<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d11857647\x26blogName\x3dM.K.+BRAATEN\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://mkbraaten.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://mkbraaten.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-662957104341791521', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Gone to california

Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Well, Im going on a vacation so I wont be posting till next monday...untill then, visit the links on the side of this page.

-m.k. braaten

Martin changes budget to suit NDP


So now that Martin changed the budget to try and stave off a collapse of his government, it shows us all that whenever Martin get's into trouble in the house, he will hand over some more money to the NDP.


CBC did NOT 'kill' audit story

I noticed that a post I wrote a couple days ago titled "CBC killed audit story'' received much attention as my traffic spiked considerably. However, I just wanted to make one thing clear, is that in my article, I never explicitly claimed that CBC killed the story. It was simply a bad and misleading headline for the story (hey it was late alright). In fact, it’s quite opposite, I just mentioned how they decided not to run with the story because they felt that it had already been reported and I thought otherwise.

What I did state is the reasons that I did not agree with them on the basis of what had been previously reported in the media and what was still available to report. Now my article did have a negative tone to it, mainly because of the headline, but in general I was just pointing out the fact that there were many angles that could have been reported that were not reported in the main stream news. This was simply my opinion, nothing more.

I felt I should write this post just to clear up any inferences the story created. Just to be absolutely clear, I have no proof, nor am I implying or stating that the CBC killed the story. I simply was stating that they figured the topic had already been extensively reported, and I figured otherwise.

It should be noted that this is a 'blog, not a news agency. So if any news sites link to my blog then they are responsible for what it contains.


Hypocrite?

If Martin wants to wait for the Gomery report so that Canadians can discern who did the wrong doings then why did he fire Alfonso Gagliano immediately?

Isn't this hypocritical?

I mean, to Alfonso Gagliano's credit, he wasn't charged with anything, yet he was fired.

Shouldn't have Martin waited untill the Gomery report before he fired Gagliano?

Also, if Mr. Martin didn't know about the sponsorship scandal, why did he cancel it immediately after becoming Prime Minister?


Words to live by

"You can't go stripping away piece by piece by piece of the budget.... If you engage in that exercise, it is an absolute sure formula for the creation of a deficit."

-Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, reacting to the Tories request for changing the budget.

Funny thing is, he said this a few weeks ago...I doubt he's saying that today.


Amusing

Monday, April 25, 2005

Oh these are just too funny:

http://www.madashell.ca

and

http://www.conservativelife.com/fiberals/


Gagliano questions Paul Martin, Earnscliffe

From the Canadian Press:

Gagliano wondered why the sponsorship inquiry did not investigate how Martin financed his own run for the Liberal leadership.

"Certain communications firms that were close to Mr. Martin, Earnscliffe to be exact, took in . . . millions of dollars," Gagliano said. Link


Quote of the day

"This government has made it easier for foreign-born strippers to get into this country and find work in their field than foreign-born doctors and MBAs," -Stephen Harper, Monday, April 25, 2005.


The New Dithers Party

I think we should all take the time to celebrate this new same sex union of MP's in our Parliament. Everyone, I am proud to introduce to you, this fine couple...Jack and Paul Dithers! Not only have they created a civil union, they are also amalgamating their parties and it is to be called The New Dithers Party. Now that they are together, they can now share the same goal: dithering.

You see, this marriage works out great. Jack Dithers can now dither on his views of what is and what isn't corruption so that he can further his socialist agenda, and Paul Dithers can dither on his fiscal principles so he can clamor to power. And since Paul Dithers realized that selling out to a socialist agenda is necessary in order to retain power, this relationship looks like a match made in heaven.

We all knew this was going to happen. I mean sure Jack has said some mean things to Martin but that’s what relationships are all about. Even though Jack Dithers said that the Liberal party has 'almost' lost its moral authority to govern, he never said that it actually had. After all, socialistic principles are far more important then punishing a corrupt party for its past, naughty, and perhaps even criminal actions.

But what about 'wallflower' Harper? Wasn’t Jack Dithers about to begin and 'alliance' with Harper? As of last week, it looked like Harper and Jack Dithers were going to vote non-confidence in Martin and send the country to the polls? Some say opposites attract so it wasn’t that unrealistic. But you have to wonder how Harper is taking this rejection. Although he acted like he didn't care he did seem to scoff at the new couple saying that "if [Martin] and [Jack] are going to make a deal, they are going to make a deal" and that there was "nothing" he could do about it.

But perhaps Jack Dithers got frustrated with Harper and his 'frigid' party? Perhaps he knew in the long term that Harper wouldn't 'put out' enough concessions to the NDP? Maybe when Jack saw Paul Dithers 'bend over' so easily for all of the Atlantic premiers over the Atlantic accord, he figured that he would have a better chance of 'gettin some' power if he created a long term relationship. And hey even better for Paul, Jack likes to share! He even wants Martin to put out for his Liberal cousin...Dalton Mcguinty!

M.K. Braaten

Weekly rants

Sunday, April 24, 2005
-Of course no one wants an election; whoever does? The media is the reason why this issue is even, well, an issue.

-Why isn't Stephen Harper unveiling some plans for reforming the government system so that corruption can be crippled - this would gain a lot of votes.

-Why arent the media reporting on the links between Maurice Strong, Saddam Hussien, Paul Vocker, Paul Martin and Power Corporation? (Link)

-Why does everyone always compare our health system with the American health system? There are much better models throughout the world that are far superior then ours, and also then that of the USA.

-Why isn't Canada's mainstream media actively reporting on the Liberal ties and its involvement with Oil-For-Food?

-What about that $425 million worth of aid for the tsunami? That sure seems like an un-accountable sponsorship type of program.

CBC killed liberal audit story?

Update: Please read this

Last week, after my research (here and here) on the Liberals 'Audits' created a firestorm in the media and the House of Commons, I received an email from a CBC investigative journalist wanting to do a piece on the story. He was planning on investigating the conflict of interest regarding the Liberals and the accounting firms that had conducted the 'audits'.

After several phone conversations with him, and after him telling me he had interviews scheduled with some prominent forensic accountants, he informed me that his bosses did not want to pursue the story. The reason was because 'information that [I] dug up has already been reported." It should be noted, however, that this journalist has exposed some past scandals within various levels of government and frankly, I am not questioning his integrity (which I respect) but what I am questioning is the integrity of his superiors reasoning for not reporting this story.

To his credit, this producer seemed genuinely interested in this story, and from what he told me, he had already done some extensive research on the topic. But, I think the explanation for failing to finish this story that I was given doesn’t make sense. For example, only two news organizations reported this topic (CanWest and Globe and Mail), but they only reported what was said in parliament. Not one news entity has used 'investigative' journalism to actually dig around for some information that would be news worthy – and there are a lot of newsworthy items in this topic.

For example they could have investigated:

· The apparent conflict of interest between the Liberals and the accountants with regards to past donations;

· The fact that the one office that performed the ‘audit’ was such a large contributor to the Liberal party;

· To find out if there were any government contracts given to this office;

· On the revelations of how, Liberal Cabinet minister, Pierre Pettigrew was a former Vice President of the very same office that performed the less then through financial review on the Quebec wing of the Liberal party;

· On the fact that the review mysteriously did not review the riding associations finances – the very spot where the money is accused to have been funneled through;

· That last week Benoit Corbeil mentioned that some ‘accountants’ were implicated in this sponsorship scandal.

One would think that piecing the Liberal audit story together with these shockingly new Corbeil revelations would be worthy of a front page news story, but then again, this is CBC. To be honest, when CBC contacted me about this story, I had a gut feeling that the CBC would not even let this producer finish his story nor would they air his report if he did finish it. Perhaps it’s because 82% of the CBC’’s board of directors have donated to the Liberal party. Or perhaps investigating a story on the government and its misdoings might get you fired. This does happen at CBC, and if you don’t think it does, then read Aarons article on former CBC radio host Don Hill’s firing.

For these reasons, I am taking the CBC’s decision to not report on this story with a slight indignation. Because I know full well that there were some very serious conflicts of interest exposed in the articles I wrote, and I also know if investigated, that it would have exposed the some questionable aspects of the Liberal party. If this had become a national news story then it would implicate the Party in some serious conflicts of interest. Furthermore I believe that because there are so many interesting aspects of this audit story, especially after what Benoit Corbeil has revealed last week, the CBC killed this story not because the topic was previously reported on (which it wasn’t) but rather what it would reveal.

I can’t say that I am shocked though, as I did not believe this story would ever make it through the “buzz saw.” But it does further disenchant my belief in our tax payer funded CBC. I have always believed, and I will say this on record, that in a free and democratic society there is no ostensible reason to have a state run broadcasting outlet funded by the government – it’s too easy for this corporation to be abused by the government in power. Too often is the CBC guilty of failing to hold the government accountable, and this is just another example of it. Perhaps the CBC believes that the costs of holding the government accountable (ie: funding cuts) are more important than providing the public information, which if presented, would shine a less then stellar light on the government. It is this very reason that I believe that a government funded media corporation should not exist in a 'free and democratic' society.

M.K. Braaten

Update:

To get a back ground of my coverage of this story click here

For an article of the conflict of interest between Deloitte and the Liberals, read this


Layton's love for the Lib's

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Here are some things to consider:

If Martin dramatically changes the budget, he will look even more desperate.

