Former PUB chair now PUB consultant

- May 16th, 2012

According to the province’s conflict of interest law, no cabinet minister or senior civil servant is allowed to enter into a contract with — or receive a benefit from — government for a period of one year after leaving office.

The provision is supposed to create a buffer zone between the time politicians or senior civil servants leave office and when they can get back on the taxpayer-funded gravy train.

The only problem is there’s a big “if” in this legislation. “If” cabinet decides to override the act, it can. In other words, with the blessing of Premier Greg Selinger and his cabinet, government or any Crown organization can enter into contracts with whomever they please whenever they want.

And they just did. Cabinet is allowing the Public Utilities Board to enter into a contract with former PUB chairman Graham Lane who just “retired” March 31.

They passed the order-in-council May 9. Lane was considered to be a senior civil servant under the act. But he’s getting a pass.

You see, under Sec. 19.1(1) of the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Conflict of Interest Act, it says that “except with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council (that’s a fancy word for cabinet), no minister or senior public servant shall, for a period of one year following the date on which the minister or senior public servant leaves office, enter into a contract with, or accept a benefit from, the government or a Crown agency.”

And since the Lieutenant Governor in Council has approved this deal, Lane gets to enter into a contract as a consultant with the PUB, even though he just retired less than two months ago.

So he gets to collect his pension and draw more money from taxpayers through the PUB as a consultant.

We don’t know how much he’ll be paid because the order-in-council simply gives the PUB the authority to enter into a contract with him and to set the “terms and conditions of the consulting services to be provided.”

All we know is he’ll be working for the new board chairman.

Isn’t it nice when the law says cabinet can just wave a magic wand whenever it wants, bypass the province’s conflict of interest rules and enter into contracts with whomever they please whenever it suits them?

Kind of makes the act not worth the paper it’s written on.

 

Categories: Politics

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4 comments

  1. Lynn says:

    Fat cats getting fatter at our expense.
    Free tickets, free jobs, free free free, if your a friend to the NDP!

    They have no honour, no rules to govern themselves by and none that they would put in place.
    And what rules there are, they change to meet their needs.

  2. David Coutu says:

    Tom … Time to re-write Sec 19.1 (1)

    Tfime for an Omnibus Legislation dealing with Bribery, Corruption, Perks and Pay-offs
    for the Civil Service, Government, Crown Corporations, all levels of government and bureaucracy…

    Graham Lane and his PUB have made “a little fuss for show-of-independance”
    but have gone along with Manitoba Hydro Rate Increases every time Hydro has requested them.

    Graham Lane has been rewarded (against the intentions of the legislation you mention.
    BUT … he has the right attitude for Manitoba Hydro and the government.

    We are goin to see some MAJOR Rate Increases now …

    Manitoba Hydro will be $40 Billion in debt by 2020 !

  3. Shawn Lenzin says:

    Let’s just hope the NDP get voted in again in 4 years. Maybe then everyone with a job should leave the Province for the social corrupt party and the rest of the takers remaining and see how they can pay for all the corruption?

  4. David Coutu says:

    I am truly surprised at the lack of comment on this Public Utility Board and its actions.

    How do they pick these guys?

    Is not Graham Lane one of the cast of Mel Brooks play “The Producers” ?

    This action on his part sure fits the movie premise … lose money on a project and business prospers.

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