Friday, June 5, 2009

God Save the Queen's Silver. The Conservatives are Having a Lawn Sale

Everything must go. Low, low prices. No reasonable (or even unreasonable) offer refused. You like silver, we've got silver. Got a hankering to own a leaky nuclear reactor? We've got that too.

, farm land and even politicians. Everything is for sale. So get here early before all the good stuff is gone.

(This message has been brought to you by the Conservative Party of Canada)
The federal government is changing its procedures after heritage silver and china items from Rideau Hall and Buckingham Palace were sold off for a fraction of their worth, Heritage Minister James Moore said yesterday.

Speaking on his way out of question period, Moore said he wants to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"We're going to change the process so that museums in the country will have the ability to have first right of refusal for these kinds of items so that this kind of thing doesn't happen in the future." (How can they refuse silver that doesn't belong to us)

Officials have been ordered to contact the buyers and recover the items that had sold.

Moore's comments come after Sun Media revealed that sterling silver tea pots, silver-plated cocktail sets and china cups from the governor general's residence were sold off two weeks ago for a fraction of their value on the Crown Assets Distribution website, which is usually used to offload surplus filing cabinets and old computers.

Included in the sale were three ornate sterling silver flower baskets that former Rideau Hall employees say were on loan from Buckingham Palace.

While experts say their link to the royals could make the baskets worth as much as $10,000 each, the government sold all three for $532.

Yesterday, after several days of silence, the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General said it has managed to recover the majority of the items sold, including the three silver baskets.

However, officials wouldn't say how and when they were retrieved or how much was paid to get them back. Nor would they say what has yet to be recovered.

News that the government had sold off silver baskets on loan from Buckingham Palace prompted reactions ranging from anger to scorn.

Senator Serge Joyal , who has tabled a motion condemning the sale and calling for a change in the way Canada's official residences are managed, said selling off silver that was so visibly linked to the British royal family makes Canada look "like a banana republic."
NDP heritage critic Charlie Angus called on Rideau Hall to "come clean" and tell Canadians what happened.

"These were valuable cultural artifacts that were loaned to the Canadian people and then sold off at a fire sale."

Liberal MP Martha Hall Findlay used the silver sale to question the government's plans to sell off other assets.

"Selling royal family assets that we don't even own, at barely 5% of what they are they are worth, is not an auspicious start."

No comments:

Post a Comment