Who is to say that everyone of the Liberals or NDP would vote in favor of the Liberals?

How many centrist Ontario voters (who despise the NDP) will be turned off by the Liberals new alliance with the NDP and subsequently vote Tory?

I think this move is only going to hurt both the Liberals and NDP, short term and long term. But to me, this is just another example of how the left wing will look the other way from corruption in order to further their socialist agenda.


Surge in polls for tories after Martin's address

Riding a new wave of support, the Tories have the backing of 40 per cent of Ontarians, compared to 36 per cent for the Liberals, 20 per cent for the NDP and four per cent for the Greens.

As part of the survey, 377 of the 2,000 interviews were conducted on the evening of Martin's nationally televised address. The poll found that of those interviewed that night, there was a "spike" in support for the Conservatives.

http://www.canada.com/fortstjohn/story.html?id=b1ba3ca0-98e2-47b1-9fd1-a631c8a50e98


Now this is interesting

Friday, April 22, 2005
The Paul Martin-Power Corp-Oil-for-food connection just got a bit more interesting:

The Canadian company that Saddam Hussein invested a million dollars in belonged to the Prime Minister of Canada, canadafreepress.com has discovered.

Cordex Petroleum Inc., launched with Saddam’s million by Prime Minister Paul Martin’s mentor Maurice Strong’s son Fred Strong, is listed among Martin’s assets to the Federal Ethics committee on November 4, 2003.

Among Martin’s Public Declaration of Declarable Assets are: "The Canada Steamship Lines Group Inc. (Montreal, Canada) 100 percent owned"; "Canada Steamship Lines Inc. (Montreal, Canada) 100 percent owned"–Cordex Petroleums Inc. (Alberta, Canada) 4.6 percent owned by the CSL Group Inc."


http://www.torontofreepress.com/2005/cover042205a.htm

Im Sorry

Last time I checked, Kenneth Lay of Enron still has to go to trial even though he apologized.

Consequences, Mr Martin, dont for get about the consequences...a sorry just doesn't cut it.

Blatant abuse of power

Wednesday, April 20, 2005
As of right now, the opposition parties are preparing a motion that will vote non-confidence for the Paul Martin Government. Essentially, at this point, Martin is only filling the Prime Minister position; indirectly he has no authority in Canada because of the impending collapse of his government.

However, tomorrow night Paul Martin is delivering a televised national address to the nation. Although it is unknown what exactly he will say, insiders say that he is trying to 'set the facts' straight to Canadians regarding his government’s implication in the sponsorship scandal.

Apparently talking to Canadians through the democratic House of Commons is not an option. For the past month, Paul Martin has not answered, in earnest, any question that has been asked to him in parliament regarding his involvement in the corruption and criminality of his party's actions.

With the opposition parties on the verge of voting non-confidence, Paul Martin has no authority in the government right now, and by delivering a nationally televised address so close to an election, he is blatantly abusing his position for the betterment of his imploding career, not the betterment of democracy in Canada. Canadians should not have to hear anymore excuses of why his government is corrupt, or how his government is cleaning it up, or why he thinks that his party’s vision is the only vision for Canada.

Paul Martin and his party are corrupt and he knows it. He is lying through his teeth regarding his involvement in this scandal and for him to do it on live national television is a shame to not only our Country, but to his party, to the parliament, and the democratic process. If Paul Martin wants to speak directly to Canadians he should tell us that he will call an election immediately and Canadians should judge this man, and his corrupt party, accordingly.

Furthermore, Canadian taxpayers are once again footing the bill for this criminal organization. We should not be required to pay for this ‘air time’ so that he can tell us how corrupt his party is; this is absolutely ridiculous. In the past, Prime Ministers’ used the televised address only in a national emergency. However, the Liberal party is imploding because of its corruption has been exposed; this is NOT a national emergency, this is democracy in TRUE form.

If Martin uses this address for partisan politics then he will be subservient in defeating democracy in Canada. For a man who doesn’t have the courage to face Parliament after he was accused of implication in the sponsorship scandal, and for someone who denies the right of the opposition parties their right to hold his government accountable, this blatant abuse of power is truly unbelievable. Clamouring to power by begging to Canadians, on national television, to let him continue to govern is undeniably one of the most embarrassing, pathetic, and cowardly political acts I have ever seen.

Paul Martin is deliveing this address for one reason only: to save his career and the future of his corrupt, shameless, and criminal organization commonly referred to as the Liberal party of Canada.

Mr. Martin you have lost all moral authority to govern; you should be removed from office immediately.

M.K. Braaten

busy this week...

Im quite busy this week so I my PPD (post per day) rate will decrease signifigantly untill the weekend. -mkb

Maurice Strong linked to oil-for-food scandal, Iraq

Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Of course this is barely mentioned in today's Canadian papers, mainly because of a foreign policy announcement that probably will never make it into gov't policy, given the plight of the Liberal party. Nevertheless, in what is now appears to be typical liberal fashion, dementia and vauge personal relationships, Strong stated that he couldn't 'recall a single instance in which [he] had any contact or discussion on the [Oil-for-Food] program with any of the officials responsible [Mr. Park]." However, Mr. Strong said that he "maintained a relationship" with Mr. Park. According to news reports, Mr. Park "was on the payroll of Saddam Hussein and tried to get Iraq [Saddam] the best deal possible from oil-for-food."

Click here for story, of course it isn't a Canadian source.

Promise Made, Promise Broken?

"Anybody who is found to have known that people are kiting cheques, that people are falsifying invoices - me or anybody else - should resign...anybody who knew that kind of thing was going on and let it happen, they don't belong in public life." - Prime Minister Paul Martin Feb 15, 2004

Does that include this? Or what about this?


Liberals kill democracy...once again

Monday, April 18, 2005

Apparently the best way to eliminate the democratic deficit is to simply eliminate democracy all together. Kind of like this .

*Update*

Warren Kinsella is going to serve Scott Reid with a lawsuit. He wrote on his website:

I AM going to sue former Earnscliffe employee Scott Reid. And he's going to have pay out of his own pocket, like I will.

This is in repsonse to Scott Reid saying that Kinsella lied in the statement he gave earlier today, under oath. Talk about a rookie mistake by Reid.


Canada Navy's new enemy: fire

Apparently, instead of purchasing new military equipment the Government has a better solution. According to a commons committee, the navy should review the way it trains its sailors so they can combat the inherent dangers of decrepit military equipment provided to them, notably firefighting. It appears that our government figures that training our sailors how to fight and combat enemy fire isn’t as important as firefighting. That’s right sailors firefighting. Don’t worry about enemy fire, worry about fighting the fires on the decrepit, second hand submarines that your government has ineptly provided you with. Talk about effective war games.

M.K. Braaten


Check this out

Watch this flash clip. Just think of all the juicey campaign ad's the tories will be thinking up. Hopefully its similar to this one.

From: http://www.anticorruption.ca


MP Scott Brison told the truth

Last week in response to Opposition MP's question regarding the Liberal audit Scott Brison told the truth. In fact while doing so he contradicted his previous statements.

Since I dont have a transcript of last thursday's question period in the House I will paraphrase what he said. When a Tory MP questioned him regarding the audit Brison noted that "sometimes 'reviews' are even more comprehensive then an audit (not true by the way) because they review certain parts of the finances which gives the auditors a greater understanding of those specific areas of the finances."

So there, Scott Brison told the truth. He revealed that the 'review' only looked at certain parts of the finances, not all of them.

Adscam forensic report due soon

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Last fall the Gomery commision hired forensic accountants to investigate where all the sponsorship money went. They will be publishing their report in the coming weeks. This is the type of investigation the Liberals should have conducted on their books but likley if there is any money that did go to the Quebec wing of the party, this investigation will probably find it.

Ottawa Sun's Greg Weston writes:

As the Gomery inquiry into the sponsorship scandal continues to hear from a colourful cast of cheats, liars and selective amnesiacs, the finishing touches are being applied to what could become the biggest political bombshell of the entire Adscam probe.

The result, we are told, is pure political dynamite.

For months, a crack team of top forensic accountants in Ottawa and Montreal has been following the Adscam money from the public purse through the elaborate money-laundering schemes of fraud and kickbacks at the heart of the sponsorship scandal. This is no ordinary group of number-crunchers. The answers could further rock the Liberal Party, and have a profound effect on the timing and outcome of the next federal election. So far, the accounting firm is keeping its findings under tight wraps.

But sources elsewhere tell us the investigators have pieced together literally tens of thousands of pages of financial records, everything from personal bank accounts to phone bills of companies and key players in the Adscam mess.

Click here to access story




Its never good to depend on the state, or is it?

Alternate title: Utilizing government purchasing power to regulate costs of privately delivered public healthcare

Some times dependency on the state is economically better for citizens’ then pure private enterprise. However, a simple minded approach often used by proponents of 'free market capitalism' is that state dependence never benefits the citizens of the state as a whole. I argue that citizens can depend on the state and benefit if the government were to use its purchasing power to decrease the costs of private health care while maintaining the universal healthcare program. I do not totally agree with state dependency but in some cases, such as government run healthcare, state dependency can make the citizens better off. For example, if the government utilized private delivery for public healthcare it can theoretically make the public better off by lowering health care costs by using the Governments monopsonic purchasing power.


