01.05.2013 11:13 PM

In Sunday’s Sun: I detest this government

As a political contrasts go, it was stark.

It came in the same week, too. In the very same week Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence was continuing a hunger strike, vainly seeking a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper to discuss the Third World living conditions of Canada’s First Nations, we learned his most senior minister — Jim Flaherty — had expensed makeup.

That’s right, makeup. Documents tabled in the House of Commons revealed Canada’s finance minister, who makes about a quarter of a million a year, charged taxpayers nearly $130 to pay for makeup. For him. To be precise, Flaherty expensed $119.15 on “cosmetics” and $9.99 for “beauty supplies.”

He bought Cover Girl loose powder, Maybelline loose powder, Maybelline concealer, Maybelline “Min Blush,” Maybelline LMU, Smashbox concealer, cosmetic wedges, a powder brush, a foundation brush and “SBM Top Zip Shave.”

The purchases were approved by Flaherty’s parliamentary secretary, Shelly Glover, in 2008 and only came to light in an iPolitics report last week on New Year’s Eve.

The cosmetics were purchased “to prepare the Minister of Finance for the numerous television interviews conducted with media outlets from across Canada,” Flaherty’s underlings wrote, in a document that sought to justify the expense.

When a Liberal MP asked about other Conservative ministers charging taxpayers for makeup, Harper’s bureaucrats — the Privy Council Office — demurred. “(The Privy Council Office) has no information in response to the question,” they said,

Of course they don’t. Why would they? This, after all, is the Tough Guy Conservative regime of Messrs. Harper and Flaherty — all about getting “tough” on crime, and getting “tough” on terrorism, and making “tough decisions.”

Not a very tough guy, though, is it? You know, swanning around Ottawa, wearing Maybelline and Cover Girl face paint. Kind of soft, isn’t it Jim? Kind of flaccid, wouldn’t you say, to charge taxpayers for your makeup?

This is one of those stories some folks in Ottawa think isn’t one. Like Bev Oda’s $16 orange juice, for example. Outside Parliament Hill, that one met with more than a few shrugs at the start. But it became a pretty big story, didn’t it? Ended Oda’s political career, didn’t it? It did, it did.

Now, we shouldn’t expect Flaherty’s boss to say much, if anything, about this latest steaming pile to emanate from Conservative Ottawa. Harper, after all, has been using a makeup artist for years — her name is Michelle Muntean, we know that much — but he refuses to tell us how much it costs. That is, how much it costs us, the taxpayers, with whom Conservatives used to claim to be so preoccupied.

Again, not very “tough.” It’s sort of girlish, isn’t it boys? Perhaps you should give your crotches a quiet pat or two, to reassure yourselves that you’re still, you know, all there.

It is unknown what Chief Spence thinks about this insanity. In the past two weeks, she has indicated she is prepared to starve herself to secure a meeting with Harper.

Her hunger strike, bearing the name Idle No More, has attracted the attention of media from around the world. And, in one much-seen moment, an Idle No More sign even appeared in the middle of CNN’s New Year’s Eve broadcast.

If Spence is disgusted by the likes of Harper and Flaherty, nobody could really blame her. Here she is, having to starve herself to get a meeting with Harper, but he still won’t. All around the time we are finding out that Jim Flaherty thinks it’s OK to charge taxpayers for his Cover Girl.

Get that? They’ll expense makeup. But they won’t make time to meet Spence.

There are days a lot of us actually, truly hate this “government.”

This is one of those days.


  1. smelter rat says:

    Hahaha! Burn! Nice one.

  2. Sean says:

    “Maybe he’s born with it… Maybe it’s Jim Flaherty.”

  3. John Morse says:

    In this context, would the expression “putting lipstick on a pig” be a pun or a metaphor?

  4. anonymous says:

    So Canadian taxpayers are purchasing makeup for Glorious Leader and Jumbo Jimbo? What’s next? No stick pantyhose and liners?

  5. billg says:

    If 18 dollar orange juice and 120 dollar make up are the big issues then another Harper majority has to be considered a sure thing

    • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      Hey….the 18 dollar orange juice ended Ota’s career in politics, and while this wont be Jimbo’s undoing, he will be forever known for the greasepaint, as much as his legerdemain cooking the country’s books….
      It’ll only take a few more cabinet ministers caught in situations that bring embarrassment to “Dear Leader”, and the front bench will be in disarray, such is the lack of talent in Con ranks…..
      I’m betting it wont take long….remember, pride goeth before the fall, as your arrogant statement indicates…..

  6. J.Visser says:

    It seems that Warren Kinsella is truly reaching for the bottom of the barrel.
    Liberals are notorious for charging ANY EXPENCE to the Taxpayers of Canada

  7. AlsoAnonymous says:

    Can’t wait for WK’s deep investigation of Chief Spence’s spending of taxpayer dollars. Surely he can show us how well-spent all of the funding to her reserve has been, to draw a true comparison of government waste vs the thoughtful and frugal spending she has done on her reserve.

