Transparency, Secrecy and the space in between

Humour me a moment.

I recently blogged about the hilarious Conservative smear websites listed under the federal liberal website, www.Liberal.ca.  Should one visit that site, and click on  ‘sites’ ,  you will find  the following websites:

i.liberal.ca

www.thegreenshift.ca

www.thisisdion.ca

www.scandalpedia.ca

www.bushharper.ca

www.harpernomics.ca

Nothing unusual- the almost obligatory smear that all candidates participate in, and this year the Liberals are pulling out all the stops in an effort to prevent Harper from getting a majority government. Interesting enough though, some of the above websites are not openly registered by the Liberal Party of Canada, and in fact, have been registered through companies that do not reveal the registrants identity. A little odd, if you ask me, but then again the Liberals don’t exactly have a history of transparency. The following links will show you exactly who registered the websites in question.

  http://whois.domaintools.com/liberal.ca -  the Liberal party website is openly registered by the Liberal Party

http://whois.domaintools.com/thegreenshift.ca - The greenshift website is openly registered by the Liberal Party

http://whois.domaintools.com/thisisdion.ca - registered by DomainPeople.Inc, – no other registrant information given

http://whois.domaintools.com/scandalpedia.ca- registered by Tucows.com – no other registrant given, but the SSL certificate belongs to the Liberal party, and the IP address of their server is 66.46.213.211- which can be traced back to a numbered company: 55555 Canada inc. ( see below for more information)

http://whois.domaintools.com/bushharper.ca- – registered to GoDaddy domains Canada- no other registrant information given

http://whois.domaintools.com/harpernomics.ca- registered to GoDaddy domains Canada- no other registrant information given.

Funny, isn’t it? 

Why wouldn’t they all be openly registered to the Liberals? They are on the Liberal website, the Liberals are promoting the sites and each site says it has been authorized by the Liberal party or the agent acting for, so why not just have the Liberal Party information on the registration? Why ?

Now I had to look deeper and find out why the identity of some the sites registrants were hidden ,because in my experience the only time someone chooses not to display their website domain registration information is because they either don’t want to be bothered by people like me, or  they have something to hide.

 So, in an effort to find out which it is, I called the federal Liberal office in Ottawa. I was first transferred to the Directer of IT,  Steven Barry(sp) . I presented this question to him of why the Liberals information is on some registrations but not others, and he said this was a media call, he didn’t answer questions like that, so he transferred me to Dan Lauzon, media person.

I explained to Dan who I was ( an undecided voter and a writer from Vancouver BC) , and why I was calling( that I wondered why some sites were openly registered to the Liberals and some were not).

After explaining to him what WHOIS is( the entity that shows the registration information for website domain names), Dan’s response was that the sites say that they are authorized by the Liberal Party of Canada, and they are obviously Liberal sites, so why does it matter what the registration says or doesn’t say or who registered them? 

“Because I am a voter , and I want to know why they aren’t openly registered to the Liberal party.I want to know who did register them if it wasn’t the Liberal Party.  Why choose the option to not show the Liberal Party as the registrant? ” I replied.

Dan obviously thought this was a very silly question and didn’t understand why it mattered to me, but took my number and told me that he would talk to the IT people and find out why this was done, AND he would call me back.( still waiting for the answer but will post it as soon as I get it)

For the record, it matters because if those sites belong to the Liberal Party, and they registered them, then there would be no need to hide that information. The registrations should show the Liberal party information.

They don’t.

If the sites are registered by someone else, then I want to know who IT IS registered by, and why.

Interestingly enough, that numbered company, 55555 Canada Inc, that is mentioned above? A company bearing a similar name has shown up on my website numerous times since I started blogging about the Liberals, their sites, and the sources of their campaign funds. Like most bloggers, I have statistic tracking software that tracks visitors by location and by their IP address. 55555 Inc has shown up several times under the IP address 66.46.213.194 – tracking back to Ottawa Ontario.

So, the next logical question is, who owns 55555 Canada Inc, and why would their server data be the one on the registration for scandpedia.ca , with an SSL certificate that belongs to the Liberal party?  Obviously, this leads one to the obvious point that 55555 Canada Inc / 55555 Inc, has/have some affiliation with the Liberal Party of Canada.

What next? Still waiting for that reply from Dan Lauzon. None forthcoming.

Off to good old Google.   Search term ” 55555 Canada Inc.”  and ” 55555 Inc.”

