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Spending scandals show need for stronger rules, and enforcement

Set out below is a letter-to-the-editor by Democracy Watch Coordinator Tyler Sommers which was published in the Edmonton Journal April 30, 2012

The spending scandals involving federal Conservative Cabinet minister Bev Oda, and the Montreal Port Authority, and the Department of National Defence, along with recent past scandals such as the G8 conference slush fund and similar scandals in provinces, show the clear need for stronger rules, and stronger enforcement.

No one in any Canadian government or quasi-government institution should be allowed to spend the public's money on anything unless they are paying a reasonable cost (all luxury purchases prohibited) and where fitting have held a competition to ensure the best price is obtained.

No one should be allowed to spend significant amounts without checking early on with the Auditor General's office that what is being bought, and the proposed spending process, comply with these stricter spending rules.

And because some people in government will continue to try to rig spending processes to favour themselves or friends or interest groups they support, the Auditor General must also be given the power, and required, to penalize people who break the rules with high fines.

In other words, government spending rules must be as strict, and strongly enforced, with as high as penalties, as most of the laws are that politicians and bureaucrats have imposed on Canadians.

As the old saying goes, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.


For more details, go to Democracy Watch's Voter Rights Campaign page