Politics without principle makes hypocrisy a governing force in the Legislative Assembly.

There are more than a few people expecting a post on B.C. Hydro and Site C this morning, and I apologize but it’s going to have to wait a moment because after reading the Auditor Generals report on his audit of the Legislative Assembly’s Financial Records I had a serious WTF moment. Actually, to be completely truthful, it was the second WTF moment of yesterday – the first was my reaction to NDP Finance Critic Bruce Ralston’s comment on the argument between Falcon and Doyle on standard accounting practices:

“New Democratic Party finance critic Bruce Ralston said he does not have the  accounting expertise to know who is right in the disagreement, but said he is  hopeful the issue will be resolved within the year.”

Seriously? Ralston has worked this file as finance critic for how many years and he doesn’t know enough to comment on what are standard accounting practices or not, or to even know who is right in the argument?  WTF? Why not – he is the Finance Critic after all. It was a bit of face-palm moment for me, since I know who is right and so do many others. And let me tell you something… it isn’t Falcon.

This is the first part of what I find so appalling in government in general. The Liberals change and appoint ministers with no experience to portfolios they know nothing about. They are simply walking, talking mouths for media moments and most know nothing about their files, relying heavily on the managers and advisors with each ministry for guidance. This explains much of why so many ministries are a mess. Each Minister who comes in feels the need to make their own mark on it, quite comparable to ten dogs all pissing on the same tree in the park to show they have been there.

The same thing happens in the NDP, however because they have been in opposition for so long, their selected critics have tended to remain the same for the most part. Will they begin swapping ministers like diapers if elected? One certainly hopes not, but I do hope we see a finance minister with more knowledge of accounting practices and finance than Ralston or we’ll all be up the creek again.

This leads me right back to the Auditor General’s audit, that spares no one in the legislature. What I find most compelling a day later, is how little examination or noise is being made of how the NDP has been complicit in this debacle. Kind of funny how on Facebook and twitter today, everyone – and my friends of NDP leaning in particular - are already sweeping this one under the rug. I will hope they all understand that is why I remain indendepent, to ask the hard questions of all politicians, regardless of party leaning. And there are questions.

We know, by and far, the Liberals have maintained a secretive, unethical and often corrupt manner of conducting government business, with no transparency. Despite our still unelected premier’s claims to bring open government back to the people, it hasn’t happened – and it won’t. There are far too many secrets lurking in cabinets and drawers, and too many documents that could end many a career to allow open government to happen while the Libs are in power.

We know that the NDP have indeed, in their position as Opposition, called out the Liberals many times on that secrecy and lack of transparency. However, after reading this audit, I have more questions than answers, on behalf of the people of this province.

Why, in the time the NDP have been in opposition, have they not made it known to the people of B.C., that the Legislature and the allegedly ‘public’ financial affairs of the MLA’s did not have to produce audited financial reports?  Did they not know? Did they not think it important? I think the people would have been quite impressed to hear Finance critic Ralston, or James, or Dix say: “Guess what folks? The Legislature financial affairs are a big secret! We don’t produce public reports for accountability! That has to change, the NDP are working on changing that!”

The auditors office recommended way back in 2007, that the Legislature provide  publicly available audited financial reports, and improve internal controls to prevent fraud and misappropriation of public funds…. and it never happened.  Why?

Let me be perfectly clear. This is no way a difference of accounting standards as Falcon is futily trying to claim. This is no way a minor financial difference of opinion.. this is a lack of the most basic accounting methods for expenditures of all MLA’s in the Legislature, Liberal and NDP. Simple grade 10 accounting trial balance kind of stuff, that there was not enough documentation to even allow the auditor to determine if the figures he did get are even right or not! He cannot state if there is anything missing or untowards going on because the accounting is so bad!

Among the issues reported on:

- lack of bank reconciliations ( pretty standard even for a mom and pop corner store) and those obtained were not done in a standard fashion. The Legislative Assembly did not even start preparing bank reconciliations until right before the 2009 audit and then failed to report millions in expenses for a prior year. Bank reconciliations are the easiest way to track cash, and cash expenditures and catch fraud or unusual cash transactions.