    • smelter rat says:

      It’s interesting how racist haters always want to change the channel.

    • que sera sera says:

      If you are really curious where Attawapiskat spends its money, why don’t you (like everyone else) check out their Audit Report & Financial Statements that are (and have been) published online for years.

      Further, you might be unaware that before the Federal Government advances any money to any Band, that the Federal Government must review & approve the prior year’s annual Audit Report & Financial Statements.

      What might be worthy of a deep investigation, though, is why so many lying creeps pretend that all Band’s are guilty of malfeasance when Band’s spending practices are already being investigated & reviewed annually by the Federal Government.

      Along with investigating exactly how much Harper’s personal makeup person is costing the Canadian taxpayer.

      • Bill says:

        Your delusional. Lets have a real look at the financials, not some cook the books internal statement. Let’s have a third party dig in and see where the money is really going. More than enough money is being extracted from Canadians to support First Nations, anyone that doesn’t see this is being partisan or just plane ignorant.

        • GPAlta says:

          Yes, let’s have a third party (Kevin Page) dig in (to the federal deficit reduction progress) and see where the money is really going

        • Bluegreenblogger says:

          The band has posted audited financial statements on their website, and they have been there for years. All up to date, for the 2011 year end. Guess what? No malfeasance. I am sure that you would not want to seem a total racist, so perhaps you may want to have a look before you run around the internet making false accusations. Unless, of course the facts do not matter to you. Not that I would accuse you of spouting lies because you are a racist or anything unsavoury like that. Maybe you have actually uncovered a partisan conspiracy from extensive research in Sun publications. It is always possible that the external auditors are partisan, and they lied on their audit engagements. Indian Affairs is probably partisan for that matter, after all, they approved the statements also. Come to think of it, since Indian Affairs has to approve every dime of capital expenditures, they MUST be in on the partisan conspiracy. Ii must be so, since bill said they have more than enough money already.

  8. Graham says:

    Morning Mr. Kinsella:

    While you may not agree with what Flaherty and Oda expensed to taxpayers (and as a Conservative supporter, I tend to share your view expensing this stuff was retarded) at least we know where the money went.

    Can the same be said for the more than $90 MILLION the taxpayers sent up to Chief Spence over the last five years?

    The answer of course is no.

    And Ms. Spnce isn’t on a hunger strike. She’s getting soup several times a day, vitamins, and drinking “Boost” meal replacement shakes.

    At best, she’s on a diet.

    • Graham says:

      And quoting rabble.ca says more about you than you’ll ever know.

      I have looked at their financials.

      3 Chiefs and 18 councillors for a reserve of 1,500?

      Paying her boyfriend $850 a day to be a “consultant”.

      Buying a Zamboni for about $100,000 while people freeze in run down homes.

      Sitting on $9 million in stocks while most people there don’t even have running water.

      And where is the $30 million mining company De Beers has given the reserve over the years? Where’s the millions Ontario has given them out of casino profits?

      Her people freeze while she has a comfy house and a couple Cadillac Escalades sitting in the driveway.

  9. Steve T says:

    Re: Idle No More. It is dripping with irony that Chief Spence, who like many First Nations chiefs has mis-managed her own community’s finances (but made sure to keep plenty for herself), is now on a hunger strike to…. extract more money from Ottawa? It is clever theatre to turn yourself into a martyr, so as to avoid any detailed analysis of your own mis-management.

    There is a fundamental problem with the structure of First Nations funding in Canada, but it surely will not be the chiefs who bring about change. Chief Spence, and the other chiefs who support her, are a key reason for the widespread squalor that they purport to want to fix.

  10. RonG says:

    Your hate will consume you, and relegate you to insignificance. Believe it.

  11. Dennis Hollingsworth says:

    I’m rolling on the floor in uncontrolled laughter, so much so that my ribs hurt … Big Strong, Tough-Guy, Flim-Flam Flaherty and Steve Super-Dull wearing women’s make-up and under-garments … pair of Nancy’s !!

    • Mary Jones says:

      offensive. An effeminate or homosexual man.
      offensive. Effeminate.

      I am reporting this website to the Human Rights Tribunal for promoting hatred against a minority group. Frankly, I expect to find this kind of thing on Stormfront but not WK.com. It is really a sad day when the Liberal Party is trying to leverage homophobia and fan racial tensions to score a few partisan points. Is this the “progressive” movement you speak so glowingly of? Sham and shame.

  12. Mark says:

    Regardless about what people think about the Harper government, let’s make one thing clear. Chief Spence is NOT starving herself.

  13. Merrill Smith says:

    If only Chief Spence were a makeup artist she’d have no trouble meeting Conservative ministers.

