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Wednesday, 23 October 2013 14:22

No end to the ‘political pork’ at the trough

Written by  Dale Ferrel
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Nothing fires up my malevolent verbosity like the sententious, capricious noise coming from a politician flogging the system repeatedly, well beyond anything fair or reasonable.


Sixty-year-old Senator Mac Harb may be the “King of the Hill.”
Caught misappropriating more than $231,000 in Senate expenses, he threatened legal action.
When the facts overwhelmed him and he realized he was going to spend a lot on legal fees, only to make a fool of himself, he dropped the bullying tactics and paid back the money.
He had the audacity to tell the media he was relieved to step down after 28 years of public service — three as an Ottawa City Councillor, 15 as a Member of Parliament and more than 10 as a senator.
The only reason he resigned was it allowed him to keep his pension(s) and perks. That process has been labelled the “Lavigne Manoeuvre,” initiated by ex-Liberal Senator Raymond Lavigne, now doing prison time for his illegal spending activities.
Let’s hope Conservative Jon Williamson’s private member’s Bill C-518, taking away pensions of any federal politician convicted of stealing from the taxpayers gets rapid approval on all fronts.  
Harb showed absolutely no remorse, yapping that the process was not fair according to “his” rules. Also he was entitled to due process.
He seems sure the whole thing is the fault of a review board with a superior number of conspiring Conservatives on it.
The poor, misunderstood man should get more than $200,000 per year in pensions as estimated by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
If he makes age 80 we get to pay him more than $4 million plus indexing or other perks as his palatial rewards for his “wonderful” service to Canadians. Doesn’t that warm the cockles of your hearts?
Two more things about this disturbing incident leave me angry.
The first is the way the left-wing CBC bombarded us for weeks on end with the bad deeds of Conservative Senators while down playing Hab’s indiscretions to the minimum. Same biased behaviour for Liberal Senator Raymond Lavigne, now doing jail time.
Our Canadian corporate culture of entitlement closely follows that of our American neighbours. A report from The U.S.A.’s Institute of Policy Studies co-authored by Sarah Anderson provides some  frightening facts.
In the last five years, 40 per cent of the highest paid CEO’s bombed as responsible, productive managers. Twenty-two per cent were bailed out by taxpayers. Eight per cent bought their way out of fraud related issues. Another eight per cent were fired for non-performance.
The latter also received on average, $48 million each for their incompetence. Like corporate Senators, they decided their own rewards. So much for the myth that in order to attract good managers, we must offer huge salaries and guaranteed parting rewards at the expense of shareholders.
Stock options and restricted shares only encourage stupid, risky decisions to boost stock prices. 
Some law and order rules and regulations to correct this dichotomy between the corporate elite and their shareholders is definitely overdue.
Our politicians must ignore corporate lobby groups trying to whitewash this deplorable behaviour and make things right.  

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