- expenses for one year, intentionally reclassified into another fiscal year to meet budget.

-  a repeated and consistent lack of supporting documents and receipts for MLA’s credit card travel expenses, a requirement in the Members handbook.

-lack of disclosure of MLA’s payments. There were approximately $2 million in transitional payments made to former MLA’s that were ‘misclassified’ and not included in the public disclosure of compensation, for MLA’s that had either chosen not to run in 2009, or were defeated in 2009.

- lack of inventory records for Legislative dining room or gift shop.

-No recording of appropriations and transfers between accounts for ministry of finance and the Legislative Assembly accounts. Accounting records showed one bank account had an overdraft of $133 million, another had a positive balance of $5.5 million.  In reality, bank statements showed both bank accounts had a ZERO balance.

I could go on, but frankly it makes me feel sick. You can read the full report in this PDF file: AuditorGeneralLegislativeReport

Long story short, all of our MLA’s, both Liberal and NDP, have failed the people who elected them to office by ensuring that first and foremost, they can keep their own financial affairs in order.

While the NDP have been howling and crying foul at the Liberals for lack of transparency and accountability, they have failed to bring resolution to the mess that was first revealed in 2007 by the auditors office.

They have failed to ensure they held the governing Liberals to account by ensuring their own elected members who served on the Legislative Assembly Management Committee followed up and enacted the recommended changes that give the most basic, the most basic, accountability at an MLA level.

For all intents and purposes, it appears they did nothing. Nothing until John Horgan had this statement yesterday:

“New Democratic Party house leader John Horgan, who also sits on the  committee, said he was “surprised and disappointed” by the audit findings.

“I think it’s an embarrassment for all members of the legislature. This isn’t  a partisan issue. This is an issue of our ability to manage our affairs and I  think the public, when they look at this, are going to shake their heads in  disappointment and that’s a slight for all of us,” he said.

Horgan also said he believes LAMC is “too secretive” and in need of a major  overhaul.

“The internal financial practices have been out of control. You hire people  to manage those affairs but then you have to manage those people. The governance  of the LAMC committee has failed in that regard,” he said.

“I think the politicians, myself included, need to take responsibility for  that.”

I have to say John, if you were doing your job on that committee, and the NDP members sitting on that committee going back to the 2007 report that should have been acted on, you wouldn’t be so surprised and disappointed. WTF do we have an opposition for ? What exactly do the NDP members who sit on this committee do? Either the NDP knew about this since 2007, and did nothing to try and rectify it.. or they admit they didn’t know about it and answer as to why they haven’t ensured they are accountable and transparent at the most basic level in government. It begins and ends with each MLA in that house. I find it unfathomable that the NDP did not know about how little public accountability was being managed and reported. Unfathomable.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I shouldn’t have expected more transparency from both sides. Maybe I thought the NDP were more on the ball, more involved in getting to the truth in government than this. I started wondering who was keeping track of government business when I wrote this post on some questionable credit card expenditures http://lailayuile.com/2012/03/08/government-credit-card-purchases-show-everything-but-fiscal-discipline/

But although I and other bloggers – (the brilliant Blog Borg Collective, who has written extensive posts on the Enron like accounting used in the BC government) - have known for quite a while that the books were cooked, I think I speak for all when I say that this report was far more revealing than anticipated.

Although I admittedly could be called a cynic at times, personally I am incredibly disappointed by this. More importantly, I am disappointed for the people of B.C., who are running out of both time, and options.  We’ve been lied to, again and again, by our government. It’s not complicated, it’s about respect. The deceit is chronic, systematic and it’s bloody sickening to have these self-serving politicians lie to our faces with such a straight face that you know they either are completely insane… or they completely believe, with absolute and cold certainty… that we are all a bunch of idiots.

I think this latest report is going to show many people it’s all just a big game based on not much more than politics without principle.

