06.06.2016 07:06 AM

I have no comment on this story whatsoever, in any way, shape or form

However, if pressed, I will say this:

  1. The scrupulously neutral tone surprises me, considering the source, and possibly suggests they have formed the opinion that it is big.
  2. The presence of both opposition leaders, on the record, certainly suggests it is.  That didn’t happen with Adam Radwanski’s “story” a couple years back, about caucus spending by all three parties.
  3. For what it’s worth, I wrote to the subject and offered an olive branch two years ago.  No response.  Perhaps it was lost in the mail.

Anyway, here is a link to the story, and here is a bit of the story, which I expect will show up be elsewhere, later today:

“…David Herle is the principal player behind a company called The Gandalf Group and according to the bio on the company website, Herle “served as Premier Kathleen Wynne’s campaign co-chair and steered the Ontario Liberals to a majority government in 2014.”

That fact alone has some wondering about the propriety of Herle and his firm billing the taxpayer for almost $900,000 for “research services” in the last fiscal year from one office alone.

A request for a list of contracts awarded by the Cabinet Office at Queen’s Park for the 2015-2016 fiscal year shows a list of 30 contracts, none as big as the ones Herle charged taxpayers for. There are two separate contracts listed for The Gandalf Group, one for $836,600 and another for $49,155. Both contracts simply say “Commissioned Research Services.”

…Wynne’s office is likely not the only source of Ontario tax dollars heading to the man that helped keep Kathleen Wynne in the premier’s office. It is believed that The Gandalf Group is or has been under contract to several government departments and the Liberal Party of Ontario itself…”

7 Comments

  1. TimL says:

    Maybe now he can afford a tie

  2. Peter says:

    Given the source, I’m awaiting confirmation. But if there is anything to it, unless Wynne is prepared to defend it up front and unapologetically (and not dissemble with drivel about the importance of polling to public policy development) , how could they have been so recklessly sloppy?

  3. Mark says:

    As previously reported elsewhere, Gandalf Group received over $1.1 million in contracts over the previous two years (2013-2015). So there will be more digging. If this ends up just being just about optics, I think Wynne will survive it, although it will be another persistent point in the “corrupt” narrative . Only if there are actual bid/selection/process shortcuts or irregularities will this get really ugly.

    Too early to brand it #Gandalfgate ?

  4. Mark says:

    This is optics. The opposition, and likely the Rebel, both know that all contracts go through the third party vendor process. Sometimes it means we get crappy vendors, but as much as I’d like to, I can’t blame that on Cabinet office.

    If they have proof that the premier somehow influenced the selection panel, I’m all ears. But since they’ve not said so, I expect they don’t.

  5. Ian Howard says:

    Research Services. Apparently an itemized invoice was too much work.

  6. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    Boy, are they ever grateful!

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