04.11.2011 12:24 PM

When a Sparrow sings

Ryan Sparrow is a member of the Conservative Party’s war room, as seen here and here and here.  He is the party’s spokesman, and is not a PMO employee or a ministerial staffer.  He is not an MP, or someone who would have received an A.G.’s report in advance.

Why, then, does partisan hack – one who is not held in the highest regard by many – have a copy of the Auditor General’s report on allegedly unlawful G8 spending?  How did that happen, exactly?  When Stockwell Day made “criminal” allegations about Jean Chretien in the 2000 campaign, none of us in the war room saw the report clearing Chretien in advance – we got it when the media and Day did.

That’s not all.  Why were the AG’s tough comments – eg., “we are concerned” – apparently excised from the final draft? Did Conservative Party employees push for that? Who else in CPC HQ has seen the various drafts?  Isn’t that contempt of Parliament?

Man oh man, I’ll bet my Con pals would like to see Senator Finlay back running things.  Again.

Tories left scrambling after leak of G8 report, call for release of final draft (FedElxn)
Source: The Canadian Press
Apr 11, 2011 12:37

OTTAWA –  The Conservative election campaign is in full damage-control mode following a bombshell report from the auditor general that’s critical of government spending during last June’s G8 meeting.

An early draft of the report, a chapter of which has been seen by The Canadian Press, accuses the government of misinforming Parliament to win approval of a $50-million fund for spending in Industry Minister Tony Clement’s riding.

Fraser suggests the process by which the funding was approved may have been illegal.

The Conservatives themselves want Auditor General Sheila Fraser to release the final version of the report before Tuesday night’s federal leaders’ debate.

Tory spokesman Ryan Sparrow says the draft report does not reflect the final report, which was shelved until after the May 2 election.

Sparrow says the government is prepared to facilitate the final report’s release, which he says would also require the consent of the Speaker.

News of the report landed like a bombshell on the federal campaign trail.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff echoed the call for the report’s release and accused the Conservatives of showing contempt for Parliament and for Canadians.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe also called for the report to be released before Tuesday night’s English leaders’ debate.


© 2011 The Canadian Press



  1. Patrick Hamilton says:

    I fear for the furniture at Conservative Party Election HQ…..

  2. JenS says:

    Baird was also just on TV, spouting about the drafts he’s seen, and there’s absolutely no way, given the rules of such reports, that he should have seen any such drafts. Something is very, very wrong here.

    I still argue the CPC can pull this whole “none of the bad parts are in the final draft” meme safe in the knowledge there’s no way the report can be released until Parliament sits again.

  3. Swervin' Merv says:

    The pork-barrel spending is (typically) bad enough, but when it comes to (again) misleading Parliament about appropriations, it presents another “You had an option, sir” moment for tomorrow’s debate. But let’s hope it’s not the only highlight reported by the media, given that Harper still tends to be teflon man on ethics. Harper is a greater embarASSment to Canadians in not measuring up internationally.

  4. Dr.J says:

    I am still waiting for the ” Rob Ford Game Changer” to take off, remember that one!!! Always the left with the announced “game changers”…and only when they are 10+ points behind….with help from their media buddies

    • Ted H says:

      What about the Ralph Goodale smear by Zaccardelli, you know the little guy from the RCMP with the thousand dollar jack boots, just before the 2006 election? That one sure helped Harper’s Conservatives.

      That was a game changer and it turned out to be totally untrue. This story sure sounds true, we have already heard about enough of the bits and pieces to know it was a boondoggle.

  5. jack says:

    Baird saw reports? Sparrrow is commentiong on the reports? This stinks to high heaven. The MSM better pick up on these improprieties also. There seems to be a huge cover up going on and it seems Harper may have intimidated or unduly influenced the AG’s report. At the least some people saw it that should not have.

    More contempt. More arrogance. More of the same.

  6. jack says:

    Its also interesting that Prentiss, Strahl and Day all resigned after this draft was out. What did they know?