Unfortunately, it’s the people who always end up losing. That’s why I’d like to propose a challenge to each and every MLA in Victoria to publicly and fully reveal their expenditures and expenses to the public. On their sites,or in the press, and I’ll  gladly post them here as well should anyone take the challenge.

Credit card expenses, constituency expenditures and and other payments issued to them or their offices from public accounts.

Anything less is lip service.

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57 Responses to Politics without principle makes hypocrisy a governing force in the Legislative Assembly.

  1. Kim says:

    We need to see some Justice. In Nova Scotia today another elected official was convicted of Fraud and Breach of Trust. No punishment was meted out.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/07/27/ns-hurlburt-sentencing.html

    • Laila says:

      I do hope all the NDP MLA’s reveal all, but I am not holding my breathe on either party. Sad, I have admired many NDP MLA’s, and I hope nothing untowards is revealed,but the truth has to be out there.

    • nonconfidencevote says:

      No punishment was meted out?
      For the fraudulent misappropriation of aprox $25,000 in taxpayers funds(peanuts in the BC scope of things “allegedly” fraudulent) the judge and the party did the following.
      The Nova Scotia MLA was kicked out of caucus in disgrace.
      He was sentenced to a year of house arrest.
      He was ordered to repay all funds stolen.
      He now has a criminal record so any holidays to the US are now kaput.

      All that for a measely $25k

      Perhaps we should import some Nova Scotia judges to sit on the BC bench for some impartial trials????????

      Excellent article Laila. Keep up the good work!

      • nonconfidencevote says:

        I also forgot to mention, 5 other Nova Scotia MLA’s are awaiting trial for similar fraudulent expense billings…….

        BC Crown prosecutors take note………

  2. Ken Paisley says:

    Great post Laila though I believe you missed pointing a finger or rather a handful at the bureaucrats who ultimately enable corrupt financial reporting regardless who is in power. These are the guys whom are paid the most handsomely fees for their expertise and we have to pay them the huge dollars so they stick around. The cream of crop don’t you know. The same paid clowns that took an oath above all to serve the public interest. Nothing will change until we hear the clank of cell gates and I’m not holding my breath.

    • Laila says:

      Thanks Ken. True enough, but still, I think the people expect more, and deserve more from whatever party is in Opposition. We expect this from the libs, and if the NDP aren’t all over it, what chance do the people have for accountability?

      • Ken Paisley says:

        Accountability yes but we need full spectrum accountability and don’t get me wrong I’m not excusing the NDP at all. What we need is a full audit by a independent cutthroat efficiency expert targeting the upper bureaucracy. 30-60-90 these incompetents and fire them with no golden handshake. I’m still waiting for any politician to acknowledge we need a thorough house cleaning and they are the person for the job but I can dream.

        • Laila says:

          I totally agree with this Ken, but I would like to see it come from the MLA’s we elected,rather than an outsider, although I think Doyle has provided more than enough fodder to see a few heads rolling. Bu did we hear Horgan call for some resignations? No. Did we hear the NDP leader call for anything at all? Nada. And of course, the Liberals need a shot of truth with the denial martini they are all drinking tonight..lol..

    • We're sunk says:

      To my dismay, it was Trudeau who politicized the Civil Service. Up until then Senior bureaucrats really did try to do their best to ensure politicians made decisions based on the facts…both pro and con. I worked for Cabinet Ministers 3 + decades ago. Back then most politicians were also cut from a far different cloth than now. While there were always MPs or MLAs who were opportunists and less than honest…..it sure wasn’t like today. Back then a man’s word or hand shake meant something and even stood up in a court of law anywhere in Canada. Try that today. All of Canadian society has degenerated and has come about through manipulation and resocializing. We are now paying the price, an inteneded result.

      • Laila says:

        Great observation,and love your handle! It does feel a bit like we are going under with this mess out now. I think we need a strong group of intelligent, passionate, qualified independents to band together for the next election. People who do not have to tow the party line and keep quiet when they are told, in particular when something is wrong.

