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Friday, December 23, 2005

The Ethics Commissioner listens to a lie, and delivers a clean bill of health

Liberal MP David Smith, representing the riding of Pontiac, ran a home-based computer consultancy firm called Abotech, now owned and operated by his wife and his two children, both minors. Earlier this year, Abotech had several contracts with the federal contract terminated, though the reasons were never clearly explained.

A bureaucrat at Consulting and Audit Canada, Frank Brazeau, was suspended.  Why?  We don't really know.

Today, the Ethics Commissioner, responding to a letter from Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre, release his report on David Smith, and gave him a clean bill of health.

That clean bill of health was based, in part, on a lie told to him by both David Smith and Frank Brazeau.

The Ethics Commissioner interviewed both David Smith and Frank Brazeau:

The purpose of the interview was to obtain information in regards to the various ties which may have existed between Mr. Smith and Mr. Brazeau.

During this interview, which was recorded and transcribed, Mr. Brazeau confirmed to my Office that he has known Mr. Smith for a very long time, as they grew up in the same town and were almost the same age. This corresponds to statements made by Mr. Smith in his interview with respect to his relationship with Mr. Brazeau.

Grew up in the same town?  Check.

Almost the same age?  Check.

Closely related cousins, by virtue of Smith's mother and Brazeau's grandmother being sisters, as reported by a blogger and then verified and reported again by a local newspaper and then again on CBC Radio One?  Oops, forgot mention that.

This was not an oversight.  Smith and Brazeau both, in concert, chose to forego mentioning that critical piece of information, denying the Ethics Commissioner the full view of the "various ties" that link these two men together.

The Ethics Commissioner also dismisses physical evidence (signed contracts, filings to Industry Canada) showing David Smith was actively involved in the running of the company for almost a year after he was supposed to terminate all links to Abotech in favour of David Smith's explanation that he was "unaware" he had signed three contracts, and that he had filed late.

The report is a sham.  I just hope it does not cause continued scrutiny by the media to stop.

For a full look at the report, check out Angry in the Great White North.


Posted by Steve Janke on December 23, 2005 | Permalink


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One word from Broadbent and that piece of paper is worthless. Broadbent has trashed Shaprio's work before and probably will on this one.

Posted by: yyc | 2005-12-23 1:08:40 PM

I used to do audits for a very large branch of the US government. We were always taught that the the weakest type of audit evidence was obtained in interviews. (We mockingly called it "audit by conversation".) And one of your top auditors completely buys what is told them at an interview, ignoring actual documentary evidence. Damn, I wanna be an auditor in Canada. No travel (just pick up a phone and talk to someone), no digging through documents, no analyzing computerized records, just talking. Hell, I could do that from my house in my jammies.

Posted by: David Crawford | 2005-12-23 2:04:37 PM

Just goes to show: A lie can make it halfway across Shapiro's desk before the truth makes its way around the world.

Posted by: yyc | 2005-12-23 4:32:14 PM

So, these scammers are essentially guilty courtesy of a few diggers and blogosphere reporters. We will all say shame and gnash our keyboards .. toss out a few harumphs and that will be where it ends as usual.

These guys who are tied in the feds are untouchable. No one will ever pay a restitution let alone go to jail. Even if charges are laid it will not amount to anything.

This is Canada. It has much more in common politially with Cuba than with the USA where guys like these would be in jail punking for large African American cons.

We need a politial Roto Rooter in this country. I continually swing from feeling the screw-it-all and bury my head to wanting to storm the Bastille.

However, storming would get one in jail for trying to do something about it while the ungrateful pack of sheep who inhabit this pretend country stand by and wait in hopes of being trasnformed in pigs so they get a little dip at the trough themselves.

Wonder why prozac and other similar drugs are poplular here? SOMA is the only alternative for the caring Canadian. It's beer an hockey for the rest.

On my best days I can simply regard it all as entertainment.

Visit Duke's place for a laugh ... that's what I do with it for entertainment.


Posted by: Duke | 2005-12-23 6:46:59 PM

So back at your blog I came across this :

> He angrily repeated his "they don't vote" claim several times as a the reason that their criticisms ought to be ignored.

Seems to me that the whole deal with this democracy thing is that you don't get the right to bitch if you don't exercise your responsibility to vote.

So if in fact they don't vote - say perhaps they avoid provincial and fed elections as a statement about their own nationhood , or say they just couldn't be bothered with participating like the rest of the 45 % or so who don't - then why should they have a right to complain.

On the other hand- if by " these people" he means "these people" in the same way that Kate means those people ( i.e. drawing sweeping assumptions about behavior based on status and stereotype without any true factual backing) then I say hang 'em

Posted by: Nbob | 2005-12-23 7:19:52 PM


If you mean Duke's place .. what post are you refering to? I forget em after I put them up.


Posted by: Duke | 2005-12-23 8:11:16 PM

Kate = SDA
I'd go back and provide cites but eeewwww
If you want dig around on your own for the one about bringing back residential schools. I'm sure there's more that I have thankfully forgot.

Posted by: Nbob | 2005-12-23 9:08:20 PM

back at your blog = Angry in T.O (click the CBC link )

Posted by: Nbob | 2005-12-23 9:11:19 PM

Christmas wish at Duke's Place

Posted by: Duke | 2005-12-23 9:49:57 PM

Where's Robert MacFarlane to call everyone bigots and narrow-minded right-wing fanatics for knowing what an audit is supposed to entail and demanding same?

Posted by: wharold | 2005-12-24 12:14:09 PM

You mean Robert McLelland, right? Maybe we got lucky and the mods banned his IP for trolling. He was also commenting/trolling on my friend's personal blog and got shut down pretty hard there. Maybe he just got fed up with us backwards redneck political naifs, and doesn't feel it's worth the effort to educate us to the level of our betters anymore? I doubt we're that lucky, of course.

Posted by: Tozetre | 2005-12-24 2:22:07 PM

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