  7. George says:

    I do believe that the CPAC guests and Spector’s email to same answered your questions on air. If the house was still sitting the report would have been table last week for all to see but thanks to forcing this election and now this supposed leak of a document from the AG that can’t happen.
    Again, not a game changer.

    • smelter rat says:

      Nice try George. Ya can’t un-ring a bell.

      • George says:

        uh, did you understand Brent’s post? That’s ok because I sure as hope that Ignatieff let’s Harper have it on this issue during the debate.

        • smelter rat says:

          Me too. I’d like to hear Harper explain why the CPC is also asking that the report be released, when he knows full well it can’t be, legally. But the cat’s out of the bag, so to speak. Someone from the Reformatory side leaked a version of it, un less you want us to bleieve that the AG leaked it to the Canadian Press herself.

          • JenS says:

            Because it SOUNDS good to say he’s in favour of having the report released, and he can say it with zero concern, because he knows damned well it can’t be.

  8. Patrick Deberg says:

    Imagine there’s no deerhurst
    Tony’s gonna try.
    Steven’s gone ballistic,
    You can hear the tories cry.
    Imagine all the people, heading for the hills…………

  9. delshilo says:


    Now the Auditor General is saying the report was changed in its final form. So it looks like the Canadian Press, and the bureaucrat, have a lot to answer for. Oh, gotta love it! It was a good 10 minutes while it lasted, eh Liberals?

    AG’s statement:

    “We will not release or comment on our audit report on the G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund. Under the Auditor General Act, we can only present reports when Parliament is sitting. The Office of the Audit General of Canada remains the custodian of its reports until they are presented to the Speaker of the House of Commons for tabling.

    I strongly caution the public to wait until our final report on the G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund has been tabled in Parliament and made public.

    We work very hard to keep our reports confidential before they are tabled. There are indications that an early draft of this report may have been released by someone outside our Office. Our normal audit process requires that we share early drafts of our reports with government departments. We do this so they can validate the facts on which our conclusions are based, provide any additional relevant information, and so they can prepare responses to our recommendations. Sometimes during the process of fact validation, additional information is brought to our attention. Only the final report that is tabled in Parliament represents our audit findings and conclusions.”

    • Jamie Rothwell says:

      And this matters how to interpretation?

      Funny thing about the media delshilo, it rarely behaves as you’d think.

      Do you still need those glass panels to fix your house? After all you never had problems when the shoe was on the other foot.

    • Namesake says:

      looks like a slight typo in your moniker, there, Del.

      So let’s reprise your big hit and weep for Stevie as he watches his elusive ‘King of the World’ victory “Run Away” and prepare him for what he, too, invariably does when the going gets rough:

      “As I walk along, I wonder
      Oh, what went wrong with our love
      A love that was so strong

      …I’m a-walking in the rain, tears are falling and I feel a pain
      A wishing you were here by me to end this misery
      And I wonder, I wa-wa-wa-wa-wonder

      Why, why why why why why she ran away
      And I wonder, oh where she will stay, yay
      My little runaway, a-run-run-run-run-runaway
      A-run-run-run-run-runaway, a-run-run-run-run-runaway”

      Songwriters: Del Shannon & Max Crook

  10. George says:

    What’s Ignatieff going to do about that Forbes guy who insists on running as a Liberal? I thought that the leader had spoken and was very clear on this guy…or was that a few days ago?

    • Jamie Rothwell says:

      yet the goalposts remain where they are George.

    • Namesake says:

      and what’s Harper going to do about Helena Guergis running as an ‘Independent Conservative’? What do you suggest — arrest them both, with a mandatory 3-year sentence?

      • Windsurfer says:

        Let Guergis run. See spot run.

        Her signs are identical to the Kelly Leitch candidate, viewed from 100 ft.

        In fact, I think Helena just ran with her stickered-over signs from the last campaign.

        The games have just begun.

  11. Bill Stewart says:

    Ignatieff is not having such a great day either -the past, the buried past of citizenship, his supposed “progressivism” of supporting the Iraq war and American exceptionalism (including preemptive wars, coercion and torture), it’s all coming back up in the G&M.