        • Susan Low says:

          Hi Laila,
          Great blog post. I just want to speak up because I’ve decided that I can’t STAND the nonsense that is passing for “government” anymore, so I’ve decided to run for MLA next year. I can’t do it alone (and I see the fate that many independents meet, especially first-timers) so I have opted to join the Green Party and run under their banner. The #1 thing that mattered to me in choosing the Green Party is that they don’t have a “toe the party line” requirement and expect all their candidates to vote and speak with their conscience. So there is an alternative to the BC Libs and NDPs. There is hope!

          • Laila says:

            Way to go Susan! I enjoy greatly seeing intelligent women enter politics with a credible background of experience to back up their goals, regardless of political leaning. Good luck to you and I will watch with interest to see how you do. Great site! Great direction in your personal goals! I agree it does take a strong candidate with name recognition and a sizeable war chest to succeed as an independent, but I think it can be done. ; )

    • Laila says:

      Great post!! Way to go Bob!!

    • DougL says:

      Wait a sec!! Wasn’t Bob part of the liberal govt? Did he release any financial statements? Pointing fingers is easy shmeasy . What we need is someone who takes their responsibility to the citizens seriously and then release any info on their own. As far as I know there’s nothing stopping any MLA from posting their credit card purchases and constituency records online.Did Bod do this?

      • Laila says:

        No, Bob Simpson was an NDP MLA. They kicked him out because he openly criticized Carole James leadership on a community website in Williams Lake. He does post his travel expenses and has for some time, and is going to post his other expense now too, for even more transparency. Frankly, if everything is in order, there is no reason for any MLA, NDP, Liberal or independent NOT to do so. Those who fail to take up the challenge, which I see has not only been made by myself, but also the Canadian Taxpayers Federation,could be giving the perception that there is something to hide.

  3. Steve Cooley says:

    The Legislative Management Committee is chaired by the Liberals, it meets when the Liberals want it to, its adjenda is determined by the Liberals and the Liberals have the majority on it. The only thing the NDP are guilty of is not bringing it to the media’s attention that this committee is a farce.

    • Laila says:

      Nice try. There are NDP members on that committee. What the hell have they been doing Steve? The people rely on the NDP to hold this government to account, and when they can’t meet the same standard they expect from the Liberals, it is a sorry day in BC.

      No excuse is better than a bad one. This is a bad, bad excuse for a long, long period of unaccountability. How long have the NDP been in opposition? Are you telling me they didnt know or think the public deserved to know that no reporting was being done for this long?

  4. Stuart says:

    I’m with you Laila, often what the NDP says leaves me little room for hope. I emailed Adrian Dixa long time ago to see what his thoughts were on Gordon Campbell getting the Order of BC medal and he emailed me back to say he supported it. I was floored! But now at least I know the whole system has to be changed. All of them have been there far too long.

    • Laila says:

      You are not alone. I have been privy to many emails from Dix to a number of British Columbians looking for answers who took the time to email him…. and forwarded the rather uninspiring and sometimes downright shocking responses to me.

      I agree, the entire system has to be changed. What is striking to me, as someone who has worked in both the corporate world and conversely, the not for profit sector… is that if this had occurred in a public company, of any magnitude, there would be mass severences, and possibly charges. It is simply not acceptable by any standard to operate any business… and yes the legislature is a business by all accounts.. in this manner.

  5. Mike Summers says:

    And that is exactly why I and others, are so adamant that we need ABSOLUTE CONTROL of politicians.
    Politicians, of ALL stripes, come out election after election promising ‘GREATER ACCOUNTABILITY’. Except there is none. From anybody. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Semantics to confuse the electorate.
    Because most people think that accountability means you have some control.
    It doesn’t and we don’t.

    We will get nowhere in this province and this country, until we get control of the political processes.
    Until we can UNDO politicians handiwork, and TELL politicians what they ARE and ARE NOT going to do, they will continue with the Bullfight. And we will chase the cape until we are dead.
    If anyone doesn’t know what I mean, look me up on facebook.