My my, this numbered company has already been written about in the past. Here’s what came up.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080702.wlawsuit3/CommentStory/National/home

http://www.cqcounter.com/whois/

The Globe and Mail comment forum is interesting, to say the least. Lots of speculation there. It led me to the information that “55555 Inc” gave the Liberal Party $2,974,341 in 2003.

Nearly 3 million dollars in contributions. Wow.

 If this numbered company is currently linked to the current Liberal Party , I think that bears a bit of scrutiny, at least to me. 3 million dollars is a hell of a lot of money.

Off to Corporate Registry to do a company search. Search term as per the IP address traces. ” 55555 Canada Inc.” and ” 55555 Inc. “

Nothing comes up for  55555 Canada Inc, but 55555 Inc IS registered federally.

The company 55555 Inc. has three directors :

John Webster, Michael Connelly and…

David Herle : http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/special_feature/archive/canada_votes/the_insiders/david_herle_bio_1.html

This just gets more and more interesting.

55555 Inc. appears to be a shell company, not up to date on annual reports, and one of the directors has a very strong past with the Liberal Party, so why would a company that gave this much money to the Liberal party of Canada in the past suddenly be interested in my blogs about the Liberal party, their smear sites, and their campaign funds? 

Is this company still funding the Liberal Parties campaign? What would this company or its directors  have stood to gain from such massive contributions in the past?

More questions, and so far, very few answers.

Still no call from Dan Lauzon.

And just because I find it very interesting, here are the top ten contributors for the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party for the  2003, last fiscal year on record with Elections Canada. Very telling.

I’d be very curious to see more recent records.

The Liberal Party -2003

10 biggest contributions received
No. Name of contributor Name of political party Part number Class of contribution
*
Amount of contribution
$
Type of contribution
50  55555 Inc. Liberal Party of Canada 4 B 2,974,341.20 Monetary
371  Bombardier Inc. Liberal Party of Canada 4 B 139,795.22 Monetary
501  Canadian National Railway Company Liberal Party of Canada 4 B 119,579.93 Monetary
1091  Grant Forest Products Inc. Liberal Party of Canada 4 B 105,889.00 Monetary
888  EnCana Corporation Liberal Party of Canada 4 B 103,473.60 Monetary
1392  Kruger Inc. Liberal Party of Canada 4 B 103,000.00 Monetary
6233 Donald Meehan Liberal Party of Canada 4 A 100,000.00 Monetary
2227  SNC-Lavalin Inc. Liberal Party of Canada 4 B 84,664.99 Monetary
326  Bell Canada Liberal Party of Canada 4 B 78,469.94 Monetary
1962  Power Corporation of Canada Liberal Party of Canada 4 B 70,000.00 Monetary

The Conservative Party

10 biggest contributions received
No. Name of contributor Name of political party Part number Class of contribution
*
Amount of contribution
$
Type of contribution
1114  Magna International Inc Conservative Party of Canada 4 B 380,337.43 Monetary
1155  PM Capital Inc Conservative Party of Canada 4 B 275,000.00 Monetary
1067  Goldcorp Inc Conservative Party of Canada 4 B 250,000.00 Monetary
1096  Jetport Inc Conservative Party of Canada 4 B 250,000.00 Monetary
1165  Rogers Communications Inc Conservative Party of Canada 4 B 250,000.00 Monetary
1199  WITTINGTON INVESTMENTS LIMITED Conservative Party of Canada 4 B 250,000.00 Monetary
1069  Grant Forest Products Inc Conservative Party of Canada 4 B 120,000.00 Monetary
1051  EnCana Corporation Conservative Party of Canada 4 B 100,000.00 Monetary
1137  National Steel Car Ltd Conservative Party of Canada 4 B 100,000.00 Monetary
1189  TRANSCANADA PIPELINES Conservative Party of Canada 4 B 75,000.00

The New Democratic Party

10 biggest contributions received
No. Name of contributor Name of political party Part number Class of contribution
*
Amount of contribution
$
Type of contribution
803  CEP NATIONAL OFFICE New Democratic Party 4 D 761,910.00 Monetary
5056  UFCW CANADA New Democratic Party 4 D 740,600.00 Monetary
784  CAW NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS New Democratic Party 4 D 736,733.20 Monetary
1080  CUPE NATIONAL OFFICE New Democratic Party 4 D 334,710.00 Monetary
5121  USWA NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS New Democratic Party 4 D 316,090.00 Monetary
5075  USWA DISTRICT 6 New Democratic Party 4 D 259,823.20 Monetary
3725  OPSEU-SEFPO New Democratic Party 4 D 252,619.60 Monetary
716  CANADIAN LABOUR CONGRESS New Democratic Party 4 D 219,440.00 Monetary
2258  IAM & AW NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS New Democratic Party 4 D 202,500.00 Monetary
4435  SEIU NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS New Democratic Party 4 D 131,650.00 Monetary

