To the Editor:
The recently reported matter where the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission gave Jets' hockey tickets to ministers of the Crown and they gladly accepted them meets every negative stereotype that we think of politicians pocketing gratuities or their own advantage.
The question I have is how did they not know that this was not appropriate on the ethical grid? The answer is they did know and still did it. Not only did they do it but lots of folks that the NDP appointed to various positions also got this special treatment of being offered Jets' hockey tickets. Nothing like having a good time on the taxpayers' bill.
The NDP is the party that has a history of being squeaky clean with many of its founders being ministers of the church like Tommy Douglas. To see this kind of behaviour is just so disappointing. Not only does there need to be stronger rules concerning ethical behaviour, but also The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act needs to be strengthened so civil servants can be better protected to blow the whistle on such dishonest behaviour with out fear that they have placed there careers in an disadvantageous position.
There is a need to have honest open processes for government to have an appointment process to various boards, commissions and agencies, which is based on merit and not what you have done for the political party in power, which is the case in our province. The government is not interested in appointing the best and brightest; they are interested in appointing their friends to boards, commissions and agencies, with less attention to skill level. As my Eastern European grandfather would have said (who was a strong NDP supporter), that is a fine way to run a railway.
In comparison to Manitoba, a province like Ontario requires more transparency at all levels of the civil service and including its elected ministers and the cronies they continue to appoint.
Part of the problem is we voters put up with this nonsense! We are all like a bunch of jellyfish with no spines! Old-fashioned crony politics is just not part of a 21st society that aspires to be successful. For any western democracy to be successful the voters must believe the people who they elect have our best interests before them, and are not solely pursuing their own self-interest. Such behaviour has we have recently seen from the provincial NDP goes to the core of injuring the belief in the strength of our democratic institutions.
They ought to know better.
The sad fact is they did and still behaved in this disappointing fashion.
Human Resources, Labour Relations & Dispute Resolution
Faculty of Arts & Graduate Faculty of Education
Department of Business Administration