Friday, April 20, 2007

con flip flop file: using tax payer dollars for psychic

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Taxpayers foot the bill for PM's image guru

Apr 18, 2007 07:50 PM

Canadian press

OTTAWA – It turns out that taxpayers are picking up the tab for Prime Minister Stephen Harper's personal primper.

After two days of ducking media and opposition questions, the Conservatives finally revealed Wednesday that Michelle Muntean is on Harper's government staff.

But the revelation raises two more big questions: How much is she being paid? And why is there no government record of her employment.

Harper has been travelling with his personal image adviser for major domestic and international events – most recently at ceremonies at Vimy Ridge in France last week. Muntean helps him perfect his look, including managing his wardrobe and general grooming.

News that Harper uses a style maven had the opposition both frothing and laughing.

"Does the prime minister have difficulty sleeping at night wondering whether he should wear the light blue socks or the dark blue ones?" New Democrat MP Judy Wasylycia-Leis asked in the House of Commons, to loud hoots and claps.

"Can the prime minister tell us who pays for his fashion adviser, and how much that costs?"

Liberal MP Garth Turner also took a shot at his former boss: ``It's a legitimate question. I think it's an embarrassing one to him because he likes the cowboy image and not all cowboys wear powder."

Government House Leader Peter Van Loan wouldn't say who pays for Muntean's services.

"Mr. Speaker, the prime minister maintains a tour staff, as do all prime ministers," Van Loan told the Commons.

But a government source later confirmed that taxpayers are on the hook for Muntean's services – although the Conservative party pays her expenses.

However, there is no record of Muntean as an employee of the Prime Minister's Office, according to an official at the Privy Council Office. And an Access to Information request turned up no record of contracts paid out to Muntean.

Harper, meanwhile, has demanded accountability on such matters in the past.

As an MP, Harper went after Reform Leader Preston Manning publicly for not detailing his party-paid clothing allowance. Under pressure, Manning eventually did provide an accounting of the $31,000 perk, but tensions between the two men had begun in earnest.

In a bit of synchronicity, Harper was to attend a Manning event Wednesday night.

Conservative Party president Don Plett said the matter is not one that the party's governing body would have dealt with, but rather the Conservative Fund of Canada, and said he didn't know anything about it.

Calls to both the party headquarters and to fund president Irving Gerstein were not returned.

John Williamson, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said such expenses are better paid by political parties.

"The idea that these expenses are going to be run up on the public tab and then answers aren't going to be forthcoming about how much its costing is unacceptable from a taxpayers point of view."

Muntean began working with Harper during his run for the Conservative leadership, and stayed through two federal campaigns. She hails from the world of film and television, and had become CBC's head of makeup by the late 1990s.

A warm, bubbly personality, Muntean has now become a fixture in Harper's entourage and remains the only staff member he tolerates style advice from. Sources said Harper has tried to convince her to move to Ottawa, but she remains based near Toronto.

In addition to her travels to Vimy Ridge, Muntean was also with Harper in Hanoi, Vietnam when he met with Pacific rim leaders, and in St. Petersburg, Russia for last summer's G8 summit.

Monday, April 16, 2007

income trust: cons achilles heal? part II

Sunday, April 15, 2007

income trust: cons achilles heal?

if you liked the scott ross video... this will blow your socks off. i cant believe this was one ctv alberta!

see this post for video

Monday, April 09, 2007

fortier’s new offices – questions to be answered

came across a link to minister michael fortier’s new webpage today from john lennard’s blog.

to say the least it is a cunning political manoeuvre to try and make fortier look like an “elected representative” for the riding of vaudreuil-soulanges.

now some bloggers have suggested that this site may be paid for by tax payer dollars, but it would seem to me that if it was… you would find a similar link system found at the bottom of a government website… such as this.

and not this...

frankly, what concerns me is this website portrays fortier’s offices in vaudreuil-soulanges as if they are constituency offices.

so here are some questions that i feel need some serious consideration:

1) are the staff in these offices instructed to aid in matters such as canada pension plan, employment insurance, tax issues, passports and student loans?

2) if so, are the employees working in the offices breaching privacy regulations by collecting this personal information as if they are employees of the house of commons?

3) if these employees do take this information will house of commons staff members of other conservative mp’s be dealing with these constituency files? or. will these constituency matters be dealt with by senate staff and/or minister staff in PWGS.

4) does the very opening of these offices undermine the wish of the people of vaudreuil-soulanges to have a BQ representative dealin with these matters for them.

5) will these offices be changed to campaign offices in the wake of an election?

6) following an election what would happen to any case work that is done by these employees?

7) how are these offices being funded? if they being funded by the conservative party of canada do the people of vaudreuil-soulanges not have the right to know this?

8) how are these offices being supplied?

9) through technicalities are these offices able to be supplied with recourses from the regional minister’s office, the minister’s office of PWGS and the senate?

just a few thoughts …

update: just doing some more surfing and found this little blurb on the site. i am in disbelief that this site is being portrayed as a house of commons constituency site and office.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

in the words of bob fife “lame” and “crappy” ads…the story behind the “price is right” and “money” ads

to say the least it has been an interesting week in the political blogging and youtube world.

so here is the story of the “price is right” and “money” ads.

over the weekend i got word cherniak was looking for liberal ads. most of the time i don’t take jason seriously, nor do i agree with his opinions or analysis of day to day issues. however, i did think he was onto something with the youtube vids. so... i sat in my underpants, with my laptop, on my bed drinking beer and made two ads on windows movie maker. nothing special…


i was quite shocked the day after i posted the “price is right” and “money” ads on youtube that they appeared on canada am and in a feature piece that was printed on the front page of the globe and mail.

that morning my roommate and i almost laughed ourselves stupid watching the canada am clip, over and over again on the ctv website. honestly, i didn’t think more then 10 people would watch either of these things or take them seriously because they are “crappy” and ”lame”.

the above being said i felt that someone should make an ad that was saying what everyone should be hearing – harper is using tax payer money to bribe one sect of society (middle class families) into electing him a majority— it is so blatant that im surprised other canadians aren’t outraged.

as for bob fife… well he is right a lot of these ads that are out there are lame. however, i wish fife would do research before he opens his mouth. this is not the first time i have heard him gaff. just for the record… i was not instructed nor hired/paid by the party to create ads. if i was i probably would have put a little more effort into them.

in closing this week has been an example of the power of the internet. in less then a day these two videos got people talking, they got the media talking and they got bloggers talking. i think its important that we continue to make these ads regardless of the overall quality. remember this is canada and as long as we have the right to the freedom of expression and speech we should exercise that right.

thats the story … and if you have no idea what im talking about you can watch the ads here and here... enjoy and keep on youtubing...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

bob fife on blog ads

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

liblogs on canada am

liblogs gets plugged on canada am this morning

watch here

(bare the car ad before the news segment)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


new stop harper ads

got a little bored ... so here are some new ads

Monday, April 02, 2007

ads ads ads

well the tories have their first new ad up on their website. it can be seen by clicking here.