Prime Time Crime

 

(Prime Time Crime exclusive Nov. 27, 2005)

Allan Cutler From Whistleblower to Conservative candidate

 Drawing by Andrew Andersen

By Leanne Jones

I asked Mr. Cutler if he was running as a kind of reward for having blown the whistle that lead to the Gomery commission.

He replied, ”I was asked a similar question regarding reward on a radio show. In fact I “blew” the whistle in 1996. All that has happened since then is testimony regarding my attempts in 1996 to expose the wrongdoing. Justice Gomery, in his report, escalated my profile.  I was not anticipating the kind words that he had to say about me or that I was the only one who tried to stop the scandal.

Between my testimony at Public Accounts and the Gomery Commission my profile moved from that of a private individual to a public figure. I am still not completely at ease with this change. You never know where life takes you. The opportunity to make a difference is too important to pass up. We are now presented with a unique opportunity. We can elect a government that has committed itself, as the first order of business to bring legislation that will have an enormous impact on the ethics of government. It will change the culture of entitlements.  This is an opportunity no Canadian (in my opinion) should pass up.”

Stephen Harper has already said that his first piece of legislation as Prime Minister will be to introduce a new Federal Accountability Act designed to end the influence of big money in Ottawa.

Under this act, no public official will be entitled to use taxpayer’s money for their own purposes. “We propose to clean up government,” said Harper. “Government exists to serve Canadians: government must serve public interest, not personal interests.”

Some of the measure to be introduced, the Act will change the way business is done in Ottawa by:  

  • Banning corporate and union donations, while limiting personal donations to $1,000.

  • Overhauling lobbying laws and banning all ministers, ministerial staffers or senior public officials from lobbying government for five years after leaving their post. 

  • Give more power to the Registrar of Lobbyists, Ethics Commissioner Information Commissioner and the Auditor General.

  • Give the Auditor General a mandate to conduct a complete review of the more than $30 billion in annual federal grants, contributions and contracts.

The Federal Accountability Act” could very well motivate Canadians into doing the right thing so they can be proud of a clean government once more.

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