    And look at this page on Facebook and join. IT’S FREE AND NONPARTISAN.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/BC-Citizens-for-Political-Reform/254363421344655

    • Laila says:

      Excellent link. This report and the NDP’s relative silence on it, speaks volumes to even NDP members who have emailed me privately for fear of expressing their opinions here ” in case it gets back to Dix.” …

      Just so everyone knows… this is not an NDP site. It is an independent site. I have never been, nor can I imagine myself to be, a member of a political party. I am in favour of good, truly honest government, and I believe there can be achieved a balance between the economic needs of the province and social needs. We have unfortunately been governed by a party that favoured corporations before social responsibility.. and the two are joined at the hip when it comes to government. You can comment freely here unless you are scum-sucking corporate leech associated with ripping off the public purse… then I will out you to the crowd..lol

  6. Drew says:

    I don’t believe this is a problem for Ralston to say he doesn’t have enough knowledge to express an opinion on this issue. He is not an accountant. Most of the MLA’s and MP’s are not professional like teachers, engineers or health care nurses and doctors, etc. And they make many poor decisions. If he/she did speak it would just be baffle-gab. That is what most politicians do, just give us a stream of words that are non-functional. For example, just look at our Premier Clark and how ridiculous her comments are. We should be thankful to Ralston for his honesty.

  7. katharina heitzmann says:

    bruce ralston has his own practice as a lawyer in surrey. drew – do you not consider a lawyer a professional.

    • katharina heitzmann says:

      having his own law practice, bruce must hire an accountant. perhaps he should just ask him/her

      • Laila says:

        This is what I mean. Bruce is a lawyer. He is not an accountant nor is he in finance. I am sure among the membership in the NDP there are highly knowledgable people who could be recruited for positions like this, in these areas… but that is another criticism I have with the NDP. Their candidate selection process is sometimes greatly lacking….

        I would expect, that after so many years in this file, as critic, Ralston should know the basics of finance, including the standard accounting practices so that he can comment with knowledge and confidence. This left me lacking, and I am not an accountant..

  8. Julie says:

    This is why your site is so good Laila. Who ever is at fault is exposed.

    I think BC people are all weary of, corruption, blatant lies and deceit. However lies and deceit from politicians, are permitted in Canada. Meaning Harper rewarded Campbell, for doing his dirty work for him. Now Carson the convicted criminal Harper had working for him, is now being charged by the RCMP. Harper is claiming innocence, of knowing Carson’s criminal past???? I am now too jaded, to believe a word Harper says.

    I feel, there are very few politicians in Canada, worth the powder to blow them to hell. This country is a, huge abyss of corruption. A dreadful let down, of our country and the people.

    • Laila says:

      Thank you Julie…

      I agree… and weary is a wonderful term for what most feel.. I personally am still in outraged, weary only occasionally about voter complacency. I do believe the truth is our light… we only have to be ready to see it.

  9. Erik says:

    It takes no amount of time to know what is morally right. All of the MLAs have shown themselves unwilling to risk a public statement for fear of putting off even one voter. I think the MLA crowd is more concerned with their paychecks and pensions to take the smallest chance of putting their job at risk.

    The party focus is so narrow because they believe that only by solidarity they will gain government. They must know that the rest of us understand this and so hold all of them in contempt because to comply with the wishes of the control group they abandon the interests of their consituents.

  10. Canadianbud says:

    Well said Laila, thank you.
    I have had to many cuss words in my posts as of late which, unfortunately, does detract from the article and issues at hand, as there’s just so much shit going on with abuse of money and privilege from every aspect of government and corporation.

    But, you’re so correct about the opposition, and how they couldn’t have NOT known about this. Just gotta know that they’re all buddies inside when the cameras are off, patting each others backs and making sure the graft gets around.
    All of them are criminals especially our despicable excuse for a stand-in, unelected buffoon (can women be buffoon’s? Or is that a masculine thing? lol) of a premier who is allowing this taxpayer money trough feeding frenzy to continue. She knows, as has every “finance” minister who’s had a look at the “real” books.