Firstly, consider a basic economic principle: a Monopsony. A Monopsony is a market structure with only a single (monopsonic) buyer of a product or service who is able, because of its size and market control, to set and control the market price, and thereby saving itself money by driving down the price it pays for goods.[1] Consider Wal-Mart, economic principles suggest it is a "monopsonic buyer” because it is so large that it has the monopoly on purchasing power and it can affect the market price that it pays for a product. [2]Similarly, if the Government of Canada used a private delivery model for public healthcare it could also become a monopsonic buyer. However, unlike a regular monopsonic buyer (Wal-Mart), the Government can decrease the market cost and increase the product quality of the supplier's product through legislation, similar to how it controls the costs of pharmaceuticals it purchases.[3]

As Canadians, should we really care who provides our healthcare? If its costs are paid for the by Government we shouldn't care if it’s run by a private or a public system, or should we? Most public corporations in the Country are very inefficient due to the government workers mentality[4]. Unfortunately, the Canadian Government has proven time and time again that it cannot run a corporation or program effectively or efficiently[5]. In contrast, corporations have incentive to save money under a partial privatization agreement. For example, if there is a defined list of prices that a corporation can charge the government for its services, and also a certain quality level that it must provide, Corporations have the incentive to become more efficient.

Now, some may argue that efficiency means a decreased quality of healthcare. But the government supersedes any corporation and it can create laws that mandate certain levels of quality. If these laws are broken the corporations can be penalized very harshly. Now quality levels are difficult to quantify but there are control systems available that can effectively measure quality.[6]

So this presents us with a question: Is fully privatized health care better? Or can we use the state system effectively in order to benefit consumers (taxpayers)? I believe that by using the Government's purchasing power, we as citizens can provide free healthcare to every citizen through the use of private delivery.

Corporations have proven to operate a process more efficiently than the Government can. A good example is healthcare.[7] State healthcare run by the Government clearly does not work. However, a socialist type of coverage (universal healthcare for every person) such as we have in Canada can benefit consumers because it could use its monopsonic purchasing power to decrease the costs it pays for healthcare.

Some may argue that if we privatize health care then costs will significantly skyrocket for the government (and by extension, taxpayers) over the years, similar to how private Auto insurance costs in Alberta, Canada are much higher then a similar public system - such as in Saskatchewan, Canada. The disparity in Alberta is caused by an unrestrained (to an extent) margin of profit the Insurance companies can charge to the consumer. However, you can bet your dollars that their operations are much more efficient then the Sask. insurance corporation because they want to squeeze out every profitable single cent that they can.

The main difference between consumer auto insurance costs and government medical costs is that citizens (as auto insurance consumers) are legally required to buy insurance in order to drive, but also, as a consumer, we do not have enough purchasing power (i.e.: not a monopsonic buyer) to control the costs in order drive the market price down. And, indirectly the Alberta government is promoting a monopolistic market by legally requiring drivers to purchase the insurance while not providing controls on its costs. This is not the case with healthcare in Canada; in fact it’s quite opposite. The Government is required to pay the costs of healthcare, but its economic advantage is that it is a monopsonic buyer and furthermore, it has the ability to control the price through legislation, so likely it will enact laws to ensure its medical costs.

Some may argue that under a government controlled cost structure, health care corporations would not bother doing business in Canada. This is not a good argument because corporations will theoretically do business if they can even make 1$ per year.[8] Furthermore, the Public/Private Healthcare/Automobile argument is dissimilar because the key argument with healthcare is the government (the monopsonic buyer) can limit the amount the supplier can charge for the service. In contrast, with auto insurance, the consumer CANNOT limit the amount the supplier can charge for the service.

So in this instance, in a state run medical system that uses private delivery, every citizen is better off because essentially the citizens of the state are monopsonic buyers and they can control the costs of health care through its legislation and government purchasing power. This has proven to work for consumer drugs; Canada regulates the costs of drugs so that citizens can afford to purchase them[9]. This is one of a few example where staying dependent on the state is good for you.

Written by:
M.K. Braaten

[1] Monopsony: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopsony
[2] Wal-Mart is good for America: http://www.ncpa.org/edo/bb/2004/20041122bb.htm
[3] Government Intervention in Markets: http://www.bized.ac.uk/educators/16-19/economics/markets/activity/pricecontrol1.htm
[4] The common perception that government workers do not worry about efficiency
[5] Gun registry cost soars to $2 billion: http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/02/13/gunregistry_rdi040213
[6] Enterprise resource planning: http://www.fedpubseminars.com/seminar/ERP.html
[7] The Black Hole: http://www.howestreet.com/story.php?ArticleId=507
[8] Economic principles suggest that a corporation will stay in business if its profit is a mere 1$ as long as its opportunity cost is less then or equal to the cost of doing business.
[9] Government Intervention in Markets: http://www.bized.ac.uk/educators/16-19/economics/markets/activity/pricecontrol1.htm

A look back to Liberal scandals of the past

Warren Kommishoner forwarded me this site which documents alot of scandals of our ruling government. I put some on this post but there is much, much more at the source :


In the beginning, 1993:

1. Liberals flip flop on promise to rid G.S.T.

2. Chretien concurred with Alberta on the idea of a Triple E Senate, then turns around and said, the idea was a joke, and treats it as such, by refusing to appoint the senators that were voted for by the people of Alberta...

3. Liberals kill program, to replace aging Sea-King helicopters, resulting in a crash, that killed several Canadian servicemen. Prime Minister Chrétien quickly scrapped a contract signed by the previous Conservative government to buy EM-101 military helicopters from Agusta-Westland. To rescind the original contract cost Canadians some $500 million not to have helicopters. It was the only promise that the liberals kept.
" Canada does not need Cadillac aircraft, I will take my pen and write zero helicopters and I will not lose one night' sleep over it"
-Jean Chretien

4. Oct.1994-Conflict of interest question regarding, then Heritage Minister Michael Dupuy and CRTC.-Result ...Sheila Copps.

5. 1995 Air bus scandal, bringing about a suit, by former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

6. 1996 Youth Minister Andrew's use of a government credit card for her own personal use.

7. 1996 Transport Minister David Collenette forced to resign after interfering with decisions made in the department of immigration.

8. Chretien tells Manitoba Students that he regularly meets with a homeless man in Ottawa. Media attempts to find such prove futile.

9. Chretien claims to pop into bars in his riding of Shawinigan to keep in touch with voters and how they feel. Media attempts to find someone who saw him in a local bar prove futile.

10. 1997 Somalia cover-up.

11. 1998 Finance Minister Paul Martin, cooks books on HRDC.

12. 1998 Bernard Desault, chief actuary of CPP fired. Says that he was sacked, for refusing to fudge figures, for Paul Martin.

13. Billions of dollars in grants to Bombardier.

14. APEC scandal...Pepper spray.

15. Golf Gate...Jean Chretien.

16. Hotel Gate...Jean Chretien phones the president Francois Beaudion of a crown corporation; Business Development Bank, to pressure him into granting a loan to a friend, Yvon Duhaime, so that he could buy a hotel that was once owned by him [Jean Chretien]. A sure sign of influence pedaling. In the mean time Chretien writes a letter to the National Post and denies the fact. [Edmonton Sun]

17. Francis Beaudion was fired as president, and is suing the business development Bank, saying he was forced out in 1999 after recommending that the Business Development Bank foreclose on Duhaime's loan for the inn. [Edmonton Sun]

18. Government's refusal to use notwithstanding clause in B.C. child pornography case. Ann McLellan and the liberals have turned justice into an oxy moron.

19. Tainted blood cover-up involving Allan Rock. [RCMP investigating]

20. Chretien caused an international embarrassment by neglecting to attend the funeral, of Jordan's King Hussien. [ Skiing in BC instead. So he claimed. He was actually at a, private for profit, Minnesota drug treatment center in 2tier USA, seeking treatment for a family member.]

21. $15,000 of federal funding went to what was deemed, by the Saskatchewan party, as shear PEDOPHLIA to a film festival in Regina. Sask. Party MLAs were shocked to the point of tears at this spectacle.

22. A widespread kickback scheme involving military personnel and gas stations is revealed

23. Ottawa has violated its own rules in awarding a military training contract to Bombardier

Since the dawn of the century, (Jan 1/ 2000):
1. Studies show that more money is spent to take care of an individual convict, than on a member of the armed forces, who defends his country.

2. The Jane Stewart, EI billion dollar glitch. Stewart asked for more money to investigate the fiasco. To this day we are not sure where the money went. Stewart was never asked to resign.

3. FIVE RCMP investigations in Jean Chretien's riding of St. Maurice regarding federal grants. To date two civil servants have been charged.

4. Chretien's second international embarrassment. Insulting Palestinian intelligence, regarding Middle East conflict.

5. RCMP commercial crimes unit has open file on B.C. Liberal MP, Lou Sekora. Alleged bribery.

6. Paul Martin endorses what the FBI regards as the world's, most ruthless terrorist groups, [Liberation Tigers Of Tamil Eelim], with his attendance at their fund raising dinner. Calls the critics of his actions ,"anti Canadian."

7. Canada Council grant of fifty thousand dollars, an obscene amount, given to B.C. university prof. to study of all things, hookers. [Is that the price of lust these days?] Has any one heard anything about what that study yielded?