  14. Bittersweet says:

    Next election— fuzzface and shaghead (both from corrupt, separatist, French-only Quebec) — versus — All-Canadian Stephen Harper ……. NO CONTEST …. LOLOL

  15. Paul says:

    So let me get this straight: You “hate this government” because some of its members have claimed expenses in the same way that other Canadians also can on their taxes if they can show that they are needed for business purposes?

    I know much has been made about Bev Oda’s $16 orange juice but guess what? That’s just how much stuff costs in London when you’re staying in a hotel. A guy I used to do some work for went there on a trip awhile back and I nearly keeled over when he told me what they paid for breakfast. (Hint: it was a hell of a lot more than $16 and this guy is not in the “1%” either.) It’s just an expensive city, and if she was obligated to go there for work then so be it. It’s $16 FFS.

    As for Chief Spence: I’m sorry lady, but throwing a tantrum and threatening to kill yourself is not the way to engage the Prime Minister. Civilized people do not respond to threats. She should be run off that island and/or arrested under the mental health act and treated until she is no longer a danger to herself as far as I’m concerned.

    • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      The $16 orange juice wasnt the first time Ms. Oda was caught spending the taxpayers dollar like a drunken sailor….In years previous she had hired limos and tried to hide $17,000 costs billed to the taxpayer. In London she upgraded her hotel on the taxpayers dime…..Yes London is an expensive city, but the $300 a night hotel where the conference she was attending was being held should have been sufficient to her needs. She thought otherwise, so she moved herself over to the Savoy Hotel….one of London’s finest……Upgrading to an $675 dollar a night suite(where the $16 orange juice was consumed) and charging it to the taxpayer was not necessary….that was ego at work…..Lets not forget the $250 upcharge for smoking in her non-smoking room, and the taxi rides required to get her to and from the conference hotel, either shall we? All covered by the taxpayer.
      If Ms. Oda wanted to upgrade, fine…..but if she was going to do so, she should have done it on her own dime.
      So much for Cons reputation of being parsimonious with taxpayers money.
      She did eventually cover the costs of upgrades herself, but only after it was made public. I suspect she never would have had she not got caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
      The woman deserved to be sacked, imho.

      In regards to Chief Spence, whatever you think of her, PM Harper should have the courtesy to arrange a meeting with her. His arrogance and blatant disregard towards a fellow human being(who only wants to improve her people’s lot) is unconscionable, and his actions(or lack thereof) are a disgrace to the Canadian people.

  16. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Value for money. Results-oriented compensation. Comprehensive audits. Internal Accountability to primary stakeholders. That’s what many people expect from government: federal, provincial, territorial and most notably municipal. The standards should also be reflected by the private sector in any major city of the world. First Nation leadership is no exception to that.

    In recent years, the ball has been dropped by more people than you can shake a stick at — both public and private sector. In short, we must continually strive to do better without resorting to convenient scapegoats or red herrings.

    • Bill says:

      Not looking for that level of accountability just yet…..however, lets bring it up to level that Canadians will be willing to give more. Without improved accountability and better management the majority of Canadians will not support giving more.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Canadians are willing to give more, to use your phrase (as if they actually have any other choice) to various levels of government who still haven’t got their act together. Take the federal level for example: whether it’s a Conservative or Liberal government in power, various AGs have push and prodded after audits only to reveal that programs and systems have still not been fixed nor money saved, even years after first bringing attention to them. Some Departments make progress while others continue to fail miserably. Every time I watched Fraser or Ferguson, it became evident how much more work remains to be done at the federal level. And yet, strangely enough, Canadians continue to pay their taxes, year in and year out…

        Put another way, the day Ottawa has its house in order is the day it can theoretically impose its view on the other orders of government. In the interim, I don’t plan on holding my breath.

        • Bill says:

          I like your bipartisanship, however the truth of the matter is First Nations economic accountability is no where close to how a federal ministry is run. I only want the best for First Nations, I truly hope we can see a positive shift and I think the Harper government can and will make great contributions to this, unlike so many past governments.

          I’m a math guy and if you calculate the money going to First Nations and divide that by the number of people……something is terribly wrong. When doing this math with non Fist nations people the math is still not good….but much better.

          • David_M says:

            ‘however the truth of the matter is First Nations economic accountability is no where close to how a federal ministry is run.’

            I’ll take your – Don’t believe everything you read…… – advice now.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:


            Surely this Prime Minister will come to recognize that the road to unilateralism is not the answer. It will only lead to increased tension and distrust among the parties associated with the Crown and First Nations’ relationship. We need to head down another road. Hopefully, leaders on both sides will not only recognize that but actually take concrete steps to move in a new direction.

