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Good on Butts and Telford. Better to not take money in the first place, of course. But this is a big mea culpa. 



I have. And here’s a bit from next week’s column, in which I, contrarian-wise, do so:

…like it or not, paying for the moves was within the rules. And the rules, believe it or not, were crafted by the very Conservatives now in a spit-flecked fury about it all. It’s right there on the Internet, if you’ve got a few hours to navigate it: executive employees (EX, they’re called) and Government-in-Council appointees (GIC) get financial help on what is benignly called “relocation.”

They get taxpayer help on the sale – that is, the difference between the appraised value of a house, and the actual sale price. They get money to help them in the “home search.” They get dough to travel home every couple weeks while the home search is underway. They get “incidental expenses” covered. Sometimes, they even get to access the treasury to cover the cost of cleaning, pet care (yes, you read that right), and something called “Accountable Sundry Expenses.”

Now, this may enrage you, and it probably should. But it’s been on the books since 2009, by my count, and that means it was the Conservatives who cooked it up. That is, the Conservatives now screaming and yelling about it.


No shit.

I’m on the Adler-Kinsella Show on SiriusXM later today, and I know Charles won’t let me bob and weave about:

  1. The consultant.
  2. The move.
  3. The polls. (And polls.)
  4. The birthplace.

So, let me offer up my preliminary talking points on each problem:

  1. The consultant: Sorry, but I’m not going to defend it.  And I’m told the $3 million isn’t the total figure – it’s a lot more.  This is unacceptable, obviously.
  2. The move: It was within the rules, but the price tag(s) seem pretty high. Why, I do not know.  We can’t compare to Harper-era moving costs – those files are mysteriously “sealed.” More facts needed.
  3. The polls: Christy Clark has shown Kathleen Wynne that smart policy, and smart politics, never hurts.  Helps, even. There’s time to make some changes.
  4. The birthplace: I thought Monsef was pretty candid, and pretty self-critical with Bob Fife.  That said, someone told the President of the United States a falsehood, which he then put in a big speech.  Not good.

Now, pray for me with Charles.  This is one of those days you wish you didn’t have a regularly-scheduled radio show to do!


…but this is unacceptable. Link here.

“A firm headed by the man just reappointed as campaign manager for Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario Liberals has received almost $3 million in contracts from various Ontario government departments and bodies ranging from Wynne’s own office to the Ontario Energy Board.

A review of contract information obtained through freedom of information requests at Queen’s Park shows Gandalf Group, headed by Liberal strategist David Herle, has been awarded contracts worth roughly $2.7 million since Wynne became premier. 

The figure is an incomplete one as some departments have failed to fully answer requests for information while one, Ontario Power Generation, only released hourly rates paid to Herle and his associates.

Ontario residents fuming over high electrical bills will likely not be impressed to find out that Wynne’s campaign manager and another top employee at Gandalf billed OPG at $420 per hour. Other employees who do work for OPG are billed out at between $105 and $270 per hour.

This information was obtained through several freedom of information filings earlier this year after discovering that Wynne’s own department paid Herle’s Gandalf Group $885,755 in the fiscal year that ended March 31. 

At the time the premier responded that many polling firms receive government contracts while failing to point out that Gandalf was the only polling firm contracted by her office.”

UPDATE: Still would be interesting to speak to the bureaucrats who ran this “competitive process,” eh?