8. A $98,090 grant to Edimag Inc. of Montreal from Heritage Canada to publish a book of "dumb blonde jokes". This is Sheila Copps' dept.

9. $85,000 in untendered contracts from the Canada Information Office (CIO) to Administration Leblanc & Leblanc.

10. $2.1 Million to a MediaVision Inc. -- a Montreal firm with close Liberal ties to handle cheques for federal event sponsorship in Quebec. Each cheque the firm hands out costs the taxpayers about $2,300 each. The CIO refuses to reveal all the participants or how much it spent on a two day 1997 retreat that brought American liberal Democratic strategist, James Carville to Montreal.

11. Sea-King helicopter crash, in the pacific, off Pearl Harbor, after being certified as O.K. Chretien's third international embarrassment.

12. Federal Government's neglect, to treat peace keepers for post trauma stress, as well as, dealing with pension problems.

13. Reports of major abuses by the federal government on it's armed forces are being reported at the rate of almost one per week.

14. The federal government has declared that any one with an annual income below twenty thousand dollars per year is living below the poverty level. The obscene part here is that, six billion dollars, in taxes by the federal government, was extracted from that group.

15. Chretien the man, with compassion, who speaks to the homeless, tells the poor of the third world countries, "to buy cell phones." Fourth international embarrassment.

16. Chretien admits, having fun about calling an election. He is more concerned about his own position of power rather than the will of the people.

17. Auditor General's report reveals, liberal fiscal management incompetent. Dollar plunges.

18. Auditor General's report reveals, Chretien spent 100 million dollars on a park, in Ontario, without the authorization of parliament.

19. Auditor General's report reveals, HRDC is a slush fund for legalized stealing.

20. Who said the government wasn't in the credit granting business? An employee at Environment Canada used the government credit card to pay $7400 to fix his own car. While waiting for his car, he also used the credit card for grocery shopping. Now we're waiting for him to pay it. P.S. No charges were laid!! -Canadian Alliance Waste Report.

21. A COUPLE OF RECENT NATIONAL FILM BOARD SPECIALS.
(1) Slippery Blisses... "A film on the history of kissing , as well as an exploration of the contemporary and cultural significance of kissing." $123,924.34

22. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police charged Pierre Corbeil, an organizer for the Liberal party in Quebec, with four counts of influence peddling for asking companies seeking grants to pay him money. He pleaded guilty and was fined $34,500.-National Post.

23. A million and change from the HRDC used in a job creation program that created only nine jobs .

24. Chretien dismisses multimillion dollar job grants scandal as akin to the mistakes that couples make when balancing their chequebooks.

25. Human Resources and Development Canada mismanages job-grants programs and the government continues to understate the problem.

26. CIDA grants a $6.3-million contract to a company headed by a friend of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien

This was the best that John Chretien promised would come. All in the last six months of the year 2000. Another liberal promise kept.

Since the 2000 Election:

1. Total ongoing RCMP investigations, on various members of the federal government. TO DATE, FIFTEEN.

2. January, 2001 Chretien claims to have made Alberta rich? (What has he got against the rest of Canada?)

3. February, 2001 Jean Chretien try's to buy Joe Clark's silence on hotel gate.

4. Auditor generals report indicates "all" government departments out of control, regarding spending. (Example, Western Economic Development, A group of Ottawa bureaucrats telling Alberta how to be successful!)

5. Diane Francis reveals in National Post, Industry Minister Brian Tobin has no knowledge of business or economics. Ms. Francis implies that Tobin is all mouth and no substance. (Are you surprised?)

6. Parliament votes down a motion (Their own red book promise) to have an independent ethics commissioner.

7. On a "team Canada" mission to China, Chretien avoids discussion of democracy.

8. On the same mission Chretien makes the claim, "All Asians Look Alike!" Fifth international embarrassment. (Left wing press strangely quiet on the two above items)

9. March, 2001 While billions of tax payer dollars are wasted with impunity, a mere 500 million, in crumbs is doled out to the farmers in an aid package for drought. Western Farmers were told that they would have to vote more liberal MPs to Ottawa, if they wanted more help.

10. Chretien attempts to clear himself on golf gate and hotel gate with a piece of scrap paper.

11. Hedy Fry, able Minister of Multiculturalism claims to have received a letter from Prince George BC's Mayor regarding incidents of cross burnings. "As we speak, there are cross burnings in BC"

12. April, 2001 Justice Silcoff , a former lawyer who was a partner in the firm representing the golf course, which Chretien owned shares in, orders destruction of documents belonging to Francois Beaudion, who was fired from The Federal Business development Bank, marking the beginning of the end of democracy for Canada. Since Chretien appoints the judges. This sets a precedent, that any information, that the Prime Minister deems a detriment to his power, can be ordered destroyed.

13. June, 2001. Opposition parties accused Jean Chretien of being arrogant after the Prime Minister suggested Canadians love to complain about the federal government, whether they live in the West, in the Maritimes, or in central Canada.

14. Liberal MP Tom Wappel writes letter to Jim Baxter, 81 year old war veteran asking why he should help him win war veterans benefits when Mr. Baxter hadn't supported him in the November election.

15. Once again reports are out that our criminals rate higher, by way of standard of living, then those of our armed forces.

16. Another two billion and change to bombardier.

17. Industry Minister Brian Toban, thinks that it's more important to spend 3 billion dollars for cash-strapped farmers to surf the net, rather than receive cash bail outs.

18. After the September 11th attack, Chretien prefers to attend a liberal fund raiser in Ontario. When questioned as to why he did not visit ground zero, his reply was that the Mayor of New York advised him to stay away. Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York later denied making such a comment at all. Sixth international embarrassment.

19. Chretien decides to hold off sending 1000 Canadian troops to Afghanistan. Wants to wait until it's safe? Chretien's reason was that British troops were fired upon.

20. Seventh international embarrassment. Britain denies that their troops were fired upon in Afghanistan.

21. The federal Employment Insurance plan has a surplus of $36 billion in the previous year, even though its own actuary says it only has $15 billion

22. The military is crippled by under funding; mechanics had to borrow batteries from the Spanish air force to keep its CF-18 jets in the air over the former Yugoslavia.

23. A home heating grants plan costing $1.4 billion put only $250 million in the hands of those who deserved it; other cheques go to high-income earners, prisoners and 7,500 dead people.
You can bet your boots that there will be more to come.

The Sponsorship Scandal:

Finally after almost 10 years, 69 percent of Canadians polled, realize what we have known all along, and that is a fact that the federal government under Jean Chretien is corrupt.

1. Auditor General reports uncontrolled government spending mounting to billions.-

2. Auditor General reports a second time that government spending is out of control. -One Example The Chretien government has placed $7.1 billion in taxpayers' money so far out of its control in a number of federally funded research foundations that it would be unable to prevent an Enron-style debacle, Tory Senator Terrance Stratton to finance committe-Ottawa Citizen.

3. The purchase of two Challenger jets at a price of 100 million dollars each at a time when CF- 18s are in badly need of repair, and the ancient Sea King helicopters are falling out of the sky.Quote from 1993. Remember the quote: " Canada does not need Cadillac aircraft, I will take my pen and write zero helicopters and I will not lose one night' sleep over it" -Jean Chretien

4. Canada's Auditor General Sheila Fraser, tells us that the Canadian forces face a dire shortage of skilled professionals that has whittled troop levels to a record low and leaves it vulnerable to a mass exodus within two years. It would take decades to get the armed forces back to today's pitiful standard.

5. Mr. Chretien boasts that he has never lost a minister to scandal. Small wonder. Almost every senior minister in his cabinet would have been forced to resign long ago under long-standing conventions, all of which the Liberals now simply flout: Martin (for protecting terrorist fundraisers), Copps (chronic cronyism), Rock (ditto), Stewart (gross incompetence), Minna (election fraud), Fry (prescription fraud), Eggleton (lying to Parliament) and, worst by far of this odious gang, the Shawinigan Graftmaster himself. By comparison, even the worst Mulroney cabinet looked clean.-Link Bifield-National Report Magazine

6. Groupaction is under RCMP investigation after a scathing report by Auditor General Sheila Fraser said bureaucrats broke nearly "every rule in the book" in awarding the company three contracts.

7. Mounties investigating three federal contracts awarded to the Montreal advertising firm Groupaction as part of a $40-million government propaganda program, mainly in Quebec. One $549,990 report was missing altogether, Chretien calls this money well spent"

8. Public Works paid a Montreal-based ad agency Groupaction $330,000 to create a communications strategy to sell the controversial Firearms Act but no work was ever delivered.(Ottawa Sun)

9. Auditor General says,"Our audit found that senior public servants responsible for managing the contracts demonstrated an appalling disregard for the Financial Administration Act, the government contracts regulations, Treasury Board policy, and rules designed to ensure prudence and probity in government procurement." Given that the same sponsorship and advertising program has spawned hundreds of contracts, and sucked close to $500 million from taxpayers' pockets over the past decade, all Canadians must surely hope the Mounties get to the bottom of this fiasco once and for all.

