A question of questionable politics

Political shenanigans abound in municipal, provincial and federal goverments across Canada

Carolyn Grant

It’s been quite a week , indeed year, for politicos in Canada and the common theme seems to be ethics — or the lack thereof.

From coast to coast, from all three levels of government, we are reaping a bumper harvest of political shenanigans.

Over in Toronto, hard on the heels of the Argonauts trouncing the Calgary Stampeders, asserting the dominance of East over West, we have the spectacle of Mayor Rob Ford being ejected from office by a judge for conflict of interest violations. That’s right, he has to resign and so far there is no sign he will go graciously.

Ford of course, has a long history of public scandal in his short time as Toronto Mayor. From calling the police on Canadian comedy icon Marg Delahunty from This Hour Has 22 Minutes to admitting to reading while driving (!) to his considerable attempts to circumvent the system for his football team, Ford has not had an easy go of it in the ethics department. In October, there was considerable kerfuffle over Ford tossing paying customers off Toronto Transit buses so said buses could go pick up his football team. In the end it was the same team that took him down. The issue was Ford using city staffers to procure over $3000 in donations for the football team’s foundation. When Council was to vote over whether to absolve Ford from having to repay the donations himself, Hizzoner did not recuse himself but voted against sanctioning himself.

An Ontario judge found that Ford violated conflict of interest rules, and rules that his seat on city council is to be made “vacant.” Don’t let the door hit ya, Rob Ford. Of course he says he’ll run again.

In the meantime, not wanting the east to walk away with all the glory, Alberta has stepped in. CBC News has found that Premier Alison Redford, while justice minister, personally chose her ex-husband’s law firm for a government tobacco-litigation contract worth potentially tens of millions of dollars in contingency fees.

That one is still playing out and we await the outrage, or lack thereof, from Alberta voters.

Perhaps Alberta’s voters will be distracted by their continued outrage over two-year old remarks from Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau. Trudeau made the questionable decision two years ago to say that he would prefer Quebecers in Parliament rather than Albertans. Canada is in trouble because Albertans are running the country, the Liberal hope said. He has since apologized, and also clarified that he was more referring to Prime Minister Stephen Harper rather than every Albertan MP.

Still it stung in the west, especially since Albertans have still not forgiven anyone named Trudeau for the National Energy Policy, though it was enacted over 30 years ago.

Meanwhile in Quebec, the probe into the construction industry’s link to politicians is racking up the casualties, among them Premier Jean Charest, Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay and Laval Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt.

In B.C. political scandals have been legion over the years, but at the moment, we are in the position to tsk tsk sadly at the other provinces. But we shouldn’t crow too loudly lest someone point out that Wikipedia has 38 pages of political scandals in British Columbia. 38 pages!

The question that arises from all of this is, do we care whether our elected officials are ethical or not? Or do we simply shake our heads at their perfidy and forget all about it when confronted with the ballot at the next election? Do we consider politics such a dirty business that a certain amount of ethical elasticity is a job requirement? Have we, as a people, become so accustomed to political misbehaviour that we are more surprised at an honest politician than a dishonest one?

Shouldn’t we expect more?

Just Posted

Four in custody after armed robbery, suspects linked to other recent crimes

Four people are in custody after Cranbrook RCMP responded to a robbery… Continue reading

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Author to host book signing in Kimberley

The book ‘Lost’ tells the story of Kimberley local Paul Kerr who went missing on the Grey Creek Pass in 2015

Emergency services on scene of Kimberley accident

Police and emergency services are on scene of an accident in Kimberley… Continue reading

Stolen credit card suspect caught on video

Cranbrook RCMP investigating theft from vehicle

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

Weed Warrior: Common Tansy is toxic, but what’s with all the Oxeye Daisy & Foxtail Barley?

Pictured above: Common Tansy. Below. Red Columbine, Eastern Red Columbine, Foxtail Barley… Continue reading

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Most Read