Is “conflict of interest” charges against politicians the flavour of the week?
It seems this may be just the beginning of a “dream scenario” for lawyers who are looking to pad their wallets with tax payers dollars to dig up dirt on politicians at all levels of government who are or have been acting a little “outside the law” when making decisions while holding a position in office which handles tax payers dollars.
First bombshell this week was Mayor Rob Ford’s guilty charge that he had a conflict of interest with his actions in Council when he voted in committee for a motion about his own fund raising efforts for a needy children’s program that helped them play football. He didn’t even have any monetary vested interest in it which would have afforded him one red cent, yet he was found GUILTY.
Today the CBC has just sprung a story which appears that Allison Redford may have had a conflict of interest when she chose her ex-husbands firm for a 1o BILLION $$$ contract for tobacco litigation while she was an MLA.
That’s a lot of baloney to put it bluntly.
Maybe it’s time that every single politician at all levels of government be scrutinized by the very electorate they are supposed to represent on conflict of interest scenarios as this seems to cross all boundaries of Government.
For instance, does any Municipal Councillor or Mayor in Ontario have a vested interest in any Wind Development in their township? Do they stand to make any money off the development of the Wind Turbines on lands that they won or their family owns while they were in office and had access to decision making on whether the project was “nay or yea”?
I have heard many instances where council members in areas of Ontario had relatives or even an interest in their own property, conflict with their positions as a voting member in that development. What should happen IF a councillor had some interest would be to recuse themselves for having any interaction with any decision making that would make them part of the final agreement to host those wind turbines.
We can only wonder when the Ontario level of Government will be looked at under a legal microscope!
Here’s the latest from Alberta:
By CBC News, cbc.ca, Updated: November-28-12
Premier Alison Redford told the Alberta legislature that accusations she was in conflict of interest when she chose her ex-husband’s law firm for a government tobacco-litigation contract are “absolutely inaccurate and false.”
“When the decision was made by the government of Alberta as to who to retain on this file, I was not the justice minister, I was not a member of cabinet, I was an MLA running to be the leader of this party,” she said on Wednesday.
In a Dec. 14, 2010, document obtained by CBC News through a freedom of information request, Redford — then Alberta’s justice minister — recommends that the government award the contract to International Tobacco Recovery Lawyers, a consortium of law firms from Florida, Ontario and Alberta.
The consortium includes the firm of Jensen Shawa Solomon Duguid Hawkes (JSS). Redford’s former husband, Robert Hawkes, is a partner in JSS and was her transition team leader after she won the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party in 2011.