10. A Total of five new RCMP investigations into the Montreal-based ad agency Groupaction and the federal government.

11. The Liberals first respond to her Groupaction report, by assailing the Auditor-General's credibility.

12. Documents show three top officials in Jean Chretien's office met to discuss an internal audit of the government's sponsorship program in autumn 2000 - long before the current scandal over advertising and sponsorship contracts began to make headlines. Alliance House leader John Reynolds questioned why the government didn't act immediately to address the shady contract deals, instead of trying to keep them quiet.

13. Allegations surface that a contract to build a park interpretive center in P.E.I. was given to the company owned by the provincial Liberal party president, Tim Banks. Banks, president of APM Landmark Inc., then won a $17-million contract to lease the center back to Parks Canada over the next 49 years, said Conservative MP Peter MacKay. The government had contributed $1.3 million to build the $3.5-million center in the first place, said MacKay, who obtained the leasing contract. "We pay for it, then we rent it back," MacKay said. "While fierce Liberal loyalist Tim Banks is reaping huge rewards from this outrageous contract, who is looking out for the taxpayer?"

15. Art Eggleton donates ex-girlfriend, Maggie Maier, $36,500 for a piddling 14 page report on post stress in the armed forces. This duplicated a similar report that the defense department itself puts out.

16. Two crab processing executives in Atlantic Canada each pledged $75,000 to the Liberal leadership campaign of Brian Tobin last fall at the same time their companies were under criminal investigation by Mr. Tobin's own department for price fixing.

17. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's ministers have learned that arrogance, promise-breaking and cronyism are tolerated, indeed condoned. When these activities are exposed, the Prime Minister's example is to admit nothing, stonewall requests, blame critics, confuse the issue and deny any problem.(Toronto Star)

18. June-Canadian Wheat Board Uses Farmers Money For Liberal Fund Raiser.

19. July-Liberals shut down probe into ad scandal. Another cover-up!

20. September-Chretiens eighth international embarrassment; Regarding 9-11, he Implied that the Americans got what they deserved. -In an interview on CBC-TV, the Prime Minister for the first time suggested the strikes against New York and Washington stemmed from a growing international anger at the way the United States flexes its muscle around the globe.-The National Post

21. October-Governor General did not call RCMP. But - Since 2000 the Defense Department paid $65 million for pilot training it never got, meaning pilots got less than half the training paid for. The contract signed with Bombardier forces DND to pay up front for training even if it's been plagued by course delays and equipment delivery setbacks.

22. October-Solicitor General Lawance Maculay resigns under pressure. Another Liberal Cabinet Minister, who was feeding his friends with tax payers money.

23. October-Ottawa has issued more social insurance numbers than there are adults in Canada; there are about 5 million extra SINs

24. October-The federal government lacks an adequate system for tracking or monitoring health care spending by the provinces

25. November-Canadian Farmers Jailed for selling their own produce.

26. November-At a diplomatic conference in Prague Chretien's top aid, Ducros calls US President Bush a "moron." He refuses all requests to accept her resignation, By doing so he in fact infers that The US President is a moron. Ninth international embarrassment

27. December-Sheila Fraser targets Ottawa's gun registry program, saying not only is the program hundreds of millions of dollars over budget, but the government kept increased costs from Parliament. Instead of the $2-million net cost predicted in 1995, the price tag on the registry is now expected to reach $1 billion by 2004. Cost over run is 900 million dollars.

28. Is this humorous or not? Environment Minister Anderson closes out the year by telling Canadians, that Chretien is a smart politician with an antenna and doesn't need to know the details about Kyoto. It was signed with a "gut feeling."
The amount of reported scandals far exceed those of any other government administration in the history of Canada prior to the Chretien administration.

Three Challenges of the Accounting Profession

Saturday, April 16, 2005

INTRODUCTION
Historically, the perception of accountants has been one of integrity, ethics, and assurance. In recent years, however, several high profile accounting scandals have shaken this reputation, casting a less then positive light on the profession as a whole. While accountants are considered an integral part of the capitalistic system, many outsiders now look at the profession with disdain as a result of Arthur Anderson et al. Increased scrutiny, tighter regulations, and decline in graduates entering accounting has created several challenges that must be solved in order to maintain the distinguished reputation of the profession. These challenges include: combating the decreased number of graduates by changing the perception of accountants, re-establishing the professions integrity and ethical reputation, and effectively dealing with the increased risk as a result of new regulations.

FILLING THE EMPLOYMENT GAP
In recent years the number of accounting graduates has been in decline (WSJ, 1996). New regulation has increased the demand for accountants and many of the baby boomer generation of accountants are retiring; consequently, there is an impending shortage of accountants (Locke, 2004). In discussions with university students, a common perception of the accounting profession that has arisen is that it is limited in opportunities, not interesting, or that complex mathematics is needed. Furthermore, accounting majors at universities complain that the course work is boring and that the career work must be similar. Finally, many students still believe a career as an accountant is for introverted types of personalities. These negative and ill-advised perceptions are a challenge for the accounting profession because they are contributing to the decline in graduates.



Marketing the Profession
The accounting profession must effectively demonstrate to students that the profession does not limit the career path. Furthermore, steps must be taken to ensure students realize that the Chartered Accountant profession is more than just a number cruncher position, rather a well rounded businessman that has practical knowledge in many areas of business. Although a marketing campaign has been undertaken by accounting bodies to highlight the benefits of being accountant, they focus primarily on the accounting profession, not the importance or demand for accountants within industry. In fact, a Chartered Accountant designation is often the most sought after employee in industry (Deloitte & Touche LLP). Currently, most students do not realize how important the CA designation is outside of the accounting profession. In order to change this perception the accounting profession must promote itself as a professional businessperson in industry. If students are aware that a C.A. designation represents not only an accredited accountant but also a professional businessperson, then more students would likely want to enter the profession because of its broad appeal. Marketing the accountant as a professional businessman will assist in changing the image of the profession because students will not consider accountants only as number crunchers, rather diversified business persons who skills are in demand in every area of business.

Modernizing Education
Universities should reform their methodology of teaching accounting in this technological era. From a student’s perspective, the coursework involved for an accounting major is often seen as boring. This perception is a reason why many students do not enter the accounting faculty when they enter business school. While it is important to learn the technical skills of accounting, too many classes do not relate to what the job actually entails. In today’s business, accountants use computer software to complete much of their work. For example, in tax class, a student is taught how to calculate a tax return by hand, but later on in their career, those same students utilize computer software to calculate the actual tax return. While it is important to understand how the tax return should be calculated, many accountants in this era will never calculate a tax return by hand. Therefore, the teaching should focus more on what can and cannot be deducted, for example, rather then how to calculate these tax returns. Teaching the students how to utilize and apply technology is more practical then teaching students pure technical skills. It is obvious that an accountant who has superior computer skills will be of higher demand than an accountant that does his calculations by pen and paper .

Higher Salaries
Another reason why many students choose career choices other than accounting is the higher starting salary offered by other professions. Although many accountants earn a higher salary in the later stages of their careers, many entry level accountants are paid a low salary, this combined with long hours, often equals minimum wage – this is not appealing to students. Most students enter a faculty or profession for the high salary that they will earn when they graduate, not what they will earn in ten years. The beginning salary offered to 2005 graduates from the U of A is thirty-three thousand dollars, and this salary hasn’t increased since 2001. However, a graduate of engineering from University of Waterloo is nearly double that. Students live on low income during their university career and there is no incentive for students to enter a profession only to suffer a few more years on a low salary. Low entry level salaries are a contributing reason why many students do not enter the profession.

REAFFIRMING THE INTEGRITY OF THE PROFESSION
For years accountants’ have provided assurance to investors who demanded validity in financial reporting, and in the process, accountants established the trust needed in order for the free market system to operate. However, after the accounting scandals of WorldCom, Enron, and Arthur Anderson, the accounting profession’s reputation was tainted. When these scandals took place, the accounting profession was largely blamed for the criminal actions of a small group of accountants. In fact 89 percent of accountants polled believe that the Enron scandal has hurt the image of accountants. Therefore, in order to reestablish the perception of ethics in the profession, accounting bodies must attempt to harmonize its accounting principles into a larger, global body, rather then the current regional structure currently in place, also, auditor independence must further be enhanced, and increased controls on fraud must be enacted.

Harmonizing GAAP
Over the past several years the CICA has been attempting to harmonize its accepted accounting practices with those of the US. The problem with this, from an international viewpoint, is that these accounting bodies will still have different accounting practices than the rest of the world. Harmonizing the Canadian standards with the American standards only lowers the perception of CICA’s standards because of the AICPA’s implication in past scandals. A more effective way of increasing the ethical perception of North American accountants would be to harmonize its standards with a global accounting organization. This would ensure that every accounting body applies similar accounting principles to similar situations. Globally, the world’s perception on accountants’ ethics in Canada would be increased because the fear that Canada is implementing improper accounting practices would be eliminated. Recently, the CICA abandoned its plans of aligning itself closer to the American GAAP because the cost benefits of implementing the Sarbanes-Oxley controls have proven to be ineffective and too complex (French, 2005). This move will improve ethical perception for Canada’s accountants because separates the CICA from the AICPA, whose members have been largely responsible for the fraudulent activities in the past.

