldry to criticize? He's been a blatant BC Liberal cheer leader for years. Maybe he is trying to get a job at Fox News?
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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby flamingfingers » Jan 7th, 2013, 5:53 pm

Alvis wrote:Who is keith Baldry to criticize? He's been a blatant BC Liberal cheer leader for years. Maybe he is trying to get a job at Fox News?


I agree. Baldrey has been foot massaging premier photo op from the get-go, even so far as having 'private' breakfast 'meetings' with her in the past. Perhaps the scales are beginning to fall from his eyes?
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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby flamingfingers » Jan 8th, 2013, 9:56 am

Not a smart move by the ChristyLiberals:


Shooting the Messenger: BC's Stalwart Auditor General Pushed Out
Written by Damien Gillis Monday, 07 January 2013 10:57

I never understood why then-Premier Gordon Campbell hired John Doyle as BC's Auditor General in 2007. Was it for show? Was he under the illusion Doyle could be controlled? A deputy A G in Australia with a reputation as a thorough, tough defender of the public interest, Doyle seemed like a poor fit for an administration built on secrets and shady accounting practices - as he would soon discover.

Doyle's imminent departure, after a special legislative committee decided recently not to renew his six-year contract, is less surprising, but comes a great disappointment, nonetheless.

Throughout his time serving the province, John Doyle has been a bloodhound hot on the trail of myriad multi-billion dollar scandals emanating from behind the closed doors of the Campbell-Clark government. From failed forestry policies and bogus accounting at BC Hydro, to uncovering runaway MLA expenses and tens of billions of dollars of hidden taxpayer liabilities, Mr. Doyle has had the public's back from day one.

From his very first report - a scathing indictment of Liberal-led changes to tree farm licence regulations which drew a bizarre, foaming-at-the-mouth response from Minister Pat Bell, Doyle hasn't been afraid to plant his shovel in the dunghill of BC Liberal policies.

Doyle took aim at the government's forestry policy again in 2012, finding that its incompetent timber supply management over the past decade has severely undermined the future of BC's forestry industry. "The audit found that the ministry has not clearly defined its timber objectives and, as a result, cannot ensure that its management practices are effective," a statement from Doyle's office noted. "Furthermore, existing management practices are insufficient to offset a trend toward future forests having a lower timber supply and less species diversity in some areas." And that was putting it politely.
Doyle's most potentially explosive project is the ongoing investigation into the secretive decision by the Liberals to break with government policy and pay the $6 million legal bills of of Dave Basi and Bobby Virk, following their guilty pleas in connection with the BC Rail trial.

Among all of Mr. Doyle's impressive oeuvre, we at the Common Sense Canadian have been most intrigued by his investigations into BC Hydro, secretive private power contracts, and a massive slush fund of hidden taxpayer obligations in the form of public-private-partnership (P3) contracts related to new infrastructure (boondoggles like the ice block-dropping Port Mann Bridge).

As Doyle discovered, by 2011, the Liberals had stashed over $80 Billion in taxpayer commitments above and beyond the provincial debt (which they've also lifted by some $20 Billion during their tenure), by classifying them as contractual obligations instead of conventional debt. That figure includes some $53 Billion in reckless, overpriced, unnecessary, completely secret private power contracts. To the taxpayer concerned about the health of province's finances, it makes little difference what you label it. The plain fact is the BC Liberal government has jacked up your long-term liabilities by something like $100 Billion in just a decade. All while crowing about their fiscal reliability and economic prowess.

It is also worth noting that the Liberals have never once received a passing grade from Doyle's office on their annual financial report.

The NDP expressed outrage at Doyle's ouster, with Caucus Chair Shane Simpson saying on the announcement, "I think it's petty and it's vindictive and I think it reflects a government that doesn't have confidence in its own leadership style and its own management." I wonder, though, if privately they too aren't breathing a sigh of relief, knowing they won't be under his all-seeing magnifying glass when they take the reins in Victoria this May.

Interestingly, Doyle is not the only public watchdog in this country hired by tight-lipped leaders, only to become the bane of their existence. Other examples include Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page and Canadian Auditors General Sheila Fraser and her replacement Michael Ferguson, who together shot down Stephen Harper's F-35 program.

Whatever the reason for pushing out such an effective civil servant (we'll never know because the decision was made in secret, naturally!) Doyle's departure is a tremendous loss for the BC taxpayer and should cause every citizen to question this government's motives as we head into a provincial election.

