Thursday, January 12, 2006

Corruption on the waterfront tied to Ianno

Breaking news from the Globe and Mail this morning. Federal officials failed to publish the most critical findings of an audit into how public money has been spent by the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Initiative. The decision not to release these findings was made during a federal election in which government transparency and ethics has been a major campaign focus. Several of the companies that were improperly awarded waterfront contracts are large donors to the Trinity-Spadina Liberal riding association, thus linking Tony Ianno to the corruption.

The TWRI has spent almost $30-million since 2001. One of the recommendations of the audit team that was not included in the published report was that there should be an investigation as to "whether there was unauthorized usage of funds" involving some waterfront contracts.

The public report noted that two contracts were signed after work had already begun and that 10 contracts were awarded without competition even though they were above the $75,000 level that requires an open bid.

According to the Globe and Mail:

The public version of the internal audit by Human Resources Skills Development Canada also omits a chart that lists the 10 sole source contracts that were awarded in violation of the rule requiring public bids. The document shows some were well above the $75,000 maximum.

They include $2.2-million to Goodmans LLP for legal services; $1.7-million to KPMG for "procurement, financial reporting and bookkeeping services," including a contract signed Nov. 25, 2004, for work done between Sept. 1, 2003, and Aug. 31, 2004; and $1-million to McMillan Binch LLP for corporate legal services.

Several of the companies on the list were large donors to the national Liberal Party and riding associations of current and former Liberal MPs in the Greater Toronto Area, including Tony Ianno, Bill Graham, Carolyn Bennett, Bonnie Brown, Albina Guarnieri, Elinor Caplan and David Collenette.

I can hardly wait to watch Lazy Tony try to weasel his way out of this at upcoming debates!


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