05.23.2012 09:45 AM

Ornge lawyer speaketh

Nice tie, guy.

That’s Guy Giorno, speaking at a lobbyist conference thing in Toronto, just a few minutes ago. He’s a smart fellow; I happen to think he is an ethical fellow. As things turn out, Giorno was a long-time legal advisor to Ornge, along with many of his partners at the Fasken law firm. Fasken’s received millions and millions from Ornge, and got the work without competing for it.

Fasken’s folks who have helped Ornge, in the past, also included Lynne Golding (“proud” card-carrying Conservative, and spouse of Tony Clement) as well as Perry Martin (former advisor to Mike Harris, among others). Like Giorno, Golding and Martin are (or have been) associated with this little Fasken seminar lobby thing.

I’m listening to the proceedings at the conference as I type this. Here are two things Guy Giorno said this morning:

  • “Never before has there been such a need for lobbying transparency.”
  • “Lawyers must be registered [as lobbyists] like everybody else.”

Those are quotes. I agree with those statements.  Who wouldn’t?

But here’s the problem: when a former partner of Giorno, Golding and Martin also represented Ornge in dealings with government, he never, ever registered.  Details are here and here and here.  What I thought about that former partner is documented here and here.

To recap: Ontario Liberals, not Conservatives, called in the cops to investigate Ornge.  Ontario Liberals brought in forensic auditors and the Auditor General to probe the books at Ornge, top to bottom.  Ontario Liberals flushed the mostly-Conservative managers at Ornge who seemingly were indifferent to breaking every goddamned rule in the book.  Ontario Liberals want to see the bad guys go to jail for a long time, whether they are Liberals are not.  Throw away the key, we say.

That said, why didn’t Guy Giorno – or Lynne Golding, or Perry Martin – with all of their professed desire for transparency and registration and whatnot, ever saunter down the hall at Fasken’s, and suggest to their colleague that he be, you know, transparent?  That he register?

I didn’t attend the seminar in person.  There’s only so much lack of transparency I can stomach at a single sitting.


1 Comment

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    Michael says:

    Interestingly the media have only cited the Liberal connections of one of the Fasken’s lawyers. Nobody (but Warren) is reporting that many Fasken’s lawyers are Conservatives or the Conservative connections of the Ornge managers.

    I guess those little facts don’t make it quite as easy a story to tell.

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