          • Bluegreenblogger says:

            A math guy, too funny. Yes actually, something IS terribly wrong. When natives are expected to do everything that are done by southern municipalities, and Provincial governments, and deliver the services themselves, then they receive about half of the per capita funds that other Canadians receive, whilst coping with the huge costs imposed by their remote locations. something is terribly wrong. When they are browbeaten, and have to ask Indian affairs permission, often years in advance before spending funds on something so simple as repairing the roof on the school, something is terribly wrong. When ignorant and racist people full of fury blame them for malfeasance when none exists, and rather than correct the false impression, the government stokes it with further thinly veiled accusations of malfeasance, something is seriously fucking wrong.

  17. ray says:

    song in progress
    ray in kingston

    we take holidays and paid vacations
    on lands we stole from the Indian Nations
    and the vanquished left to rot / on empty parking lots
    we dared call reservations

    and the decades roll by
    and the treaties just pile
    behind the crooked smiles
    of the white man invaders

    and then we act surprised when the indian man decides
    to maybe block us from shopping
    look at your tv screens
    see the man of means gonna move the indian man
    with his police his bullets and his guns

    we stomped on his pride / slaughterd his bride
    skinned the buffalo alive / indian genocide
    then stole the scraps from his table

    we sent them to our schools to bend to our rules
    that never worked for us then shoved them neath the bus
    but why make a fuss when

    we can take holidays and paid vacations
    on lands we stole from the indian nations
    with the vanquished left to rot on empty parking lots
    we dared to call reservations

    give em back their land
    it was theirs for thousands of years
    and long after we are gone
    their song will be sung
    it’s in the trees it’s in the land
    you can’t take that from the indian man

  18. kit says:

    “Harper’s popularity might be on the rise, but it’s not because of his piano playing or aw-shucks coffee shop patriotism. It’s because he allows us to be apathetic. And the less we care, the better he’ll look.” -Horgan

    Emperors expressed the wish that the “potentially unruly and dangerous city population” be “amused”, also adding the idea that this would keep them “quiet”. This is also known as “escapism and distraction“, social tools used “to keep the underprivileged poor people quiet“. “employed by a governing body to hide inadequacies or divert attention from themes that can cause malcontent among the populace.” – Escapism & Distraction As a Social Control During the Roman Empire, By Peter Benjamin Bisset, Ezine

    Idle No More and Chief Spence must be ridiculed, debased and torn down for if their message is allowed to resonate with Canadians, we might all rise up and refuse to just be entertained into a stupor by this CON regime. That mean no more make-up and other perks expensed to the unwashed millions of dopes.

    Under this Crime Minister Canada’s reputation has tanked. We went from first to eighth place as the best country to live. From seventh to 25th in gender equality. From near the top to sixtieth place in peacekeeping. And even more alarming, from sixth to 24th place in infant mortality, out of 26 nations.

    But guess what……the Roman Empire, corrupt from within fell, just as this corrupt government will fall. So trolls scream and cry all you want with your vulgar ad hominons….. your days are numbered, just like the Roman Empire and the Dodo bird.

    • Graham says:

      What exactly is Spence’s message? What is Idle no more’s message?

      They are very quickly becoming another failed movement like the Occupy crowd.

      All we keep hearing about is the Idle no more movement keeps growing, how is gaining steam. Then you see footage of the demonstrations, and there are fewer than 250 people at these things, the majority are non natives suffering from white liberal guilt.

      She mentioned something in passing about the Feds breaking treaty agreements. Perhaps she needs to read Treaty 9. It is the natives who are breaking the treaty agreements.

      We know what her message was when the feds were set to install a third party to look at their finances: We don’t want him, and you better give us more money no questions asked.

      Soory my friend. Canadians are overwhelmingly with Harper on this one.

    • smelter rat says:


  19. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    I hope we won’t make the same mistakes as the Australians. It will be far from easy or quick but nothing worthwhile comes without enormous challenges and obstacles. A noble effort lies ahead of us.


  20. AlsoAnonymous says:

    Oh dear, you’re not trying to bring actual fact and financial records into this discussion are you? That stuff doesn’t wash here.

  21. Susan MacIsaac says:


    Stop using the word ‘retarded.’ It is an insult to my son, Graham, who is intellectually challenged. Get with it.

  22. smelter rat says:

    RonG is a typical hard core bonehead who gets his daily fix of racism from Sun News, assuming he ever gets past the headlines.

  23. Chelsea says:

    Without diving too far into the fray, I must say that the gender-based shaming and association of weakness with femininity in this post rubbed me entirely the wrong way. Poking at anxious masculinities may be an effective way to get under someone’s skin, but there are other ways to do this. Personally, I would prefer not to see the denigration of girls or men of diverse gender expression, even as a means to an end. And the jibe about genetalia was weird and borderline ciscentric, in my opinion.

    I’m not looking to start a fight but I wanted to share my perspective in the hopes that we might avoid such things in the future.

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