June 06, 2016

Political Payback? Wynne dodges questions about contracts with campaign manager

Brian LilleyArchive

Wynne’s campaign manager has received almost $900,000 in contracts from her office alone. A previous story from The Globe & Mail shows that David Herle and his Gandalf Group received $1.1 million in contracts from the Liberal's caucus services fund. 

The Liberal caucus services fund is a pot of money provided to the party by taxpayers based on the number of seats they have in the legislature. Each party is allotted funds on this basis.

A Globe and Mail story last fall noted that Herle and Gandalf were among the biggest recipients of such funds.

Almost $2 million in contracts from closely connected political allies to her campaign manager, but Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne doesn't see a problem or think she actually has to answer questions about the concerns.

After her office provided vague answers to questions from The Rebel, Wynne was questioned about this very issue during Question Period at Queen's Park.

Patrick Brown: David Herle's being rewarded for his political work with nearly $1 million of taxpayers' money. Mr. Speaker, does the Premier have an ounce of ethics left? Does the Premier think it is acceptable to hand out $1 million…. of contracts to her Liberal pals and cronies? Does the Premier think that's acceptable?

Premier Kathleen Wynne: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. The member opposite will know that market research and polling companies have been used by governments traditionally, Mr. Speaker. In fact, in fact there are at least six other companies, Mr. Speaker, that have contracts. Forum research, Ipsos Reid, Strategic Counsel, Ekos Research, Environics, Harris-Decima.

Similar to questions I sent to her office via email, Brown asked the premier to tell the people of Ontario how many contracts have gone to Herle and his firm and which government ministries authorized them.

Wynne ignored the question and deflected by mentioning other polling firms that get contracts from the government.

But as I've pointed out before, while other polling firms bid on and receive polling contracts from bureaucrats in government departments, Herle and Gandalf group received close to $2 million from the two most political offices at Queen's Park; caucus services and the premier's office.

This is without looking at other departments and I am told there are many.

Which departments? We don't know. The government is not saying and neither is Gandalf Group.

Alex Swann, vice-president at Gandalf Group told me via email that they would not comment on that question or any other questions about their work.

"We provide research services and the research data essentially belongs to our clients. We generally don’t speak to work they have commissioned or to what the research is informing, as a matter of policy. So I have to refer you to the clients at this time."

That would be fine if the client, the government of Ontario, would tell us how they spend tax dollars but they aren't talking.

In fact I've sent several follow-up questions to the premier's office trying to get answers and so far, I haven't received any real reply.

In response to four specific questions, the premier's spokesperson Jennifer Beaudry sent me a transcript of Question Period.

None of my questions were answered.

Let me read you the questions:

* Can you tell me what, exactly, Ontario taxpayers received for the nearly $900,000 in research contracts awarded to Mr. Herle and Gandalf Group?

* Are these polls public?

* Is there a record of the RFP, the tender process and the selection process for the two contracts awarded to Gandalf?

* I am told market research and polling are not subject to ARB reviews. Are you saying they are?

So far, I've received nothing of substance from the premier's office on these or other questions.

Premier Wynne and her government are awarding millions of dollars worth of contracts to her campaign manager. The public has a right to know and the government has a duty to answer. It's our money being spent so what did we buy for all that cash?

I think it is up to Wynne to prove this wasn't simply a case of political payback.

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commented 2016-06-07 15:05:23 -0400
D MARY: Sorry if there was some confusion, but I thought the sarcasm was self evident. You may have missed some of my posts over the past while, but you will find little confusion as to where I stand on the issues. On occasion I lose it a bit too much, so apologies if my language becomes a bit too colorful, but my rage seems to grow daily. Keep typing
DJBT and the others
commented 2016-06-07 14:03:29 -0400
There goes Lezbo Wynne again. Taxpayer funded patronage contracts. Now is the time for her removal.
commented 2016-06-07 13:49:30 -0400
Ah, but they are Liberals! They do not need to be accountable or transparent! WHO are we poor saps to question how they spend our money? Off with our heads that we have the audacity to ask Wimply Wynne to explain to us poor peons!
commented 2016-06-07 12:35:41 -0400
David, I assume you are being sarcastic. IPCC scientist had to threaten legal action to get their names removed from research report executive summary that changed their data. Retired IPCC head has joined Lord Moncton to bring charges against anyone profiting from AGW fraud. 97% scientists agree AGW farce is real fraud and scientific models are wrong.
commented 2016-06-07 12:20:41 -0400
One thing is for certain, 97% of the scientists agree, and the science is settled. She was not elected because of her good looks!!!