Auditor Independence
Auditor independence continues to be a large issue affecting the reputation of the accounting profession; and the reason it is still an issue is because the big accounting firms have failed to become fully independent. Therefore, a challenge to the accounting profession is to entirely eliminate non-audit work from all audit firms. It is imperative that the Big 4 accounting firms focus primarily on assurance work. Even if the lost revenue is material, it’s a small cost to pay for ensuring the integrity of the trillion dollar financial system in North America. Even after three of the big 4 accounting firms divested their consulting practice, many still offer services that are non-audit related. If the firms really want to demonstrate independence they should eliminate all non-audit work from their firms and let other, non-audit firms, provide tax, financial, and technological advice. For example, three of the big four accounting firms divested their consulting practice, yet some of the consulting firms did not even relocate offices, rather just changed the name on their stationary. Even worse, Deliotte did not even divest their consulting practice (Sweeny, 2004). Although Deliotte is allowed to provide professional services to non-audit clients, it does nothing to assist the professions goal of perceived auditor independence. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act places limits on what services accounting firms can provide, but perception that the Big 4 offer non-audit services is only hindering the independence that they are trying to portray. If accountants want to provide non-audit service they should to offer these services through an independent entity – not through an audit firm. The goals of growth, market share, and revenue are likely the main reasons the Big 4 firms have not entirely eliminated non-audit work. However, these firms provide an important service of ensuring integrity to the market and if that is their main objective then performing audits is all they should be allowed to do regardless of any rationale. The private costs of the firms losing non-audit revenue are a small price to pay for social benefit of the stability of our delicate financial system.

Fraud
The profession must ensure its members are trained to actively identify fraudulent activity while informing investors that audits are not implicitly designed to detect fraud; these are major challenges for the profession. A study commissioned by the CICA in 2001 concluded that 49% of investors believed that auditors were “fully responsible for detecting fraud in companies they audit” (Parks, Chan, 2004). However, audits are not primarily designed to detect fraudulent activity; the main focus is ensuring accuracy. The CICA handbook states that “the likelihood of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than the likelihood of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from error” (CICA, 5135). This means that there is a higher chance of not detecting fraud while performing an audit than there is detecting errors. Because of the deceitful nature of fraudulent activity, detecting fraud is not easy and thus cannot be guaranteed to be exposed in an audit. The CICA offers several reasons why fraud is detected in only a small percentage of audits. They argue is that junior accountants may not have the experience to detect it but more importantly it’s mostly due to “a lack of training in the awareness of fraud [that] likely contributes to failure of detection” (Parks, Chan, 2002). Since then the CICA and its American counterparts enacted new standards to help auditors detect fraud. However, the main challenge for the profession is to ensure its accountants are trained in how to detect fraud using these new standards. Also, since many investors believe that audits are meant to detect fraud, the profession should make an effort to aggressively educate investors that audits are mainly to verify accuracy of financial information, not to detect systematic, fraudulent activity. But at the same time, the profession should make investors aware that it has enforced additional measures, new standards and new practices to further detect fraud during an audit. However, until investors are aware that audits are not specifically meant to detect fraud, the profession will continually be patronized when fraudulent activity is exposed.

DEALING WITH NEW RISKS AND REGULATIONS
The new regulations resulting from the scandals of the past several years have increased the amount of liability and risk each accountant assumes. Not only has this become an increasing challenge for accountants to adjust to, industry has also been affected. As a result of unforeseen implications of the Sarbanes-Oxley-Act, firms have had to increase audit fees, assume more risk, decrease profit margin, and be more selective of which clients they choose to accept. Also, many accountants have shied away from becoming partner because of the increased risk each firm must take. From the industry standpoint, firms have a more difficult time obtaining audit services while having to pay more for an audit due to the increased fees and decreased competition. These are all serious challenges for the profession that will take years to solve and adapt too.

Increased Fees
Because of the increased risk and additional work now required on an audit, firms have had to increase the fee’s they charge for audits. From an industry perspective, since many accounting firms have stopped performing audits, competition has dropped causing audit fees to further increase. When the Sarbanes Oxley legislation was implemented it assumed that the private costs born by the industry would produce a social benefit (Gifford, Howe, 2004). From an economics perspective, however, if the cost per audit increases materially, yet the resulting social benefit is only marginal, then the private costs born by industry are not worth the benefit. Since additional work required on audits is a requirement of the Act, the resulting costs to industry have been high; consequently, the private costs of the legislation and its resulting social benefit are now being questioned (Gifford, Howe, 2004). There is no doubt that the implementation of the Act has been a challenge for the profession as a whole; however, since the legislation is relatively new, the profession hasn’t fully adapted to it. Therefore, in the future, if the profession can learn to cut costs by becoming more efficient under the Act, then industry will be better off because of decreased costs. In this regard, the professions main challenge in the future is to adapt to this Act while attempting to lower private costs by becoming more efficient.

Diversifying Risk
Because of increased regulation more and more firms are declining to perform audits due to the high costs of insurance and increased liability; resulting in a decreased competition for audits (Alles, Kogan, Vasarhelyi, 2004). The negative affect of this is the larger firms are assuming more clients. This highlights a problem: a high concentration of clients spread between a small group of 4 four large firms. If one of the Big 4 firms finds itself in a scandal similar to Anderson, then the industry will be worse off due to decreased competition. Secondly, since the Big 4 firms select their clients based on risk, smaller firms are accumulating higher amounts of risky clients; this can cause a higher probability of a scandal because smaller firms may not have the resources to audit the company properly.



CONCLUSIONS
The market must become more diversified so the concentration of clients that the big four audit decreases. However, the only plausible solution to solving this problem would be for several mid-size firms to merge thus creating 5 “big” firms in the market; though the prospects of a merger are unlikely. This issue will be on the forefront of the accounting industry in the future. This is an important challenge for the accounting profession because another larger firm in the market place would ensure stability and risk would be further diversified. Also, the amount of work required per audit has increased due to regulations but the profession needs time so become more efficient and effective under the new regulations. Therefore, in the future, the profession should adapt practices that lower costs but maintain quality.

Major challenges for the accounting profession include increasing the graduate rates by changing the perception students have of the accounting profession. The profession has to aggressively compete for these intelligent, ethical students. Instead of losing these bright minds to other faculties, the accounting profession must do a much better job marketing itself to students; students should be educated of the benefits that an accounting career can entail. Another change is the need to modernize the course work in university. Currently, course work is often seen as boring and out of date with reality. Courses should focus on teaching students how to effectively utilize software and technology to assist them in their profession, not learning strictly pure technical skills that will rarely be used in their career. Finally, increased pay for entry levels is a necessity. Many students do not want to start a career with a low salary and long hours. Even lawyers make more money articling with a firm while working similar hours. In sum, increase in salary, technologically orientated coursework, and awareness of an accountants career paths will broaden the appeal of the profession and help reverse the trend in the declining number of accounting graduates. These changes will not only broaden the appeal to students in university, but also it will market the profession as a dynamic career path that offers a wide range of opportunities.

In order to re-affirm the professions integrity and ethical reputation the CICA should continue its transition into aligning its standards with those of Europe and lead the world in developing global accounting standards. This initiative will strengthen the reputation of the Chartered Accounting profession as investors will respect the positive steps the CICA is making toward ensuring ethical standards. Another challenge for the profession is to further create independence between auditors and consultants. Currently, some firms have yet to divest their consulting practice, or haven’t eliminated non-audit services from auditing firms, consequently auditor independence is not fully established and this could hurt the profession’s integrity. Finally, auditors must ensure their employees are trained to utilize the new measures enacted by the CICA to detect fraud during audits. As well, investors must be educated that audits are not supposed to detect systematic fraud; this will help auditors avoid blame when fraud is exposed.

If these challenges can be met then the accounting profession will solve a majority of the issues it currently faces. Erasing the memory of past scandals is unlikely, but creating new ethical standards and effectively working within the new regulations will help re-affirm the professions ethical reputation. Over history, accountants have provided assurance to investors and have added integrity to the financial system, obviously the need for accountants is only growing. Therefore, it is imperative the profession undertake the job of solving these challenges so that future scandals are avoided. By continuing to find new ways to ensure the validity of the nation’s finances, the profession will continue to uphold its reputation of ethics, honesty, and integrity.

Written by:
M.K. Braaten


Open letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin

The Right Honourable Paul Martin
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa
K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister:


This past week you told Canadians that you have the moral authority to govern. When you became Prime Minister you told Canadians that you were accountable to us citizens. Being a leader means accepting responsibility for not only your own actions but also the actions of the members of your party, past and present.


Some times leaders must take the fall for others; this is what leadership is all about. When a political party is successful usually the leader of the party receives the rewards and credit for all of the hard work of its members. Likewise, a leader takes responsibility when his members have acted illegally or engaged in corruption. One of the foremost traits of being a Prime Minister is being answerable and accountable to Canadians while taking responsibility for the conduct of not only yourself but those under you--whether good or bad.

Therefore if the allegations of corruption and criminality against your party are true then you as the leader of your party should take the responsibility and accept blame for these past actions. Not only would this garner you respect but it would demonstrate the accountability that you claim to represent -- even if you lose your position in power.


Mr. Martin I ask you to show some dignity and not speak for Canadians on whether you have the moral authority to Canadians. Furthermore you should not speak for Canadians on whether you deserve the right to govern. If you believe in your heart that you are innocent and that you have the authority to govern then you should have no reservations about letting Canadians decide for you. Being accountable means not making excuses to why events in the past occurred. Being a leader is being accountable for those past actions whether good or bad. Being accountable is what makes a dignified leader. Demonstrating integrity commands respect; demonstrating cowardice proves corruption.


