August 12, 2014

Prentice should heed his own words; support public inquiry into government spending abuses

EDMONTON, AB (August 12, 2014): PC leadership frontrunner Jim Prentice's refusal to commit to a public inquiry into government spending abuse ignores his own record of strongly supporting a similar inquiry while a federal cabinet minister,  Wildrose MLA Kerry Towle said today.

As the MP for Calgary Centre-North, Prentice was among the Conservative Party of Canada’s loudest advocates for Justice John Gomery and the public inquiry into the sponsorship scandal that eventually brought down the federal Liberal government.  However, as he’s now seeking to become premier, he is rejecting the same kind of inquiry into PC scandal and abuse that he once demanded for the Liberals.

“It appears Jim Prentice’s belief in accountability ends where his political ambitions begin,” Towle said. “The Jim Prentice of 2005 would have been all over this PC government’s entitlement. By saying no to a public inquiry, the Jim Prentice of 2014 is essentially condoning it.”

Here are some of Prentice’s words, spoken in the House of Commons in support of the Gomery inquiry:

Do I believe that the Liberal government has made a serious attempt to get to the bottom of this quickly? Absolutely not. Everything it has done has been done reluctantly.  - 
May 31, 2005

I say, let us respect Canadians. Canadians want to get to the bottom of this. They want to know who is responsible.
May 31, 2005

Justice Gomery needs to have the flexibility to go about his important work and to make whatever factual findings he needs to make. He is not there to adjudicate either criminal liability or civil liability...but rather...make findings of fact, name specific individuals, judge their standard of conduct and say they are responsible.   May 31, 2005

It would seem to me that a commission of inquiry that cannot name names and assign responsibility is somewhat pointless.
–  May 31, 2005

“Surely if a public inquiry was good enough for Canadians in the sponsorship scandal, it’s good enough for Albertans in order to get to the bottom of PC government spending abuses,” Towle said. “I challenge Mr. Prentice to look within himself, find that champion of accountability, and give Albertans the same thing he fought to give Canadians: A public inquiry.”


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