Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dwight's Integrity Act Dilemma

Dwight better train his assistant better. His unfortunate remarks quoted in the Star could prove costly for Dwight's political career.

Who knows, if this happens again, Windsor might not have a Minister of Finance at the Cabinet table any longer as I show in the video below.

I am sure that Councillor Gignac who was so angry at Dwight at last week's Council meeting for not supporting a tree project and the Mayor who allowed her to speak at Council will be thrilled about that. That will teach Duncan for saying "THE MAYOR IS WRONG. THE MAYOR IS WRONG." Eddie may get his revenge after all.

I expect that the Windsor Star made an error. Dwight Duncan's usual spokesperson, Steve Erwin, must have been away from the office the other day and the reporter spoke to Steve Urkel instead. There is no other explanation that I can think of.

No Ministerial spokesperson would ever make the kind of comments that were made knowing that they could be reported.

If what Erwin, errrrrrr Urkel, said is correct then Dwight Duncan in my opinion may have severe problems under the Members' Integrity Act. If what was said is not correct, then Mr. Urkel may have to start looking for a new job since he put his Minister at risk.

Can you believe this comment:
  • "He can't publicly have a letter out there supporting a group in Windsor that wants funding for a project," said Erwin.

    He said Duncan can support the tree project privately, minister to minister, which he did with a letter to Training, Colleges and Universities Minister John Milloy.

Huh, you can breach a law of the Province of Ontario merely by doing something but in private. One law for you and me and another for a Minister of the Crown it seems. Didn't Mr. Urkel know that there is no public/private distinction under the Act?

  • "When it's a specific proposal for specific funding, he can't be seen to be influencing that," said Erwin."

Oh, he cannot be seen to be doing that, but if he does it privately as Duncan did-- "which he did with a letter to Training, Colleges and Universities Minister John Milloy"-- then it is okay in Mr. Urkel's world.

Then the ultimate line

  • "There's a reason why those rules are in place," he said."

Yes there is a reason for it but is not what Mr. Urkel said

  • "Otherwise, every minister would be lobbying for their own riding. That's political influence."

The Act is designed to prevent influence peddling. That is what is improper. And it is improper whether it was it is done publicly or privately, or whether the Member of the Legislature is a Cabinet Minister or a mere MPP.

I suspect that I know who's talking to their lawyers already about these comments after seeing them in print in the Star. That person might be concerned that his business was being adversely impacted illegally by decisions made in private ie "improperly to further another person's private interest." It looks like the City may be trying to set up a legal challenge to DRIC too after listening to the Councillors attack the new Sandra and Dwight letter.

I am sure that the Ombudsman will be very interested in this in respect of the Ministry's action in the WUC matter too. WeACT has raised the 2 Windsor Ministers' conversation with the Minister of Municipal Affairs before the terms of the whitewash WUC audit were determined.

If I was a member of the Opposition at Queen's Park, I would have a field day as well.

Quick Mr. Erwin, get back to the office and never leave again. Or else the following might happen to your boss.