It’s a contest amongst the “Triumvirate”, Turdough, Wretch#1 and Wretch#2 as to who can squander the most money. Time for the lemmings to WAKE UP.

commented 2016-06-07 01:01:39 -0400
I assume it is homophobic to ask her about her corruption or some other progressive drivel.
commented 2016-06-06 23:35:19 -0400
orville should have Gandalf fix that lazy eye of hers back at the hovel whilst drinking grog.
commented 2016-06-06 21:58:37 -0400
Well of course they don’t have an answer, they were caught off guard they weren’t expecting the question. We have to remember, it takes time to fabricate an answer.
commented 2016-06-06 19:47:50 -0400
One additional point addressed to Mr. Alex Swann of the Gandolf Group. That is taxpayer money you accepted for the services you might have provided. It wasn’t Liberal Party money , TAXPAYER MONEY. I want to know what the hell you did for that money.
You know they have lots to hide when they avoid answering directly and claiming client confidentiality. Dead giveaway that they are corrupt and deceitful.
commented 2016-06-06 19:38:21 -0400
Wynne = financial rapist.
commented 2016-06-06 19:31:35 -0400
People employed by most Fortune 500 companies must take ethical practices courses and sign a document agreeing to uphold and comply and exercise ethical behaviour. It is hard to believe that this relationship between Wynne and her campaign manager would pass as ethical in a business environment. This is not arms length nor has sufficient time passed between his campaign relationship with Wynne and these contracts being awarded.
It is corruption but in Wynne’s mind anything she gets away with is ethical and honest and she has her own police force to tell her she is right.
commented 2016-06-06 19:29:39 -0400
There is no point in being a conservative in this province. We will never see a balanced budget, smaller government or individual freedom. Yesterday, I found out I can’t even apprentice my own son as a carpenter in this province. That’s a direct attack on small business of which I own and now my son cannot train with me. What’s the point in being a conservative? They have no teeth, and now they’re boarding the Man Made Global Climate Change bus. I’m no fan of corruption, but righteousness has given me zero gains and Oh have I tried. I’ll still do what is right, but there’s no point in being a Conservative in this country.
commented 2016-06-06 19:23:06 -0400
Unfortunately Notley, the wicked w(b)itch of the West is learning very well from Wynne.
commented 2016-06-06 19:20:25 -0400
On the earlier article by Sheila Gunn Reid, I suggested Notley was an overachiever in corruption.

Clearly, Notley has a long way to go to reach the level of the Mistress of Corruption. That is probably why Notley invited Wynne to a “State” visit to Alberta, to learn from the Mistress herself.

No wonder the regressives got so upset when Fildebrandt pointed this out.
commented 2016-06-06 19:19:49 -0400
I hope I am wrong, but I doubt that I am, however it is my firm belief that the Ontario Liberals will be voted back into office again in 2018. Wynne has greased way too many hands, lines way too many pockets. This bitch knows how to buy votes and until the voters who are benefiting from Wynne’s corruption grow some morals, then the Liberals will just keep on winning again and again.
commented 2016-06-06 19:16:19 -0400
DEBORAH GRAUPNER commented 19 mins ago
Wynnie has turned ON into a banana republic! Keep dancing Wynnie, you need to finance those interest payments!

Oh come now Deb, really, do you think anyone (hetero, gay, bi, lesbian, neutered, ANYONE????) would pay to see the Wynne bag dance? ;-)
commented 2016-06-06 19:07:03 -0400
Hard to believe that people in Ontario fell for the union talk big time by giving a majority to this person. She belongs in prison.
commented 2016-06-06 18:54:24 -0400
Wynnie has turned ON into a banana republic! Keep dancing Wynnie, you need to finance those interest payments!