Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lisa Raitt Not Yet Done Screwing Up it Would Seem

Poor Lisa. No one has been paying attention to her, and H1N1 isn't nearly as sexy as cancer, even with the body bags.

Finally, in a pout, she decided to steal tax payer's money again, but forgot that she no longer worked for the Toronto Port Authority.

Poor little thing got confused, though it's understandable with John Baird's buddies working there. She must have thought it was his office.

Tory fundraiser sparks uproar
Political event for Raitt organized from office of Toronto Port Authority
Oct 01, 2009

OTTAWA–A political fundraiser for Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt was coordinated out of the office of the president of the Toronto Port Authority, a federal agency Raitt once headed, the Toronto Star has learned.

Critics say it is just further proof the port authority has been supplanted by Tory faithful and has become little more than a partisan arm of the Conservative government, but a port authority official says it was all a simple transgression.

Janet MacDonald, executive assistant to acting port authority president and CEO Alan Paul and who also served Raitt when she held the job, sent out invitations on port authority email inviting people to attend the Sept. 24, $250-a-head fundraiser at a downtown Toronto restaurant.

"Hope you are well. Would you please let me know if you plan on donating/purchasing ticket so I can keep tally and inform organizer of event," MacDonald said in the invitation.
MacDonald refused to talk to the Star.

An attachment to the email asked interested supporters to RSVP registered lobbyist Michael McSweeney, vice-president industry affairs of the Cement Association of Canada. It included the association's fax number and McSweeney's personal email.

"I would like to pretend I am surprised, but the Toronto Port Authority's accountability and credibility and ethics have been a constant problem," said Toronto City Councillor Adam Vaughan.

"That they would get involved in this kind of partisan politics ... is completely consistent with the atrocious record they have with corporate governance and accountability," he said.

The controversial fundraiser came to the attention of Liberal MP Paul Szabo, chair of the parliamentary ethics committee, who felt obliged to let Paul know the port authority was on thin ice.

"It would appear that using the resources of a federal authority to promote and support a political party or an MP is not only inappropriate but likely contrary to your rules guiding employee conduct, not to mention the potential for contraventions of the Canada Elections Act," the Mississauga South MP said in a Sept. 22 email.

In a return email the following day, Paul said the port authority took the matter "seriously" and it "should not have occurred."

"The email was not sent on behalf of the Toronto Port Authority and was not an authorized use of the Toronto Port Authority system. The TPA's Information Technology Policy states that unauthorized use is prohibited," Paul said in the email, a copy of which he also sent the Star.

Paul told Szabo all employees were reminded of the policy, but he refused to answer questions from the Star about when he first learned of MacDonald's emails, or if any disciplinary action was taken against the veteran employee.

Szabo said later "it was the blatant use of the resources of a federal authority."

"There is no doubt in my mind this was a targeted event that was going to utilize the database of the port authority. ... It is so improper that it is not even debatable use of information," he said, adding he's still considering having the matter referred to federal ethics commissioner Mary Dawson.

Transport Minister John Baird said he was assured by the arm's-length agency that it wouldn't happen again.

Raitt, who was named to cabinet in January, has been involved in controversy before. She privately criticized the parliamentary skills of Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq and called the shortage of medical isotopes a "sexy" issue.

Raitt said through a spokesperson she was too busy to be interviewed.

"The minister has been advised that the error was an isolated occurrence and has received assurances that such incidents will not occur in the future," said an email from Raitt's office.
New Democrat MP Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina) said it is difficult to believe it won't happen again when this "rogue agency" has been stacked with Conservative "cronies."

"I believe the entire board should be fired and the Toronto Port Authority should be given back to the citizens of Toronto ... because the Conservatives see the port authority as a trough for them where they can either flex their political muscles or fundraise," Chow said.

My question is. Who would pay $250.00 to see Lisa Raitt?????

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