I don't normally use cuss words in my blog titles but Keddy started it.
I guess he got an early Christmas present because the ethics commissioner is indeed investigating the partisan ceremonial cheques used by the Reformers, to promote their 'not so much a stimulus plan as a PR stunt'.
It couldn't have happened to a more deserving man, or party. (hee, hee)
(BTW: You have to imagine the video above taking place on Keddy's tree farm. I know it's a stretch, but it's so cute)
Ethics czar issues Tory logo queries
December 10, 2009
Canada's ethics commissioner has sent letters to Tory MPs accused of using their party's logo on ceremonial cheques, asking for their responses to the allegations, CBC News has learned.
In one letter to Nova Scotia MP Gerald Keddy dated Dec. 4, Mary Dawson asked that the politician answer a list of questions on how he came to use the ceremonial cheques. The letter stated that a list of questions was sent to other individuals facing similar allegations. The commissioner previously said her office received 50-odd complaints.
"The underlying concern" with the use of ceremonial cheques was that it "furthers a private interest," Dawson said in the letter.
"I ask for your co-operation in providing your response on or before Dec. 18, 2009, so that I may complete my inquiry as quickly as possible following the Parliamentary break," Dawson said.
The logo issue was touched off by Keddy, who last September presented a ceremonial cheque worth $300,000 for an upgrade to a rink in Chester, a community in his riding of South Shore-St. Margaret's. The ceremonial cheque had the Conservative party logo in the top left corner and Keddy's signature at the bottom.
"This issue has received significant public attention and there has been debate both inside and outside of Parliament about the scope of application of the [Conflict of Interest] Code [for Members of the House of Commons] in relation to this matter," Dawson said in the letter.
Opposition MPs argue Conservative MPs are breaking the rules by passing off taxpayers' money as their own or that of the Conservative party in government funding announcements.
'One comprehensive inquiry'
"I believe it would be in the public interest for me to conduct one comprehensive inquiry and issue one public report to establish the facts surrounding the use of these cheques to make a determination on the application of the Code," Dawson said.
She added that she will proceed with an inquiry following this approach.
Liberal MP Geoff Regan, one of the MPs who first raised concern about the issue, welcomed the investigation.
"What the ethics commissioner's letter made very clear to me is that she does take this issue in the matter of Conservatives using the Conservative logo on government cheques very seriously," he said.
Two months ago, two of Canada's senior bureaucrats testified there was nothing to prevent MPs from using ceremonial cheques when acting on their own.
"Events organized by members of Parliament who are not acting as designated ministerial spokespersons are not covered by the policy," said Michelle D'Auray, chief human resources officer at the Treasury Board Secretariat.
On Thursday, the commissioner's office declined to comment when contacted by CBC News, and Keddy's office said he is prohibited by law from responding publicly until after Dawson has completed her work.