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And the winner is…?

With all the scandals and controversies enveloping the Conservative Party of late, my friend Danielle did a blogpost which half-jokingly asked which Conservative Party member would be investigated next, and she even put a poll up for people to vote on who they thought would be next.

There are some good choices there, but if the Liberals have their way, there is a Conservative Minister who is not listed in Danielle’s poll who would be their next choice for getting investigated, and that is Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, for requesting information from the Canadian Wheat Board President that the Wheat Board President refused twice on grounds it would violate the Privacy Act:

Liberal Agriculture Critic Wayne Easter is calling on two federal watchdogs to investigate Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz’s requests for confidential information about individuals who market through the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB). “A senior Minister of the Harper government has asked the president of the Canadian Wheat Board to violate a federal act, not once but twice. This demands investigation and the Canadian people deserve answers,” said Mr. Easter, who has written to both the federal Ethics Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner asking them to examine these actions.

And what exactly was the Agriculture Minister asking for specifically?

The request was made in connection with two letters to the president of the Canadian Wheat Board, Mr. Greg Arason, in which the Minister demanded information about individuals participating in a pilot program for organic wheat marketing. Mr. Arason refused both requests, saying doing so would be in violation of the federal Privacy Act. In one letter, the Minister persisted in his request, stating, “I once again ask that you provide me with the file information on those producers who participated, including contact information and location within the designated area.”

We all know the extreme dislike that the Cons. have for the Canadian Wheat Board. This appears to be another example of it. They’ve already fired one president of the Wheat Board for refusing to support their position on deregulation of barley; I wonder if the new president – whom they appointed – is also in trouble, for refusing to give out information even if it meant violating a federal statute. Let’s wait and see if those 2 watchdogs take up that case.

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