12.02.2010 11:59 AM

Hudak’s Cons: for their cronies, against tougher rules for consultants

This is being handed out at the Leg as I type this.  Among other things, it represents a huge, huge strategic error by the Hudak Hillbillies – it shows that, despite all their braying and screeching about accountability, they have voted against rules to get tougher on lobbyists and consultants. They voted against all that. (The NDP voted for it.)

We’re going to tattoo this one on Timmy’s forehead, now.  It’s a huge fumble.  And it’s amazing, frankly.

***

For Immediate Release

Hudak’s Conservatives Vote Against Tougher Rules

for Lobbyists and Consultants

(Queen’s Park) – Tim Hudak and the Ontario Conservatives put the interests of their high-priced Conservative lobbyist friends over taxpayers today, voting against a ban on taxpayer dollars being used to hire lobbyists to ask for more government money.

“Tim Hudak has a lot of antics, but his actions speak louder.  He’s putting the interest of high-priced Conservative lobbyists ahead of taxpayers.  That’s the Conservative way,” said Liberal MPP Dwight Duncan.

The Conservatives have tried to block accountability and transparency at every turn.  Conservatives opposed:

    • Banning taxpayer funded  lobbyists: they voted against stopping taxpayer  dollars from being wasted on lobbyists asking for more taxpayer  dollars
    • Increasing transparency and  accountability: they voted against requiring  expenses to be posted online for Ministers, their staff, and the executives  at public agencies like hospitals, hydro companies, and local health  integration networks
    • Banning partisan  advertising: they wasted $250 million of  taxpayer money on partisan self-promotion, and voted against legislation to  stop it
    • Independent auditing of the books  before an election: after hiding a $5.6 Billion  deficit from Ontarians, they voted against requiring the Auditor to sign off  on the books before an election

Conservatives have a long record of trying to reward their friends and then trying to hide it.  In 1999, the Harris-Hudak Conservatives removed agencies like Hydro One from freedom of information requirements, and then funnelled millions of taxpayer dollars through untendered contracts to Conservative insiders like Tom Long, Leslie Noble and Jamie Watt.

“Tim Hudak just doesn’t get it.  He should be standing up for hard-working families instead of protecting his friends at the trough,” said Duncan.

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13 Comments

  1. Tim Lemieux says:

    I wish they’d also have an all-party ban on the term “hard working families”.

  2. J. Coates says:

    This sounds a lot like business as usual in Quebec. Some years ago my business partner and I tried to open a specialty coffee shop in Montreal. Everybody and their dog showed up with their hand out for this or that permit. We said to hell with it and moved back to Calgary. It’s too bad this disease could be spreading to Ontario.

  3. Paul R Martin says:

    The devil is in the details. A lot of bills really do not do what their sponsor says they are doing. I am also suspicious of the timing. The Liberals have been in power for several years, and at long last they want to appear to be tough on those lobbyists. If the Liberals lose the next election which is not beyond the realm of possibility, they want different rules to govern lobbyists, than were in place during the last two Liberal administrations.

  4. james Smith says:

    Got a link to the presser so I can Tweet it?

  5. Peter1a says:

    It’s way too late being tough on lobbyists. What they should have done is simply ban them.

    We don’t ever want to get into the kind of mess that’s South of the border and that’s where we are headed unless we kick the lobbyists out !!

    • Abby Thomas says:

      Nothing wrong with being a lobbyist – some of my best friends are lobbyists. The cause that McGuinty’s championing is that organizations receiving public money shouldn’t be using public money to hire lobbyists to lobby for more public money.

      Makes sense to me. Hudak doesn’t get it. Oink.

    • Namesake says:

      Yeah, it’s pretty alarming how ubiquitous it is, and how those moneyed interests who can afford to hire those mouthpieces get so more access to Parliamentarians’ attention.

      As The Hill Times Reported the other day,

      Registered lobbyists met with MPs more than 1,300 times in 10 weeks

      http://www.thehilltimes.ca/page/view/lobbying-11-29-2010

  6. riley says:

    What I’d like to see is a law outlawing lobbyists (anyone speaking on behalf of a company or organization) from meeting with individual MPs. They have to pitch to all-party committees only. That would put the stone cold smackdown on the gravy gulpers right quick. This wouldn’t preclude individual citizens from complaining to their local MP or mounting petitions, etc. Just clamp down on third parties representing second parties.

  7. Harry Covair says:

    The Cons, both provincial and federal, are moving further and further away from traditional small “c” conservative values and now rely heavily on a base that consists of a rag-tag bunch of special interests groups that respond in true pavlovian style to hot button issues, and the corporate oligarchs- the latter playing the former like puppets. There is ideology but no vision, at least not a vision that includes the majority of Canadians. Lobbyists, consultants and side door deals are needed more than ever to hold this mess together and present the charade of caring about taxpayers/citizens as a truth.

  8. Patrick Deberg says:

    Tom Long must be breathing a sigh of relief !!

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