    And Horgan.. the guy has no class. To play it off that he had know idea but now like he’s so sorry and repentant.. I just want to gag. All the politicians need to go, without pensions because they sure as hell haven’t been doing their jobs.

    Time for a complete shake-down starting at the top, and hopefully the next election we can have people who will do what they say (and are qualified to say it), rather than saying anything to do nothing but take our money.
    Any politician sponsored by red bull, (for example) DOES NOT get my vote. Capicé

    • Laila says:

      Bud…. you crack me up! You really do and that is a good thing in so many ways… .

      you are bang on with Horgan. ” I didn’t know they didn’t give it to us!!” line doesnt play with me either. I take him with a massive, chunky grain of salt, considering how he portrays in media op’s of late. Slightly showing excess – reminds me of my instinct about him, going back to his previous business. http://lailayuile.com/2011/01/20/the-best-thing-about-this-group-of-candidates-is-that-only-one-of-them-can-win-will-rogers/

      He is part of the ‘inner circle’.

      You want change? You want passion? With the same old inner circle in charge? Or do you want something to make you cheer in the streets because you have real, HONEST, government?

      • Canadianbud says:

        LOL, I’m glad I could give you reason to smile or laugh Laila, my pleasure ;-)

        This country, not just BC, needs a group of people very much like you who values honesty, transparency and takes trust to heart rather than pocketbook.
        Who puts value and integrity into their work and who speaks WITH the voter and not TO the voter.
        Who does what’s right because they know the truth of it, and not kowtow to the corporate “sponsors” (let’s call them what they really are, the “true” leaders behind the scenes) in order to facilitate personal gains as backroom deals have done NOTHING to benefit the general public. Or, they’d make those meetings open instead of on camera, as camera’s can be “fixed” (something I’m sure they have experts to tamper with) so pimples and warts aren’t showing, and editing out the hyena laughter when talking about the taxpayer.
        I’m glad though, that you’re not on “one side or the other” as there really shouldn’t be any fences in this field. It’s suppose to be for All Canadians, not just the party affiliated people.

        All parties should be acting the same way, with integrity, responsibility and the transparency that we’ve been demanding since the Trudeau days.
        It seems every party since, that has taken the stand has in their own fashion, ripped off the Canadian Taxpayer. And with each election they get bolder and greedier.
        The politicians right now are more concerned about their ability to “get in and get some” before the getting is gone (that being untracked access to taxpayer money) than actually doing anything they spout off as political mandate.

        I mean really, who the hell decided that the government DOESN’T need to keep books on how much they’re spending or receiving? That just does not compute to me. That’s just LUDICROUS.
        Basically, that gives whatever party that’s “in” the ability to NOT BE HONEST.
        No freaking wonder they hack on each other like they do, spin media to represent only the “good” intent that they have in order to be elected.
        They just want the money, the perks, the benefits, the “per diems” (yep, still not liking you at all Ida “chomp chomp” Chong), and nothing else.

        How many politicians can we say actually do the job they’ve either said they were going to do, or have done what’s needed?
        1?
        2 maybe?
        Out of how many thousands of people?

        Sigh,
        lol, ok, I’m leaving it at that, it’s another day, and it’s gorgeous outside, gonna go catch me some rays before they figure out how to tax that too.

        THAT, to me, is what needs to be changed.

  11. Laila says:

    Honestly, in the NDP’s situation, I don’t think it is voter that they are worried about as much as their zest to get to power. You are bang on.

    Even those NDP MLA’s that I thought would ante up, are betting on the weekend to let this all pass…. A moment to remember. I am hoping they prove me wrong, and some reveal all on Monday.