John Doyle did his level best to lift the veil on the most secretive administration in this province's history. Now, just imagine how they'd behave without him peering over their shoulder.
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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby sooperphreek » Jan 8th, 2013, 1:57 pm

someone who is looking out for the voters and public's best interest ousted? makes me think of this song....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jne9t8sHpUc
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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby John500 » Jan 9th, 2013, 10:00 am

When do these lieberals learn? The only way they learn is being in opposition for a couple of terms.
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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby flamingfingers » Jan 9th, 2013, 10:10 am

More scandal involving the Liberals:

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Another bizarre and alarming twist in the auditor general scandal


The Times Colonist has a damaging story and column on the decision not to reappoint John Doyle as auditor general.
Rob Shaw and Les Leyne reveal that Liberal MLA Eric Foster, the chairman of the committee that turfed Doyle, was cited for spending and conflict concerns in an auditor general’s report in October - “the only MLA singled out.”

The devastating audit identified widespread sloppy management practices of MLA expenses and $63 million in legislature spending.

And it cited the case of $78,000 paid to the landlord for renovations at Foster’s constituency office in 2009.

Doyle raised several issues. First, there was a possible conflict of interest, he found. The rented office was in a building owned by the family of Foster’s constituency assistant. The renovations benefited the family.

Foster took that concern to conflict commissioner Paul Fraser, who cleared him.

The October audit also found the bill for renovations was “"paid without an appropriate level of review for reasonableness and without adequate supporting documentation."

Foster's staff provided only a spreadsheet showing $67,000 in work, without invoices, details or evidence quotes were obtained for the work to get the best price.

The payment also violated policy on renovations in rented offices, which are to be covered only if specified in the lease. The auditor was told Speaker Bill Barisoff ordered the payment to be made.


It seems clear Foster should have quit the committee, given the possible perception that he had an axe to grind with Doyle.
This is where things get bizarre. Foster says he never knew the spending was questioned in the audit. So serious concerns are raised, and no one in government or legislature even bothered to ask him about them. He didn't think the auditor's concern about conflict was significant enough to justify stepping aside.

A remarkably sloppy way to treat the public’s money, and handle an important appointment.

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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby maple leaf » Jan 9th, 2013, 11:36 am

January 9, 2013
Reappoint Doyle

The controversy over not reappointing Auditor General John Doyle hit the news last weekend when an advertisement ran in various newspaper and appeared on the Selection Committee's legislative website asking for applicants for the job. The Selection Committee is made up of three Liberals and two New Democrats (following the practice of having a government majority on committees). On Saturday, January 5th, committee member John Les spoke to Sean Leslie on his afternoon show on CKNW and revealed that the committee was not unanimous in reappointing Doyle. Since New Democrats have been vocal in calling for the reappointment of Doyle, Les' statement meant that one or more Liberals were preventing his reappointment. Many news stories followed criticizing the Liberals for "firing" Doyle.

Doyle has not been fired. He could yet be reappointed if the committee, or its successor which will be established when the new legislative assembly meets after the May 14th election, unanimously recommends that Doyle be reappointed. There was no intervening election, but when George Morfitt was reappointed in 1994, the selection committee at that time advertised, interviewed other applicants and finally decided to reappoint Morfitt. What makes the decision not to reappoint Doyle so controversial are several reports he has issued to the embarrassment of the government and his action in taking the government to court to force the release of documents that are relevant to the $6 million Bassi-Virk legal bills. It looks like the Liberals are being vindictive against an Auditor who has earned praise from the public. From a political point of view, the Liberals once again shot themselves in the foot; they could have earned credit for a gracious and prompt reappointment.

It is not clear where the process of choosing an Auditor General will go from here because there could be a dispute over when Doyle's six year term began. The legislature appointed him Auditor General by motion on May 28, 2007 but he did not begin work until October 29, 2007. One interpretation of the Auditor General Act is his term began May 28; however, there may be legal grounds for supporting the October 29th start date that is given on the Auditor General's website as the beginning of his term. Which date is relevant is very important for how the process might unfold.

In the short term the Selection Committee may interview applicants but unless there is unanimous agreement the committee will be stalemated. MLAs cease to hold office when the election writs are issued 28 days prior to the May 14th vote. The government (members of cabinet) continue to hold office, but no one holds office as an MLA, hence there is no legislative assembly and no committee. If Doyle's term expires on May 28, the provisions of the Auditor General Act will not allow the appointment of an Acting Auditor General because that requires a recommendation from the committee; however, there may be an argument under the Interpretation Act that government could make an appointment. It would be highly controversial if a lame-duck government waiting mere days for the transition to a newly elected government made any appointments. What is most likely, if May 28th is the end of Doyle's term, is that the position would be vacant until a new legislative assembly appointed a new selection committee and that committee recommended an Acting Auditor General until it could complete its work selecting someone to be appointed for a six year term. Doyle could be appointed to either the Acting or six year positions, or both.

If Doyle's term ends October 29th, the process is a little less messy as the position would not become vacant before a new selection committee was appointed and given a chance to complete its work. It is important to note that two of the Liberals on the current committee are not seeking re-election and it's chair, Liberal MLA Eric Foster from Vernon-Monashee, is facing a tough fight for re-election. The Doyle matter might contribute to his election defeat. After the election a new committee will be appointed with three members from the government side and two from the opposition. Any Liberal could still block the appointment of Doyle, but the election may have the effect of clearing minds and changing attitudes, especially if it is perceived that the failure of the Liberals to agree to the re-appointment of Doyle was one of the election issues.