    • Jamie Rothwell says:

      That’s okay, stay home & get some rest. Im sure you’re vote wont be needed.

      • Ron says:

        double yawn for you Jamie

        • Jamie Rothwell says:

          Want me to fluff up your pillow or check under the bed for monsters for ya?

          • Ron says:

            only monsters I see are
            Harpers steely cold stare
            Iggy’s furry eyebrows and fake smile
            Layton’s creepy hands ready to pick my pocket
            Duceppe’s steel wool hair
            and most frightening of all
            Lizzy May looking in from the outside

          • JS Rothwell says:

            That sounds like a photoshop challenge Ron. Create one person out of the four. I figure we have a 95% chance of someone uglier and a 5% chance of a hollywood looking face

  12. Pcase says:

    You can say “not a game changer” as many times as you like to make your self feel better George.
    The fact is, this very COULD be a turning point. It certainly hits on a continuing theme(contempt, etc…), and will likely sow more seeds of doubt amongst Canadians.

    Surely you are bright enough to see it is not a good story for Harper, et al.?

  13. One word: Dynamite.

    Fraser’s imprimateur, no matter whether inappropriately attached to this ‘leak’ will be pure dynamite. If Ignatieff preforms well for the debate, the polls will be pretty damned close by Friday. Not saying the CPC won’t be able to change the channel, but when they try it will smack of desperation, and won’t help much. After all, you cannot make like a clam for two weeks, then explode into a frenzy without the whole world smelling a rat.

  14. George Webb says:

    Look at CBC article re: just released letter of AG 15 minutes ago.

  15. George Webb says:

    AG response on Star website too.tyl2

  16. Karl says:

    And the gift that keeps giving:

    Tories misquoted me on summit costs, Fraser says


    Auditor General Sheila Fraser has written a scathing letter rebuking the Conservatives for misquoting her in a parliamentary report on the costs of the G8/G20 summits in Toronto last summer, CBC News has learned

    The report quoted the auditor general as saying: “We found that the processes and controls around that were very good, and that the monies were spent as they were intended to be spent.”

    But in her letter addressed to members of a Commons committee on Friday, which was received by the clerk and members on Monday, Fraser said the quote had nothing to do with the summits.

    Instead, she said, the Conservatives recycled an old comment she made on security spending by a previous Liberal government after the 9/11 terrorist attacks a decade ago.

    “The comments attributed to me in the [Conservative] report are completely unrelated to G8/G20 spending,” Fraser writes in her letter.

    “I would appreciate it if the report could be modified as it is clearly erroneous.”

  17. George says:

    Fife and Baird on CTV admit that a second draft report circling around did not have ANY mention of alleged illegality on the part of the Conservative government. Further, all the said leaks are from DRAFT not FINAL reports which are safely under the Auditor Generals supervision.

    Better luck next time. No story here, keep the line moving to your right – Go Canadiens!

  18. David_M says:

    You know, Warren, I can’t think of even one day when the CPC campaign hasn’t had its message stepped on. And it seems these have mostly been self inflicted. Could be wrong but I think they’ve atleast hit the 25% lost days you spoke of on an earlier post.

    • Warren says:

      Yep. But not many folks are paying attention – thus they’re still ahead. Back half is what counts most, usually.

      • Ron says:

        both machines have had there bumps in the road
        only people like us who love to watch the ebb and flow tune in
        the debates should have the Monday Night Football theme song
        and have two helmets with the party logos on them crashing into each other
        hey buy what do I know about marketing

  19. Man oh man, I’ll bet my Con pals would like to see Senator Finlay back running things. Again.

    That’d be nice for them to be sure, ‘cept isn’t Finley one of those pesky Conservative Senators that was under RCMP investigation and is in the courts facing possible jail time. You’re the expert Warren, should a person facing such charges be directing a campaign from the inside (or the outside)?

    Should the answer be anything remotely similar to “no, that’d be dumb as ^insert pithy analogy here^ ” the next question would be: Why is Finley working in the CPC War Room during this campaign while his case of violating the Elections Act is before the courts?

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