  12. Niagara52 says:

    Thanks Laila (??).. for being so non-partisan on the issue, and yet (apparently) as I read your article and follow-up comments to many of the reader comments, not being quite as non-partisan as you claim with the NDP.
    I agree, no one is off the hook here as the Auditor General’s report suggests, but who is in government at this time, ask yourself???
    Apparently, Palmer and Baldrey are going after the NDP entirely on this one (what a surprise there). But you???? Ms. Non-Partisan? If you can say, and I quote:

    “We know, by and far, the Liberals have maintained a secretive, unethical and often corrupt manner of conducting government business, with no transparency. Despite our still unelected premier’s claims to bring open government back to the people, it hasn’t happened – and it won’t. There are far too many secrets lurking in cabinets and drawers, and too many documents that could end many a career to allow open government to happen while the Libs are in power”.

    I agree with the above. But overall, just re-read your own article and the comments to other comments, and I have to say you come across as having totally weighed in heavier on the NDP on this one, Ms. Non-Partisan. Yes, they are in opposition (IN OPPOSITION I repeat) .. they should be doing a better job. However, this audit came about in 2007 I think it was said. Who is the current government in power today and back in 2007, and since 2001???? Who should bear the greatest responsibility? I would be saying the same if this was 1996 about the NDP when they were in Gov’t and such an audit came about.
    But thanks Ms. Non-Partisan for your apparent non-biased feelings towards the NDP.

    • Laila says:

      Clearly, you haven’t read my blog for very long and clearly you have missed the 100 reasons the BC Liberals need to go page…. and yes,I have come down hard on the NDP and rightfully so. I happen to believe the Opposition should do more than simply be #4 on the definitions list below…..
      op·po·si·tion
         [op-uh-zish-uhn]
      noun
      1. the action of opposing, resisting, or combating.

      2. antagonism or hostility.

      3. a person or group of people opposing, criticizing, or protesting something, someone, or another group.

      4. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) the major political party opposed to the party in power and seeking to replace it.

      5. the act of placing opposite, or the state or position of being placed opposite.

      I have heard some really bad excuses as to why the NDP did nothing, or said nothing, all these years. They didnt know, didnt see the report,they are tired and worn out, they never get fair media attention anyways, it’s not their job to do accounting, it’s raining… you get the drift.

      Frankly, Barisoff needs to go. He should be fired. And that entire committee should be the first to show their expenses.We expect this crap from the Liberals, we don’t need silence or excuses from the NDP to go along with it.No documentation for travel expenses? You telling me MLA’s and their staff dont know they need those? What about other expenses?

      Horgan should be first in line to reveal all. Somehow I don’t think that is going to happen.

  13. e.a.f. says:

    I know this is a serious column, and I’m sorry but I couldn’t stop laughing. You see the lower level of the government, i.e. the workers, they have to provide receipts, etc. for everything. I have never investigated the expenses of the MLAs but I am not at all surprized by the auditor’s report. Now under normal circumstances you’d find all MLAs & their staff working like bees were on their butt, to get the information out there, asap. Not here. the aura of “corruption” has been there for so long nobody really cares any more. O.K. one, did, he posted it.

    The lack of receipts is not a good thing but I don’t think there will be any more work to improve things. Now if Dix were smart he’d send all of his MLAs a little note this evening telling them they had better have their books in order come tuesday, with receipts or be prepared to reimburse the government for monies spent but not accounted for. Of course that would require leading by example but it needs to be done. If you can’t deal with the small stuff how are you going to deal with the big stuff.

    People are so frequently concerned about “the big picture” they forget about what supports that “big picture”. There is also the problem of people like to think they are all about “the big picture”. That is because they don’t understand the “little picture”.

    It was interesting when they did the t.v. article on Patison & how he worked. It was all about accountability. He himself was out their with his senior staff checking everything. That is how he stays profitable. Now I government isn’t a business but it should be run in a business like manner when it comes to the handling of other peoples’ money.

    When Revenue Canada comes knocking at your door to do an audit, they want receipts, they want to know a lot of things. As a minimum the legislature & those who work there need to meet some basic standards & until they do, they shouldn’t get any money, including salaries. Crunchie chrisite can either pay for her ticket home or start walking.