 

More current data can be found on www.elections.ca, but personally, I don’t have enough time to wade through that system. It gives you an idea of who supports who, and perhaps why.

(Noon as I post this. Still no call back from the Liberals in Ottawa. I called  them early this am.)

When( and ) ,they do respond, I will update.

Update***

Upon arriving home this afternoon, I had a voicemail message left for me by Dan Lauzon, to either call him back or email him for his response.

To avoid any confusion or misprepresentations on either part, I emailed him the following:

Hello Dan,
 
Sorry to have missed your call, but I was called out to a meeting. I’m glad you found my post -  I realized that I had not given you either my website or the spelling of my name after we finished our call.
 
That being said, since you have had a chance to read the latest post, perhaps you will be in a position to tell me what the numbered companies have to do with the current campaign.
 
I look forward to your reply.
 
Laila Yuile

 Reply received 3:34 pm pst.

Thanks for replying Laila –
As you know, the Domain Registration of a website, especially a .ca address, falls under privacy legislation in Canada. The Domain Registries and CIRA (the authority) recognize this and provide the facility to keep the registration information private.
 
Typically, if we are launching a web site, we will register the domain initially with the Privacy as a standard business practice.  We typically turn them to “open” once launched but, especially in an election, we sometimes forget, or our partner organizations forget.
 
It is obviously not done to hide anything; on the contrary, we are very proud of our websites. We link from the site and note the “Authorized by” on every site we own.
 
DAN
 
Daniel Lauzon
Parti libéral du Canada / Liberal Party of Canada

Note, Dan did not identify the Liberal  “partner organizations”, or answer the question regarding the involvment of either 55555 Inc, or 55555 Canada Inc, both of which have definate links to the Liberal Party of Canada. That damn privacy act- it can be used to benefit or detriment.  
I have asked for further clarification on the link between either numbered company and the current campaign.

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6 Responses to Transparency, Secrecy and the space in between

  1. “It is obviously not done to hide anything; ”
    Oh, no, perish the thought. :rolleyes:
    Go get ‘em, Laila.

  2. John Wilkens says:

    I agree, well done.

    This has been a well-known, but not often talked about Liberal relationship that allegedly supplies funds as needed. Should you look at the individual contributors, you will find the Herle name, albeit in smaller amounts. I doubt very much that Dan will reply to your queries regarding the numbered companies, because right now you can rest assurred that the are scurrying around trying to figure out how you found this all out, and how you traced it, and where they screwed up enough to allow some connection to be made. Someone will have been working through the night to ensure names are changed and registrations are altered.

    They will also be trying to figure out who you are working for, as it will be assumed you are either a schill for the NDP or the Conservatives, but therein lies their mistake.

    Some very large debacles have been revealed by an ordinary citizen who asked the right questions and looked just that much deeper into what would appear to be an ordinary situation.

    In reference to the media, the ASPERS contribute to both the Liberals and the Conservatives, ensuring readers have a “fair” representation… chuckle.

    Again, well done. You would do any publication proud

  3. Frank says:

    Ah. The Liberals really aren’t that smart after all, are they? 55555 Inc. has allegedly been a very conveniant cover for all of this in the past and I suspect someone thought no one would ever really look again after the Paul Martin affair.

    It makes me wonder if any work has gone the way of his new employment?

    Perhaps they should be spending some of those campaign funds to hire someone who can clean up these messes in a better manner!

  4. lailayuile says:

    Thank you all, but may I remind you that no reply has been received from the Liberals as to the possible connections of these companies with their campaign, and so while one can speculate all one wants, these are only questions that remain unanswered.

    I just present the information as I find it , and any resourceful person could also find this information as it is all available to the public.

    The readers can decide for themselves what is relevant and what is not.

  5. Joe Ring says:

    Good work Laila. Canadians need to know this. You are a true Canadian with skills we all wish we had.
    Bless You.

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