Conservatives have been putting pressure on Paul Martin all week for standing up for David Dingwall and defending his severance.
However, even some Liberals are questioning Paul Martin’s defence of the gum-expensing former Liberal cabinet minister:
“I’m ticked off and so are my constituents. My constituents are ticked off about the fact that somebody would put in an expense claim for $1.79 for gum. Give me a break. This is ridiculous,” said Joe Fontana (Minister of Labour). (Calgary Herald, October 6, 2005)
“Hell no. How can you support someone who has put in a claim for $1.79 for gum?” — Joe Fontana (Windsor Star, October 6, 2005)
“If he thinks he deserves a severance package after having quit, then he should sue for it. I don’t think he should be entitled to it,” said Fontana. “He needs to answer for some of those ridiculous expenses.” (Windsor Star, October 6, 2005)
Labour Minister Joe Fontana said he’s getting an earful from constituents angry that Dingwall could get a severance package after claiming $750,000 in expenses last year. “It’s not that the government supported what he’s done, hell no,” Fontana said. “How can you support someone who’s put in a claim for $1.79 for gum?” (Toronto Sun, October 6, 2005)
“The feeling in caucus is very strong . . . he should not get any severance,” said Liberal MP Samite Bulte (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage), national caucus chair. “People are concerned because it destroys our credibility as wanting to clean up the problems. We need to keep assuring Canadians that we intend to keep our word in this.” (Calgary Herald, October 6, 2005)
Bulte (Parkdale-High Park) said most Grits feel that a golden handshake will tarnish their leader’s reputation for cleaning up dirty business practices like those which led to the sponsorship scandal. (Winnipeg Sun, October 6, 2005)
Bulte said unless Martin cleans the mess up, Liberals will pay for it at the polls in the upcoming federal election. “Is the Dingwall affair hurting us? Yes, it is,” she said. (Toronto Sun, October 6, 2005)
Both Bulte and Whitby-Oshawa MP Judi Longfield said Martin should force Dingwall to sue for a golden parachute. (Winnipeg Sun, October 6, 2005)
“I don’t believe he deserves a severance package and if he feels he does he can, take it to court and let the courts decide,” Whitby-Oshawa MP Judi Longfield (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour) said. (Toronto Sun, October 6, 2005)
Liberal MP Francoise Boivin (Gatineau), a former labour lawyer and now chair of the Liberal Women’s Caucus, said she was puzzled by the reported legal advice suggesting there are laws requiring Mr. Dingwall be paid severance. “If someone in the Justice Department can send me a copy of this law, it would be my pleasure to read it.” Ms. Boivin said she hoped the government would get something more thorough than a verbal opinion before making any severance payment to Mr. Dingwall. (Globe and Mail, October 6, 2005)
Toronto Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport) slammed Dingwall for double dipping. “He’s got an MP’s pension. He was in here for about 16 or 17 years. We can’t double dip . . . period, full stop,” said Karygiannis. (Calgary Herald, October 6, 2005)
“My constituents are telling me we shouldn’t (pay a severance).” — Karygiannis (Halifax Daily News, October 6, 2005)
These Liberal MPs are questioning Paul Martin’s dubious claims that David Dingwall deserves a severence for quitting after fleecing the taxpayer. Some are even questioning McCallum’s silly claims that there are “laws” that are forcing the taxpayer to pay Dingwall.
Paul Martin is more interested in keeping Dingwall happy (for whatever reason) than for Standing up for Canadians.
The Conservative Party exposed and now continue to question this unwarranted and suspicious payoff. Now some Liberals are following the Conservative Party’s lead.