    • Laila says:

      Indeed eaf, you are bang on. I suspect there is some serious back-tracking going on right in some MLA’s offices. And interesting enough, I was just going through and catching up my emails to find this from a colleague:

      ” It occurred to me that there might be another angle not yet deployed.

      In all of the years of picking up walking around money and not covering the practice with receipts, showing the purchase of $17 glasses of orange juice and limousines at $500 a day or more from places like New York, the offending members did not declare and pay income taxes for financial benefits.

      I would guess there was a lot of undeclared extra income the tax man would want to know about.”

      : )

  14. bernadettekeenan says:

    If Bruce Ralston is finance Critic and doesn’t know basic financial procedures how hard would it be to find some one who could teach him? It sort of amounts to recording all income and expenditures and making sure that money in the bank = income – expenditures. Things have to balance. Oh it is also a good idea to have more money coming in than going out, but the Liberals do not seem to grasp this one. I hope after this no one believes a thing they say about budgets any more. They lay down the law for school boards and are nickle and dimeing all sorts of programs to get some kind of money to make up for all the huge expenditures they have made for pavement projects like the Port Mann and South Fraser Freeway, but reality is they do not seem to grasp the basics of financial managment and Bruce Ralston Finance Critic has been pretty quiet about it all. He ought to have been screaming and calling them out over it. This is our money going down the tubes and being wasted.

  15. workforfun says:

    After more than a decade of witnessing what the BC Liberals have done to British Columbia ( I would like to call it damage and destruction) I am not at all surprised at what has happened in the legislature over MLA’s expenses etc. I should also acknowledge that it is happening with both political parties – BC Liberals and the BC NDP.

    It does apear as if the MLA’s are deliberately avoiding having to account for the monies they are spending ! I wonder if formal complaints being filed, would make a difference. Or better still, ananymous tips to Canada Revenue Agency complaining that the BC MLA’s are receiving monies that are by and large, undeclared on the tax returns. I am sure CRA would want to follow through with audits so they could rake in some extra tax dollars!

    Food for thought for anyone that might want to get to the MLA’s for not representing their constituents and their concerns.

    Thanks

  16. islandcynic says:

    Doyle’s largest issue is a question over how the province records natural gas royalty credits earned by producers.’

    …taken from your posted link to the VanSun article. So the issue that I see that Ralston was commenting on was the way these nat gas royalty credits are recorded. Do you know anything about this particular accounting difference that Mr. Doyle was referring too? Perhaps the Libs use future profits to show a lower deficit?

    • Laila says:

      That is one of Doyle’s issues,yes, I don’t see that it is the largest issue.It is akin to how the Liberals report P3′s.. they do not include them as debt, but rather as contractual obligation – each year amount owing shows as debt in that specific year,but not the total. If the total amount of money owing on P3 contractual obligations was included as debt.. wow.. our budget would be far different. I have always use this explanation to enable people to understand it: Compare a P3 to your mortgage. You get the house now, and pay over 25 years, owing say… 450,000 dollars. If you applied for credit elsewhere and had to report your total debt, you would report the 450,000 dollar mortgage because you owe the entire amount and although it is an asset, the debt is still a liability.

      With a P3 project, the province gets the highway/hospital/ whatever now.. and like a mortgage, we pay back the private partner often over about 20- 25 years,the amount owing for the project and a hefty profit too, comparable to highway robbery interest if you ask me. So, although the province still owes that money,they dont count that as debt for ‘reporting purposes’… otherwise the deficit would be so freaking large it would be unfathomable. They report it as a contractual obligation, and the amount owing for 2012,only shows as debt for 2012… they wouldnt include the other 20 years in this years accounting.

      But that reminds me. Still havent heard where the NDP stand on P3′s….

  17. Pingback: The BC Liberals and the BC NDP in Bed Together…Counting Your Money, Hiding YOUR Money: A Public Disgrace | Alex G. Tsakumis

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