Mr. Martin I ask you, as a fellow Canadian, to demonstrate accountability, dissolve your parliament and call an election to let the majority of citizens decide whether you deserve the right to govern. We should not have to wait for the opposition parties to bring down your government for this to occur. You are the leader of our great Country; this task should be undertaken by you and only you, regardless of the presumed outcome. If you are going to take the fall for the actions of your members, in order to be remembered with respect, then fall with dignity instead of falling in denial.


Cowardice is the corruption of prudence; however integrity is a virtue of morality. A leader who points fingers and blames his member’s is a coward. A leader that accepts blame is prudent; for it is prudence that immediately demonstrates possession of honest principles. Hence, if you want to demonstrate your integrity and accountability then stop being a coward, call an election, and earn your right to govern. If you do not, then by reason of logic, you have lost your moral authority to govern.

Regards,
M.K. Braaten

Mouseland

It's the story of a place called Mouseland. Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do.

They even had a Parliament. And every four years they had an election. Used to walk to the polls and cast their ballots. Some of them even got a ride to the polls. And got a ride for the next four years afterwards too. Just like you and me. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats.

Now if you think it strange that mice should elect a government made up of cats, you just look at the history of Canada for last 90 years and maybe you'll see that they weren't any stupider than we are.

Now I'm not saying anything against the cats. They were nice fellows. They conducted their government with dignity. They passed good laws--that is, laws that were good for cats. But the laws that were good for cats weren't very good for mice. One of the laws said that mouseholes had to be big enough so a cat could get his paw in. Another law said that mice could only travel at certain speeds--so that a cat could get his breakfast without too much effort.

All the laws were good laws. For cats. But, oh, they were hard on the mice. And life was getting harder and harder. And when the mice couldn't put up with it any more, they decided something had to be done about it. So they went en masse to the polls. They voted the black cats out. They put in the white cats.

Now the white cats had put up a terrific campaign. They said: "All that Mouseland needs is more vision." They said:"The trouble with Mouseland is those round mouseholes we got. If you put us in we'll establish square mouseholes." And they did. And the square mouseholes were twice as big as the round mouseholes, and now the cat could get both his paws in. And life was tougher than ever.

And when they couldn't take that anymore, they voted the white cats out and put the black ones in again. Then they went back to the white cats. Then to the black cats. They even tried half black cats and half white cats. And they called that coalition. They even got one government made up of cats with spots on them: they were cats that tried to make a noise like a mouse but ate like a cat.

You see, my friends, the trouble wasn't with the colour of the cat. The trouble was that they were cats. And because they were cats, they naturally looked after cats instead of mice.

Presently there came along one little mouse who had an idea. My friends, watch out for the little fellow with an idea. And he said to the other mice, "Look fellows, why do we keep on electing a government made up of cats? Why don't we elect a government made up of mice?" "Oh," they said, "he's a Bolshevik. Lock him up!" So they put him in jail.

But I want to remind you: that you can lock up a mouse or a man but you can't lock up an idea.

Word of wisdom from an idiot

Friday, April 15, 2005
This makes me embarrassed to be from Vancouver. - mkb

Early federal election would be 'stupid,' says Vancouver mayor

VANCOUVER - Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell says he hopes that nobody does anything that would force a federal election before Prime Minister Paul Martin delivers on his promise to share gas tax revenues with municipalities. Campbell and other big-city mayors had fought for the commitment, and he worries a Conservative government wouldn't follow through on the fuel tax transfers.

The mayor says like many Canadians, he's angry about the sponsorship scandal. But he says the opposition should wait until the Gomery inquiry is complete before deciding what to do.

"My biggest concern is that nobody does anything stupid in Ottawa," said Campbell. "What would you consider stupid?" asked a reporter. "Calling an election. I'd consider it extremely stupid," replied the mayor. Campbell made the comments while touring the Vancouver SeaBus terminal with Martin on Friday morning. Martin is in B.C. to sign an agreement to transfer more than $600 million in gas tax revenues. Most of the money will go to TransLink – for roads, transit, and other projects in the Lower Mainland.

This isn't the first time Campbell has spoken out against the possibility of a Conservative government. Last year, he warned other big-city mayors that the Harper Conservatives would take Canadian cities "back to the '50s."

'Leaked' Liberal election talking points

These were posted on a website by a 'supposed' MP however I can't gaurantee its validity but it seems quite correct. -mkb

Everyone has heard that the Liberals have been preparing their upcoming election strategy today. A confederate within the hierarchy has leaked the main talking points the Liberals will follow during the campaign. Conservatives might be surprised to learn that it is only more of the same old, tired stuff, but as the Conservatives show no sign of having developed an effective counter-attack, and remain amateurs (at best) in manipulative political messages, the Libs are confident of being returned to government with a minority, at the very least. The Big Lie has always worked for them in the past, and they haven't suffered much by playing Canadians for unthinking chumps. I am disseminating this information because for the sake of Canadian democracy Harper needs to prepare a response to rebut the Big Lie. Simply pointing at the Liberals and shouting "you're a liar, you're a crook" didn't work in the last election with much of the country. And it won't work this time around if Martin keeps hammering the Big Liberal Lie on the hustings and keeping Harper on the defensive by having to repeatedly deny that he hasn't got a "secret agenda". The Liberals will stick to what works until it fails to work at all. The Liberals will stop at nothing to retain power; not only are jobs on the line, but jail sentences too.

Here are the campaign talking points:

A. Gomery spin:

** testimony given at Gomery is unsubstantiated allegation; much has been contradictory and inconsistent; much has come from witnesses who are being indicted for fraud and other criminal activity.
** Gomery and his PC counsel are biased against the Liberals and his commission has been a miscarriage of justice.
** alleged events have been isolated to Quebec only.
** alleged events have been isolated to a handful of rogue operatives in business and the bureaucracy who betrayed the trust and the honest intentions of the Liberal Party.
** the Quebec wing of the Liberal Party is a victim of the alleged fraud.
** Only Paul Martin was interested in seeing justice done: he established the commission, he shut done the sponsorship program, his government laid charges against alleged perpetrators
** Paul Martin and his Liberal Government had no connection whatsoever to any of the people involved in the alleged events; he has purged any and all who have.
** Paul Martin and his Liberal Government had no knowledge of or participation in any of the alleged events
** the purported sums involved in the alleged events are minuscule compared to the ultimate significance and importance of the real issue: saving Canada. And the Liberals saved Canada.
** the Cons and Bloq are not interested in discovering the truth; they want to scuttle the Gomery commission, prevent his report from being released, and score cheap political points by exploiting unproven allegations taken out of context.
** Only the Liberal Party is committed to ensuring that justice is done. The Liberals are the party of ethics and integrity in government.