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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby flamingfingers » Jan 9th, 2013, 7:57 pm

Conflict of interest apparent regarding Eric Foster as chair of committee in non appointment of Doyle.

snippets:

Liberal MLA Eric Foster, the chairman of the all-party committee that decided against re-appointing Auditor General John Doyle, was cited in a confidential management letter from the auditor general’s office last year over inadequate documentation for a $67,000 renovation of his constituency office. In spite of that, he continued to sit on and chair the committee that decided Doyle should be denied a second term.


The Liberal MLA who chairs the committee that may fire BC's Auditor-General is denying any wrong-doing in some pricey renovations to his constituency office - and now he wants an investigation into a leak to the media.


The letter stated there wasn’t sufficient documentation for $67,000 in renovations at Foster’s constituency office in Vernon in 2009.

The letter also claims contravention of a policy only covering renovations outlined in a rental lease.


Since then, Foster has agreed to repay the renovation costs until the Legislature's term ends in 2013.


Come on!! Close to $70,000 renovations to a rental building in VERNON with an assessed value of only $148K? What did they do? Put a gold plated toilet seat in the bathroom? A massage parlour and tanning bed?

Maybe dickie can help us out here... ? :127:
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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby maple leaf » Jan 11th, 2013, 12:09 pm

Some good questions,Eric Foster should be answering.


Cummins raises serious questions about MLA Foster's conduct
Why did renovations cost nearly half of premises' assessed value?

Why did renovations in 2009 to BC Liberal MLA Eric Foster's Vernon constituency office cost B.C. taxpayers almost half the assessed value of the land and building combined? John Cummins, leader of the BC Conservatives, asked today.

Cummins also questioned whether Foster knew that the building was owned by the family of a long-time BC Liberal financial donor -- and political appointee to the Agricultural Land Commission.

"We all know of Mr. Foster's recent bad judgement when he continued as chair of the special legislative committee which terminated the appointment of John Doyle as Auditor General, after Mr. Doyle had critically examined renovation expenses at Mr. Foster's constituency office," said Cummins.

"It now appears that Mr. Foster's egregious decision-making extends all the way back to the summer of 2009, after he first won election as BC Liberal MLA for Vernon-Monashee and rented his constituency office."

Cummins said he had three questions - the answers to which he said the public had a right to know - regarding Mr. Foster's rental of an office owned by the family of his Vernon assistant, and renovations to those premises that ended up costing B.C. taxpayers $67,000.

1. The current assessed value of the building and property at 3209 - 31st Avenue in Vernon is $187,100. Did Mr. Foster think it was reasonable in 2009 to submit renovation expense claims of $78,000 -- of which taxpayers eventually paid $67,000 -- that clearly were out-of-proportion to the modest valuation of the premises?

2. When did Mr. Foster first become aware that the property and building at 3209 - 31st Avenue in Vernon were owned by the family of Min Sidhu, his newly-hired constituency assistant - before or after he had rented the premises?

3. Was Mr. Foster aware that Ravinder "Sid" Sidhu, the husband of his new constituency assistant, whose family owns the property and building at 3209 - 31st Avenue, was a long-time financial donor to the BC Liberals, and a veteran BC Liberal appointee to the Agricultural Land Commission?

"British Columbians have learned that BC Liberals dislike public scrutiny of their activities and expenditures," said Cummins.

"But it is imperative that Mr. Foster answer these serious and legitimate questions at the earliest opportunity."


-30-


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Re: Liberal Party.

Postby Sn0man » Jan 11th, 2013, 5:15 pm

maple leaf wrote:
1. The current assessed value of the building and property at 3209 - 31st Avenue in Vernon is $187,100. Did Mr. Foster think it was reasonable in 2009 to submit renovation expense claims of $78,000 -- of which taxpayers eventually paid $67,000 -- that clearly were out-of-proportion to the modest valuation of the premises?

2. When did Mr. Foster first become aware that the property and building at 3209 - 31st Avenue in Vernon were owned by the family of Min Sidhu, his newly-hired constituency assistant - before or after he had rented the premises?

3. Was Mr. Foster aware that Ravinder "Sid" Sidhu, the husband of his new constituency assistant, whose family owns the property and building at 3209 - 31st Avenue, was a long-time financial donor to the BC Liberals, and a veteran BC Liberal appointee to the Agricultural Land Commission?

"British Columbians have learned that BC Liberals dislike public scrutiny of their activities and expenditures," said Cummins.

"But it is imperative that Mr. Foster answer these serious and legitimate questions at the earliest opportunity."


Those seem like reasonable questions to be asking. I wonder what Fosters' response will be - if any?
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