Monday, September 7, 2009

Look up 'Hypocrite' in the Dictionary: It Says 'See Stephen Harper'

The above video is just one more instance where Harper has lied to Canadians, but a recent CanWest article also reveals how hypocritical the man is.

While the Conservatives are urging restraint, they have been wasting our tax dollars sending out ridiculous ten per center that we pay for, and now we learn that Harper himself likes to live large on our dime.

Spending in prime minister's 'department' soars
By David Akin,
Canwest News Service
September 4, 2009

OTTAWA — Spending in the government department supervised directly by Prime Minister Stephen Harper soared by 14 per cent last year, despite a directive from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty that government must "show restraint."

Financial statements released this week show that spending by the Privy Council Office for the fiscal year that ended in March hit $172.5 million, compared to $151.8 million in fiscal 2008.

"Today we have another example of the hypocrisy and misplaced priorities of the Harper government," Liberal MP John McCallum, his party's finance critic, said Friday. "This is a prime minister who preaches restraint and spends lavishly on himself, who cuts funding for research while going on a spending binge in his own department."

Last fall, as he tabled the economic and fiscal update that would prompt the Liberals and NDP to agree to form a coalition government, Flaherty said, "We cannot ask Canadians to tighten their belts during tougher times without looking in the mirror."

Among other things, Flaherty proposed in that statement to cut a public subsidy paid to all political parties. He also imposed unilateral wage restraints on the civil service.

"We are directing government ministers and deputy ministers from every single department and agency of the government to rein in their spending on travel, hospitality, conferences, exchanges and professional services," Flaherty said on Nov. 27. "Canadians have a right to look to government as an example. We have a responsibility to show restraint and respect for their money."

However, not only did the Privy Council Office fail to tighten its belt, it loosened it a few notches.

The cost of bureaucrats' salaries and wages was the biggest single contributor to the jump, rising 25 per cent year-over-year to $114 million. That figure covers the salary expense for independent, non-partisan civil servants in the Privy Council Office and not the salaries for political staff or ministers.

The Privy Council Office is the government department that supports the work of the prime minister, as well as the ministers for intergovernmental affairs and democratic reform.

The department reported the cost to "provide professional, non-partisan policy advice and support to the prime minister and portfolio ministers" in fiscal 2009 was $124 million, which was also 14 per cent higher than the previous year.

During that period, Kevin Lynch was the clerk of the Privy Council, the top bureaucrat in the department. Lynch retired earlier this year and was replaced by Wayne Wouters.

Neither Privy Council Office officials nor officials from the Prime Minister's Office were available for comment.

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