B. general anti-Conservative, pro-Liberal spin :

** If the Liberals lose an election to the Cons, the Cons will form only a minority government with no Quebec support. The PQ will win the next provincial election in Quebec, and will agitate for separation. The only voice speaking for Canada in this crucial situation will be a weak, regional, unstable, Franco-hating federal Conservative government. This must be avoided at all costs by returning a Liberal majority government. Only the Liberal Party, Canada's Party, can keep Canada together; only the Liberal Party is the party of national unity and Canadian values.
** Canada's greatest treasure and possession is the Charter of Rights, which was given to the country by the great Pierre Trudeau and his Liberal Government. The Cons want to rip the Charter apart and trample on Canadians' rights and freedoms. The Cons don't care about minority rights.
** The Cons are anti-immigration and don't like new Canadians; the Cons are afraid of the world and want a small, parochial Canada. The Liberal Party wants to embrace the world, and wants a big, welcoming, tolerant Canada. Liberals love new Canadians, and Liberals want to share our country's good fortune with others. The Cons will shut down immigration and make it difficult for new Canadians to re-unite with their families. The Cons will try to take rights away from new Canadians.
** The Cons oppose clean air for Canadians because they oppose the Kyoto Accord. The Liberals want clean air for Canadians, and their children and children's children. The Cons are anti-environment; the Liberals are pro-environment and want a sustainable future for all Canadians.
** The Cons are opposed to international treaties because, like George Bush and his Republicans, they hate the UN and the countries of the world community. The Liberals want to make the world better by working with the international community as a respected, proud, strong nation.
** The Cons want to take away a woman's right to choose what's best for her own body. The Cons are anti-women. The Liberals are pro-women and unequivocally support women's rights and equality.
** The Cons thinks gays are second-class citizens; who's the Conservative Party's next target of intolerance and hate?
** The Cons want to take away Canadians' right to free and accessible health care. They want health care only for the rich.
** Ralph Klein and Preston Manning, and probably the whole western firewall crowd, have proved that the Cons have a secret agenda on destroying the public health system, and on giving tax breaks for the rich. (cf. recent report of Manning and Harris for the Fraser Institute)
** The Cons are against equalization payments from well-off provinces to those provinces that need a help up. The Cons are greedy and don't want to share Canada's wealth; the Cons want to keep the average Canadian down.
** The Cons have killed the Liberal budget that promised equity to the Atlantic provinces; now Nova Scotia and Newfoundland will suffer without their rightful resource payments. The Cons think Atlantic Canadians have a defeatist attitude, and a Conservative government would keep the region down. Liberals want to help Atlantic Canadians, as they proved in the Liberal budget the Conservatives killed.
** The Conservatives have plunged the country into an unwanted election during a perilous time for unity. Canadians voted for the progressive Liberal agenda of the Paul Martin Liberals, and the Cons have spat in Canadians' faces by ripping up the people's agenda the Martin government was delivering on
** The Cons have killed the Liberal budget that promised a national day-care program for hard-working Canadian parents. The Cons don't want to help hard-working Canadians who can't afford exorbitant day-care costs for their children. The Liberals want to help Canadian children get the best care for their development; they're the future, and the Liberal Party is the party of Canada's future. The Cons are the party of the distant past
** Liberals want to help Canada's aboriginals; the Cons want to keep aboriginals in poverty and ignorance.
** The Cons have a secret agenda so scary and creepy, they are afraid and ashamed to make it clear to Canadians what they really stand for. The Liberal Party has a transparent agenda that makes Canada stronger and unified, and enhances Canadian values and freedoms and equality.
** the Liberals inherited a financial mess from the Conservatives, and it was Paul Martin who cleaned up Canada's finances, balanced the budget, and has paid down the debt. Martin and the Liberals are the party of financial prudence and responsibility.
** the Liberals are the party of Canadian values; the Cons are non-mainstream and extreme. The Cons represent divisive, bigoted, xenophobic, Canada-haters. If the Cons come to power, they would break up Canada by allowing Quebec to separate, by stacking the judicial benches with their like-minded ilk who hate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and by stepping on average Canadians by giving money to their rich friends.
** The Cons would allow their pay-masters in the oil industry to rip off Canadians while wrecking the environment.
** The Cons have no government experience, no sophistication, and are simply political opportunists.
** Remember Mulroney and all his corruption and scandals? Mulroney's Conservative Government screwed Canadians and helped only his rich friends.
** The Cons would destroy Canadian culture by privatizing the CBC and getting rid of Canadian cultural institutions. The Cons would weaken the Canadian fabric that keeps us all bound together.
** The Liberal Party is the party that has given good government to all Canadians. Canadians keep electing Liberal governments, because the values of Canadians are Liberal values, and Liberal values are Canadian values. The Liberal Party gave Canada its flag, its social welfare programs, its rights and freedoms, and its strong and growing economy. The Liberal Party is the party of fairness, equity, tolerance, and justice.
** NDP supporters need to vote for the Liberals instead of throwing away their votes and which would ensure a Conservative government. The Liberal Party is the real party of social justice anyway; NDP values are Liberal values. NDPers must support the Liberals to save Canada from the Cons.
** If federalists in Quebec vote for the Bloq, they will be jeopardizing Quebec's place in Confederation, and all the privileges and advantages and financial benefits that entails.
** All Quebec federalists must vote for the Liberal Party, Canada's only truly national party, the only party that has saved and will save Canada.
** Steven Harper takes his orders from the backroom; Mulroney, Manning, Klein, and Harris are all telling him what to do. This backroom crowd will wreck health care for Canadians, but Paul Martin and his Liberals will save health care. Liberals think health care is for everyone; Harper and the Cons want to see your wallet before they let you, or your parents, or your children have an operation or treatment. Under a Conservative government, you'll have to be rich before you can have a hip replacement, a cardiac bypass, or dialysis treatment.
** The Liberals are the party of light; the Cons, the party of darkness. Canadians must ensure that the dark never extinguishes the light.

I should add that the Libs have been feverishly testing the campaign talking points I outlined above on representative voter groups across the country. The "strategy" is also being bounced off some contacts within the Asper and Thompson media, the CBC, and Global. More communications work rendered to the Liberals as donations "in kind". In a one party state, the regime has powerful friends everywhere.Based on preliminary survey results, they are convinced they will pick up seats from the Conservatives in B.C., Sask, & Man. They also believe the Conservatives will collapse in Ontario. Bye-bye, Belinda! They will hold Atlantic Canada. Here's a surprise: the Liberals will be pulling a nolo contendere in Alberta. Their numbers are abysmal and they don't see that the fight would be worth it -- particularly as Alberta will be the bogey man of Confederation in the Liberal campaign, yet again. Look for an announcement just after the government falls that Landslide Annie is getting some government-engineered plum appointment. My source said she'd rather cash in on a sinecure with some payola than run again in Alberta. The Liberals can't believe their good luck on how soft and shifty Conservative support is across the country. The Libs are getting prepared for a battle of Berlin fight with the BQs in Quebec -- street by street, and, if necessary, house by house combat. Emotions are getting so volatile, I wouldn't be surprised if, by the end of it all, some good ol' Dupplesies ballot box tactics aren't resorted to. The Liberals are determined not to lose any of the seats in Quebec. When all the seats are counted across the country, the Libs believe, based on their current polling and their election "strategy", they will come off with a very modest (read: squeaker) majority. No Liberals will be going to jail in that case, and CSL and Power Corp. (BNP Paribase et al.) will be getting will be getting some very nice contracts, courtesy the Canadian taxpayer. I think a Martin majority will be a disaster for the justice system and for good government. Hence this leaked info.

Is Scott Brison in contempt?

Thursday, April 14, 2005
Well, more audit talk in the house today. It looks like I may have started a firestorm with my research last week. Since I just watched this on CPAC I can't give an exact transcript but I will attempt to (very loosely) paraphrase from a non-partisan perspective (like usual).

In Question Period today Conservative finance critic Monte Solberg questioned the Liberals on accountability. Solberg questioned the obvious conflict of interest between Deloitte and Touche and the Liberals by mentioning that the Firm has donated over $400,000 to the Liberals since 1993. MP Scott Brison then replied that the Tories are so desperate now they are questioning the validity of a international firm's work and how they are losing their credibility in doing so, then he awkwardly some how intertwined national unity, accountability and Justice Gomery into his closing. In reply Mr. Solberg said he was not questioning the validity of the firm just the Liberal party and its accountability. Solberg is right; this is a conflict of interest – ask any accountant. Brison then made a comment that an audit or review is the same thing and the Tories are making a big deal out of nothing.

However, Brison does not understand the legal definition an audit and the immense amount of liability that accountants assume as compared to a review. The word audit should not be used loosely because of the liability and the credibility involved. Also Brison mentioned that the Auditor General didn’t audit all of the government’s books when the AG was auditing the sponsorship program but only some parts of it and it was still called an audit. Scott, Scott, you keep digging and I keep burying you! Yes the AG didn’t audit the whole government, but they did FULL AUDITS on an individual departments and an opinion was expressed.

Brison quickly shot back and said that, and this caused laughter to not only me but to the house, "sometimes reviews are even more thorough than audits because they are more focused on specific parts of the finances." Well, here are three contradictions to that claim: first he just admitted that the Liberals had commissioned the accountants to only review specific parts of the books; secondly, reviews are not as thorough as an audit; thirdly, audits or reviews are not specifically designed to detect fraudulent activity; although they sometimes do.

Then, in a special question period after, Jason Kenny, Conservative MP, raised a motion to put Scott Brison in contempt because last week Brison said they audited the books to assure Canadians no dirty money was received. Furthermore he mentioned that the Liberals exlcluded the ridings from being reviewed-- the areas where the money was funelled. To back up his point he mentioned that the respected Dr. Al Rosen, one of Canada's most respected forensic accountants, discredited Brison’s attempt to pull "wool over taxpayers' eyes". To prove his motion of contempt Kenny quoted Brison last Tuesday saying that the government had a 'full review' on the books. Brison answered back in the form of “national unity, Justice Gomery, and Paul Martin and accountability, Justice Gomery, and Gomery, and Justice…”

Another MP from the Tories then correctly stated that an audit is treated a lot different in the court of law (and parliament) then a simple review. He correctly mentioned that an audit expresses an opinion and the accountants assume immense liability when doing so. Furthermore he questioned why Brison did not notice this since he has a business background. In return a Liberal MP who is a Chartered Accountant said correctly said that the reviews are done according to the CICA professional guidelines and the accountants signed the letter stating that in their judgement the work that they were commissioned to do was done according to ethical accounting. Well yes, of course it was conducted according to the CICA handbook guidelines and also was done with professional judgement. But he incorrectly inferred that because they signed the engagement letter that they were endorsing the fairness of the finances as they would in an audit; whereas they were just endorsing the work that they had done.

However, he was distracting from the obvious question; the question is the fact that Brison mislead the public regarding the review and in doing so grossly misrepresented the reputation of Chartered Accountants. In light of Enron et al, accountants don’t need the government tarnishing their reputation by they Liberals directly misleading the public regarding their opinion of the Liberal’s finances. Finally another Conservative MP stated that there is a implicit difference between an audit and a review in not only its cost, but also its scope. He also mentioned that the scope on an audit is not restrained such as the review that the Liberals had commissioned was .

People must understand that and audit is an audit not just when the accountant signs the ‘engagement letter’ but also expresses an opinion on the validly and fairness of the books. At this point the accountant is personally liable for the legal and financial implications of his opinion. Scott this is the reason why the fine line between audits and reviews is such a big deal.



Listed on BlogShares