The Godfather of Scandal, Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty, has been caught yet again with his pants down trying to fool Ontarians, this time in regards to his own expenses.
In a time in Ontario where every penny matters more to the taxpayer than ever before, politicians of all ilk are trying to show that they are "Rob Ford-esque" in fiscal prudence, watching every penny and ensuring that Ontarians' hard-earned taxdollars are not being wasted.
With this in mind, and knowing that an Ontario Provincial Election is quickly up-coming, Dalton McGuinty went out of his way in a scumbag move to hide his exorbitant travel expenses under the names of his staff, and then published on the Ontario Government website (see Ontario.ca - Travel and Hospitality Expense Totals for the Individual) that he had accrued exactly $0 in expenses.
Luckily for Ontarians, the leader of the Opposition, Ontario PC Leader Tim Hudak, isn't asleep at the wheel and immediately called out McGuinty on his lack of expense reporting/publishing, citing his lavish trip to Israel for example, where McGuinty flew first class for $6,227, and stayed in a $500-a-night hotel racking up $2,035 for a 4-nights stay. And this was just one example out of countless others where Dalton McGuinty was partying it up on the Ontario taxpayers' dime; yet, upon review of the Ontario government's official website where all travel expenses are supposed to be published, there is nothing reported under Dalton McGuinty's name.
Caught completely off-guard by this revelation by Tim Hudak during question period, later in the afternoon, McGuinty's office responded releasing a statement that, “moving forward, for the premier, they’re going to start posting them (the expenses) under his name.”
Here's the story from the Toronto Star:
McGuinty alters the way he reports expenses
Premier Dalton McGuinty will now report his travel expenses under his own name — not his staff — after the Progressive Conservatives accused him of trying to “weasel out” of revealing them openly.
The government’s online list of expenses shows none under McGuinty’s name despite trips to a premier’s conference in Manitoba and overseas trade missions like one to Israel last year, Conservative Leader Tim Hudak said Monday.
“The premier said that he would post expenses according to who incurred them, not try to hide them somewhere else,” Hudak added, questioning whether the premier had “suddenly learned to fly” to avoid reporting airfares.
“They look like they’re trying to weasel out of their own legislation.”
By late afternoon, the premier’s office announced that “moving forward, for the premier, they’re doing to start posting them (the expenses) under his name.”
That will include almost $10,000 for last May’s trade mission to Israel, including $6,227 in executive class airfare and four nights in a Tel Aviv hotel for $2,035.
McGuinty’s trip to Manitoba for a premier’s conference last summer was listed under the name of his executive assistant Tracey Sobers, including airfare of $1,874.87 for the premier and his wife, Terri.
But an ordinary citizen looking for McGuinty’s expenses would have no idea under which other names to look and that is hardly in keeping with the spirit of the law, said Hudak.
He quoted McGuinty as saying two years ago the point of the rule was “to shine a light on all expenses so Ontarians will know who exactly is spending what exactly” in the wake of expense scandals at eHealth Ontario and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.
The reporting of the premier’s expenses is reminiscent of problems the Liberal government has had trying to boost transparency on the “sunshine list” of public servants earning over $100,000.
Isn't it sad how now after 8 years as Premier, suddenly with a crucial election coming, Dalton McGuinty has finally decided that he is no longer going to lie to Ontarians about his expenses, and be fully transparent?
And don't be fooled Ontarians, this is not just a small oversight by Premier McGuinty (though there have been a suspiciously large number of those that have occurred during his reign as Godfath...er...Premier). McGuinty is famous for hiding the bloated fatcat salaries and expenses of his buddy Ministers & staff under other agencies in order to trick Ontarians and hide the truth of their wasteful profiteering. The latest example of this was the hiding of disgraced former Deputy Health Minister Ron Sapsford's $700,000 payday that he received after he quit amidst the eHealth Billion Dollar Scandal which he was partly responsible for (see Toronto Sun: Outrageous!: Blizzard), where McGuinty hid his $700K reward (??) under the Hamilton Health Sciences Centre, instead of properly reporting it under the Minister's salary in the sunshine list.
Disgusting, disgraceful, dishonest and just simply dirty. This is what Ontario's Godfather Premier has become known for. This is what Ontario has now become famous for. Scandal, corruption and waste, and the sucker taxpayers who stick their heads in the sand and pretend it isn't happening...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/robin24/5034100202/sizes/l/ by Robin_24 on flickr
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dalton_McGuinty_Crop_2.jpg by Joshua Sherurcij on Wikipedia
Compilation of the above images and title artwork created by jackandcokewithalime.