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Monday, November 28, 2005

Alberta's Adscam?

Alberta has a scandal of its own these days -- not involving advertising contracts, but something actually more important: the Alberta Securities Commission. As our latest cover story by Andrea Mrozek reports, there is a two-tiered regulatory regime -- one for friends of the governing PC party, another for everybody else; and then there is the weird sexual culture of the office, replete with an anatomically correct blow-up doll on display.

Dozens of ASC staff have quit or been fired, and they're on their third chairman in just a few months -- and now he's been fined for securities irregularities. And then there's the new director of enforcement, caught trading shares in a company under investigation. The clean-up crew needs cleaning up, itself.

If the Alberta Liberal opposition wasn't so feckless -- or so ideologically marginal -- they might actually be getting some traction on this story.

Here's my Sun column on the subject, including a note about pressure that was brought to bear on the Western Standard when it became known we were writing about the subject.

Albertans complain the Ottawa Liberals have grown arrogant over the course of 12 years and four elections, and that arrogance expresses itself in an entitlement culture -- like David Dingwall's righteous insistence that his expense account was legitimate, or Paul Martin's attempt to brazen out the Gomery Commission's findings.

Well, Alberta's Progressive Conservative government has been in power for 34 years. And the entitlemania that comes with it is the story of the ASC.

Posted by Ezra Levant on November 28, 2005 | Permalink


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Thank you Ezra.

You are a hero of all true Canadians.

Posted by: Vitruvius | 2005-11-28 1:03:02 PM

Sometimes it sounds like you just like complaining for the sake of it!
I read your collumn on the ASC and two "facts" that you use to bolster your postition that everything is rotten in that shop jumped out glaringly!

1- The Chairman Bill Rice was fined for submitting his Insider Trading reports Late.
So!!?? He's the Chairman the big boss and the system worked he got fined. Considering that he is probably working his ass off to fulfill his job duties it is easy to imagine that he was too busy to get the paperwork done on time. He filed he filed late he got fined! Where's the problem?
2 - Director of Enforcement John Petch Bought Shares in a company that was being investigated because a company officials wife was trading shares!

Again....where's the problem? The insider trade was revealed. He bought shares that would be tainted by an investigation and were in jeopardy of taking a negative hit! So if he had known this why would he have risked taking that hit himself?

So....it may be that there are still problems to be cleaned up at ASC but a little deeper look into the situation would be helpfull!

Posted by: PGP | 2005-11-28 1:25:30 PM

Please people, one fight at a time. The Federal Criminals are the bigger problem than Klein and his blunders. Yes, he made some discouraging comments about the election, but that does not mean we should forget about Don Martini and his Mafia. Get rid of the "waste management company" (the Mob term for organized crime that strikes far too close to the truth) first, then go after Klein and his shortcomings.

Posted by: Scott | 2005-11-28 3:12:04 PM

Strongly disagree, Scott. The Liberals have been able to corrupt our nation's institutions because too many Liberal supporters shrug off impropriety. It's no better when conservatives do it. It's about ethics.

PGP, if "a little deeper look into the situation would be helpful" then buy the latest Western Standard and read the cover story. You can't fit everything into a single newspaper column, but bringing such issues to public attention is the only way to effect change. Ezra continues to be a beacon in this country's darkly cynical and corrupt journalistic culture.

Posted by: EBD | 2005-11-29 2:38:43 AM

Yeah Scott, what the hell is that?? Alberta is so great, maybe we want to separate, but who cares about the corruption in our government? That is a very Ontarian sentiment.

Posted by: ld | 2005-11-29 12:03:56 PM

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