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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

"We pick up five per cent commission. How much work is there to do in that?"

CBC Radio One in Ottawa broadcast the second of a two-part in depth look at Liberal MP David Smith, running for re-election in the riding of Pontiac, just across the river from the nation's capital.

The first part focused on the controversy surround Smith's claims to aboriginal status.

The second part focused on his business, a computer consultancy firm called Abotech.  Evan Dyer and Anthony Germain mused on how the details of the way Abotech runs look remarkably like the sort of thing we saw in the Sponsorship Program -- well-connected Liberal firms earning commissions for doing little or no work.

In order to avoid ethical conflicts, David Smith insists that he no longer runs the company, having transfered control to his wife, a nurse, and to his two children, still minors.  When the obvious question was asked about how the firm could function without professional staff, Evan Dyer quoted this response by David Smith:

We pick up five per cent commission on what you do as work. It’s not very hard. How much work is there to do in that? What management is there to do in that? Once a month we send a bill. How much time does it take to send a bill? My wife does that.

Abotech earned over a million dollars in government contracts doing work that's not very hard consisting of nothing more challenging than sending a bill.  This is the work that Public Works Minister Scott Brison defended on the floor of the House of Commons when he assured Canadians that we  were seeing value for the tax dollars spent on contracts awarded to Abotech.

Now that the people in Pontiac have seen the details of the personal and professional life of their member of parliament, one wonders if some are having second thoughts about who to select as MP on January 23.

Angry in the Great White North has a full summary of today's broadcast.

Posted by Steve Janke on December 21, 2005 | Permalink


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Commission rate 5 per cent (5%). Smith was paid 5%?

Cheap>>>> underpricing the market, is he? Rat?

Let's go figure: 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 = 25%. Smith left a bundle on the table. Boulay said the commission rate was/is 25% plus. >>>>

Gomery told how companies raked in double commissions
April 21, 2005

Last Updated Thu, 21 Apr 2005
CBC News

MONTREAL - The Gomery inquiry continued hearing testimony on Wednesday from Claude Boulay whose company Groupe Everest and its subsidiaries received $67 million in federal sponsorship contracts.

Boulay testified there's a reason he collected two commissions when his advertising company did business with the federal government.

Unlike some companies that handle public relations and marketing in-house the federal government decided to contract out the service to the private sector. Boulay said that made it possible for Groupe Everest to bid on sponsorship contracts.

The contracts, he said, included a commission paid by Ottawa for finding marketing opportunities for the 'Canada' brand.

Boulay told the inquiry that Groupe Everest would contact outlets that could offer visibility for the brand, for example the Montreal Alouettes, La Ronde, and a publishing company that wanted to sell advertising space.

The final contracts with Groupe Everest also included a commission for the advertising agency.

Boulay says in some cases the two commissions, added together, exceeded 25 per cent. >>>>

Posted by: maz2 | 2005-12-21 1:17:08 PM

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